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Recipe and Drink Recommendations

Chicken Kebabs with Garlic Sauce
Adapted from
This is quite the meal: grilled chicken, vegetables and chunks of halloumi cheese, served with warm pita or naan and an amazing, creamy garlic sauce.

  • 1 cup plain, Greek-style yogurt
  • 3 cloves finely minced garlic, plus 6 cloves, divided
  • 1 Tbs. Tomato paste
  • 3 Tbs. Lemon juice, plus 4 tablespoons, divided
  • 1/2 Tbs. Za’atar
  • 1/2 c. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1/4 tsp. Ground coriander
  • 1/8 tsp. Smoked paprika
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into medium chunks
  • 1 large egg white
  • 2/3 c. sunflower or canola oil
  • Small bowl ice water
  • Up to 1/2 c. mayonnaise
  • 12 button or crimini mushrooms
  • 2 red peppers, each sliced into 8 square pieces
  • 1 red onion, sliced into large chunks
  • 2 zucchini, sliced into large chunks
  • 2 6-oz. packages halloumi cheese, sliced into large chunks
  • 2 lemons, sliced into rounds
  • 4 rounds pita bread or naan, warm
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme, minced

Directions: In a large bowl, combine the yogurt, 3 cloves minced garlic, tomato paste, 3 tablespoons lemon juice, za’atar, olive oil, salt, coriander, and paprika. Fold in the chicken pieces, and toss to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, until ready to grill.

Place the remaining 6 cloves of garlic, a pinch of salt, and 2 tablespoons of the remaining lemon juice in the pitcher of a blender. Blend on high to mince the garlic, then, while the blender is running, add the egg white. With the motor still running, drizzle in half of the sunflower or canola oil in a slow stream. Switch the blender to slow, then slowly drizzle in the remaining 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, then the last of the oil. With the blender still on, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of ice water. The sauce should be the consistency of a light mayonnaise. Taste, and add salt if needed. If it’s too garlicky, fold in up to 1/2 cup of mayonnaise. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate.

Preheat grill to medium-high.

Place the mushrooms, peppers, onion, zucchini, halloumi cheese, and lemon slices in a large bowl. Drizzle with some olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Skewer the vegetables and cheese onto metal or wooden skewers (if you use wooden ones, soak in water for 10 minutes before this step).
Skewer the marinated chicken on separate skewers, as you did the vegetables. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Grill the skewers until the vegetables are nicely charred and tender, and the chicken is opaque in the center, and reads 165 F for dark meat, and 160F for white meat. Keep covered as you cook to keep warm.

Serve with warm pita, with the garlic sauce ladled on top. Sprinkle with fresh thyme.

Serves 4.

Star Recommends: Ponzi Pinot Gris—Adam recently traveled to the Willamette Valley and though the region is best known for its Pinot Noir it was the white wines of the region that really impressed him. Ponzi Pinot Gris is noted for aromas of vanilla bean, pear and almonds, earthy flavors of fresh quince with golden apple sweetness on the finish.

Grilled Japanese Eggplant with Fresh Tomato Sauce
Adapted from
This is a simple dish that’s a great way to use some of summer’s best produce. Try it at your next cookout.

  • 5 Tbs. Olive oil, divided
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 tomatoes, large, cored and chopped
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 4 Japanese eggplants, sliced lengthwise in half
  • 1 c. whole milk ricotta
  • 1 bunch fresh basil, torn

Directions: Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and cook, stirring frequently, until golden. Add the tomatoes and reduce heat to low. Simmer for about 20 minutes, until the tomatoes begin to break down, and some liquid has reduced. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Preheat grill to medium-high heat.

Sprinkle the eggplant with salt and pepper, and drizzle with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Grill for 10-15 minutes, until the skin is charred and the eggplant is tender.
To serve, spoon tomato sauce on top of the eggplant halves, then top with ricotta and fresh basil. Enjoy! 4 large servings

Star Recommends: Boscarelli Prugnollo Rosso di Montepulciano—From the winemaker “Our Prugnolo is a wine in which we try to enhance the freshness of the fruity notes of Sangiovese combined with spicing from the Mammolo variety. It is produced by selecting grapes from young vines with the richest perfumes and less-mature structure. In search of pleasure, we are careful not to fall into banality.”

Sautéed Pears with Thyme and Vanilla Ice Cream
Adapted from
This is a simple and casual dessert that would be as nice for company as it would after a weeknight dinner. It’s very easily doubled (or tripled).

  • 1 Tbs. Butter
  • 1 ripe, but still firm, pear
  • 2 Tbs. Fresh thyme leaves, divided
  • Vanilla ice cream
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon

Directions: Melt the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. As the butter is melting, slice the pear into 4 quarters. Add the pears to the skillet and sauté, turning occasionally, for 6-8 minutes, until lightly golden-brown. Halfway through the cooking time, sprinkle with half of the fresh thyme.
Serve in shallow bowls, with scoops of vanilla ice cream, sprinkled with lemon zest and the remaining thyme leaves.  Serves 2.

Star Recommends: Cour-Cheverney Cuvée Renaissance Mollueax—Cuvée Renaissance is a special cuvée of Romorantin made only in the best vintage years from old vines of between 50-80 years. The wine is a late harvest, botrytised, off-dry version of Romorantin. The wine offers zesty citrus flavors, hints of hazelnut and mineral flavors. It finishes with just a touch of fruit to round out the experience. This is a truly remarkable wine that seems to combine the best qualities of Chenin Blanc with the mineral steeliness of Melon de Bourgogne.

Hawaiian-style Garlic Shrimp
Adapted from
Yes, you read that right—this calls for 50 cloves of garlic. You will be rewarded with shrimp cooked in an intensely aromatic sauce with loads of golden, crispy garlic bits.

