' Judd's Hill - Food & Wine Pairing

Food & Wine Pairing

Our spring 2018 recipe comes courtesy of celebrated seafood Chef Rick Moonen, who is known as an early champion of sustainable fishing.   Pair this delicious dish with any of our current Chardonnay releases.  You can find this and other amazing recipes in Chef Moonen's cookbook, "The cooks essential companion - FISH WITHOUT A DOUBT".

Lobster and potato salad

Serve this on a bed of lettuce for a casual lunch or put it to the side of a piece of grilled or seared fish for a wonderful brunch or dinner. Cook the potatoes well in advance, so they have time to cool. You can even make the potatoes and lobsters the day before, if you want/ And please make sure you give the flavors time to develop and meld in the refrigerator before serving.


1 cup frozen petite peas

1 cup frozen corn

2 (1-1/2 pound) lobsters, boiled and chilled

1- 1/2 pounds white or red skinned potatoes, boiled, peeled and sliced

3/4 cup if finley diced celery (go for the tender inner ribs)

1/2 cup thinkly sliced scallions

1 (3.75 ounce) can of smoked oysters

For the dressing:

3/4 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons sour cream

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

4 teaspoons champagne vinegar

2 tablespoons minced shallots

3 large hard-cooked eggs, coursely chopped

Course salt and freshly ground pepper

For the salad:

Put the peas and corn in strainer and run hot water over them to defrost. Drain well.

Remove the lobster meat from the shells and cut into large chunks.

Combine the peas, corn, lobster, potatoes celery, scallions and oysters in a bowl & toss.

For the dressing:

Whisk the mayonnaise, sour cream, mustard, vinegar and shallots together until smooth. Stir in the eggs. Season with salt and pepper. Scrape the dressing into the bowl with the salad and stir very well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.


Another spring 2018 recipe comes courtesy of celebrated seafood Chef Rick Moonen, who is known as an early champion of sustainable fishing.   Pair this delicious Salmon with any of our current Pinot Noir releases.  You can find this and other amazing recipes in Chef Moonen's cookbook, "The cooks essential companion - FISH WITHOUT A DOUBT".

Tandoori Salmon


Tangy and sweet. This is the cooking method you want when you don't feel like starting up a grill for Tandoori.


2 tablespoons ghee or unsalted butter

1/2 cup tandoori paste

2 tablespoons plain yogurt

4 (6 ounce) pieces of skinless salmon fillet

Course salt

Mint leaves for garnish

Tzatziki sauce:

2 cucumbers

1 glove of garlic, minced

1 cup greek yogurt

2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint or dill

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

For the Tzatzki sauce:

Peel and seed the cucumbers, then grate them on the big holes of a box grater. Toss the cucumber with the garlic and 1/2 teasppon sald and transfer to a strainer. Set the strainer over a bowl and refrigerate for a least 1 hour and up to 3 hours.

Squueze the cucumber in the strainer, then turn it out into a clean kitchen towel and squeeze it again. You want to get as much of the liquid as possible out of the cukes so your tzatziki isn't runny.

Put the yogurt in a medium bowl and stir in the cucumber, mint or dill, and lemon juice. Check for salt. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. It will keep for a few days, but the cucumber will weep and thin the tzatziki.

For the Tandoori Salmon:

Melt 1 tablespoon ghee, and combine it with the tandoori paste and yogurt. Slather the fish with the paste, pack it into a sealable plastic bag and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Heat the oven to 450 degrees.

Wipe some of the tandoori paste from the fish, leaving just a light coating. Season lightly with salt.

Heat a large cast iron skillet over high heat. When the skillet's good and hot, add remaining 1 tablespoon of ghee. Lay the fish in the skillet and sear for 90 seconds. Turn the fish over and slide the skillet into the oven. Thin prices will be cooked in about 3 minutes, thicker ones will take 5 minutes.

Serve, spooning a generous mound of tzatziki onto your dinner plates. Garnish with as much mint as you like.


Our winter 2017 recipe comes courtesy of Chef Hiro Sone and our friends at St. Helena's fabled restaurant, Terra.  Pair this delicious dish with our 2013 Napa Valley Merlot.  You can find this and other amazing recipes in Chef Hiro's book, "Cooking from the Heart of the Napa  Valley".


Merlot-Braised Duck Legs with Wild Mushroom and Bacon Vol-au-Vent

Terra Duck

Photo credit: “Cooking from Heart of Napa Valley” 

Ten Speed Press 2000 ©Hiro Sone and Lissa Doumani.


