“The best all-purpose BBQ rub for Father’s Day” is not a title to be taken lightly. Ask anyone who considers themselves a Grill Master, and they’ll tell you they’ve got the best recipe in town. A recipe honed through years of trial and error. A recipe that stands up to the greatest barbecue rubs in culinary history.
But they’d be wrong, because we’ve got the best all-purpose BBQ rub 🙂
Alright, we’ll stop bragging and start proving ourselves. This is a recipe created and fine-tuned by our own John Taylor, Marketing Manager for Cultivar Wine and Caspar Estate. A grill enthusiast since his formative years, John was big on store-bought marinades before until he caught an episode of Chef Bobby Flay’s first TV show, Grillin’ & Chillin. In the episode, Chef Flay explained how a dry rub flavors without tenderizing. This is especially important when smoking or grilling.
The soon-to-be Celebrity Chef recommended a few spices to get started, and using this as a base, John began experimenting with his own recipe.
Ingredients For The Best All-Purpose BBQ Rub
A dry rub is any combination of spices, salt and sugar used to season meat prior to cooking. Unlike seasonings, rubs are almost never added after cooking. Done properly, a dry rub can also be an alternative to a wet brine.
To create the best all-purpose BBQ rub for Father’s Day, you’ll need the following:
- 4 tbsp. Salt
- 4 tbsp. Pepper
- 4 tbsp. Smoked Paprika
- 4 tbsp. Chili Powder
- 3 tbsp. Brown Sugar
- 3 tbsp. Onion Powder
- 3 tbsp. Garlic Powder
- 3 tbsp. Lemon Pepper
- 2 tbsp. Ground Cumin
- 2 tbsp. Ground Coriander
- 1/2 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
Combine all ingredients in a Mason jar or other airtight container and blend thoroughly. Store in a cool, dry place.
Using Your All-Purpose Dry Rub
As the name indicates, this is an excellent all-purpose rub: use it on steaks, pork loin, brisket, fish, or chicken. The salt & brown sugar can act as a dry brine, so we recommend applying it to your meat two hours ahead of grill time.
That said, you can use this rub right before you place your meat on the grill, or even as long as 8 hours before grilling or smoking. If you want to season your meat for longer than 2 hours, store the seasoned meat in the refrigerator. Then, take it out about an hour before placing it on the grill to return the meat to room temperature.
Of course, there’s one more necessary ingredient: the wine! Nothing goes with steaks quite like a Cultivar Cabernet Sauvignon. We have varietals from Coombsville, Oakville, and other Napa appellations that will be the highlight of our party. If you’re putting pork, lamb, or burgers on the grill, try a Cultivar Pinot Noir. Cultivar features Pinots from Sonoma Coast, Russian River, Alexander Valley, and other premiere Pinot Noir regions.
And if you’re looking for the perfect Father’s Day present for your grilling dad, try our “Father’s Day Cabernet” gift set. A bottle each of our 2019 Cultivar “Gold Label” Cabernet Sauvignon, North Coast, and our 2017 Cultivar Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, in a beautiful Cultivar gift box. Specially priced at $75 for Father’s Day!
Earth Day is a time to celebrate the planet we call home. Established on April 22nd, 1970, Earth Day marks the beginning of the modern environmental movement.
At Caspar Estate, sustainable, earth-friendly, certified organic farming practices are paramount. We preserve, protect, and maintain our plant resources for the ecological value of future generations. As we like to say, take care of the planet, and it will take care of us.
Being organic, we produce our own compost for our vegetation. What we don’t make ourselves, we supplement with an organic fish fertilizer emulsion.
Creating A Sanctuary For Earth Day And Beyond
Natural inhabitants of the land also participate in what we grow. We built perches for Barn Owls and predatory birds to assist us in rodent control. We also provide a hospitable environment for helpful insects. In addition, we plant crop cover for nitrogen and soil erosion control. When it’s time to remove the crop cover, we utilize a natural burn process that rejuvenates the soil.
Our small producer approach, combined with our organic and sustainable farming, produces award-winning results. The vegetables we grow are used daily at our farm-to-table restaurant, Cultivar SF. Our produce includes tomatoes, squash, peppers, olives, and a variety of herbs.
Sustainability Means Solar Power
In addition, we’ve also installed what we like to refer to as “The Solar Grove.” These solar panels provide clean, reliable, and renewable power to our property. During the hot summer months, we can also generate enough power to return energy back to the grid.
Terroir-Driven Winemaking Starts With Organic Farming
For winemaker Julien Fayard, our certified organic vineyard was a compelling reason to head our winemaking team. It’s no surprise that for a vintner attuned to the aspects of winemaking driven by nature, the process for Julien starts in the vineyard. The cellar work of fermentation and aging are, as he describes them, “big steps that have to be done right.” But they’re steps preceded by everything that happens at the all-important vineyard level. Out among the vines is, to Julien, where the essence of winemaking takes place.
“I like to put a little more focus on the decisions made ahead of what happens in the cellar,” he says of his winemaking approach. “It’s almost like what people picture as the central pieces of winemaking—fermentation and aging—are a consequence of the farming decisions.”
Earth Day is a great time to think about your own impact on the planet. What kind of environment do you want to pass down to future generations? Remember, you can make a huge difference simply by supporting small, organic farms and encouraging sustainability!
In Napa Valley, the best springtime wines are typically released just as the first blooms are beginning to appear. For Cultivar Wine and Caspar Estate, it’s no different. We like to release our fresh, bright Sauvignon Blanc and Rosé just as the days begin to warm. This year, we have some amazing springtime wines ready to release, and we thought we’d give you a sneak peak of what we have in store.
2021 Caspar Estate Sauvignon Blanc: A Springtime Tradition
The fourth release of our Estate Sauvignon Blanc showcases a wine that’s truly developed its own unique style and character. Shining from the glass with a pale straw color, our Estate Sauvignon Blanc reveals tropical notes that mingle with dried apricot, starfruit, and the signature minerality that comes from our hillside vineyard.
The complexity of the flavor profile is gorgeous. Grapefruit, banana, passion fruit, and a Crème Brûlée quality comes from extended time on the lees. Steel tank fermentation and just a touch of oak round out the finish with lemongrass and savory notes of Herbs de Provence. It’s smooth and light, but with bold acidity.
Enjoy it with ceviche, endive salad with shrimp, or lobster pasta.
Our 2021 Caspar Estate Sauvignon Blanc will be released to our allocation members in early April.
Rosé Season Is A Highlight For Springtime Wines
One of the best springtime wines is Rosé – though it’s quickly becoming a year-round wine.
We’re simply in love with the color and the flavor profile of our new 2021 Cultivar Rosé. A pale, pink glow shines from the glass, underlying the delicate varietals we used to create this wine. On the nose, our Rosé bursts with floral notes of honeysuckle, jasmine, lilies, and of course, roses. Crisp flavors of mandarin orange, Meyer lemon, and muddled strawberries greet the palate, with subtle, underlying notes of red licorice and Madagascar vanilla. Stainless steel fermentation highlights a light, clean finish with bright acid, making this wine perfect for both poolside sipping and picnics in the park.
Winemaker Julien Fayard has brought a Provencal flair to this incredible blend of southern Rhone varietals. For this vintage, we sourced 71% Grenache, 25% Syrah, 4% Cinsault Noir from the unique terroir of the Sierra Foothills in California. Rosé is one of the most food-friendly wines you can find, so pair this with everything from seared scallops to grilled pork chops.
The best way to get these wines is to join the Cultivar Wine Club. Wine Club members get the first allocation of all new releases, plus 20% off the regular price. There are other terrific perks to being a club member, so join up today!
Here’s to spring, and all the delicious wines that pair with it!
Stay at home and create a very special Valentine’s Day this year. Grab a couple of bottles of Cultivar Wine – like our 2018 Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon or the 2019 North Coast “Gold Label” Cabernet and try making a romantic dinner at home featuring Beef Bourguignon with your partner.
Beef Bourguignon, or Boeuf Bourguignon, was first popularized by Julia Child. It’s a beef stew with braised onions and sautéed mushrooms in a dark red wine sauce. Unlike Julia Child’s traditional recipe, with a couple of ingredient substitutions, you can easily elevate the dish without sacrificing any flavor and even sit down to eat in about an hour. The other plus of this Beef Bourguignon recipe? You only use a 1/2 cup of wine instead of an entire bottle.
The key to this Beef Bourguignon meal is the cut of beef you choose. The traditional recipe calls for Chuck Roast, which requires a long braising time before it becomes melt-in-your-mouth tender. This recipe starts with a tender cut of beef, like beef tenderloin, top sirloin, or strip steak. If you don’t have one of these cuts, this recipe won’t work.
Kitchen Prep for Your Romantic Dinner
A romantic dinner at home calls for a stress-free experience, so you’ll want to do the following before you start cooking:
- Open your bottles of Cultivar Wine Cabernet Sauvignon to breathe.
- Read through the recipe in its entirety.
- Grab any pots, pans, and anything else the recipe calls for.
- Assemble all of your ingredients.
- Pour yourself a glass of wine and have some.
- Prepare and measure out all of your ingredients.
- Re-read the recipe in its entirety.
- Have some more wine.
