deconstructed albondigas

Deconstructed Albondigas

deconstructed albondigas

Recipe Date: July 12th, 2020
Difficulty: Easy
Measurements: Imperial (US)

Deconstructed Albondigas

  • 4 cups Beef Broth
  • 4 cups Chicken Broth
  • 2 Large cans crushed tomatoes (28 oz)
  • 2 Large cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 lb Ground beef
  • 1 lb Spicy sausage
  • 2 Heads of cabbage, cored and diced
  • 1 Small bag frozen white corn
  • 5 Carrots thinly sliced
  • 5 Stalks diced celery
  • 4 Large cloves minced garlic
  • 1 Bunch chopped cilantro (set some aside for garnish)
  • 1 Large diced brown onion

Brown ground meat and/or sausage. Add to a large pot with all other ingredients. Cook over medium low heat until vegetables are to desired softness. To accelerate the cooking process, give the veggies a quick sauté before adding to the pot. Stir and taste often and, as always, add seasoning as needed.

Prep Time: 30 mins

Cook Time: 45-60 mins


Related Products – Dry Gewurztraminer



Strawberry Cupcake

Strawberry Wine Cupcakes

Strawberry Cupcake

Recipe Date: July 4th, 2020
Difficulty: Easy
Measurements: Imperial (US)

Strawberry Wine Cupcakes

From Pastry Tales

Our friends from Pastry Tales bless us with another amazing dessert recipe. These strawberry cupcakes feature our fan favorite La Fantasia, an ideal match for the Frizzante-Style Rose. These soft vanilla cupcakes are filled with a homemade wine strawberry curd and topped with a delicious wine strawberry whipped cream frosting.

Ingredients

For the vanilla cupcakes

1 and 1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1 and 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature. Do not use oil. Oil will make your cupcakes greasy and dense.

1 cup white granulated sugar

2 large eggs, room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 cup Greek yogurt (plain)

For the strawberry wine curd

1 lb of fresh strawberries, chopped in small pieces

1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter

3/4 cup white granulated sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1/2 cup La Fantasia wine (or any other pink sweet wine)

4 egg yolks

For the frosting

1 cup heavy whipping cream cream

1/2-2/3 cup cup powdered sugar (it’s up to you how sweet you want the frosting to be)

1/4 cup La Fantasia wine (or any other sweet pink wine)

1/2 cup strawberry puree (puree them in a blender)

For the sugar coated strawberries

14 small/medium size fresh strawberries. Please use ripe strawberries BUT NOT SOFT.

1/2 cup La Fantasia wine (or any other sweet pink wine)

1/2 cup white granulated sugar

Instructions

For the curd

1.- Place wine strawberries, wine and ¼ cup of sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil on medium high heat cook for 10 minutes, until the fruit is broken down. You can use a potato mash to break down the strawberries too. Pass the mixture through a sieve and allow to cool for about 5 minutes. We are using a sieve so we can catch all the little seeds or thick skin that didn’t cook.

2.- While the strawberries are cooling, make the egg mixture : In a small saucepan, whisk the egg yolks, butter, cornstarch and remaining sugar. Pour in strawberry mixture and place on medium heat stirring constantly. Allow to cook, continually stirring, until thickened to a custard-like consistency then remove from heat. Pass this mixture through a sieve and allow to cool it completely to room temperature. Place it in the fridge for about 2 hours or more. We are using a sieve here again because we want to catch any leftover yok that did not cook very well.

-Your filling/curd is done, now let’s make the sugar coated strawberries-

 

For the sugar coated strawberries

1.- Wash your strawberries, dry them with paper towel. Place strawberries in a shallow container and cover them with 1/2 cup of La Fantasia or any other sweet rose wine. Cover the container with plastic wrap or lid and refrigerate for 1 hour or 1 hour and a half.

2.- Drain strawberries and lightly dry them. If you want, you can reserve the liquid so you use it for the frosting. Place them on the top of a small baking sheet or shallow dish and roll them in the white granulated sugar. Place them the baking sheet/dish in the freezer until ready to use. Do not leave your strawberries at room temperature because the sugar can melt.

