December 13, 2013

From the Lynmar Estate kitchen, we are pleased to share with our blog readers a recipe for a dish highlighted in our previous blog post: Herb Crusted Lamb with Purée of Butternut Squash, Paired with the 2009 Five Sisters Pinot Noir, the crown jewel in the estate’s portfolio of Pinot Noirs, this epicurean pairing captures the best of Lynmar Estate. Download the recipe.

Herb Crusted Lamb with Purée of Butternut Squash and Fricassee of Winter Mushrooms

Serves: 4-6

Recipe by Lynmar Estate Chef David Frakes

Marinade:

2 large

Lamb loins, fat cap removed but silverskin left on (can have butcher remove bones from a rack to create)

8 large

Garlic Cloves (cut into thin slivers)

4 T

Whole Rosemary leaves

2 large

Bay leaves

¼ C

Vegetable oil

Coat lamb well with marinade ingredients and place covered in refrigerator for at least 4-6 hours up to overnight.

4 T

Chopped parsley (preferably Italian Flatleaf)

4 T

Chives (sliced fine across)

2 T

Chopped Marjoram or Oregano (or other desired herb)

2 T

Dijon mustard

2 T

Water

Mix the three herbs and set aside. Mix the mustard with the water and combine well. Set aside.

Butternut Squash Purée:

1 large

Butternut squash (cut in half, de-seeded, brushed lightly with olive oil, then placed cut-side down on a pan lined with either parchment paper or aluminum foil). Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 45 minutes, or until soft enough to remove skin. Pass the flesh through a food mill and reserve.

1 C

Heavy cream

¼ t

Allspice

¼ t

Nutmeg

Very small pinch of cayenne

To taste:

Salt & black pepper

Bring cream to a boil in a medium-sized pot. Let boil for about 1 minute.
Turn off heat and mix the squash and seasonings in. Reserve.

Mushrooms:

½ lb.

Chanterelle Mushrooms (Cut into bite-sized chunks)

½ lb.

Oyster Mushrooms (Cut into bite-sized chunks)

½ lb.

Cremini Mushrooms (Cut into bite-sized chunks)

3 T

Unsalted butter

3 T

Extra-virgin olive oil

1-2 t

Minced garlic (depends on your taste)

To taste

Salt & black pepper

Heat a very large skillet, then add butter and oil. Once melted…add mushrooms.
Sauté over high heat until mushrooms have softened (about 3 minutes). Add garlic and seasonings and cook for about 1-2 minutes or until the garlic is cooked through (The finer the mince…the quicker it will cook. Be careful not to burn garlic). Remove from heat and reserve.

To Plate:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove marinade from lamb and pat dry with a paper towel for a better sear.
  • Season both sides of lamb with salt and black pepper.
  • Heat a large skillet lined with olive oil.
  • Carefully place lamb skin-side down in pan.
  • Cook for about 3-4 minutes over medium heat, or until golden brown, then carefully turn over and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Then place lamb on its bottom in pan and sear for about 2 more minutes, searing a total of three sides.
  • Remove lamb from pan and place on a small rack-lined sheet pan or baking dish and place in oven. Bake for about 5-10 minutes or until an internal temperature of 125. Remove from oven and let rest for at least five minutes.
  • Right before serving, brush lamb on both sides with mustard water, then roll in herbs before slicing into desired portions.
  • Place about two ounces of squash puree into center of each plate, top with sliced lamb, then surround with a little of the mushroom mixture. Serve Immediately.

December 06, 2013

Posted by Anisya Fritz, Proprietor

The holiday season is a much anticipated time of year for us. Wine, food and great company come together to set the table for festive, memorable gatherings. We are blessed at Lynmar to have a remarkable set of ingredients to work with and happy to share our recipe for an epicurean feast:

Start with a seasonal vegetable garden that bursts with vegetables and fruits year round in this amazing Russian River Valley terroir.

Add a talented chef who has cooked at the James Beard House, opened a well-known restaurant, and is masterful at pairing wine and food.

Stir these together in a gorgeous setting amidst the vineyards with stunning views of the Laguna de Santa Rosa.

Pair with fabulous, award-winning Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

Share with beloved family or friends to celebrate something special.

Sit back and let your senses come alive….

These types of gatherings are a special occasion at Lynmar. See below for one of Chef David Frakes’ recent, festive holiday menus - a sensational lineup of wine and food pairings.

November 15, 2013

Posted by David Frakes, Chef

Balsamic Vinegar

When I first started working at Lynmar I tasted some of the balsamic made in California, in the tradition of the Italian region of Reggio-Emilia. It was delicious – aroma, flavor and mouth-feel all perfectly in balance. The 18 years to age was probably a huge factor, but since my first taste I have eagerly awaited the opportunity to make some.

Vinegar is obtained from the alcoholic fermentation and acetic bio-oxidation of boiled grape must, requiring collaboration between the winemaker and the chef. Shane provided the grape juice and I was in charge of boiling it down. Although there is a recipe, I learned that the secret to success was to boil the juice down slowly and steadily. Ultimately, there is a point where the juice has been reduced and the sugar concentrated to the perfect sweetness at just above 40 brix.

Then the aging and refinement process begins. We will to combine the two batches I reduced and place them into the largest barrel, which can hold 30 liters and is made from oak, where it will stay for at least two years. The must displaced will be moved down into the 24 liter cherry barrel which will give up some of its contents to the 20 liter chestnut barrel. The contents of the chestnut barrel will in turn move down to the 16 liter locust barrel whose contents will move to the 13 liter ash barrel whose contents will finally be transferred to the 10 liter mulberry barrel. The exquisite thick, concentrated balsamic vinegar from the mulberry barrel will be transferred into bottles for our use in the kitchen and as gifts for very special guests!