- One to two chef’s knives
- Wooden spoon
- Two 1- or 2-cup measuring cups
- Medium-to-large pot
- Sheet pan
- Parchment paper or Silpat baking mat
- Two timers
- 3-quart saucepan
- Potato masher
Ingredients (makes 2 servings)
- 10-12 ounces beef tenderloin, top sirloin, or strip steak
- 1 teaspoon Better than Bouillon beef base
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1 teaspoon flour
- 1 Tablespoon cold water
- 1 pound German butterball potatoes, quartered
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts, halved or a bunch of carrots, halved lengthwise
- 2 Tablespoons plus 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons salted butter or bacon grease
- 2 bacon slices, diced
- 8 ounces crimini mushrooms, sliced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/2 cup Cultivar Wine Cabernet Sauvignon
- 1/2 cup pearl onions or shallots
- 2 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves removed from the stems, and chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon plus 1/4 teaspoon plus 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon plus freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Fresh parsley for garnish
Instructions (total time: 60 minutes)
NOTE: These instructions assume that two people will be cooking together. If you’re making this meal by yourself, don’t start cooking your bacon and red wine sauce, until you’ve pulled your potatoes from the heat.
You’ll spend about 15 minutes preparing to cook and then about 35 minutes making Beef Bourguignon and your side dishes–olive oil mashed potatoes and roasted Brussels sprouts or carrots. Don’t get scared off by 24 steps. We wanted to highlight anything that might get missed or forgotten in more generalized steps. For example, if you don’t mix flour with cold water you can end up with lumps in your sauce.
- Take your beef out of the refrigerator, and bring to room temperature.
- If you haven’t prepared your ingredients, do so now. Quarter your potatoes. Halve your Brussels sprouts (or carrots). Mince your garlic. Slice your mushrooms. Dice your bacon. And chop your thyme. Depending on your knife skills and those of your partner’s, your mise en place could take about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Mix 1 teaspoon Better than Bouillon beef base with 1/2 cup warm water and set aside.
- Mix 1 teaspoon flour with 1 Tablespoon cold water.
- (Brussels Sprouts or carrots) Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or Silpat baking mat.
- (Brussels Sprouts or carrots) Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- (Potatoes) Put your potatoes into a medium-to-large pot and cover with cold water by an inch. Bring to a boil over high heat. Set a timer for 15 minutes. When the timer sounds, check with a fork to see if tender.
- (Brussels sprouts or carrots) Coat your halved Brussels sprouts with 2 Tablespoon olive oil and season with 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Put in the oven and set a timer for 8 minutes.
- Pat your beef dry with paper towels and cut into 1″ cubes. If you go to sear your beef and it’s wet, you’ll steam your meat, potentially overcooking it. Season with 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt and a pinch of pepper.
- Heat a 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 2 Tablespoons butter or bacon grease until melted or re-liquefied.
- Add your beef and sear 2 minutes, turning with tongs to brown on all sides. Take care not to overcook; your meat will become dry and tough. Transfer seared beef to a plate.
- (Brussels sprouts or carrots) After your Brussels sprouts have been in the oven for about 8 to 10 minutes, stir them so that they brown evenly.
- Add your diced bacon to your 3-quart saucepan and cook, stirring frequently.
- When you can smell the bacon, about a minute, add your sliced mushrooms, and cook until browned, about 5 minutes.
- (Potatoes) When your potatoes are tender (a fork should slide in easily), remove from heat and reserve 1 cup of the cooking water. Drain your potatoes in a colander and then return to the pot, covering with a lid to keep warm.
- (Brussels sprouts or carrots) When your Brussels sprouts are crisp on the outside and tender on the inside, about 20 to 25 minutes total, remove them from the oven.
- Add minced garlic, tomato paste, and thyme to your pan and stir.
- Add wine and increase heat. Boil for 1 minute.
- Add pearl onions or shallots and broth to the pan and bring back to a boil.
- Slowly add flour paste to the pan and cook for a minute.
- Return the beef to the pan and cook until the sauce thickens and coats the beef, about 2 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Lower heat to low heat and keep warm until plating.
- (Potatoes) Finish your potatoes by adding 1/3 cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon Kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and 1/2 cup cooking water. Mash to desired consistency, adding more cooking water for a looser consistency.
- Plate mashed potatoes in the center of two plates. Top with beef and place the Brussels sprouts alongside. Serve immediately.
Food-Themed Movie Recommendations
Once you have your meal ready, it’s time to sit back and enjoy a movie. The perfect movie for this meal is of course one featuring wine, food, or both!
Here are some of our favorites–a mix of romances, dramas, and comedies:
- Bottle Shock (2008), starring the late Alan Rickman and available for streaming on Amazon Prime, showcases how a California Chardonnay maker established Napa as the premier wine county it is now in a 1976 wine competition.
- Uncorked (2020), available for streaming on Netflix and featuring the tunes of Hit-Boy, focuses on wine-enthusiast Mamoudou Athie who dreams of being a master sommelier and his father Courtney B. Vance who runs a BBQ joint.
- A Walk in the Clouds (1995), available for streaming on Starz, offers beautiful views of Napa in the mid-1940s with a romance between Keanu Reeves and Aitana Sanchez-Gijon, the winemaker’s daughter.
- Wine Country (2019), starring Amy Poehler and Maya Randolph and available for streaming on Netflix, follows a group of women as they reunite for a friend’s 50th birthday.
