DRINK RECOMMENDATIONS FROM STAR LIQUOR, 1209 WILLIAMSON
Swiss Chard and Ricotta Dumplings
Adapted from www.saveur.com
This dish hails from Corsica where it goes by the name of Strozzapreti. These dumplings are a lovely way to highlight the spring flavors of chard and mint.
Note: be sure to start this recipe by setting out the ricotta to drain the night before
- 2 bunches Swiss chard (about 2 lb.) stemmed
- 1 tsp. salt, plus more
- 1 1/4 c. ricotta, drained in a cheesecloth-lined sieve overnight
- 16 Tbs. butter, melted
- 1/3 c. mint, finely chopped
- 1/4 c. flour, plus more for dusting
- 2 tsp. dried oregano
- 4 egg yolks
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tbs. lemon juice
- pepper, to taste
Directions: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the chard and cook until tender, about 2 minutes. Drain, and place on a clean kitchen towel. Roll the chard into a ball and squeeze to drain the excess water.
Finely chop the chard and place in a bowl. Add the 1 tsp. of salt, ricotta, 8 Tbs. of the butter, mint, flour, oregano, egg yolks, garlic, and pepper. Fold the ingredients together until well-combined.
Using 2 spoons, shape the mixture into about 12 oval dumplings. Place on a baking sheet and dust them with flour. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Gently add the dumplings and cook until tender, about 4-6 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer them to a serving dish.
Heat the rest of the melted butter in a skillet over medium heat about 5 minutes until lightly browned. Whisk in the lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Pour the melted butter over the dumplings and serve. Makes 12 servings.
Star Recommends: Saint Damien Les Souteyrades Gigondas
Dark garnet color. Notes of licorice, raspberry liqueur and red fruit. Medium-bodied, with flavors of red fruit, raspberry and currants; jammy.
Incredible served still slightly warm over simple vanilla ice cream.
- 1 1/2 lb. rhubarb, chopped (about 6 cups)
- 1/2 c. white wine
- 2 Tbs. orange zest
- 1 c. plus 2 Tbs. cane sugar
Directions: Combine all ingredients in a heavy saucepan. Simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve warm or cold. Makes 3 cups.
Star Recommends: Mas Carlot Rose
Copper salmon in color. The Mas Carlot is a lovely Grenache blend with 40% Syrah. It offers ripe red berry fruit on the nose followed by a medium weight palate of ripe fruit flavors and good acidity.
Rhubarb with Earl Grey Tea, Cardamom, and Orange Zest
Adapted from www.food52.com
Chez Danisse recommends this on top of pancakes, but don’t stop there—try it over oatmeal, or yogurt, or ice cream, or by itself in a bowl with a dollop of whipped cream.
- 1 lb. rhubarb, roughly chopped
- 2 Braeburn apples, peeled, cored, and roughly chopped (Galas are a nice alternative if Braeburns aren’t available.)
- 1 lemon, juiced (use Meyer if available)
- 1/2 c. plus 2 Tbs. cane sugar
- 1 cardamom pod, crushed with a mortar and pestle
- 2 bags Earl Grey tea, steeped in 3/4 cup piping hot water for 3 minutes
- 4 Tbs. orange zest
Directions: Preheat oven to 350˚F. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir well. Transfer to a Dutch oven or a casserole dish and bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring once or twice. Serve warm or cool. Makes 6 large servings.
Star Recommends: Saracco Moscato d’ Asti
Moscato d’Asti is a unique wine where the beautiful aromas of the grapes are enhanced by a crisp, nice acidity, a light fizziness and the sweetness of the natural residual sugar. The low alcohol content makes it a very easy, pleasant wine perfect to finish a meal with dessert, or alone as a nice mid-day break.
Sugar Snap Peas with Lemon-Chili Breadcrumbs
Adapted from www.food52.com
The simple preparation of this dish allows the sugar snap peas’ flavor to really shine through. Make sure to use the freshest, most perfect snap peas you can find.
- 3 Tbs. olive oil, divided
- 1/2 c. breadcrumbs
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- zest of 1 lemon
- large pinch dried chili flakes
- 3 cups sugar snap peas, washed and trimmed
Directions: Heat 2 Tbs. of the oil over medium-low heat in a large heavy sauté pan. Add the breadcrumbs and stir until well-coated in oil. Toast, stirring frequently until golden-brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, sauté for 1 minute, then stir in the lemon zest, chili flakes, and a generous pinch of salt. Transfer the breadcrumb mixture to a dish and set aside.
