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Holiday Party Recipes & Wine Pairings

Looking for some delicious holiday appetizers before you host your next party? Tom has some recipes from his cookbook to help you out, each paired with perfect wines from Chateau Ste. Michelle. 

Cranberry Fizz: bubbly cranberry Cocktail with Domaine Ste. Michelle
1 oz of cranberry syrup, 2 dashes of cranberry bitters, fill glass with Domaine Ste. Michelle Brut and top with a cranberry float

Goat Cheese Fondue with Toasted Bread and Apples
Makes 6-8 servings

1 cup whipping cream or a little more if needed
11 ounces soft fresh goat cheese, broken into chunks, or a little more if needed
1 tablespoon sliced fresh chives
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Toasted Rustic Bread
3 unpeeled Granny Smith Apples, cored and cut into wedges

Slowly warm the whipping cream in a heavy saucepan until hot but not boiling. Gradually add the goat cheese and whisk until smooth. The thickness of the fondue may vary due to the particular brand of fresh goat cheese that you use. It should be thick enough to coat a spoon. If too thin, add a little more cheese; if too thick, add a little more cream. Remove the fondue from the heat and stir in the chives and black pepper. Pour the warm fondue into a fondue pot and serve with chunks of rustic bread and apple wedges for dunking. 

Pairs with with Domaine Ste. Michelle Brut or Chateau Ste. Michelle Eroica Riesling.

Caramelized Fennel Tart
Makes 6 servings as an appetizer

2 large fennel bulbs (about 1 pound each before trimming), trimmed of feathery greens and stalks
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pastry Dough

Preheat the over to 425 degrees F. Cut the fennel bulbs in half and cut out the cores, then cut each half into wedges 3/4 inch thick. You should have at least 12 wedges. Heat the 2 teaspoons and the olive oil in a 10-inch sauté pan over medium heat until the butter is melted. Remove the pan from the heat and sprinkle the sugar evenly over the bottom of the pan. Arrange the fennel wedges in the pan, placing them side by side, with the cut side down. Use as many wedges as will fit in the pan in a single layer, trimming some to fill in any empty spaces. Place the pan over medium heat and cook, covered, until the fennel begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Remove the cover, raise the heat to medium-high, and cook until the fennel is golden-brown and caramelized, about 5 more minutes. Don't move the fennel or turn it over while it is cooking - only one side of the fennel will be browned. Use a small spatula to gently lift a piece of fennel occasionally to check the color. Remove the pan from the heat. Sprinkle the thyme over the fennel and season generously with salt and pepper. Dot the top of the fennel with the 1 tablespoon of butter. On a lightly floured work surface, roll the pastry dough into a circle about 1/8 inch thick and trim it to a 10-inch round. Cover the fennel in the sauce pan with the pastry round. The easiest way to transfer the round of dough is to fold it in half and in half again. Then pick it up, place it on top of the fennel with the point in the center of the pan, and gently unfold it. Any excess dough that doesn't fit snugly over the fennel can be folded back on itself to form a little collar around the circumference of the pastry circle. Bake the tart until the crust is golden brown, about 25 minutes. Remove the pan from the over. The tart should be unfolded as soon as possible, while it is still hot. Cover the pan with a large inverted plate, then, protecting your hands with a kitchen towel, invert the whole thing. The tart should slide right out onto the plate. If any fennel remains stuck to the pan, use a small spatula to remove it and place it on the tart. 

Pairs with Chateau Ste. Michelle Indian Wells Cabernet Sauvignon. 

Yukon Gold Potato & Melted Leek Empanadas
Serves 8-10

For filling:
2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes
2 small-medium leeks (about 1 pound)
6 tablespoons butter, divided
2 cups shredded Beechers Cheddar Cheese
1 tablespoon chopped Taragon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For dough:
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the work surface
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons sugar
Pinch salt
1/2 cup lard or shortening
1 egg
3/4 cup chicken stock

Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with water, then bring to a boil and cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain well, return to pot. While potatoes cook, slice leeks in half lengthwise, then slice crosswise about 1/8-inch thick. Heat a large, high-sided sauté pan over medium-high heat. Melt 2 tablespoons butter, then add leeks. Season with salt and pepper. Stir occasionally for 10-12 minutes, or until leeks are tender and starting to "melt." Remove from heat. Mash potatoes and add leeks, stir until well combined. Add cheddar and stir until melted. Adjust seasoning to taste and serve hot.

For the empanada dough: Combine the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Cut in the lard with a pastry blender or 2 knives until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. In a separate bowl, beat the egg and then whisk in the stock. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and knead until a dough forms. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly flour a work surface and roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thick. Cut out 4-, 5- or 6-inch rounds, depending on how large you prefer. Add some filling to each empanada and fold the dough over in half to enclose the filling. Use a fork to press and seal the edges closed. You can refrigerate the uncooked empanadas for up to 3 hours.

Place on parchment-lined bakingsheets. Brush tops with egg wash, avoiding crimped edges. Bake until golden brown, rotating sheets halfway through, 30 to 40 minutes.

Pairs well with Chateau Ste. Michelle Eroica Riesling.

 

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