- Sideways (2004), available for rent on Amazon Prime and famous for giving Merlot a bad rap, takes viewers through another California wine country—Santa Barbara—as Paul Giamatti takes his friend Thomas Hayden Church whose about to get married on a Bachelor’s weekend. While roadtripping they meet Sandra Oh, a pour girl at one of the wineries, and Virginia Madsen, a waitress.
- Chocolat (2000), available for streaming on Netflix, is the perfect dessert movie. Root for Juliette Binoche as she opens a Chocolaterie and tempts villagers with her handmade chocolates.
- The Hundred-Foot Journey (2014), available for streaming on Cinemax, is for food lovers who love both mom-and-pop restaurants and Michelin-star dining. Watch Manish Dayal as he pursues dreams of being a Michelin-star chef alongside Helen Mirren.
- Julie and Julia (2009), available for streaming on Starz, features Amy Adams as a food blogger working her way through Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking cookbook (where you’ll find her Boeuf Bourguignon recipe).
Eden Hemsley Silverstein fell in love with cooking in the third grade and has been bringing people together ever since to share meals. You can follow her on Instagram @RoadToGoodLife, Facebook @TheRoadToTheGoodLife, and her blog, The Road to the Good Life. Learn more about her through her bio on LinkedIn.
For this year’s Hanukkah dinner recipe, we turned to our good friend Eden Hensley Silverstein, whose Passover dinner recipe earlier this year was a huge success. You can follow Eden on Instagram @RoadToGoodLife, Facebook @TheRoadToTheGoodLife, or her blog The Road To The Good Life.
When you think of Hanukkah dinner, latkes, sufganiyot (jelly-filled donuts), and maybe brisket probably come to mind. But, Hanukkah doesn’t have to mean oil and heavy fried foods. So, if you haven’t yet added cheese to your celebrations, it’s time.
Why cheese for Hanukkah? Because of Judith. Her tale, less known than that of the Maccabees also involves an invading army. The short story is that Judith lived in a town under siege. She went to the enemy camp, met with their general, and offered him cheese and drink. When he passed out, she cut his head off with his sword, inspiring the Israelites to attack and causing the Assyrians to flee.
We love a good wine and cheese pairing, so we’re embracing the tale of Judith and her amazing cheese for Hanukkah dinner this year. We’re serving a family-style meal of traditional Polish dishes paired with a few favorite Cultivar wines. On this year’s menu is a Golden beet with Fried Apples and Arugula Salad paired with a 2019 Cultivar Muscat, Anderson Valley, and Barszcz (a sour Polish beet soup) and Pierogi (Polish dumplings) both paired with a 2019 Cultivar Pinot Noir, Russian River. If you want a different pairing for your Pierogi, you could pair it with a 2019 Cultivar Bordeaux Blend, Napa Valley. We preferred the Pinot as the earthiness of the mushroom wasn’t overpowered. (We chose to have the 2019 Cultivar Bordeaux Blend, Napa Valley with our slow-cooker brisket.)
Best thing about this Hanukkah dinner meal? It’s completely vegetarian, so everyone will leave your table satiated.
Hanukkah runs for eight nights, which means six weeknights and one weekend. Depending on when you want to celebrate with family and friends, the first night, Shabbat (Friday night after sunset or Saturday before sunset), or a weekend, you won’t have enough time to make all courses of this menu the same day. (The pierogies are very labor-intensive, but so worth it!)
Golden Beets with Fried Apples and Arugula Salad
Ingredients (Serves 4 people)
- 1 1/2 pounds of golden beets
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon hazelnuts, chopped
- 2 apples, any kind, sliced with the skin on
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 1/8 teaspoon allspice, ground
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, ground
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger, ground
- 2 cups arugula
- 1/2 Tablespoon Caspar Estate Olive Oil
- 1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 3 Tablespoons feta cheese, crumbled
Instructions (Prep time: 35 minutes; Cooking time: 45 minutes; Total time: 1 hour 20 minutes)
- Position your oven rack in the middle of your oven if it’s not already there, and then preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
- Rub each beet with olive oil and wrap in aluminum foil, then put on a sheet pan.
- Place your sheet pan in the oven and bake for 45 minutes or until tender.
- While the beets cook, toast hazelnuts. Be careful not to scorch them, stir constantly. Put aside when done.
- Over medium heat in a non-stick skillet, melt butter.
- When your butter has melted, add sliced apples, and sauté, stirring occasionally, until they’re nicely seared and tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
- When the beets have cooled, peel the skin off and dice.
- In a medium bowl, toss arugula with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Salt and pepper to taste.
- When your arugula is dressed, add roasted beets, fried apples, hazelnuts, and feta.
