Enjoy Fireside Favorites

Wine & Food 11/02/11

Written By Marissa Jamison

There’s nothing more welcoming this time of year than a crackling fire on the hearth. When you add in family and friends, a glass of wine, and a hearty menu, you’ve got everything you need to warm up the coldest weather!

Tips to further enhance that fireside feeling:

Our chefs have been busy whipping up winter recipes that make the most of some seasonal flavors. Try them one at a time to spice up a series of meals, or all together for a wonderful winter table.


Saffron Ginger Toddy

Get off to a great start with this spicy take on a classic hot toddy recipe!

• 1 pinch saffron threads
• 3/4 cup boiling water
• 1 ounce bourbon
• 1/2 ounce ginger liqueur
• 1 tablespoon honey
• 1 teaspoon lemon juice
• 1 teaspoon fresh orange juice
• 1 dash bitters
• Hot water to top off

Steep saffron threads in hot water (just a few as the flavor is strong); reserve liquid. In a coffee mug, add bourbon, ginger liqueur, citrus juices, honey, and a splash of bitters. Add enough of the steeped saffron water to top off, stir to incorporate honey, and serve hot.


Braised Fennel

This simple-to-prepare side dish highlights the subtle licorice flavor of fennel.

• 3 ounces olive oil
• 1 onion, diced small
• 3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
• 1 cup chicken stock
• 1 cup white wine
• 2 bay leaves
• Kosher salt to taste
• 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
• 5 fennel bulbs, trimmed and quartered

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil in skillet; add onion and sauté until golden brown. Add garlic, chicken stock, wine, bay leaf, salt, and pepper to make a broth mixture. Put fennel in baking dish and pour broth mixture over top. Cover with foil or a lid. Place in the oven and cook until tender, about 40 minutes.


Scalloped Potatoes

Scalloped potatoes are anything but ordinary with the addition of fresh rosemary in this updated version of the classic recipe!

• 2 tablespoons butter
• 1 onion, diced small
• 2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
• 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
• 1 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
• 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
• 5 medium Russet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
• 1 cup half-and-half
• 1 cup chicken broth
• 1 bay leaf
• 4 ounces shredded white cheddar cheese (may substitute Havarti or Gouda)
• 1 ounce grated or shredded Parmesan or Asiago cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil in skillet, add onions, and sauté until golden brown. Add garlic, rosemary, broth, half-and-half, bay leaf, salt, and pepper. Add potatoes and simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in cheese, and pour into a shallow baking dish. Bake for 30–40 minutes or until bubbly and golden.


Lamb Chops with Blackberry Sauce

Mint may be the traditional accompaniment to this type of dish, but our Biltmore chefs are waking up the delicate flavor of lamb with a burst of blackberries!

• 2 lamb racks (6-bone each)
• 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
• 2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
• 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
• Kosher salt to taste
• Freshly ground or cracked black pepper, to taste
• 1/2 cup shallots, minced
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• 2/3 cup chicken broth
• 8 ounces blackberries, fresh or frozen
• 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• 3 tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat for about 2–3 minutes; rub lamb racks with olive oil and sear in skillet until golden brown. Remove and place on roasting racks to put in oven.

Mix rosemary, garlic, thyme, salt, pepper, and enough oil to make a paste. Rub this mixture all over lamb racks and place in oven. Cook until lamb reaches 120 degree internal temperature when a thermometer is placed in the center of the lamb rack (approximately 25–35 minutes).

Let lamb rest while you make the sauce. Remove excess fat from roasting pan. Deglaze with vinegar, then broth. Add sugar and blackberries and cook until reduced by half. Remove from heat, strain, and swirl in butter. Slice chops, pour sauce over them, and serve.

Winemaker’s Suggested Pairing: Biltmore Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon


Brown Sugar Black Walnut Cake

For a happy ending to any dinner, try our rich, delicious Brown Sugar Black Walnut Cake.

• 1 pound light brown sugar
• 1 cup granulated white sugar
• 3 cups salted butter
• 5 large eggs
• 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
• 2 cups flour plus (sifted 3 times)
• 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
• 1 cup milk
• 1 cup black walnuts (do not substitute English walnuts)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Add flour and baking powder to sifter; sift 3 times. Cream butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add eggs, one at time, to butter and sugar, and mix well. Add milk alternately with flour and baking powder mixture, then add vanilla and walnuts. Don’t chop walnuts; let the mixer break up the pieces. Bake for 90 minutes in a bundt pan.

Winemaker’s Suggested Pairing: Biltmore Malvasia

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