-Your sugar strawberries are done, now let’s make the vanilla cupcakes-

For the cupcakes

1.- Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a regular size muffin pan with cupcake liners. Set aside.

2.- In a small bowl mix flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

3.- In a big bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter for 2 minutes. Then, add sugar slowly and mix in medium speed for 3 minutes until light and fluffy. Add eggs one by one mixing well after each addition.

4.- Add in vanilla. Mix. Add in yogurt. Mix for 1 minute.

5.- Add in dry ingredients and mix in low speed until you don’t see any leftover flour. Be careful to not over mix the batter.

6.- Fill your cupcake liners just until 1/2 full, I like to use an ice cream scoop, it works great. Bake for 20 minutes aprox. or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cupcake comes out clean or with a few dry crumbs.

7.- Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Then, transfer the cupcakes to a cooking rack to cool completly.

-Cupcakes are done, wait till they are all cooled off and then start with the frosting-

Please Note

When the cupcakes are all cooled off, using a pairing knife cut the centers so you can fill them with the curd . You should make all this before you start making the frosting. Begin by cutting a small circle on the top , cutting about 2/3 down into the thickness of the cupcake. Be sure to not cut all the way down and take out the core.

Then, fill that hole with the strawberry curd. Just use a small spoon. You won’t need to cover the top of the hole with some of the core you took off. But if you want to, you can do it.

For the frosting

For the frosting you have 2 options: Use fresh strawberry puree or you can cook down the strawberries to get rid of some of the moisture so your frosting is not too runny. If you decide to cook down the strawberries, follow the directions since number 1 otherwise jump to number 3. I decided to cook down the strawberries and my frosting was better than using just fresh strawberries.

1.- Place your strawberries in a blender and puree until creamy. Pass this mixture through a sieve so you can discard the seeeds.

2.- Add the strawberry puree to a small saucepan and cook over medium heat. Bring it to a boil and continue cooking to reduce it to 1/4 cup. This will take you about 15 minutes. When your mixture has reduced and thickened pour it into a small container and let it cool, you can place it in the fridge to cool it faster.

3-. When cooled, add the strawberry mixture, heavy whipping cream and powdered sugar to a large mixer bowl. For the first minute whip in low speed. Add wine (or some of the liquid you reserve from the sugar coated strawberries) and mix on medium speed for 2 minutes and then high speed until the mixture holds nice peaks. Place this mixture in the fridge until you are ready to frost.

4.- Using a piping bag and a tip (I used Wilton 1 M), frost your cupcakes. Place one sugar coated strawberry on the top.

Remember – Keep your sugar coated strawberries in the freezer until ready to serve. These cupcakes are the best the same day or the day after that you make them.

 

Enjoy and cheers!


Related Products – La Fantasia



Cherry Cake

Red Wine Chocolate Cherry Cake

Cherry Cake

Recipe Date: July 3rd, 2020
Difficulty: Easy
Measurements: Imperial (US)

Red Wine Chocolate Cherry Cake

From Pastry Tales

With Cherry season in full swing, our favorite collaborator at Pastry Tales had a special recipe in mind. If you love wine & chocolate, you are sure to love the recipe. The chocolate cake creates an ideal match for fresh cherries. The cake is highlighted by our 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley.

Ingredients

For the cake

1 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/3 cup dark cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3/4 cup white granulated sugar

2 eggs, room temperature

1/3 cup vegetable oil

3/4 cup red wine. I used Cabernet Sauvingon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups fresh cherries. Sliced and pitted.

For the ganache/icing:

3 ounces semi sweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces. If you don’t have baking chocolate, you can use chocolate chips.

1 tablespoons light corn syrup

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted

2 tablespoons red wine. I used Cabernet Sauvignon

Instructions

For the cake

Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter and flour your baking pan. Line the bottom of your pan with parchment paper.

1.- In a mixing bowl add flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cocoa powder and sugar. Mix. Set aside.

2.- In a smaller bowl mix eggs, oil, vanilla extract, wine. Mix well.

3.- Using a mixer in low speed, add the wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix until everything is combined. Do not overmix.

