Family-owned Latah Creek Wine Cellars, founded in 1982 in Spokane Valley, debuted Conway’s newest cookbook during this year’s Holiday Wine Festival. I recently made the book’s Roasted Beet Salad with Tarragon Vinaigrette for a holiday dinner, where it went over well.
I wanted to emphasize the fresh herbs, so I doubled the amount of tarragon and included whole leaves of the fresh herb. For extra color, texture and flavor, I topped the salad with goat cheese crumbles.
For more information about the winery or book, call (509) 926-0164 or visit www.latahcreek.com.
Roasted Beet Salad with Tarragon Vinaigrette
From “Ellena’s Recipes, Vol. 3”
3 pounds heirloom beets
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh tarragon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
2 cups sliced red onion
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Leave root and 1-inch stem on beets; scrub with a brush. Place beets, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon garlic, 1 teaspoon thyme and 1 teaspoon tarragon in a large bowl, toss gently. Place beet mixture on a jellyroll pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until beets are tender. Drain and cool slightly. Trim off beet roots; rub off beet skins. Slice or cube beets, whichever you prefer. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Combine vinegar, sugar, shallots, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon garlic, 1/2 teaspoon each of thyme, tarragon, salt, pepper and oregano in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add vinegar mixture and onion to beet mixture; toss gently.
Hint: If you want the onions in your beet salad to be tender rather than crisp, cook them with the beets. For partially crisp onions, add them to the beets halfway through the cooking process. For crisp onions, don’t cook them at all. I have tried all versions, and they are all different, all good.
Conway’s Notes: (My husband) Mike and I enjoyed this heirloom beet salad while dining in Seattle. I was raving about this dish so much that the waiter had the chef come out and talk to us. As we were leaving, the chef handed me his recipe. I am now passing this special treat on to you. I’m sure you will find this dish as delightful as we did. Use a variety of beets for an incredible array of colors and flavors. Adapted from Palomino Restaurant and Bar.
Wine Pairing: Mike and I prefer red, like our Ellena-Ellena, merlot or malbec.
Gluten-free: This is gluten-free.
Natalie’s 40-Clove Garlic Chicken
From “Ellena’s Recipes, Vol. 3”
1 whole roasting chicken, cut into pieces
3 whole heads of garlic (I buy the container from Costco of already-peeled garlic)
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups pinot gris
3 tablespoons cognac, or any dark liquor, divided
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon pepper
Boil garlic cloves for 60 seconds. Drain and peel. (Shh – don’t tell anyone, but I use the already-peeled garlic cloves that you can buy in nearly any market.) Season chicken liberally with salt and pepper. Heat butter and olive oil in large pan over medium high heat. Sauté chicken skin-side down until brown, about 4 minutes. Turn over with tongs (do not pierce skin) and brown on other side, another 4 to 5 minutes. When chicken is brown, transfer to plate. Add garlic cloves to pan and sauté 5 to 10 minutes until evenly browned. Add wine and 2 tablespoons cognac, bring to a simmer and scrape bottom of pan. Return chicken to pan and sprinkle with thyme. Cover and simmer about 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken to platter and keep warm. In a small bowl, whisk together flour and 1/2 cup sauce from pan, then whisk it back into the pan. Add cream and last of the cognac. Cook 3 minutes, add salt and pepper to taste. Pour sauce and garlic over chicken and serve hot.
Conway’s Notes: This is a great recipe discovered by my daughter, Natalie. She prepared it for (my husband) Mike and me the other day, and we both loved it. As a side dish, Natalie first made this with rice, but for us she used wide egg noodles. So choose any side dish you’d like and enjoy. The sauce is “to-die-for good” ladled over everything.
Wine Pairing: Delicious with our chardonnay, but my namesake Ellena-Ellena goes fantastically with the sauce, too.
Gluten-free: Use gluten-free flour.