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Duck Breast Dressed with Almond Dragées

(Makes six servings)
3 duck breasts
6 small apples
200 g (7 oz) of almonds dragées
1 tablespoon of honey
50 grams (~1/2 stick) of salted butter
1/2 lemon
salt and pepper

Peel apples, core, and cut into quarters. Extract the lemon juice. Melt the butter in a pan. Add the apples, honey, and lemon juice. Add salt and pepper, mix, and cook the apples about 15 minutes (until lightly caramelized).

Turn on the oven broiler. Put the dragées in a grinder and grind. Incise the fat of the duck.

Roast the duck breasts in a pan on the fat side about 4 minutes, then turn them, season with salt and pepper, and cook at lower heat for 6 minutes.

Put the duck breasts (skin underneath), in an oven pan and sprinkle with grinded dragées.   Broil 3 minutes, then cover with foil and let rest for 3 minutes.

Slice the duck breasts. Set up on a warm plate along with the apples.

Cécile's Notes:
Enjoy with Derbès 2008 Russian River Pinot Noir

Fresh Cod with Cèpes

(Makes four servings)
4 pieces of cod (150 grams, or ~5 oz, each)
600 grams (~1-1/4 lb) of cèpes (wild mushrooms)
150 grams (~5 oz) of smoked bacon
3 shallots
30 centiliters (1-1/4 cup) of cream
10 centiliters (3-1/2 fl oz) of Derbès Carneros Chardonnay
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons of flour
3 tablespoons of olive oil
30 grams (1/4 stick) of butter

Soak the bacon in cold water, bring to a boil, then strain.
Clean the cèpes and slice them.

Prepare the sauce:
Peel and mince the shallots. Cook them slowly in a pan with the butter. As soon as they become “blond”, add the wine and cook until all the wine is evaporated. Add the cream, lemon juice, salt and pepper and let reduce by half.

Cook the cèpes on high heat with one tablespoon of olive oil. As soon as their own water has evaporated, add the minced parsley and bacon. Mix and keep warm.

Salt, pepper, and flour the fish. Cook the fish in the remaining olive oil in a pan 3 minutes on each side. Set them aside, covered. Slowly warm up the sauce.

Serve one piece of fish per plate, cèpes and top with the sauce.

Cécile's Notes:
Enjoy with Derbès 2009 Russian River Chardonnay.

Lemon Pots de Creme

(Makes four servings)
4 eggs
200 grams (1 cup) of sugar
orange skin confite
15 centiliters (5 fl oz) of lemon juice
12.5 centiliters (4-1/4 fl oz) of cream

Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F) and put in a pan half full of water, ready as a double boiler.

Mix the eggs with sugar. Add lemon juice and cream. When the mix is homogeneous, pour into ramequins. Put the ramequins in the double boiler and bake for about 15-20 minutes. The cream must be solidified, but supple.

Remove the ramequins from the oven and let them cool. You can serve them at room temperature, or refridgerated (preparing them a day before). At the last minute, decorate with the orange peel.

Cécile's Notes:
Enjoy with Derbès 2009 Russian River Chardonnay.

Blanc-Manger With Goat Cheese and Green Salad

(Serves 4)
1/2 lb of fresh goat cheese
1/4 lb of Roquefort cheese
6~3/4 oz of cream (has to be very cold)
1~3/4 oz of dry raisins
1/4 oz of Agar-Agar
1 lb of baby mixed greens
1 bunch of chervil
1 bunch of chives
3~1/2 oz Derbes Chardonnay
1 tablespoon of vinegar
3 tablespoons of olive oil
salt and pepper

Wisk the cream to make a chantilly (whipped cream) and put it in the fridge.

Crumb the cheeses in a bowl, add pepper, and mix.

Bring the wine to a boil and add the Agar-Agar. Let it cool off and add to the bowl of cheeses. Delicately add the whipped cream and pour into lightly oiled ramequins. Set up in the fridge for at least 12 hours.

Unmold the Blanc manger (briefly soak the bottom of the ramekins in warm water) onto serving plates 10 minutes before service.

Prepare the salad with the chopped chervil, baby greens, and chives. Salt, pepper, add vinegar & oil mix, and set up in the service plate. Sprinkle with dry raisins.

Cécile's Notes:
Enjoy with Derbès 2009 Russian River Chardonnay

Crab Soufflé

(Serves 6)
1/2 lb of crab meat, broken up
6 eggs
1-1/8 oz of cream
1 oz of butter
2 oz of Swiss cheese, grated
1 oz of corn starch
salt and pepper

Warm the oven up to 360 F.

Mix the corn starch in a bit of water, then pour it into a pot. Add the cream, and thicken over low heat, continuously mixing with the spatula.

Separate the egg whites from the yolks. Put the whites in a bowl, leaving the yolks in half shells.

Remove the pot from the stove. Add the butter, then egg yolks, one by one, using a whisk. Salt and pepper.

Whisk the egg whites to firmness, starting with 2 tablespoons of egg whites, delicately adding the cheese, crab meat, and 1 tablespoon of chives, then the rest of the whites.

Pour the preparation into a buttered soufflé dish. Cook 25 minutes until the soufflé rises and gets a gold color.

Serve immediately, without waiting.

