Join Armando Ceja, wine-maker and grape grower for Ceja Vineyards, in the cellar as he tastes our yet-to-be-released 2010 Ceja Vineyards Napa Carneros Chardonnay.
With origins from South East Asia, this tasty recipe pairs beautifully with our just released Ceja Vineyards Brut Sparkling Wine. The wine's crisp balanced acidity cuts through the spice component of the sauce accentuating the sweetness of the crab. ¡Salud!
Dungeness Crab in a Spicy Indonesian Style Sauce
From Amelia Morán Ceja's Kitchen
Our family favors this delicious main course for our Thanksgiving dinner when fresh Dungeness crabs are available. Some flavors seem made for each other, and tamarind salsa is one of those perfect culinary marriages. Here it is served over crab; perhaps the world's sweetest of all seafoods.
• 4 crabs separated, cleaned, and cracked
• 2 tamarind pods*
• 1 coarsely chopped wine onion
• 2 tablespoons minced Serrano peppers*
• 2 tablespoons minced garlic cloves
• 2 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
• 2 tablespoons soy sauce
• 2 tablespoons corn starch
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• Crab reduction broth (please see instructions below)
*Tamarind pods and Serrano peppers are found at most grocery stores.
For the crab reduction sauce:
• In a saucepan, place the smallest crab legs (8 to 12) with 8 whole cloves of garlic, ½ an anion, 2 stalks of celery cut in half, 5 cups of water and 2 bay leafs. Gently simmer until the liquid is reduced to 2 cups.
For the Tamarind Salsa:
• Peel the tamarind's shell and soak in water. Discard seeds, and just keep the pulp.
• Sauté chopped onion, minced Serrano peppers, minced garlic and minced ginger in two tablespoons olive oil 5 to 6 minutes. Add the crab sauce and soy sauce and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.
• In a blender or food processor, combine the sautéed ingredients with the crab sauce and tamarind pulp -- then process until smooth.
• Return the processed Indonesian sauce back to the pan and bring gently to a boil. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch with water and slowly add to sauce while stirring it. Simmer for 5 minutes until slightly thickened.
Steam the cracked crab pieces for five minutes then place in a large bowl. Next, add the tamarind sauce and coat well. Serve immediately. Make sure you have a bib and lots of napkins.
Just in time for the release of Ceja Vineyards' 2008 Dulce Beso (sweet kiss) late harvest white wine, Amelia prepares a decadent dessert of poached pears in a Sauvignon Blanc reduction sauce. Salud!
Ceja Poached Pears with Mascarpone Cheese and Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
Suggested wine: Ceja Dulce Beso (Sweet Kiss)
• 3 medium firm ripe pears
• 1 bottle Ceja Sauvignon Blanc
• 1 cup of granulated sugar
• 1 cinnamon stick
• 1 vanilla bean
• ½ cup mascarpone cheese
• 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
• 1 tsp brown sugar
• Pinch of cayenne pepper
• Splash of olive oil
Cut the pears in half and core. Place the pears, sugar, cinnamon sticks, vanilla bean and wine into a small pot. Simmer for 20 minutes. Remove pears and let cool. Keep cooking the remaining liquid and reduce to one cup.
Mix mascarpone cheese with 2 tablespoons of the chilled poaching syrup until smooth.
Place the olive oil, pumpkin seeds, brown sugar and cayenne pepper in a small pan at medium heat, and toast for 2 minutes.
To serve, place a half of pear on a plate, add a tablespoon of mascarpone cheese over pear. Sprinkle pumpkin seeds over pear and drizzle 1 tablespoon of syrup.
Dalia Ceja rings in the new year with a fantastic recipe inspired by her trip throughout South America last year. She pairs fried plantain chips (tostones) with a savory and spicy aji salsa. Suggest Wine Pairing: Ceja Vineyards Carneros Chardonnay.
Nopales are a vegetable made from the young cladophyll (pad) segments of prickly pear, carefully peeled to remove the spines. Amelia demonstrates how to prepare a popular Mexican salad using these slightly tart and crisp veggies. Suggest Wine Pairing: Ceja Vineyards Sonoma Coast Sauvignon Blanc