Ledger David Cellars – Vineyard and Winery in Southern Oregon


Black Pepper Applewood Smoked Bacon White Bean and Chard Pot Pie

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By Robert Trottmann

This super comfort food has some spice and richness that pairs deliciously with our Tempranillo.

Serves 4

Lid Crust

2 cups All-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

13 tablespoons cold unsalted butter coarsely grated (I use my cheese grater)

6 tablespoons sour cream or whole Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1/4 cup ice water

1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water (for egg wash prior to cooking)


2 tablespoons olive oil

4 strips thick cut black pepper crusted Applewood smoked bacon

1 large or 2 small onions, fine chop

1 large carrot, fine chop

1 large stalk celery, fine chop

Red pepper flakes to the amount of heat you like (I like it medium spicy so I use about a teaspoon)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 garlic cloves, minced

8-10 ounces of finely chopped Swiss chard (you can also use kale spinach or collards and I go heavy on the greens because I really like them))

3 1/2 tablespoons butter

3 1/2 tablespoons (25 grams) all- purpose flour

3 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth

2 cups white beans, cooked and drained (you can use canned beans for convenience)

Make lids: In a large mixing bowl combine the flour and salt. Add the butter and, using a pastry blender/knife or your fingertips, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles little pebbles. Break up the bits of butter until the texture is like the size of rice grains. In another dish whisk together the sour cream, vinegar, and water, and then combine it with the butter-flour mixture. With a flexible spatula, stir the wet and the dry together until a rough dough forms. If needed, get your hands into the bowl to knead it a few times into one big ball. Form into a flattish ball, cover it and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Make filling: Cook the bacon on low-medium heat until quite crisp. Remove it, let it cool and chop into bits. Leave the heat on and the renderings in the pan. Add an additional tablespoon of olive oil if needed and heat until shimmering. Add onions, carrot, celery, red pepper flakes, add salt, and cook over medium heat until the vegetables are softened. Add the garlic, and cook for 1 minute more. Add the greens and cook until wilted. Season with the additional salt and black pepper to taste. Transfer all of the cooked vegetables to the bowl with the bacon, and set aside.

Make sauce: Lightly wipe the large saucepan and don’t worry about bits stuck to the bottom. Melt the butter in the saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the flour, and stir with a whisk until combined. Continue cooking stirring the whole time, until it begins to take on a little color. Whisk in the broth about a cup at a time mixing completely between additions. Once you’ve added a third of the broth things are well heated and you can add the rest more quickly you can begin to add the rest more quickly, scraping up any bits stuck to the bottom — they’re flavorful.

Once all of the broth is added, stirring the whole time, bring the mixture to a boil and reduce it to a simmer. Cook the sauce until it is thickened about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir the beans and vegetables into the sauce.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

Assemble and cook pot pies: Divide the filling between four ovenproof 2-cup bowls. (You’ll have about 1 1/2 cups filling in each.) Set the bowls on a baking pan. Divide the dough into four pieces, and roll it out into rounds that will cover your bowls with an overhang, or about 1 inch wider in diameter than your bowls. Whisk the egg wash and brush it lightly around the top rim of your bowls to keep the lid glued on and drape the pastry over each pressing gently to glue it. Brush the lids with egg wash, then several small vents in each lid to help steam escape. Bake until crust is lightly bronzed and filling is bubbling, about 30 to 35 minutes.

Note: You can place a bottom to your pie if you wish. I do just because like the extra richness and it reminds me of childhood.

Pomme Rösti Served with Ledger David 2013 Viognier

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By Robert Trottmann

Serves 4

Pomme Rösti or röschti is a Swiss dish consisting mainly of potatoes. It was originally a common breakfast eaten by farmers in the canton of Bern, but today is eaten all over Switzerland and also in many restaurants in the western world. Many Swiss people consider rösti a national dish. Today, rather than considering it only for breakfast, it is more commonly served to accompany other dishes such as “Spinat und Spiegelei” (spinach and fried eggs, sunny side up), cervelas or Fleischkäse. It is also a dish one can order in many Swiss restaurants to replace the standard side dish of any given meal.