Barszcz (Polish beet soup)
Ingredients (Serves 4 people)
- 1 cup dried chanterelles
- Enough boiling water to cover the chanterelles
- 4 medium carrots
- 1 medium parsnip
- 1 leek
- 10 cups water
- 2 Tablespoons salt, divided
- 2 Bay leaves
- 4 whole allspice
- 4 large beets
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 apple, any kind, sliced with the skin on
- 1/4 teaspoon marjoram, dry
- 2 Tablespoons white vinegar, divided
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice freshly squeezed
- (optional) 2 teaspoons sugar
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
Instructions (Prep time: 15 minutes; Cooking time: 60 minutes; Total time: 75 minutes)
- Place dry chanterelles in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Soak for five minutes.
- Rough chop carrots, parsnip, and leek and add to an 8 1/2 quart pot with soaked mushrooms. Cover with 10 cups of water; add a Tablespoon of salt, bay leaves, and allspice, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered for 30 minutes.
- Peel beets and slice into 1/2-inch slices.
- Toss beets, garlic, apple, remaining Tablespoon of salt, marjoram, 1 Tablespoon of white vinegar, and lemon juice in broth and bring back to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for another half hour uncovered.
- Add remaining vinegar.
- Taste and adjust seasoning with vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper as needed.
- Discard all of the vegetables and use a strainer to serve your Barszcz into bowls.
Pierogi (Polish dumplings)
Ingredients (Serves 12 people)
- 2 pounds (about 8 small) Yukon gold potatoes
- 3 Tablespoons sunflower oil
- 2 1/2 cups mushrooms, sliced
- 3 medium yellow onions, chopped
- 1 16-ounce container ricotta cheese
- 1 Tablespoon sour cream
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste (we used 3 teaspoons salt and about 1 teaspoon pepper)
- 8 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 eggs
- 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, cubed
- 2 cups lukewarm water
Instructions (Prep time: 1 hour 30 minutes; Cooking time: 1 hour 20 minutes; Total time: 2 hours 50 minutes)
- Put your potato in a medium-sized pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook until tender, about 20 minutes.
- While your potatoes cook, heat oil over medium heat in a large skillet. When the oil shimmers, add your onion. Sauté until translucent, about 10 minutes, and then set aside.
- Heat more oil in medium heat in the skillet you just used for the onions. When it shimmers, add your mushrooms in batches. Sauté until the mushrooms no longer release any moisture, about 10 minutes, and then set aside.
- Remove your potatoes from the heat. Drain the water and let them cool. When cool, use your fingers to peel the skins.
- Using the grater attachment for your food processor, shred your potatoes. Empty and clean your food processor and then process your ricotta. Your ricotta will be light and fluffy after you finish.
- Combine mushrooms, onions, potatoes, ricotta, sour cream, and salt and pepper to taste. Set your filling aside until your dough is ready.
- Measure flour out onto a clean, smooth work surface.
- Make a well in the center of the flour and crack both eggs into the well. Add the butter and mix with your hands. Gradually add warm water, a couple of tablespoons at a time. As the dough becomes more firm, add just a tablespoon at a time.
- Knead the dough until it is soft and smooth, approximately 15-20 minutes.
- Divide the dough into four equal portions. Cover with the portions you’re not working with a clean, damp dishtowel so that your dough doesn’t dry out.
- Roll one portion into a thickness of 1/8 inch. Too thick of a dough will make it harder to press your pierogis closed around the filling, and the ratio of dough to filling will be off.
- Cut out circles using a glass or round pastry cutter. Put the excess dough aside in the bowl with the other portions under the clean damp dish towel.
- Fill each circle of dough with a teaspoon of filling. Fold dough in half over the filling and pinch the edges together to seal. Place in a baking dish or on a plate and cover with a clean damp wet dish towel. Separate layers of made pierogis with a sheet of wax paper to keep them from sticking to each other.
- Continue rolling out the dough, cutting out circles, filling, and pressing into half-moons.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a gentle boil. Add the pierogi in batches, about 10 at a time, and cook until they float to the surface, approximately 10 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a plate in an oven set to warm until ready to serve.
With a little pre-planning, you can make your salad and soup the same day you’re planning on serving it. The Golden Beet with Fried Apples and Arugula Salad served with Barszcz is perfect for a weeknight Hanukkah dinner celebration for two to four people. The pierogi are more hands-on; make the filling and dough a day or two ahead of your weeknight celebration and then roll out, fill, and boil. Making the dough is the most time-consuming aspect of the pierogis; it takes approximately 20 minutes to get the dough kneaded into a ball.
Having more people over mid-week for Hanukkah dinner? You can make both the salad and the Barszcz, with the exception of tossing the arugula with Balsamic Vinegar and olive oil, ahead of time. All you’ll need to do to prep is reheat the Barszcz about 20 minutes before your guests arrive, and toss your arugula with Balsamic vinegar and olive oil before serving. You can also make your pierogi beforehand. To reheat, sprinkle a few drops of water on your pierogi and microwave on medium heat for a minute. Flip over and microwave the other side on medium heat for 30 seconds.
