Dungeness Crab Cakes with Chardonnay Beurre Blanc Sauce
Wine Pairing: Oceano Chardonnay, Spanish Springs Vineyard, San Luis Obispo County, California
The bold citrus fruit flavors and crisp acidity of Oceano Chardonnay are a perfect match for the salinity and spice of these delectable Dungeness Crab Cakes, while the wine’s creaminess pairs seamlessly with the silky Beurre Blanc sauce.
For the crab cakes:
1 pound lump Dungeness crabmeat
1 egg, large
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon soy sauce
½ teaspoon wasabi paste
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
½ cup Panko bread crumbs
1 tablespoon finely minced chives
2 tablespoons butter for frying
16 chive stalks for garnish
Whisk egg in a medium glass bowl, add the mayonnaise, soy sauce, wasabi paste, and salt. Whisk until well combined and set aside. In a large glass bowl combine the crabmeat, breadcrumbs, and chives. Gently toss to combine, being careful not break up the chunks of crabmeat. Pour the egg mixture into the crab mixture and lightly toss together. Refrigerate for ten minutes, then form the crab cakes into 8 equal patties. Place crab cakes on a baking sheet and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Heat one tablespoon of butter in a large non-stick skillet. Gently transfer four of the crab cakes into the skillet and pan fry until golden brown and slightly crisp (about 3-4 minutes per side.) Transfer to a warm baking sheet in a 250 degree F oven. Heat the remaining tablespoon of butter and pan fry the remaining crab cakes. When done, transfer to the baking sheet and keep warm until the Chardonnay Beurre Blanc sauce is finished.
For the Chardonnay Beurre Blanc sauce:
½ cup Chardonnay
2 teaspoons shallot, finely minced
½ pound very cold salted butter, cut into 10 cubes
Salt and finely ground white pepper to taste
Oven Roasted Chicken Stuffed Under the Skin with Gruyere, Cremini Mushrooms and Ricotta
Wine Pairing: Oceano Pinot Noir, Spanish Springs Vineyard, San Luis Obispo
The bright red fruit flavors of Oceano Pinot Noir are an excellent match for the earthy flavor of roasted chicken and Cremini mushrooms, while the silky smooth tannins and full body accentuate the creamy cheese stuffing in this dish.
For the Cremini mushrooms:
8 ounces Cremini mushroom caps, stems removed, finely diced
2 tablespoons butter
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Heat the butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Sautee the finely diced Cremini mushroom pieces until soft, approximately 3-4 minutes. Set aside and let cool. Drain before using in the stuffing.
For the stuffing:
4 tablespoons butter, softened
¾ cup whole milk ricotta
2 ounces Gruyere cheese, hand grated
Sauteed Cremini mushroom cubes, from above
¼ teaspoon dried sage
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
Combine all ingredients in a medium glass bowl until ready to use.
For the stuffed chicken:
1 medium chicken, backbone removed and splayed
1 tablespoon butter, softened
Tip: Ask your butcher to remove the backbone from a 3 to 4 pound whole chicken and splay the chicken flat. Leave the skin intact because you will be placing the stuffing under the skin.
Place the chicken on a half sized baking sheet. Using your fingers start at the neck of the chicken and loosen the skin from the breast meat. Carefully work all the way to the thighs and the legs to form a large pocket under the entire skin. Gently work the stuffing introducing small handfuls at a time until it is equally distributed from the neck to the drumstick. Seal the loose ends of the neck skin with two toothpicks. Gently massage the outer surface of the chicken skin with one tablespoon of butter making sure to cover the entire surface.
Preheat oven to 375 F. When hot, place the chicken and baking sheet on a middle rack. After 20 minutes reduce heat to 350 F and continue to roast until the internal temperature of the breast is 165 F (approximately 45 – 55 minutes) and the skin is browned and crispy. Let rest for 10 minutes before cutting into 4 pieces.