This is a real comfort food dish. I served it with poached eggs, a dollop of sour cream and a side of asparagus. This is an in between time for seasonal cooking at my house as things start to get going in my gardens. Potatoes are readily available and in honor of my new chicks in the coop, the poached eggs seem a fitting tribute to springs arrival. All of these are delightful served with Ledger David 2013 Viognier. A perfect pairing, simple and delicious!

4 medium sized potatoes
2 tsp. salt
Generous amount of freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup melted butter

Coarsely grate the potatoes and place in ice water until thoroughly chilled. Lay the potatoes out onto a cloth and roll them up to thoroughly squeeze out the moisture. Put the potatoes into a mixing bowl and pour the melted butter over them. Add salt and pepper. Toss until the butter and salt and pepper are evenly distributed on the potatoes. Place the potatoes evenly into a 10” diameter cast iron skillet on medium high heat and cook on one side until crispy and golden brown, flip and repeat until both sides are equally browned. It is divine!

To poach an egg (it is so easy):
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Place one tablespoon of water in a muffin tin cup (you can make as many poached eggs as you have spaces in your tin). I like to add a dash of melted butter to my egg but it is not necessary. Put one egg per muffin tin cup and cook at 350 degrees for 8-10 minute depending on how well done you like your egg.

Serve immediately. I like asparagus, collards, chard, kale, spinach or other cooked leafy greens as a side. You can top the potatoes with sour cream, Greek yogurt, and chives. Other toppings that are wonderful are pickled vegetables. Get creative and enjoy!

Ancho Chile Soup with Chocolate

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Paired with Ledger David Orion’s Nebula Red Blend
By Robert Trottmann

Serves 6–8

3 dried ancho chiles
4 medium tomatoes, cored
1 small white onion, quartered
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. ground cumin
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
3 oz. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Sour cream, sliced avocado, cilantro leaves, and tortilla strips or chips for serving.

Heat a 6-qt. Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add chiles and cook, turning once, until lightly toasted, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, pour over 1 cup boiling water, and let sit until soft, about 30 minutes.
Drain chiles, reserving soaking liquid, and remove stems and seeds. Transfer chiles to a blender and set aside. Return pot to heat, and add tomatoes, and onion; cook, turning as needed, until blackened all over, about 10 minutes. Transfer to blender, along with garlic, cinnamon, sugar, and cumin; puree until very smooth and set aside.
Return pan to medium-high heat, and add oil. When hot, add chile purée, and fry, stirring constantly, until slightly reduced, about 10 minutes. Add stock, and bring to a boil; remove from heat, stir in chocolate, and season with salt and pepper. Serve ladled into bowls with a dollop of sour cream, a few slices of avocado, cilantro leaves and some tortilla strips.

Seared Scallops in Pumpkin Soup

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Serve with Ledger David Cellars 2011 Radiant White (70% Chardonnay 30% Viognier)

Introductory Notes: This particular recipe for a delightful seasonal soup features pumpkin but lots of hearty fall vegetables can be used as the base. Also, scallops are just one possible seafood selection. Crab, lobster, rockfish, the choices are nearly endless.

I like crumbled smokey blue cheese from the Rogue Creamery for one but bacon crumbles, grated parmesan, any number of chopped nuts and a whole host of garnishes (chives, parsleys and other tasty greens) all work beautifully in this fall delight. I encourage you to experiment and have fun eating healthy and seasonally!

1 stick Butter
1 Medium sized yellow onion- chopped
4 cloves garlic/ minced
2 lbs. Pumpkin: You can chop up your market pumpkin, grow your own or in the case of me putting this recipe together, use canned.
3 ounces honey
3 cups Chicken broth
1 cup Ledger David Radiant White wine
4 tablespoons olive oil
16 large scallops
8 ounces chopped nuts (I like pecans but walnuts, hazelnuts or your other favorites would be great)
Chopped chives and parsley
Heavy Whipping Cream
Cinnamon and Nutmeg

Whip the cream ahead of time and set in the refrigerator until serving time.
In a large heavy bottomed sauce pan melt the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion until lightly caramelized. Add the pumpkin, honey, chicken stock, white wine and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes. Puree this in a blender or food processor. Return to the saucepan and reheat.
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and pan sear the scallops until lightly golden brown on each side. Watch carefully and don’t overcook the scallops.
Fill each bowl with the pumpkin soup and place equal number of scallops in each bowl. Dollop the whipped cream and lightly dust with cinnamon and nutmeg. Garnish with the chives, parsley and nuts.