You can follow Eden Hensley Silverstein on Instagram @RoadToGoodLife, Facebook @TheRoadToTheGoodLife, or her blog The Road To The Good Life. She is part of Mom It Forward and Blogloving. Eden’s bio on linked in profile.
As you prepare for your Thanksgiving celebration, whether a small or large gathering we have some tips and pointers to make it memorable and easy. Keep everyone happy during the day by having a platter of healthy nibbles like this board.
You can make several things ahead of time. We use our Caspar Estate organically grown herbs, meyer lemons, and oranges. We make the herb and lemon zest butter several days ahead of time. We use it to put it under the skin of the turkey and inside the turkey and then coasting all the skin. We also use it for sauting the onion, celery, portobello mushrooms for the stuffing.
Prepare ahead of time: We chop up the meyer lemon, orange, and then cook the cranberries with dried cherries, raisins, with Caspar Estate honey, balsamic vinegar and lots of spices (cinnamon stick, allspice, cloves). We enjoy the additional depth of flavor by using additional items in the cranberry sauce.
We often end up eating at about 2pm on Thanksgiving.We make a roasted butternut squash soup. We roast the squash with Caspar Estate extra virgin olive oil and garlic. We scoop out the squash, and the roasted garlic and put it in the blender and blend it and add vegetable stock. It is creamy and delicious.
We love having leftovers so we make a large turkey about 18-20 pounds. In order to have the stuffing taste the best we like to stuff the bird. To make the bird as succulent as possible we have mastered cooking it in the oven with Cultivar Sauvignon Blanc the bottom of the roasting pan. We put the bird in upside down so the juices flow into that part of the bird and flip it 2/3 of the way through cooking it. Flipping it over requires preparation for a big bird – we have found that having 2 people makes it much easier.
What the turkey looks like when we first put it in the oven. We often put aluminum foil over the wing tips. Below is what it looks like after we flip it over and it is ready.
Pair the turkey with 2019 Cultivar Chardonnay from Oakville, it brings out the best in turkey as well as seared scallops, cheese platters, sourdough stuffing, mashed potatoes and vegetables with hollandaise sauce.
Looking for switching it up? We can recommend the Squash and Burrata that we serve at Cultivar SF with all the flavors of the seasons. Delicata squash & honey nut squash, granny smith apples, pomegranate arlis, pepitas, balsamic reduction, fried sage, lava salt, olive oil. Pair it with the 2019 Cultivar Pinot Noir Russian River.
Another fun first course is the Scallop with Frisse, apples, Pt. Reyes Blue.
For the stuffing we roast chestnuts in the oven. Be sure to score them before roasting. It makes peeling them so much easier. We saute the celery, onions, herbs, portobello mushrooms in the herbed butter or herbed olive oil with lemon zest.
Thanksgiving calls for brussel sprouts! We love ours tossed in Caspar Estate olive oil and then there are several options for how to prepare them.
Pair your roasted brussel sprouts, truffle or portobello mushroom stuffing, seared green beans with scallions with our newly released 2019 Cultivar Bordeaux Blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot from renown Napa Valley vineyards create a lush, balanced and provocative wine.
Or serve the Brussel Sprouts the way we do at Cultivar SF with Cultivar Bacon, Gremolata, Parmesan
Do you prefer serving roasted duck to the traditional turkey? We recommend our 2019 Cultivar Oak Knoll Cabernet Franc. On the palate, the flavors of cranberry and red fruit are evenly balanced with nutmeg, ginger, white pepper, and a hint of baking chocolate. A very food friendly wine it will pair well with Mashed potatoes, stuffing and dinner rolls.
For years we have been making sweet potatoes with marshmallows. This has been a family tradition for quite some time. Do you put it all out on the table all at once or serve your meal in courses? Either way we have found that our dogs are always right there next to us waiting for scraps to fall from the table. Our dogs lie in front of the oven all day, and are especially watchful when we baste the bird.
What do you prefer? Pumpkin pie with whipping cream or pecan pie or chocolate pecan pie? The one thing we can all agree on is pairing your pie with our just released Port! This 2014 Cultivar Anderson Valley Port is a decadent dessert wine that greets the nose with layers of caramel, dulce de leche, and orange peel. Warm waves of spun sugar, maple, and dark chocolate roll across the palate, ending with a creamy, mocha finish that seems to linger forever. What a great way to finish off a wonderful celebration.
We are grateful to you! We hope that you will have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Another option is to let the professionals handle it and go to the Silverado Resort. Look at this beautiful meal from Silverado in the Napa Valley.
If you need help selecting wine to pair with your favorite dishes join us online for holiday tips with Deborah. She is lots of fun and has many great ideas! Cheers!