4.- Using a spatula fold in cherries.

5.- Pour the cake batter into your prepared pan.

6.- Bake for about 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. If you notice the top of your cake is all baked but the inside isn’t ready yet, just cover the top with a piece of foil and keep baking until it’s done.

For the glaze

1.- In a heat-proof bowl mix the chocolate, light corn syrup and butter. Place this bowl in the microwave and heat it up medium heat for about 40 seconds. Take the bowl out of the microwave, stir well and do another 40 seconds. Mix well until everything is well combined and chocolate is melted. Be careful to not overheat the chocolate because it can burn.

2.- Place this bowl on a cooling rack and let it cool completely. It will thicken more when it cools off.

Enjoy and cheers!


Related Products – Cabernet Sauvignon



Castello di Amorosa Dessert Recipe

Red Wine Pear Chocolate Cake

Castello di Amorosa Dessert Recipe

Recipe Date: July 1st, 2020
Difficulty: Easy
Measurements: Imperial (US)

Red Wine Pear Chocolate Cake

From Pastry Tales

Ingredients

For the bundt cake

1 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1/4 cup light brown sugar

3/4 cup white granulated sugar

3 large eggs, room temperature

2 teaspoons vanlla extract

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup yogurt or sour cream

3/4 cup wine, I chose to use Zinfandel

1-2 cans pears, you should cut each half of pear in 2 slices. You should decide how much pears you add in your cake. I used 1 can and I think I could have used more.

For the glaze:

1 3/4 cups powdered sugar, sifted

red wine, I used Zinfandel

For decoration:

Chopped chocolate. I used Brix chocolate for wine.

Instructions

For the cake

1.- Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease Bundt pan and set aside.

2.- In a bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.

3.- In a bowl of a stand up mixer and with the paddle attachment, mix butter, white sugar and brown sugar, for about 4 minutes. Add eggs, one by one mixing well after each addition. Add in vanilla extract.

4.- Incorporate half of the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, then add yogurt and wine, mixing it carefully. Then, add the rest of the dry ingredients.

5.-Pour half of the batter into prepared pan. Take the pears and put them on the top of the batter. Add the other half of the batter.

6.-Bake for about 45  minutes, or until a knife inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool completely.

For the glaze

1.- In a small bowl, add some wine into the sifted powdered sugar and mix it until it becomes a thick glaze.

2.- Decorate the cake with glaze and sprinkle chopped chocolate before the glaze sets.

Enjoy and cheers!


Related Products – Old Vine Zinfandel



Best California Chardonnay

The Fifty Best - California Chardonnay

Bradley Aden

June 24th, 2020

Best California Chardonnay

From the Napa Valley to New York. Castello di Amorosa’s Reserve Chardonnay won a gold medal in the Fifty Best professional wine tasting in New York. Twenty-three premium wine contenders were evaluated for the distinguished “Best California Chardonnay” awards for 2020.

Using professional criteria, the pre-qualified panel of judges blind-tasted the chardonnays and rated them individually on a 1 to 5-point scoring system with 5 being the highest. After tallying the scores, medals were awarded based on the judges’ impressions.

Chardonnay is the most widely planted white grape variety, globally. The grape originated in a small village of Chardonnay in France and is now grown throughout the world. Castello’s Reserve Chardonnay is grown in the cool-climate Los Carneros AVA of the Napa Valley.

The wine judges had the following observation of our award-winning Reserve Chardonnay:

Following fermentation, this 100% Chardonnay was aged in 100% new Burgundian French oak barrels for 12 months prior to bottling. Aroma: Green apple, rambutan, lemon peel, minerality, subtle malo, slight oak, buttery. Palate: Bountiful lemon, lemon peel, apple, pear, melon, mango, peach, great tropical fruit, floral, cedar box, balanced oak, buttery, buttered popcorn, creamy, vanilla, smooth, crisp, classic California chardonnay. Finish: Ripe lemon, lime, mango, papaya, oak, vanilla, creamy, soft, balanced.