Serve immediately.

Ledger David Scalloped Potatoes with Ledger David Primoris Chenin Blanc

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Ledger David Scalloped Potatoes with Ledger David Primoris Chenin Blanc

3 lbs russet potatoes

4 T. butter

1 shallot

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/8 cup Ledger David Primoris

1 cup shredded Greyure cheese

1 cup heavy cream

½ cup milk

1 tsp. hot sauce

Peel potatoes and drop into a bowl of cold water and preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Combine the cream, milk and hot sauce into a measuring cup.  Saute shallots and garlic in 1 tsp. butter and cut the remaining butter into small cubes.  When the shallots and garlic are soft, add the Ledger David Primoris and cook for 5 minutes, then set aside.  When cool, add to the cream/milk mixture.

Butter a shallow 10” baking dish.  Slice potatoes into 1/8” rounds and place in the dish to cover the bottom.  When you have a layer of potatoes, sprinkle with 1 tsp of salt, ½ tsp pepper, 1/3 of the Greyure cheese, and 1/3 of the butter cubes.  Begin a second layer, following the same procedure.  For the third and final layer, top with the cheese, sprinkle with salt and pour the cream/milk mixture over the potatoes.

Bake potatoes for 1 ½ to 2 hours, uncovered, until you can insert a knife into the potato slices with no resistance.

Serve and enjoy!

Sangiovese Mulled Wine Recipe with Ledger David Sangiovese

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Sangiovese Mulled Wine Recipe with Ledger David Sangiovese

1 bottle (750ml) Ledger David Sangiovese
1 whole cinnamon stick
1 tsp. whole allspice
1 whole nutmeg
¼-1/2 c. sugar (add to taste)
Zest ½ small orange

Combine ingredients and simmer on low in small crockpot for two hours.  Strain carefully.  Ladle into mug, and garnish with candy cane.

Roasted Leg of Lamb with 2011 Dark Night Red Blend

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By Guest Blogger & Wine Club Member Sean Preston

The calendar has indicated the last day of summer has come and gone. The hot temperatures and dry conditions should now wane to cool evenings, foggy mornings, and yards full of morning dew. To the eye, the changing season is in full effect, with the slow turn of fall colors in the trees. However, the temperature, the fog, and morning dew have not gotten the message it seems here in Southern Oregon, as we are still in the throes of 90-degree days, with the lingering smoke from summer forest fires in the air.

As a person who loves fall, and all the majesty the season brings, something had to be done. I could not sit idly by with the air conditioning running, simply surviving a fall day disguised as a day in August. It was time to perform a rain dance…a culinary rain dance.

I was armed with the hearty, earthy flavors of lamb, white beans, and vanilla. Along with an arsenal of some of the best wines the Rogue Valley has to offer, I was now prepared for this season changing ritual.

The dance would be done in three parts:

The first part would begin with a boneless leg of lamb, rubbed inside and out with lemon, garlic, shallot, and rosemary and destined for a slow and low roasting in the oven. Then it was finished off with a sauce made with drippings from the lamb and the 2011 Dark Night red blend from Ledger David.

The second part would have white beans, joining some 2011 Ledger David Sauvignon Blanc, a mirepoix, chicken broth, and herbs to simmer and cook into a creamy side dish with all the flavors of fall.

The final part of this rain dance is dessert. Whole vanilla bean is split and seeded, and joined with custard to be transformed into gelato. A whole bottle of 2010 Tempranillo Port from Ledger David is emptied and reduced over low heat to create a syrup flavor bomb of mass destruction, which is drizzled over the vanilla gelato.

The end result is a house full of amazing fall aromas, and a meal that would convince the ever-fickle Mother Nature that fall is indeed here, and to herald in this glorious season.

Did it work? Well, the weather forecast is for rain and cooler temperatures so, you be the judge.

Roasted Leg of Lamb
2 Tbsp. of extra-virgin olive oil
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 medium shallots, minced
2 Tbsp. fresh rosemary chopped
Zest of one lemon
½ tsp of red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp. of kosher salt
½ tsp of freshly ground black pepper
3-4 large carrots
1 whole boneless leg of lamb 3-5lbs.