For this year’s Thanksgiving dinner recipe, we’re handing over the blog to our good friend Karista Bennett, whose latest collection of recipes and photographs, The Oregon Farm Table Cookbook, is a bestseller on Amazon. We asked Karista to think of something new and delicious for the Holidays that would pair with a range of wines from our Oakville Chardonnay to our 2015 Anderson Valley Pinot Noir…and the result is an amazing take on a classic Thanksgiving dinner…
I’ve come to realize, there are two turkey camps in my family. Those who love a roast turkey for Thanksgiving dinner and those who will always ask if we can part with tradition and have something different.
Each year around the first of October, my family begins the long and sometimes passionate holiday dinner discussion, about you guessed it, turkey. This discussion typically commences with a subtle question about a possible new entree, or commentary on the merits of traditional and non-traditional holiday meals.
Consequently, preparing a holiday meal that delights every family member’s palate has become somewhat of a challenge. Aren’t they so lucky that I love a good challenge?
Now, I’m not actually in either turkey camp. Sometimes I love a juicy roasted turkey with all the complimentary side dishes. And other times, I crave something a little different but also mixed with a bit of tradition.
That’s why this Holiday Turkey Wellington with Gravy checks all the boxes. The turkey breast is butterflied and layered with creamy, tangy Brie and a homemade cranberry-orange relish that’s been spiked with the seductive flavor of Cultivar Pinot Noir. Then it’s wrapped in prosciutto, tied with kitchen twine, and par-cooked.
Once it’s cooled, it’s topped with herb and garlic sauteed mushrooms and breadcrumbs, wrapped in puff pastry, and baked until it’s golden brown. It makes a gorgeous presentation and is sublimely delicious when served with a simple turkey gravy.
Side Dishes and Wine Pairings
This impressive Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner recipe can be paired with a shaved Brussels sprout salad, sweet potatoes, roasted potatoes, or whatever side dishes make your food heart happy. I’ve also created this lovely recipe to pair specifically with Cultivar Oakville Chardonnay and 2015 Anderson Valley Pinot Noir. As well, it’s also divine when served with Cultivar Muscat. The slight sweetness of the Muscat compliments the hearty, savory flavors of the recipe.
It’s the perfect time of year to enchant your guests and make your holidays deliciously memorable with Turkey Wellington and Cultivar Wine!
Turkey Wellington with Gravy
- 1 ¾- 2 lb. boneless turkey breast
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 3-4 ounces brie cheese, sliced
- 3-4 tablespoons cranberry-orange relish (recipe follows)
- 4-5 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto (tip: pop it in the freezer for about 10 minutes before you need to use it. This helps keep it from falling apart easily)
- Kitchen twine
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra if needed
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh shallots
- 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
- Salt and pepper
- 1 package (2 sheets) puff pastry, thawed
- 1 egg whisked with 1 teaspoon cold water
- 12 ounces fresh cranberries
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1 orange zested and juiced
- ¼ cup Cultivar pinot noir
- Pinch of salt
- 3 tablespoons butter or olive oil
- 3 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 ¾ – 2 cups chicken or turkey broth
- Salt and pepper to taste
To prepare the relish, stir cranberries, sugar, orange zest, orange juice, Cultivar Pinot Noir, and a pinch of salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
Bring the mixture to a simmer and reduce the heat to low. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until the cranberries have burst and the mixture has slightly thickened. The relish will thicken as it cools. This can be prepared a day in advance. Store in a jar or container with a lid for up to five days.
To prepare the turkey, preheat the oven to 375F.
Place the turkey breast on a large cutting board. To butterfly the breast, with a sharp knife, slice into the thickest portion of the breast and cut down the length (the side) of the breast, but not all the way through, about ¾ of the way through. You should be able to unfold the turkey breast like a book.
At this point, if the breast is thick, using a meat mallet, pound out both sides a bit until they are even in thickness. Brush the inside and outside of the breast with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Place brie slices on one half of the inside of the turkey breast and the cover with several tablespoons of cranberry relish. Then fold the top over onto the bottom, closing it like a book.
Then place prosciutto slices over the top of the turkey breast. It will usually hold 4-6 slices of prosciutto. If the prosciutto is thin and tears, that’s ok, just continue to layer the prosciutto over the breast, tucking the prosciutto under the breast as needed.
Then with 4 – 5 strands of kitchen twine, tie up the turkey breast and gently place it onto a baking sheet. Don’t tie the breast too tight. Just enough to keep it secure.
Gently transfer the turkey breast to a baking sheet and put it into the oven and bake for about 35 minutes. The turkey will be par-cooked and needs to cool for about 10-15 minutes. Once cool enough, cut the twine off the turkey.
While the turkey is cooling, make the mushroom mixture. In a skillet, add olive oil and cook shallots just until they are soft. Then add the mushrooms and fresh herbs. Let the mushrooms cook until soft and wilted and have released some of their liquid.
Stir in the garlic and cook a few minutes longer. Then stir in the breadcrumbs and season with salt and pepper.
When ready, set the oven temperature to 400F.