Braised Duck Legs

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 large duck legs, trimmed of extra fat and the skin scored
Salt and fresh ground black pepper
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup chopped carrot
1/4 cup chopped celery
4 garlic cloves, smashed
1/4 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
4 cups Merlot
2 cups game stock or brown chicken stock
1/3 cup chopped tomato
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
4 bay leaves
1 cup milk
3 cups water
4 salsify, about 3/4 inch thick and 8 inches long, or 4 baby turnips, 2 inches in diameter
Wild Mushroom and Smoked Bacon Vol-au-Vent
To braise the duck legs, preheat the oven to 325. Heat the oil in a large ovenproof saucepan or Dutch oven over high heat. Season the duck legs with salt and pepper, then place in the pan, skin side down, and cook until golden brown on each side. Transfer the duck legs to a plate and keep warm. Discard all but 1 tablespoon of the fat in the pan. Add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, and thyme, and sauté until browned. Add the flour and stir for 1 minute, then add the Merlot, stock, tomato, peppercorns, and bay leaves, and bring to a boil. Lightly season with salt and pepper; add the duck legs and decrease the heat to a simmer. Cut a circle of parchment paper that just fits inside the pan and a 1-inch hole in the center. Place the paper on the duck legs and braise in the oven for about an hour, or until tender. Carefully transfer the duck legs to a plate and keep warm. Strain the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve. Rinse the pan and return the sauce to the pan. Cook over high heat until reduced to 2 cups. Return the duck legs to the pan and keep warm.
Combine the milk and water in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, peel the salsify and cut into 3-inch-long pieces. Put the salsify into the boiling milk and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. (If using turnips instead, cut each into 6 wedges and cook in boiling water, omitting the milk, until tender, about 3 minutes.) Drain and add to the hot mushroom cream sauce for the vol-au-vent.
To serve, place a warm vol-au-vent on the upper side of 4 warmed plates and spoon the mushroom and salsify cream sauce into each vol-au-vent. Place a duck leg in front of each vol-au-vent and spoon the Merlot sauce over the duck legs.


Wild Mushroom and Smoked Bacon Vol-au-Vent
14 ounces all-butter puff pastry
1 egg yolk
1/4 teaspoon water
Mushroom Sauce
2 teaspoons unsalted butter
1 slice bacon, cut into 1/4 inch-wide strips (about 1 tablespoon)
1 tablespoon minced shallot
6 ounces wild mushrooms, cleaned and cut into bite-size pieces
1/8 teaspoon minced garlic
Pinch of chopped fresh thyme
1/4 cup veal stock
2 cups heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
4 fresh thyme sprigs
2 teaspoons chopped fresh chives
To make the vol-au-vents, preheat the oven to 400˚. On a lightly floured board, roll the puff pastry out into a 7 by 14 inch rectangle 3/16 inch thick. Using a 3 1/2-inch round cookie cutter, cut out 8 rounds from the sheet of puff pastry. Using a 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter, cut out 4 rounds from the center of 4 of the large rounds to form rings. In a small bowl, combine the egg yolk with the water to make an egg wash. Brush the rings and the smaller rounds with the egg wash. Place the rings, brushed side down on top of the larger rounds so that the 3 1/2-inch rounds are a double thickness on the outside. Match the ring up carefully and don’t press hard; the puff pastry will puff better if it is not pressed down. Brush the tops of the rings only with the egg wash, being careful not to let any of it drip down the sides of the puff pastry. Place the vol-au-vents and the 2 1/2-inch rounds on a baking sheet pan lined with parchment paper, and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown on top and cooked through on the bottom. Keep warm in a 200˚ oven, or reheat them in a 350˚ oven for 2 minutes just before serving.
To make the sauce, melt the butter in a large sauté pan or skillet over high heat. Add the bacon and shallots, lower the heat to medium, and sauté until the shallots are soft, about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and garlic, increase the heat to high, and sauté for 2 minutes longer. Add the thyme, stock, and cream, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to simmer and cook until the sauce thickens slightly, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
To serve, place 1 vol-au-vent in the center of each of 4 warmed plates. If the centers of each vol-au-vent are puffed up, tap them down gently with your finger to make a well; be careful not to break through the bottom. Divide the sauce and mushrooms among the wells of the vol-au-vents, putting most of the sauce inside and the extra around the outside. Garnish each with a sprig of thyme, then set a 2 1/2-inch round on top. Sprinkle with chives.