Place oven rack on lower middle position, and preheat oven to 275 degrees. While oven is heating up, heat olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic, shallot, rosemary, lemon zest, and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until shallots and garlic are softened, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl, add salt and pepper and mix to combine.

Rub half of mixture into inside of butterflied lamb leg. Roll leg and tie securely with butcher’s twine. Rub remaining mixture over exterior of lamb. Cook immediately or let rest uncovered in the refrigerator for up to one night for best flavor and texture.

When ready to cook, place lamb on top of large carrots in the bottom of a heavy enameled cast iron French oven, or Dutch oven. Placing lamb on top of the carrots keeps meat from burning on the bottom, and keeps meet out of the rendering fat. Transfer to oven and roast until an instant read thermometer inserted into coolest section of lamb registers 125° to 130°F for medium-rare, or 130° to 135°F for medium, about 3 hours. Remove from oven and let rest for 40 minutes.

While lamb is resting, increase oven temperature to 500°F. Place lamb on a wire rack or directly on oven rack with a rimmed baking sheet underneath to catch any drippings. Return lamb to oven and roast until exterior is deep brown and crisp, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest 5 minutes. Remove twine with kitchen shears, transfer lamb to cutting board, slice into 1/4 inch slices, and serve, along with a glass of 2010 Dark Night.

Dark Night wine sauce
1 cup of Dark Night
All drippings from cooked lamb
1-2 Tbsp. of unsalted butter
1 tsp of corn starch
Salt and Pepper to taste.

Gather all drippings from lamb and separate fat by using a fat separator or letting cool and spooning the fat off the top. Return drippings (minus fat) to small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Once boiling add Dark Night, reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes to remove alcohol. Take corn starch and dissolve in a small amount of water or wine, and add to sauce stirring constantly. Once sauce has simmered, and has reached a thicker consistency but not too thick, add butter and salt pepper to taste. Pour over lamb slices.

White BeansWhite Beans with Ledger David Sauvignon Blanc
½ cup Ledger David Sauvignon Blanc
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 small onions, chopped fine
2 small carrots, chopped fine
2 celery ribs, chopped fine
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups cooked white beans (preferably Great Northern or navy)
2 to 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 bay leaf


In a saucepan, heat oil over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking and cook onions, carrots, celery, and garlic, stirring, 2 or 3 minutes, or until softened. Add white and bring to a boil for 2 minutes, or until the wine is reduced by half. Add beans, 2 cups broth, butter, and bay leaf and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally and adding enough remaining broth to keep beans moist and to reach a creamy consistency, about 30 minutes. Discard bay leaf, salt and pepper to taste.

Ledger David Tempranillo Port sauce:
1 bottle of 2010 Tempranillo Port
Homemade vanilla ice cream or Gelato or your favorite store bought French vanilla ice cream.
(I am skipping the Gelato recipe, as most people don’t have a gelato machine in their home…however, you can make equally good ice cream with a home ice cream maker.)

Pour entire bottle of port into a small sauce pan. Simmer port under low heat until reduced to roughly ¼ cup, stirring occasionally. This will take about an hour. Keep your eye on this, especially as you get close to the end, as you can burn the sauce, if it gets too hot. Serve warm, drizzled over ice cream, with a small glass of the port.


Burrata Tomato and Blueberry Salad Paired with Ledger David 2012 Sangiovese Rosé

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Hi everyone,

Well the hinges of Hades have melted off the gates and July was the hottest on record here in SW Oregon. Fire and smoke are making my running and biking a little more challenging and I don’t like heating up the kitchen or standing in front of a grill or BBQ when its 103 in the shade. I want to be refreshed!

In this kind of weather, Ledger David Cellars’ Sangiovese Dry Rosé paired with a salad is just what I need to cool me down and nourish me as well. Not only will this salad make you feel great, it is delightful with the Rosé. Superb summer eating that is quick, fresh, local and easy. It can be your lunch or serve it up as your starter course for dinner. You’ll love it!

Robert Trottmann

Burrata Tomato and Blueberry Salad Paired with Ledger David 2012 Sangiovese Rosé

Serves Two. It’s best when plated rather than made family style. Ingredients for Salad:

1 ball of Rogue Creamery burrata (it comes two to a pail)
6 ounces fresh blueberries
2 heirloom tomato
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup sunflower seeds or other chopped nuts (optional)
Fresh ground black pepper
Robert’s riff on goddess dressing.