Heat the remaining oil in the pan over medium-low heat. Add the sugar snap peas, a pinch of salt, and cook, stirring frequently, until crisp-tender and bright green, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat, fold in the breadcrumbs, and serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.
Star Recommends: Domaine Tariquet Rose
A beautiful shade of pomegranate red, with an exquisite bouquet, both subtle and intense. Mild spicy notes lead to a delightful duo of wild raspberry and flower petals. Rich, full bodied and fresh on the palate.
Swiss Chard and Pork Potstickers
Adapted from Edward Schneider’s recipe in the New York Times.
You can shave off some extra steps by using pre-made wonton wrappers, but this dough is fail-proof, is worth the time, and makes nice, fat dumplings.
- 2 c. all-purpose flour
- 1 c. boiling water
- 1/4 lb. Swiss chard, washed, dried, and finely chopped
- 2 tsp. salt, divided
- 3/4 lb. pork butt, finely chopped
- 6 fresh shiitake mushrooms, finely chopped
- 1 bunch scallions, greens only, finely chopped
- 2 Tbs. ginger, grated, divided
- 1 cup cilantro, leaves and stems, roughly chopped
- 1 small poblano chili, chopped
- 1 Tbs. sherry
- 1/4 c. plus 1 Tbs. soy sauce, divided
- 2 Tbs. sesame oil, divided
- 1 heaping Tbs. cornstarch
- 1 egg white
- 1 tsp. white pepper
- 2 Tbs. canola oil
- 1 Tbs. rice wine vinegar
Directions: Make dough. Place flour in bowl of a food processor, then, with the motor running, pour in 1 c. of (still boiling) water. Run until it comes together. Turn dough onto a lightly floured countertop; knead until the dough is stretchy and elastic. Place in a bowl, cover, and set aside to cool.
Place the Swiss chard in a strainer over a large bowl. Toss with a teaspoon of salt and allow to drain for 15 minutes. Place the pork butt in a large mixing bowl. Add the shiitake mushrooms, the scallion greens, 1 Tbs. of the ginger, cilantro, poblano, sherry, 1 Tbs. of the soy sauce, 1 Tbs. of the sesame oil, cornstarch, egg white, remaining salt, and white pepper. Stir well to combine. Squeeze the salted chard dry and add it to the pork mixture. Fold in the chard, and place the filling in the fridge, covered, for about an hour. Divide the pot-sticker dough in half. Roll each half into a log 12” long. Slice the dough into 1/2” pieces. With a rolling pin, roll each piece into a circle about 3” in size.
Place a Tbs. of the pork filling in the center of each circle. Fold in half to make a crescent, pressing the edges together. Fold the two corners in to make a pouch. The dough should stick together to make a nice seal, but use a little water if you’re having trouble making them stick. Repeat with the remaining filling and dough. Heat the oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Arrange the dumplings flat side down, slightly overlapping. Add a quarter inch of water, cover the skillet, and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low. When the water has evaporated, about 7-8 minutes, remove the lid. Let the dumplings brown in the oil and fat and remove when nice and crunchy. While the pot-stickers are cooking, make a quick sauce by whisking together the remaining soy sauce, remaining ginger, sesame oil, and rice wine vinegar. Serve pot-stickers hot with the dipping sauce. Makes approximately 24 potstickers.
Star Recommends: Graziano Redwood Valley Kazmet Vineyard Zinfandel
Beautiful berry aromas and jammy flavors of blackberry, earth and spice. This wine has a deep purple color, smooth tannins and a peppery finish that is elegant and long lasting.
Adapted from www.noteatingoutinny.com
This is the most delicious way to use leftover rice—and leftover rice is really the way to go when making fried rice. Having it a little old and slightly dried-out is the surprising secret to perfect fried rice.
- 4 eggs, beaten
- ground white pepper
- 3 Tbs. canola oil, divided
- 1 bunch asparagus, tough ends trimmed, cut into 1/2” pieces
- 2 cups snow peas, trimmed, cut into 1/2” pieces
- 4 cups cooked brown rice (leftover is best for fried rice)
- 3 scallions, sliced diagonally
- 1 tsp. soy sauce
Directions: Heat a tablespoon of the oil in a wok or large, heavy pan over high heat. Pour in the eggs, sprinkle with salt and white pepper, and gently stir once or twice with a wooden spoon. When the eggs are just cooked through, transfer them to a bowl.
