A Wonderful Holiday Pairing – Mumm Napa Wines And Celebrated Napa Chef Cindy Pawlcyn

Cindy Pawlcyn has been working with Mumm Napa winemaker Ludovic Dervin to pair some of her most beloved recipes with Mumm Napa wines just in time for the holidays. Some of these festive and delicious pairings include:

Gratin of Belgian Endive and Ham paired with Mumm Napa’s Brut Reserve or Brut Reserve Rose

My Belgian friend Anne says that in Belgium this gratin is served with mashed potatoes and a green salad for a satisfying and simple supper. It also makes a rich, warming appetizer, portioned at one-half endive per person. In this menu, it plays the role of a hearty side dish. It may be assembled in advance and then baked just before serving, which makes it ideal for entertaining. It also holds well for 5 to 10 minutes in a warm oven if the timing of dinner needs to be adjusted.

This gratin may be baked in a single large dish and then plated for serving or baked in individual dishes. For the latter, I like to use either classic white French porcelain dishes or Spanish earthenware cazuelas.

Gratin

  • 4 to 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 9 heads Belgian endive, halved lengthwise and stem ends trimmed but not cored
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

In a large sauté pan, melt 4 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. When the butter is hot, place the endive halves, cut side down, in the pan and sauté for 5 minutes, until the edges are caramelized. Turn the endive halves and cook, adding some or all of the remaining 2 tablespoons butter if the endives threaten to scorch, for 3 to 5 minutes, until the outer leaves are tender. Season with the lemon juice, salt, and pepper and continue to cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until just tender. Remove from the heat and reserve until needed.
Béchamel

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, for seasoning
  • A few dashes of Tabasco sauce
  • 11/2 cups grated aged Gruyère cheese
  • 6 large slices cooked ham (such as Black Forest or honey-cured)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup grated aged Gruyère cheese
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup grated Parmesan chees

To make the béchamel, in a sauce pan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Sprinkle in the flour and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until aromatic and the raw smell of flour is gone. Do not allow the roux to brown. Slowly pour in the milk while stirring constantly, and then cook, continuing to stir, for 5 to 8 minutes, until thickened to the consistency of thick cream and it coats the back of the spoon. Season with the salt, pepper, nutmeg, and Tabasco. Add the Gruyère cheese and stir just until melted. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.

To assemble the gratin(s), butter 1 large or 6 small gratin dishes. (The large dish should accommodate the endives, snuggly but not crowded, in a single layer.) Cut the ham slices in half crosswise, and wrap a piece of ham around the center of each endive half. Place the endive halves, cut side up, in the prepared dish(es). Pour the béchamel evenly over the top and sprinkle with the Gruyère and Parmesan. (At this point, the dish may be covered and refrigerated for up to 2 hours before baking.)

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Bake until golden brown and yummy. This could take anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes, or more, depending on how cold everything is when you put the dish(es) in the oven. If everything looks cooked through, but the top is not nicely browned, pop the dish(es) under the broiler (make sure they are broiler safe) for a few minutes to finish caramelizing around the edges. The dish should be hot and bubbling when served.

Serves 6

Reprinted with permission from Cindy’s Supper Club: Meals from Around the World to Share with Family & Friends by Cindy Pawlcyn (Ted Speed Press, 2012).

Chocolate Hazelnut Truffle Tart paired with Mumm Napa Sparkling Pinot Noir or Demi Sec

Chocolate Short Crust

  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter,
  • cut into small cubes
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract


Truffle Filling

  • 1 1/3 cups hazelnuts
  • 9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped or broken into small pieces
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


Garnish

  • Whipped cream
  • Fresh raspberries or raspberry purée

Have ready an 11-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. To make the crust, combine all the ingredients except the vanilla in an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until the dough comes together. Mix in the vanilla. Gather the dough into a ball, cover in plastic wrap, and flatten it into a thick disk. Refrigerate for 20 minutes, or until firm enough to roll out.

Roll out the dough into a 13-inch circle about 1/8 inch thick, and line the tart pan with the dough. If the dough breaks, press it together with your fingers, patching with extra pieces as necessary. Trim the dough to leave about a 1/2-inch overhang, saving the trimmings at room temperature for later crust repair. Gently push the dough into the pan so that it fits snugly against the sides, then fold the overhang toward the inside, pressing the folded dough against the sides. Along the inside of the tart pan, fold the dough edges over to a double thickness, and press the dough firmly against pan. Trim the dough flush with the pan rim, saving the excess dough for patching the crust again later. Gently prick the tart bottom all over with a fork and place the tart crust in the freezer for 30 to 40 minutes, until very hard. While the crust is chilling, preheat the oven to 375°. Bake the crust for about 15 minutes, until it is set and feels dry. Remove from the oven and if cracks have formed, carefully patch them with the reserved dough, gently spreading bits of it over the cracks. Cool the crust on a rack.

To make the truffle filling, lower the oven temperature to 350°. Spread the the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for about 15 minutes, until they are fragrant and golden brown. Remove the nuts from the oven and, while still warm, rub off the skins with a kitchen towel. Grind the nuts in a blender or food processor to the consistency of peanut butter. Place the chocolate and hazelnut paste in a heatproof bowl. Put the cream and milk in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Pour the hot milk mixture over the hazelnut paste and whisk until smooth. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve strainer and cool to room temperature. Whisk in the egg, egg yolk, sugar, and salt. Pour the filling into the tart shell. Bake for about 15 minutes, until the filling is set, about 15 minutes. Cool the tart on a rack. Remove the pan sides and cut the tart into 10 to 12 pieces.

To serve, place the pieces on a sheet pan and reheat them at 425° for 3 to 4 minutes. Garnish each serving with whipped cream and raspberries.

Reprinted with permission from Mustards Grill Napa Valley by Cindy Pawlcyn with Brigid Callinan (Ten Speed Press, 2001).

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Enter for a chance to win an amazing Napa Valley getaway valued at $5,000.