Slice the tomatoes into wedges and place equally in or on the bowl or plate. Slice the Burrata into ¼” slices and place over the tomatoes wedges evenly. Coarsely chop the basil and evenly distribute over the Burrata and tomatoes. Add fresh ground pepper. Add the blueberries. Add dressing as you like and garnish with a leaf or two of whole basil leaf.

THE DRESSING: Robert’s riff on Goddess Dressing (mine is less salty, richer in flavor and more balanced than Annie’s)

1 cup maranatha tahini (made in Ashland OR)
½ cup canola oil
¼- ½ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
½ soy sauce or tamari (You could substitute braggs liquid aminos-Its delicious as well)
½ cup organic apple cider vinegar
½ cup chopped fresh parsley
1/8 cup chopped chives or scallions
¼ cup sesame seeds
3 cloves minced garlic
¾ cup water

Whisk or blend ingredients until well blended and refrigerate.

I love this stuff so this quantity works well for me. You can half the recipe and still have plenty. Cheers!

Balsamic Braised Short Ribs

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Serves 4 to 6

6 Large beef short ribs
Kosher salt
Fresh ground black pepper
3 Cups 2011 Ledger David Cellars Malbec
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Large red onion
5-7 Cloves of garlic, smashed
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
½ Cup Balsamic vinegar
3 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2-3 Cups beef, chicken or vegetable broth

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
Rub all sides of each rib generously with salt and pepper. Heat enough olive oil to coat the bottom of a large Dutch oven (7-8 Quarts). When the oil is hot, brown all sides of the ribs well. Transfer the ribs to a plate.

When all ribs are seared brown, turn heat to medium and remove all but one tablespoon of oil and fat. Add onion and season with salt and pepper. Cook until slightly brown and softened. Add the garlic cloves and cook for 3 more minutes. Add the tomato paste until the mixture is thickened and add the balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire, and the Ledger David Cellars 2011 Malbec.
Return the ribs to the liquid meaty side down. Add enough stock to cover the ribs. Bring to a simmer then remove from the stove.

Bake in the oven at 325 degrees for 3 hours or until the meat can be peeled back from the bone easily. Remove from the oven and let stand for 10-15 minute.

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
Place the separated ribs on a baking sheet and return to the oven at 425 degrees for 10-15 minutes to crisp the edges.

In the meantime strain the braising liquid and return to the sauce pan to reduce the liquid by half on high heat. This will give you a very rich full-bodied sauce as an accompaniment to mashed potatoes or other mashed or pureed root vegetables. I like a mixture of parsnips, carrots, rutabagas and potatoes keeping some of the skin from each in the mash.

Remove the ribs and serve with sides. Pairs with Ledger David Malbec.

Pan Roasted Chicken with Sweet Sausage and Peppers

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By Robert Trottmann

This recipe makes an amazing pairing for the 2011 Sangiovese. It looks a bit complicated, but it isn’t.  It does require spending time in your kitchen though, tending to the Soffritto, brining the chicken and roasting the peppers.  It is a relaxing dish to make and is a great way to enjoy a glass of wine while visiting with family or friends while you fill your home with fantastic smells.  While you don’t have to brine the chicken, the effect of doing so really enhances the dish.   Once you start brining, you’ll be hooked.  It is simple to do and does wonderful things to your poultry, fish and other meats.

The Soffritto will be the newest trick in your arsenal of awesome food tricks and you’ll want to have some around to use all the time.

I encourage you to take this one on. The results are worth the effort and the Sangiovese will thank you!



Pan Roasted Chicken with Sweet Sausage and Peppers

Paired with 2011 Ledger David Cellars Sangiovese


Two 2-1/2 to 3 Lb. Chickens

Chicken Brine (See below)

Canola Oil

3 Sweet Italian Sausages (Taylor’s from Cave Junction is perfect)

Pepperonata Rustica (see below)

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Fleur de sel

¼ Cup Flat Parsley

Cut chicken into 8 pieces (2 legs, 2 thighs, 2 breast halves, & 2 wings).  Pour brine (See brine recipe below) into a container large enough to hold the chickens, add the chicken and refrigerate no longer than 12 hours (no longer or the chicken will be too salty).