The complete results, along with tasting notes, can be viewed here:

https://www.thefiftybest.com/wine/best_california_chardonnay/

TheFiftyBest.com is a digital guide to wines & spirits, featuring rated listings resulting from proprietary blind tastings as judged by wine/spirits journalists, sommeliers, wine/spirit retailers, mixologists, wine consultants and connoisseurs. The Fifty Best achieves the highest standards of spirits evaluations by adhering to strict tasting rules and rigorous methodology.



Celebrity Guests of The Castle

Celebrity Guests of Castello di Amorosa

You Never Know Who You Might See at Castello di Amorosa. Check out some of our well known visitors that have been through the halls of the Castello.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

The former Mr. Universe and Governor of California visited Castello back in 2016. He was a personal guest of Dario Sattui, he was given personal private tour by Dario.

Robert Redford

The retired Actor & Director has been a longtime resident of the Napa Valley. Mr. Redford visited Castello di Amorosa when he performed at the annual Festival Napa Valley in July of 2018.

Francis Ford Coppola

One of the greatest directors in the history of Cinema, is also a fellow vintner and longtime friend of Creator Dario Sattui. The director of Godfather, has been to the Castello on many occasions. Here, he is pictured at our Pagan Ball spectacular with his wife Eleanor.

Gordon Ramsay

Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay was the most recent celebrity visitor of Castello di Amorosa. Gordon filmed American Road Trip which can be seen here. He visited in 2019 during the week of our Harvest Celebration.

Adam Sandler

One of the first celebrity visitors of the Castello. Adam Sandler was the star of the Disney movie Bedtime Stories which was filmed at Castello di Amorosa in 2008.

C.C. Sabathia & E-40

The Vallejo native & Hall-of-Fame New York Yankee pitcher C.C. Sabathia had a private event at the Castello in 2018. Among his guests was fellow Vallejo native, rapper E-40.

The Kardashians

The Kardashians had the “#bestday” at Castello di Amorosa in March 2016. The ladies took a private tour of the Castle, while filming part of an episode for Keeping up with The Kardashians. All three ended up wearing crowns.

Mayor Rudy Giuliani

Giuliani served as the 107th Mayor of New York City from 1994 to 2001. He came to the Castello in 2010 with his wife and enjoyed a private food & wine tour in the Royal Apartment with sommelier Mary Davidek. He currently acts as an attorney to President Donald Trump.

Fergie

Fergie attended a benefit and even performed at Castello di Amorosa. She originally achieved chart success as part of the hip hop group The Black Eyed Peas.

Mario Andretti

Mario Andretti

Here’s a memory from back in 2010. That’s Mario Andretti with Castello President, Georg Salzner Great visit with one of the best race car drivers ever!

Bon Jovi

In 1986, the New Jersey native broke onto the scene selling more than 20 million records. Bon Jovi attended a benefit concert at Castello di Amorosa back in 2014.



Introducing The Castello Victorian

Bradley Aden

March 11th, 2020

The Castello Victorian – The Newest Addition

Built in 1886, Castello Victorian is a historic 4 bedroom Victorian home located in Calistoga, CA. Recently restored to its historic charm and converted into an Inn, this 3600 sq ft home is perfect for individuals, couples or families looking to either rent individual rooms or book the entire house while visiting Napa Valley. Built in 1886, Castello Victorian is a historic 4 bedroom Victorian home located in Calistoga, CA. Recently restored to its historic charm and converted into an Inn, this 3600 sq ft home is perfect for individuals, couples or families looking to either rent individual rooms or book the entire house while visiting Napa Valley.

Whether you’re looking for an individual room to stay or an entire house to entertain, make your next visit to Napa Valley one to remember at Castello Victorian! Bring along your friends, your family, and stay in your own private vacation home.

This spacious, updated Victorian Inn is surrounded by majestic trees, outdoor-dining deck, and a BBQ area – perfect for relaxing and entertaining with family and friends. This 3600 sqft home offers:

  • 4 bedrooms, each with their own private baths
  • Large living room with WIFI and cable TV
  • Full-equipped and newly updated kitchen
  • Bar area with wine refrigerator
  • Laundry – washer/dryer
  • Beautiful backyard with redwood decking for BBQ’s and al fresco dining

Book Now


Fritatta

Recipe Date: March 2nd, 2020
Difficulty: Easy
Serving Size: 4
Cook Time: 00:15
Measurements: Imperial (US)

Frittata

Ingredients

A Frittata can be made with an assortment of ingredients; mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower, or zucchini. For a heartier main course preparation, ground sausage, bacon or potatoes can be included. To make a frittata, beaten eggs are cooked briefly in a hot skillet along with other ingredients like onions, spinach, bacon and/or potatoes, and then topped with cheese and finished in the oven.

The Castello provided the bounty for this frittata. The royal chickens supplied the organic free range eggs. From the castle garden; zucchini, red and yellow pepper and serrano chili peppers.

Directions

♦ In medium size bowl, using a fork, blend together 4 – 6 eggs, grated Parmesan, 1/2 tsp pepper, and 1/4 tsp salt.

♦ Heat 12-inch non-stick, oven safe saute pan over medium high heat.

♦ Add butter to pan and melt. Add frittata contents. Pour egg mixture into pan and stir with rubber spatula.

♦ Cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until the egg mixture has set on the bottom and begins to set up on top.

♦ Sprinkle with parsley and additional grated parm.

♦ Place pan into oven and broil for 3 to 4 minutes, until lightly browned and fluffy.



Balsamic Vinegar Reduction

Recipe Date: February 27th, 2020
Difficulty: Easy
Serving Size: 2
Cook Time: 01:00:00
Measurements: Imperial (US)

Balsamic Vinegar Reduction

The dictionary defines reduction as the act or process of reducing. This is concise and fairly straightforward. In the kitchen, reductions are equally concise and straightforward. Reducing is simply the process of thickening a liquid i.e. soup, sauce, wine etc. by heating. This slowly causes evaporation thereby intensifying the flavor of the liquid. Using a pan without a lid is preferable (which allows the vapors to escape) until the desired volume is reached.

Ingredients

  • 20 oz Balsamic Vinegar

Directions

  • Pour Balsamic Vinegar into a large sauté pan to maximize surface to balsamic ratio. Start at medium heat stirring occasionally, increasing stirring as it thickens. Do not overheat the Balsamic to the point of simmering or boiling—this is a slow reduction. Target temp is a constant 190 degrees. 68 ounces will reduce to approximately 15 oz. (lasts forever and worth every minute) Store in the fridge in a squeeze-bottle and it will become thicker and more viscous over time.
  • Serving suggestions: Serve over hard cheeses, Caprese Salad or drizzle on chicken before roasting.
  • ** Warning** as this reduces the vinegar odors can get intense; I prefer to do this on day with a cross-draft and the windows open.



Heirloom Caprese Salad

Recipe Date: February 26th, 2020
Difficulty: Easy
Serving Size: 4
Cook Time: 01:00:00
Measurements: Imperial (US)

Heirloom Caprese Salad

The best Caprese salad around. Fresh from the farm ingredients are the real key. Use summer tomatoes if at all possible. Quality mozzarella, basil and olive oil are essential in this recipe.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds mixed heirloom tomatoes or the best ripe tomatoes available
  • 8-ounce ball of mozzarella, preferably fresh or packed in water
  • Handful of fresh basil (smaller leaves look nicer)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon flaky sea salt or ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  • With a serrated knife, cut the tomatoes into ¼″ thick slices. Arrange them on a large serving platter, overlapping their edges and varying the shapes as best you can.
  • Cut the burrata or mozzarella into ¼″ to ½″ slices (burrata is tricky since the inside is so creamy; I cut it into ½″ slices and gently tugged the slices into smaller sections, see photos). Tuck the cheese around and underneath the tomatoes, dispersing it relatively evenly across the platter.
  • Sprinkle basil leaves all over, and tuck a few more into the crevices. Drizzle the olive oil over the salad. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
  • For the best flavor (if you have the time), let the salad rest for 30 minutes so the tomatoes release some juices and the flavors have time to mingle. This salad is best served within a few hours. Leftovers will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 3 days.