The cycle takes a minimum of 12 years and every wood imbues the vinegar with its own characteristic. The chestnut, for example, provides color, the cherry-sweetness, and the mulberry-the hint of vanilla. We think that it helps that these casks are in our barn, surrounded by vineyards and vegetable gardens. They feel the morning fog and the summer heat and hear the voices of our staff and guests. Collaboration, skill, tradition, nature - terroir - is what you taste in every drop of Lynmar Balsamic.

Balsamic vinegar

May 03, 2013

Posted by Chef David Frakes

Carrot Juice

When I think of the word juicing I think of the word “vitality.” I have always been a firm believer that most vegetables in their raw juice form are more vibrant, extremely clean and downright delicious. A fresh-squeezed glass of apple juice would be a good example. It doesn’t get much better than that!

Followers of the raw food cooking movement believe a vegetable or fruit that is heated above 118 degrees it loses its nutrients and vitamins and becomes no longer nourishing to the human body. I had a instructor in culinary school who was extremely passionate about juices and powders (juices from anything with a high water content: carrots, spinach, beets, etc. and powders produced from drying and grinding the skins of apples, pears, strawberries and more, as well as kernels of corn for natural corn starch). He would then use the juices as sauces, vinaigrettes, and soups, adding some of the powders to them for more layers of flavor. I can’t put into words how much his enthusiasm has stayed with me over the years.

Some juices you can reduce to concentrate, but most others should not be. As a rule, I’d say anything green should NOT be cooked or reduced. One reason is that the color will immediately change to gray or black. Also, the flavor does not change desirably.

You need pristine produce to use first. If you don’t start with quality you can’t end with it. The best way to juice, in my opinion, is to invest in a commercial juicer. However, it you don’t have one, I recommend the following, “old school,” ways to juice:

Box Grater: With a very fine side to it. Just peel and grate the vegetable finely (which will produce a pool of liquid, so placing the grater in a large bowl is best) then squeeze the resulting pulp through a fine-meshed sieve positioned over a small bowl with the back of a ladle or wooden spoon to really get every last drop.

Blender: It is possible to chop the vegetable very finely and add just enough water to cover in a blender, then blend on high speed until completely broken down. Strain through a fine-meshed sieve. This does dilute the juice a bit, but if you are going to reduce it anyway, this technique can be very useful.

Buy the juice: Fresh is always going to be best, but juicing can get messy and your prep time may be limited. There are many top quality organic juice producers on the market to choose from.

Below is my favorite juice recipe: Raw Carrot-Ginger Soup. I love this recipe because you can substitute the carrot juice for just about any other fresh squeezed juice and come up with a great soup, sauce or vinaigrette. I’ve used beet juice, cucumber, bell pepper, pineapple and even English peas. Each one was vibrant in its own way and good for you. Best of all, it’s a snap to make. I highly encourage heavy experimentation to see what flavor combinations you personally find pleasing.

Raw Carrot-Ginger Soup
Serves 2 - 4

3 C

Carrot juice

Avocado (small)

1/3 C

Coconut meat (optional)

1/4 C + 1 T

Lime juice

1 1/2

Agave nectar or 1 T honey

1/2 t

Sea salt

1 1/4 T

Ginger (minced)

2 T

Extra virgin olive oil

Pinch

Cayenne pepper

In a large durable blender, puree first nine ingredients until they become smooth. Taste for seasoning (strain).

Divide soup equally between four bowls. Drrizzle oil and a add small handful of salad greens to garnish if desired.

April 16, 2013

Posted by Nancy Vandegrift, Events Manager

As with all events here at Lynmar, the goal is to create an experience that is memorable for each guest and reflects a communion of wine, food and place. With “Tastes of Winter”, my job was to take our vision and translate it into a visual and tactile experience.

We were lucky enough to have a beautiful, cool, crisp evening, just right for gathering together for an elegant wine and food experience. When our wine club members arrived, I wanted them to feel that cozy and inviting feeling wash over them. The lighting was a key component to providing that overall feel. Adjusting the different lighting zones in the Tasting Room gave us a warm glow along with the various candles on the tables and the bar. A selection of a Dupione Silk linen in Paprika for the tables kept that warm, inviting feeling along with the amber hue of the water goblets. Even a small detail like the birch bark containers for the flowers was important to impart that winter note of bare tree branches.

For the tableware, of course, having appropriate stemware for the wine is a given for any event we do here at Lynmar. We wanted our china and silverware to be understated. The bone white china acted as a frame so the colors of the beets and Swiss Chard straight from the garden could paint a beautiful picture on the plate with the help of Chef Frakes artful eye. Even the weight of the silverware is important. The “hammered” style of the silverware had a good weight in the hand and gave us that bit of bling we needed on the table. If the silverware is too lightweight it can give the impression of a more casual style which was not what we wanted for “Tastes of Winter”.

The flow of the evening is paramount to a successful event. Adjusting the timing of each course coming out of the kitchen is vital to ensuring a seamless flow so guests can savor all the flavors of each course. Serving staff kept wine and water glasses filled and were attentive without being intrusive. These are all details that should be unnoticable to the guest and, if done poorly, can impact the experience negatively.

At the end of the evening, it comes down to the interaction between our staff and each guest. We strive for impeccable, flawless service, always with a welcoming smile and attention to each guest’s needs. When it all comes together, the experience will linger in everyone’s memory as a true reflection of what Lynmar Estate is all about – communion of wine, food and place.