Vietnamese Fresh Spring Rolls
Recipe makes 8 rolls
8 cooked, peeled, and chilled shrimp
8 sheets Vietnamese rice paper
8 small lettuce leaves
1-2 cucumbers, julienned
1-2 carrots, julienned
16 mint leaves
16 basil leaves
Leaves from 8 sprigs of cilantro
4 green onions, finely chopped
2-3 T sesame seeds, lightly toasted
Fried shallots* (an optional, and delicious addition)
- Slice shrimp in half lengthwise, so you have two butterflied halves
- Dampen one sheet of rice paper by quickly putting it under running water. If it gets too soft, you won't be able to roll it
- Lay the dampen rice paper on a clean, flat surface and rub it slightly to soften it just enough to work with.
- Place two halves of the shrimp side by side to form a line across the bottom third of the roll. Place the other ingredients next to and on top of the shrimp and then roll tightly, folding in the sides halfway through, to enclose the filing. Seal with a little water if necessary.
- Cut the rolls in thirds and serve with the dipping sauce.
2 T fish sauce
2 T water
1-2 T fresh lime juice, to taste
1 T sugar
1-2 teaspoons finely chopped red chili or jalapeno, to taste
1-2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic, to taste
Thinly slice shallots with a mandolin.
Sun-dry them for half a day or put in a 120° oven for an hour (They’re still good it you omit this step.)
Dredge in potato starch
Fry in vegetable oil until golden brown and crispy. (Be careful not to let them burn.)
Drain on paper towel.
Here’s one of our family’s favorite recipes, Orange Chicken Under Brick. It pairs beautifully with both of our spring releases. Enjoy!
2 scallions, crushed with flat side of knife
3 garlic cloves, crushed with flat side of knife
¼ cup soy sauce
¼ cup ponzu or rice wine vinegar
¼ cup mirin or honey
1 3-4 lb. chicken rinsed and patted dry
Place a large self-sealing bag in a 9x13 baking dish. Using a vegetable peeler, peel strips of zest from the oranges and lime. Transfer zest to bag.
Juice 1 zested orange and lime into bag. Add scallions, garlic, soy sauce, ponzu, and mirin. Seal and shake to mix marinade.
Using poultry shears, remove the chicken’s backbone.
Add chicken to bag and seal. Refrigerate, turning occasionally, at least 6 hours, preferably longer.
Preheat oven to 425. Heat a 12-inch cast iron skillet or a roasting pan 10 minutes. Remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade. Rub chicken breast with oil. Flatten chicken and place it, breast side down, in skillet. Top with a foil wrapped brick or foil wrapped heavy ovenproof skillet. Roast chicken 40 minutes.
Remove skillet from oven and remove brick. Pour a small amount of water into skillet; swirl to help loosen skin from bottom. Turn chicken over and baste with pan juices. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165 and the skin is crisp, about 5 minutes more.
Let chicken stand 10 minutes. Just before carving, squeeze juice from remaining orange over it.
The Calistoga Farmers Market was teeming with strawberries this morning so we just had to make some 2880 strawberry-rhubarb jam. Trust me when I tell you that the recipe that follows is the BEST strawberry-rhubarb jam I’ve ever had. Undoubtedly, it’s the yummy factor of the Twenty-Eight Eighty Napa Valley Red Wine. Try it; you’ll like it!
1 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, cut lengthwise, seeds reserved
2 cups diced rhubarb, cut into 1-inch pieces, about 4 stalks
1/4 cup 2880 Napa Valley Red Wine
4 pints small to medium strawberries, hulled and diced
Place the sugar and the vanilla bean seeds in a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add enough water to moisten all of the sugar (about 1/4 cup). Be sure to brush down the sides of the pot with a pastry brush to remove any stray sugar granules. Cook the sugar over high heat until it caramelizes and turns golden, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the rhubarb and the wine. Cook, stirring, over high heat, until the rhubarb softens and becomes a pulp; be careful; the mixture will splatter.
Add 1/3 of the strawberries to the pot and stir quickly into the rhubarb pulp, working over high heat. Cook until the berries turn into jam and the liquid has mostly evaporated from the pot, about 8 minutes. Add another 1/3 of the berries and quickly stir until just softened. Add the last batch of berries, turn off the heat, and stir gently. Allow the jam to sit undisturbed about 10 minutes before transferring to a jelly jar. Keep refrigerated.
On July 14, 2014, our dear friend, neighbor, and winemaker, Peter Heitz (Turnbull Wine Cellars and Shypoke) talked with us about our 2012 Twenty-Eight Eighty Napa Valley Red Wine.
Betsy – Tell me what you taste.
John – Blackberries.
Peter – The aromatics are really exciting. It has another dimension besides just fruit.
So there is dark fruit – there’s black cherries, black berries and then there’s like a lift of red fruit too – of maybe like pomegranate juice and maybe muddled strawberries.
And then aromatically there’s also there’s, maybe there’s just a hair of bergamot tea or orange rind. There’s some otherness to it that makes it really sexy. And the mouth feel is super delicious…it’s super delicious.
John – It has spiciness.
Peter – Yeah…I think the fruit is the predominate flavor, again there’s black cherries and richness of dark fruit but there’s this, um, there’s maybe some like Christmas cookie spice or some…
John – And as much as I love the ‘11, this has a little more density to it.
Betsy – Oh I love this!
Peter – It’s super delicious. I think it’s the best one yet, personally. And so the blend here is – you have 2 barrels from your backyard, which are nominally 33% Grenache, 33% Syrah, and 33% Petite Sirah. That’s a third of the blend is that. And then 2/3 of the blend is Pocai Petite Syrah. So you’re looking at…um, let’s see, a third of a third would be a-sixth so you have …so from your backyard you have…
Betsy – Okay math geek.
John – It’s about 15-20% Grenache…and then almost equally split…
Peter – Yeah, you’re about 15% Grenache, 15% Syrah, and then you’re about 70% Petit Sirah
Betsy – And how do you think our backyard vineyard differs from the Pocai Vineyard?
Peter – Honestly, the two barrels of your backyard were the most spectacular things. If I was unethical I would have stolen them for my own wines. But…
Betsy – And, can I quote you on that?
Peter – Yes…they were spectacular.
John – They were good enough to steal.
Peter – Yeah, they were good enough to steal. Really, it was the best backyard ever, I thought. It had just this amazing dominance of strawberries and sweet red cherries maybe. Just like bright red cherry…muddled strawberries. The Grenache otherness was in there. Just really, those were beautiful. The oak was in perfect sinew with the wine.
And then the Pocai Petite Syrah was just this…I mean it’s huckleberry pie; ah it’s just delicious and unctuous in its own right. And you bring those two things together…your backyard – a little ballerina of pretty, red, finesse and floral lifting and just gorgeous. And the Pocai Petite Sirah is this, is this you know, it’s a blue berry…I mean it’s like blue candy. Can you put pretty and pleasure together? Here it does.
Betsy – I do all the time.
Peter – I think it turned out really fantastic…one of the best wines of the vintage.
Betsy – Thank you.
Want to learn more about the flavor of wine? Check out: