International Food & Wine

Our Wines 06/02/12

Written By Marissa Jamison

Summer is a traditional season for traveling, often to cooler destinations or on extended explorations with family. Our own George Vanderbilt was a real globetrotter, making more than 20 trips to Europe during his lifetime and visiting a host of other far-flung locations throughout the world, including India, China, Egypt, and Russia.

Here at Biltmore, we honor Vanderbilt’s adventurous spirit with a quartet of international dishes created by our own Chef Michael Gonzalez and paired with our fine Biltmore Wines.

Whether your summer travel plans call for a passport or just relaxing on your own davenport, these delicious recipes and fine wine selections will help you escape from the ordinary!


Truffled White Asparagus Soup

This delicious soup with white asparagus and cream is reminiscent of classic French cooking. For an unusual presentation, serve in glasses garnished with jumbo lump crabmeat and chopped chives.
Winemaster’s Suggestion: Pair this recipe with our Biltmore Sauvignon Blanc.
Serves 6–8.

• 2 pounds white asparagus
• 3 large shallots
• 1 clove garlic
• 1 cup fresh fennel blub
• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
• ¾ cup Biltmore Riesling wine
• 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• 7 cups chicken stock
• 1 ¼ cups heavy cream
• 1 small bundle fresh tarragon (tied with twine)
• Kosher salt to taste
• 1 teaspoon lemon juice
• 1 teaspoon white truffle oil
• Lump crabmeat and chives for garnish

Peel and cut asparagus into 2-inch pieces. Thinly slice shallots, mince garlic, and dice fennel into medium pieces. In a large saucepot over medium heat, melt butter. Add shallots, garlic, fennel, and a pinch of salt. Cook until vegetables are tender but not brown, about 10-12 minutes. Add Riesling and reduce by three-quarters until almost dry. Add flour and cook for one minute, then slowly whisk in chicken stock and cream. Add asparagus and tarragon bundle. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Cook 35-40 minutes until asparagus is very tender.

Remove tarragon bundle. Puree with a hand-held immersion blender until asparagus is well broken down. Season with salt; add lemon juice and truffle oil. Cool for 5 minutes. Carefully working in batches, puree soup in a tabletop blender until very smooth. Adjust thickness by adding more chicken stock.


Manchego Flan with Sweet and Sour Peppers

Savor the taste of Spain with this Manchego cheese flan and pair it with our crisp, refreshing Biltmore Pinot Grigio. Makes 10–12 individual flans.

• 8 eggs
• 1 cup Manchego cheese, finely shredded
• 1 cup Parmesan cheese, finely shredded
• 1 quart heavy cream
• ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 1 teaspoon Kosher salt

In a mixing bowl, lightly whisk eggs. Lightly whisk in cream, nutmeg, salt, cream, and cheeses into eggs until well blended. Spray 4-ounce ramekins with nonstick spray. Place 2 ½ ounces of mixture in each ramekin. Place ramekins in a casserole or baking dish in a water bath by adding enough hot water to come up the sides of the ramekins in the baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 325°. Bake for approximately 25–30 minutes or until flans are set. Serve warm topped with Sweet & Sour Peppers.

Sweet & Sour Peppers:
• 1 cup roasted yellow peppers, julienned
• 1 cup piquillo peppers, julienned
• ¾ cup rice wine vinegar
• 2 ½ tablespoons sugar
• 2 garlic cloves, lightly crushed

In a small saucepan, add all ingredients and cook over medium low heat for 30–35 minutes or until most liquid has evaporated but is slightly syrupy. Set aside.


Chicken Liver Mousse with Orange Zest

This classic French recipe, enlivened with a zesty note of orange, is perfect with both our buttery Biltmore Reserve North Carolina Chardonnay or the light, fruit-forward taste of our Biltmore Reserve Russian River Valley Pinot Noir. Serves 6–8.

• 1 pound chicken livers, cleaned
• 1 cup yellow onions, medium dice
• 2 teaspoons garlic
• 2 tablespoons bacon fat
• 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
• 2 ½ tablespoons cognac
• 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
• 1 teaspoon Grand Marnier
• 1 teaspoon orange zest
• 116 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
• Kosher salt to taste
• Ground black pepper to taste
• 1 ½ cups butter, softened

Sauté onions and garlic with bacon fat in a large skillet over medium heat until vegetables are softened and translucent. Add chicken livers and thyme to skillet and cook until livers are cooked to medium well. Remove from pan and cool. When liver/onion/garlic mixture is cooled, place in a food processor with mustard, cognac, Grand Marnier, orange zest, and nutmeg and puree thoroughly. Add softened butter to food processor in fourths, pulsing after each addition (keeping the motor running too long may melt the butter). Season mixture with salt and pepper and add parsley. Pulse again until incorporated. Spoon mousse into ramekins or terrine mold and refrigerate for 2 hours before serving. Serve with a crusty French bread.


Crispy Goat Cheese Polenta with Caponata

Take a culinary tour of Italy with both polenta and caponata—two traditional dishes complemented by the excellent acidity and citrus notes of our Biltmore Sauvignon Blanc. Serves 8–10 people.

• 1 cup coarse polenta
• 2 cups milk
• 2 cups chicken broth
• 3 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
• 13 cup Parmesan cheese
• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
• ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
• Kosher salt to taste

In a medium-sized stockpot, add milk and chicken broth and bring to a boil. Whisk in polenta and reduce heat to medium low. Stir frequently, making sure not to burn. Cook polenta until done (approximately 25 minutes). When finished, whisk in goat cheese, Parmesan cheese, parsley, and butter. Season with salt and black pepper. Pour onto sheet tray or casserole dish and spread with rubber spatula until it reaches 1-inch even thickness. Refrigerate until completely cooled, then cut into desired rounds with ring cutters. Dredge each polenta disk lightly with seasoned flour and shallow fry until crisp. Present on plate and serve with caponata.

• 1 ½ pounds eggplant, skin removed and medium dice
• 13 cup olive oil
• ½ cup yellow onion, medium dice
• 13 cup celery, medium diced
• 2 red bell peppers, medium diced
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• Zest of 1 orange
• ½ cup water
• 3 Roma tomatoes, medium dice
• 13 cup red wine vinegar
• ½ teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
• 3 tablespoons capers
• ¼ cup pine nuts
• 3 tablespoons raisins
• 1 ½ tablespoons granulated sugar
• Kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste

In a large skillet, sauté eggplant in half of the olive oil, cooking for 3–5 minutes until tender and lightly browned. Season with salt and black pepper. Reserve. In a separate skillet over medium heat, add remaining olive oil and cook onion, red pepper, celery, and garlic until soft. Add water, tomatoes, orange zest, capers, vinegar, pine nuts, raisins, thyme, and sugar. Cover and cook for 5–10 minutes. Everything should be tender. Add eggplant, mix together, and cook 8–10 additional minutes over low heat. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat. Serve warm with polenta or refrigerate and reheat when needed.

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