Pour a tablespoon of oil into the pan and add the asparagus and snow peas. Sprinkle with salt and a tablespoon of water. Cook, stirring occasionally, over high heat for 3-4 minutes, until the vegetables are crisp-tender and bright green. Transfer to the bowl with the eggs.
Heat the last tablespoon of oil in the pan and add the rice and soy sauce. Stir to break up the clumps and cook to heat through. Cook without stirring for a minute or two to allow the rice to lightly brown.
Return the scrambled eggs, snow peas, and asparagus to the pan. Fold in the ingredients until combined. Heat through and adjust the seasoning if needed. Sprinkle with scallions and serve piping hot. Makes 4 servings.
Star Recommends: Adelsheim Pinot Blanc
Pale gold. Zesty grapefruit and pear on the nose, with a strong mineral undertone. Tangy and sharply focused, offering vivid citrus flavors and pungent minerality. Finishes clean and a touch dry, with very good cut.
Gingery Japanese Noodles in Broth with Snow Peas
Adapted from The Vegetarian Family Cookbook by Nava Atlas
Really simple and packed with flavors.
- 5 cups vegetable broth (or use the same amount of water with a bouillon cube)
- 8 oz. package soba noodles
- 2 Tbs. sunflower oil (or other neutral oil)
- 1 tsp. sesame oil
- 2 tsp. grated ginger
- 1 Tbs. soy sauce
- 4 cups snow peas, washed and trimmed
- 3 scallions, sliced
- 2 Tbs. miso
- black pepper
Directions: In a large saucepan, bring the broth to a boil and cook the noodles in it until al dente.
In the meantime, heat the sunflower oil and sesame oil in a large skillet or wok. Add 1/4 cup of water. When hot, add the ginger, soy sauce, and snow peas. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until the snow peas are just tender, about 3-4 minutes.
Transfer the cooked noodles and their broth to the pan of snow peas. Add the scallions and some black pepper to taste. Cook for 2 minutes more, then lower the heat and stir in the miso. Cook for 1 more minute, and serve. Make 4 servings.
Star Recommends: Trimbach Pinot Blanc
Trimbach Pinot Blanc has a beautiful fruitiness; it is elegant and easy to understand. Ideal when poured by the glass, it is fresh and clean, medium-bodied with good fruit acidity, with a smooth finish.
Rhubarb Curd Shortbread
Adapted from www.food52.com
This is really two recipes in one: a sweet, tangy rhubarb curd, and a buttery, delicately spiced shortbread. Both are delicious on their own, but put them together with a tad more work and you have a knockout dessert!
- 3/4 lb. rhubarb (about 6 stalks), washed and trimmed, cut into 1” cubes
- 4 Tbs. water
- 3/4 cup sugar, divided
- 16 Tbs. butter (2 sticks), cubed, divided
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar, plus more for dusting
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp. powdered ginger
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 tsp. lemon zest
- 2 tsp. lemon juice
Directions: Place the rhubarb, water, and 1/4 cup of the sugar in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the rhubarb becomes tender and breaks down. Add more water, a tablespoon at a time, if the mixture starts sticking to the bottom of the pot.
Remove rhubarb from heat. If you have an immersion blender, use it to purée the mixture. If you don’t have one, press the rhubarb through a mesh strainer. Place in a bowl and set aside at room temperature while making the shortbread.
Place 12 Tbs. of the butter in the bowl of a food processor. Add the powdered sugar, salt, flour, ginger, and cinnamon, and pulse until combined. Shape into a ball, then wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour.
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Remove the dough from the fridge and roll it out on a lightly floured surface into an 8”x8” square. Place the dough on a baking dish and bake for 30 minutes, until golden. Allow to cool on a wire rack.
Fill a double boiler with a few inches of water and place over medium heat. Place the egg yolks, remaining butter, remaining sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice in the bowl of the double boiler and combine with a whisk. Heat through until the sugar has dissolved completely and remove from heat. Add the rhubarb purée to the sugar and lemon mixture, a spoonful at a time, and then return to medium heat. Stir constantly for 5 minutes. Press the rhubarb through a strainer. It will have a smooth, pudding-like texture.
Spread the rhubarb curd evenly over the shortbread, and place in the oven at 350˚F for 10 minutes. Allow to cool at room temperature for 10 minutes, then transfer to the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes. Slice into bars, dust with powdered sugar, and serve. Makes 16 bars.
Star Recommends: Domaine St Antoine Rosé
This rosé has notes of wild strawberry and the perfect amount of acid to balance that fruit. They are nice and dry to complement the wonderful sweetness and richness of this dessert.