CAKEBREAD CELLARS NAPA VALLEY WINE COUNTRY COOKING
Review by Barb & Ron Kroll
The Cakebread Cellars American Harvest Cookbook
(Ten Speed Press) ISBN 978-1607740131 1607740133
Cakebread Cellars winery in Napa Valley hosts the American Harvest Workshop every September. Guest chefs, purveyors of Northern California artisan foods and Napa Valley wine-lovers gather to enjoy winery and vineyard tours, wine tastings, and food and wine pairings.
The Cakebread Cellars American Harvest Cookbook features 100 recipes created from artisan foods by workshop chefs. Tours of these Napa Valley food producers are part of the American Harvest Workshop. Wine pairings are easy because each seasonal recipe includes a recommended wine to enhance its flavor.
Food and wine pairing recommendations
The Cakebread Cellars American Harvest Cookbook is organized by course, from appetizer to dessert. Each chapter of the 203-page wine country cookbook is subdivided into spring, summer, fall and winter recipes.
The authors introduce each recipe with ingredient substitutions and serving suggestions. For example, in the recipe for balsamic ice cream with fresh cherry sauce, they suggest substituting sugared strawberries or baked figs for fresh cherries if they are not available, and serving the balsamic ice cream with biscotti or crisp cookies.
Each Cakebread Cellars recipe ends with a food and wine pairing recommendation. E.g., serve Cakebread Cellars Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot or a red wine with a similar concentration and tannic structure with grilled bone-in ribeye steak with garlic sauce.
Notes provide information on sources of recipe ingredients, such as Whole Spice, for dried rose petals and za'atar (a Middle Eastern seasoning).
Marshall Gordon's photographs illustrate the wine country recipes as well as Cakebread Cellars wines, winery, vineyard tours, Napa Valley grapes and artisan foods.
Napa Valley artisan foods
Sidebars describe Napa Valley artisan foods, such as Marshall's Farm honey, Point Reyes Original Blue cheese, Skyhill Napa Valley chevre and Calistoga's Forni-Brown heirloom tomatoes and salad greens.
A resources page in The Cakebread Cellars American Harvest Cookbook provides phone numbers and websites for Napa Valley food suppliers, like Cowgirl Creamery cheeses.
The wine country recipes allow you to substitute readily available food ingredients for the Napa Valley products. For example, the recipe for sweet potato and chicory salad lists aged sheep's milk cheese as an alternative to Bellwether Farms San Andreas cheese.
Sample California wine country recipes
Shrimp corndogs with bistro honey mustard. Smoked trout mousse with apple fennel salad. Caramelized onion and walnut biscuits with blue cheese butter. Lobster and melon salad with hazelnut oil. Grilled chicken salad with cherry tomatoes, avocado and tahini dressing. Roasted mushroom and bacon salad with baby greens and sherry vinaigrette. Pizza with caramelized onions, Belgian endives, Gorgonzola and walnuts. Whole wheat linguine with asparagus, bacon, garlic and Parmesan. Pan seared catfish with toasted pecans and carrot emulsion. Seared sea scallops with Chardonnay creamed corn. Spiced beef brisket with dried fruit. Parsnip and sharp cheddar souffle. Four-cheese cheesecake with strawberry rhubarb compote. Chocolate sea salt cookies.
- Soups and Salads
- Sandwiches and Pizzas
- Pasta and Rice
- Fish and Shellfish
- Meat and Poultry
- Vegetables and Side Dishes
Dolores and Jack Cakebread are the founders of Cakebread Cellars winery in Napa Valley, California, and co-authors with culinary director, Brian Streeter, of The Cakebread Cellars Napa Valley Cookbook. Janet Fletcher is the author or co-author of more than 20 food and wine books.