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Remove the chicken from the brine (discard the brine) and rinse the chicken under cold water and remove any herbs or spices sticking to the skin.  Pat dry the chicken or let air dry.  Season the chicken with salt and pepper.

Heat some canola oil in a large ovenproof sauté pan or Dutch oven over medium heat until hot. Add the chicken thighs and drumsticks and cook for three minutes.  Add the sausage and cook until the chicken is golden brown and the sausage is browned and crisp.  10-12 minutes (it won’t be fully cooked); once the chicken is browned, turn the pieces over and sear the other side for 1 minute.  Transfer the individual chicken pieces and the sausages to a plate as they are ready.

Season the chicken breasts and wings with salt and pepper, place skin-side down in the sauté pan and cook until the skin is crisp and golden and the chicken is almost done.  About 8 minutes.  Transfer to a plate.

Drain any remaining oil from the pan and return to the heat.  Add the Pepperonata to the pan, bring to a simmer and add the chicken tucking it into the peppers.  Cut the sausages in half and nestle them into the pan.  Transfer to the oven and cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes.

Drizzle the chicken with olive oil, and sprinkle with fleur de sel, top with the parsley leaves and serve directly from the pan.

The Pepperonata Rustica


6 Yellow Bell Peppers

6 Red Bell Peppers

Canola Oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

8 ounces Anaheim or other mildly warm peppers, drained, peeled and seeded.

1-1/2 cup Soffritto (see below)

1-1/2 Chicken or Vegetable stock

¾ Teaspoon chipotle chili powder

1 Tablespoon minced chives

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper (it makes clean up a breeze).

Cut the bell peppers lengthwise in half and remove the stems and seeds.  Toss the peppers with oil to coat and salt and pepper to taste.  Arrange the peppers cut side down on the baking sheets, the red peppers on one and the yellow on the other.

Roast the peppers until the skin is blistering, 30-35 minutes for the red and 35-40 for the yellow, do not allow the edges to blacken.  Transfer the peppers to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap or place in an airtight container with a lid.

When the peppers are cool enough to handle, peel them.  Tear them lengthwise into strips about ¾” wide.  Tear the Anaheim’s the same way.  Combine all the peppers, the Soffritto, stock and chipotle in a medium sauce pan over medium heat, season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes to soften the peppers completely and meld the flavors.  Transfer to a bowl or platter and sprinkle with the chives.

The Soffritto


3 cups finely diced yellow or Spanish onions

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

Kosher salt

16 ounces seeded and diced plum tomatoes (I use canned tomatoes this time of year)

½ teaspoon minced garlic

Combine all the onions, oil, and a pinch of salt into a 8-9” sauce pan and set over medium heat.  As soon as the oil starts to simmer, reduce the heat to low.  It is important to maintain an even LOW heat. The onions need to stew but slowly caramelize.  Adjust your heat so that the oil bubbles gently. The liquid will become cloudy as the onions release there liquid, but once the water moisture has evaporated the oil will clear.  Cook for about 2-1/2 hours or until the onions are a shade darker than a golden raisin and the oil is perfectly clear.  Check the pan often and scrape any onions that are caramelizing on the edges back into the oil.

Meanwhile make a quick tomato puree.  Halve the tomatoes and scrape out the seeds.  Finely chop the tomatoes and add to the caramelized onions.  Cook for 2-2-1/2 hours longer or until the onions and the tomatoes start to fry in the oil.  The mixture will start to sizzle and small bubbles will cover the entire surface. Gently stir the mixture—the onions and tomatoes will separate from the clear oil.  Turn off the heat and add a pinch of salt and the garlic and let the Soffritto cool.  The Soffritto will keep covered in the refrigerator for a week.  Drain it before using.  The oil can be used to start another Soffritto.

The Chicken Brine

5 Lemons cut in ½

12 Bay Leaves

4 ounces flat parsley

1 bunch thyme

½ cup honey

1 head garlic/ cut each clove in half

¼ cup black pepper corns

2 Cups kosher salt

2 gallons of water

Combine all ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil for 1 minute stirring to dissolve the salt. Remove from the heat and allow to cool, then chill in the refrigerator before using.  NOTE: This is enough brine for 10 lbs. The brine can be kept refrigerated for 3 days.