Place one sheet of puff pastry on a flat lightly floured surface. Roll it out a bit lengthwise, about 1-inch. Most puff pastry is about 10×15 inches. I roll the pastry out to about 11×16 or 17. Then do the same with the second piece of puff pastry.
Place one sheet of prepared puff pastry onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Then place the par-cooked turkey breast in the center of the puff pastry.
Top the turkey breast with the mushroom mixture, patting it securely into place. Some of the mushroom mixture will tumble off but just put it back on and continue patting it gently until it sticks. This doesn’t need to be perfect!
Then place the second sheet of puff pastry over the top of the mushroom topped turkey breast. It will lay over the turkey breast like a blanket. Press the edges of both sheets of pastry together to seal. Cut off the extra pastry and set aside, and then roll the sides of the pastry, pressing down or pinching a bit to keep it sealed.
Score the top of the pastry and use the discarded bits of pastry to make any decorations that you like. I used a small 1-inch fall leaf cookie cutter to make leaves for my Wellington. Use the egg wash to attach your pastry decorations.
Then brush the egg wash over the puff pastry and sprinkle with a little coarse salt, kosher salt, or sea salt.
Put the baking pan in the oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes. The turkey is done when the pastry is a deep golden brown or meat thermometer reads 160F. Remove it from the oven and let it rest.
To make the gravy, add the butter to a saucepan over medium heat. Once butter is melted and hot sprinkle in flour and whisk. As you whisk, slowly add the broth, and continue to simmer until the gravy has thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
To serve your delicious Thanksgiving Dinner, slice the Turkey Wellington and place it on a platter. Drizzle with a little gravy and then serve. Serve the extra gravy on the side, and of course Cultivar Wine!
NOTE: This recipe has several steps, but it’s worth the effort. If time is of the essence, store-bought cranberry relish or jam can be purchased. The relish and mushrooms can be prepared a day in advance and held in the refrigerator.
Deborah Evans, our Hospitality Manager, believes that every scene needs to be set with special touches to make your guests feel very special. She sets the table with all sorts of seasonal items, sparking joy and surprise. Doing the unexpected makes her guests laugh, sets the scene, and puts them at ease.
She loves clipping olive branches, acorns, lavender, or rosemary and setting it with the napkin and place card. She then spray paints her mini pumpkins (not carved) with white or silver spray paint and places them down the center of the table. Candles create the finishing touch.
Guests are greeted with bubbles. From California sparkling to bubbly water, Deborah loves to add a cranberry or a cherry in the bubbles. Another fun element is adding cherry juice to the drink to make it feel special. As someone who entertains very often, she loves glasses that bring out the best flavors in the wines she serves. She prefers the Riedel glasses. For some other holiday touches, she peruses Home Goods and Restoration Hardware.
Deborah loves wine and serves Caspar Estate Sauvignon Blanc or Cultivar Wine and pairs her dishes with the wines. If someone wants the wine colder, she gladly adds a frozen grape.
Appetizers this year will be a cheeseboard. She loves the Cowgirl Creamery Mt. Tam (has all the lusciousness you expect from a triple cream, and it is known as Brie’s quirky Californian cousin), the Point Reyes Point Blue, and the Cowgirl Creamery Wagonwheel. As a snack, it’s delicate and nutty. When melted, it’s liquid gold: use salted brown butter, heavy cream, roasted leeks, roasted garlic. Another favorite is the Cypress Grover Humbolt Fog.
Additional things on the cheese board: Caspar Estate wildflower honey, Trader Joe’s Orange slices, Marcona Almonds. For your gluten free and dairy free guests we recommend the following: Miyokos Creamery Cheese Wheel, Semi Soft, Double Cream, Classic Chive, Nuts for Cheese Brie and the Miyokos Black Ash Cheese. To accompany the cheeses we like the Schar Table Crackers and the Schar bread.
Here’s a great tip for the Caviar and sour cream (non-dairy sour cream): serve it on a potato chip! It’s fun, celebratory, and adds a touch of salt and crispy texture.
For Thanksgiving this year, Deborah is going to serve Caspar Estate 2020 Sauvignon Blanc with her salad. Then for the roast turkey main course, she’ll serve the Cultivar Pinot Noir, which also pairs well with her Brussel sprouts with bacon, drizzled with balsamic vinegar, along with yams with sliced apples on top.
Deborah likes to prep her turkey in a brine of salt from a recipe by Ina Garten recipe she has been using for years. She doesn’t put stuffing in the cavity. Instead, she makes a wild rice and roasted chestnut side dish.
As for leftover? Turkey sandwiches with brioche buns, cranberry sauce and lettuce. To make it special, she pairs the sandwiches with the Caspar Estate Sauvignon Blanc.
For clean up, Deborah is a pro and has several tricks up her sleeve. For dishes that have sticky stuff, sprinkle baking soda and dish soap or tackle with Bar Keepers Friend.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
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