  • 2 lbs. Raw shrimp (peeled or tail-on preferred)
  • 50 cloves raw garlic, peeled, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 c. white wine
  • 2 Tbs. Olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1/4 tsp. Black pepper
  • 3 Tbs. Ghee or clarified butter
  • 2 tsp. Lemon juice
  • Lemon wedges, to serve

Directions: In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the shrimp, garlic, wine, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Set in the refrigerator to marinate for 2 hours. (Alternatively, you can combine everything in a covered casserole dish.)

Melt the ghee or clarified butter in a large wok or skillet over medium heat. Strain all the liquid from the marinating shrimp, and pour it into the skillet with the ghee. Bring to a simmer. In batches, add the shrimp and cook until mostly cooked through (mostly pink and opaque). Being careful to leave the garlic in the pan, use tongs to transfer the shrimp to a colander that’s placed over a bowl. Repeat until all the shrimp is almost cooked -- you should have lots of garlic and liquid left in the pan.

Increase the heat to high, and continue to cook the sauce about 15 minutes, stirring constantly, until the liquid has evaporated, and the garlic has turned golden-brown and crispy. Return the shrimp to the pan, and stir-fry, tossing frequently, for about 2 minutes, until fully cooked. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice. Serve with rice and lemon wedges. 4 servings

Star Recommends: Domaine de la Pepiere Muscadet—(Organic) After an early release in January simply labeled as Muscadet (not Sur Lie), the regular bottling maintains its classic lemony, stony and briny quality.  This is a great bottle of Muscadet.

Spicy Stir-fried Japanese Eggplant and Cucumber
Adapted from
If you’ve never had stir-fried cucumber, you’ll want to give this recipe a try. The still crunchy cucumber pairs perfectly with the tender eggplant. Serve with steamed white rice.

  • 1 1/2 lbs. Japanese eggplants
  • Salt
  • 2 seedless cucumbers
  • 2 Tbs. Rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbs. Soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. Sugar
  • 2 tsp. Toasted sesame oil
  • 2 Tbs. Peanut or canola oil
  • 1 Tbs. Minced ginger
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp. Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 2 Tbs. Minced scallions

Directions: Trim the stems from the eggplants. Slice eggplants in half lengthwise, then slice into 1/4-inch half moons. Sprinkle lightly with salt, then place in a colander to drain. Let sit for 15 minutes, then squeeze out excess liquid, and lay in a single layer on paper towels and blot dry.

Trim the ends from the cucumbers. Slice the cucumbers in half lengthwise, then slice diagonally into 1/4-inch half moons.

In a small bowl, whisk together the rice vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, and sesame oil.

Heat a large skillet or wok over high heat, until a drop of water evaporates within one second from its surface. Add the peanut or canola oil and turn the pan to coat it. Stir-fry the eggplant for 3-4 minutes, until cooked through. Stir in the ginger and crushed red pepper flakes, and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Stir in the cucumbers and scallions, and stir-fry for just 30 seconds. Pour in the rice vinegar-soy sauce mixture, and continue to stir-fry for 1 more minute. Remove from heat and serve.
Serves 2.

Star Recommends: Sineann Gruner Veltliner—From Wine Enthusiast 89 pts “This variety is an extreme rarity in the state (WA), with only a small handful of bottlings made. This one offers aromas of herbs, spice and green apple skin that carry through to thepalate, which drinks just off dry.”

Borlotti Beans with Garlic and Olive Oil
Adapted from
Serve these hearty, garlicky beans with some good bread and a simple salad for an easy, people-pleasing, dinner.

  • 2 lb. dried borlotti beans, soaked overnight, drained
  • 3 Roma tomatoes, quartered
  • 10 large, unpeeled garlic cloves
  • 8 large fresh sage leaves
  • 3/4 c. olive oil, plus more to taste
  • Salt
  • Black pepper

Directions: Place the beans, tomatoes, garlic, sage, and olive oil in a medium pot. Add cold water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce to medium-low. Partially cover and simmer. Add water 3/4 cup at a time to keep the beans fully submerged, and simmer for up to 1 1/2 hours, until the beans are tender.  Season with salt and pepper, and drizzle with more olive oil, if desired. 6 servings

Star Recommends: Tenuta Sassoregale Sangiovese—Its color is a bright ruby red. On the nose, it is clean and precise, with hints of morello cherries, wild berries and a moderate spiciness. On the palate it reveals a full and firm flavor, expressing all its intensity and elegance.

Oatmeal Pear Muffins
Adapted from
These muffins are light, fluffy and packed with pears, and are gluten- and refined-sugar-free and vegan!

  • 1 c. oat flour
  • 1 c. rolled oats
  • 1 tsp. Baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Baking powder
  • 4 Tbs. Ground flaxseeds
  • 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1/2 c. applesauce
  • 1 1/2 c. coconut milk
  • 2 c. chopped pears

Directions: Preheat oven to 350F. Line or grease 12 muffin tins.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the oat flour, rolled oats, baking soda, baking powder, ground flaxseed, and cinnamon. Fold in the applesauce and coconut milk and stir until just combined, being careful not to over mix. Gently fold in the pears. Scoop into prepared muffin tins, and bake for 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. 12 muffins

Star Recommends: Roederer Estate Anderson Valley Brut—Wine Enthusiast 92 pts.“The fruit flavors are apparent, fresh and lively in this medium-bodied, beautifully balanced brut. Light pear and pineapple aromas are followed by richer pear and citrus flavors, and subtle hints of baking spices, almonds and a nice earthy touch emerge.”

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