Cécile's Notes:
Enjoy with 2009 Derbès Russian River Chardonnay. Soufflé is a dish that cannot wait for you… so better wait for it while enjoying a glass of Chardonnay!

Rabbit Stew With Onions

(Serves 6)
1 teaspoon of juniper berries, crushed
3~1/4 lbs of rabbit
2~1/4 onions, finely sliced
3 tablespoon of olive oil
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 teaspoon of thyme
1~3/4 oz wine vinegar

Warm up 2 tablespoons of oil in a pot. Braise the rabbit by starting with the boned parts. It takes about 15 minutes. Salt and pepper. Set aside.

Put the last tablespoon of oil and the onions in a sauté pan. Stir 3 minutes while the onions get to a golden color. Add the sugar. Stir and let caramelize. Add the vinegar and 3~1/4 ounces of water. Sprinkle with the thyme and the crushed juniper berries.

Put everything into a pot, cover, and cook slowly for 40 minutes. Season to taste.

Serve with polenta or mashed potatoes.

Cécile's Notes:
Enjoy with Derbès 2009 Les Pinots

Vegetarian Curry

(Serves 6)
1/2 container of mild curry paste
8 small potatoes, peeled
1/2 lbs of rice
2 tablespoons of oil
1 full glass of Derbès Chardonnay
2 cubes of chicken bouillon
1 bunch of cilantro, minced
salt and pepper
1 lb of cauliflower florets
1 lb of sliced zucchini
8 small turnips
3/4 lb of young carrots
16 small white onions
4 artichokes bottoms
1/2 lb of green beans
1/2 lb of fava beans
1/2 lb of onions, chopped
1 tablespoon of mashed garlic

Warm up the oil in a pot, add garlic and chopped onions on low heat. Once they are translucent, add 25~1/2 ounces of warm water and the glass of Chardonnay to the pot. Dissolve the 2 chicken bouillon cubes and add the curry paste. Mix well, then add all the vegetables. Add salt and pepper to your taste (recommend lightly). Mix, cover, and let it cook for 30 minutes, slowly.

Cook the rice separately.

Serve the curry very warm, topped with cilantro, over rice.

Cécile's Notes:
I enjoy it preferably with the 2009 Derbés Russian River Chardonnay. You can add chicken, shrimp, or scallops to make it non-vegetarian.

Fresh Lemon Sorbet

(Makes eight 1/2 cup servings)
2 cups of sugar
2 cups of water
1~1/2 cups fresh lemon juice (juice of about 6 lemons)
1 tablespoon of grated lemon zest (do not use the white pith)

Combine sugar and water in medium suacepan and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer until sugar dissolves, about 3-4 minutes. Cool completely. (Put mixture in a covered container and store in the refrigerator overnight, or chill over an ice bath for 30 minutes if you wish to make it right away.)

When cool, add lemon juice and zest, stirring to combine. Pour into the freezer bowl of an ice cream maker, turn the machine on and mix until mixture thickens, about 25-30 minutes.

If desired, transfer sorbet into an airtight container and place in freezer until firm (minimum 2 hours).

A bit of grated lemon zest adds a burst of flavor to this refreshing sorbet.

Cécile's Notes:
Enjoy with Derbès 2009 Russian River Chardonnay

Boeuf Bourguignon

 Bouquet garni (directions follow)
1/4 cup butter or margarine
16 small white onions, peeled
6 slices bacon, diced
4 lbs boneless beef chucks, trimmed of fat and cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup brandy, warmed (optional)
2 cups Pinot Noir or dry red wine
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 cups small mushrooms, sliced
1~1/2 cups water
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cold water
  salt and pepper
  hot cooked rice (optional) or noodles (optional)

Bouquet garni: Tie into a square of damp cheesecloth: 1 carrot (quartered), 1 celery top, 1 dry bay leaf, 1 or 2 parsley sprigs, and 1 fresh thyme sprig (or 1 teaspoon dry thyme). Set side.

Melt butter in a large, heavy pan over medium heat. Add onions and bacon; cook, stirring often, until onions are lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Lift out onions and bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add beef to pan, a portion at a time (do not crowd pan). Cook, turning as needed, until well browned on all sides. If using brandy, move pan into an open area, away from exhaust fans and flammable items. Add brandy to pan and ignite; shake or tilt pan until flame dies. Return all meat to pan; add burgundy, garlic, mushrooms, the 1~1/2 cups water, bouquet garni, onions, and bacon. Bring to a boil; then reduce heat, cover, and simmer until meat is tender when pierced, about 1~1/2 hours. With a slotted spoon, transfer meat, mushrooms, and onions to a serving dish; keep warm.

Pour meat juices through a fine wire strainer set over a medium-size pan; discard residue in strainer. In a small bowl, mix flour and the 1/2 cup water to make a smooth paste. Stir flour mixture into meat juices; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sauce is thick and smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour sauce over meat and vegetables.

If made ahead, let cool; then cover and refrigerate until next day. To reheat, transfer to a baking dish; cover and bake in a 350*F (175*C) oven until bubbly and heated through, about 35 minutes. Serve over hot cooked rice ,mash potatoes or noodles, if desired.

Cécile's Notes:
Enjoy with our 2009 Les Pinots Estate

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