Gourmet Meals for the Home Cook

September 2, 2016 No comments » [ssba]

One of the reasons that summer is nearly everyone’s favorite season is because there is such an easy-going, laid-back feeling to long summer days. There’s more sunshine, therefore, there’s more time to do things, or more time to do nothing at all. It’s easier to do things on the fly, like cook dinner for instance. The kids aren’t in school so they’re staying up later, so who cares if dinner doesn’t happen until 9? That’s not just me, is it?

They don’t call them lazy summer days for nothing. But, alas, all good things must come to an end. The days are shrinking and a little order and scheduling really does make life a little easier. That’s why we love the recipes from our culinary team at Ponte that are simple, yet make us look like celebrity chefs to our families and friends. These may look and sound fancy, but really, they are a cinch to put together, are healthy and the ingredients are easy to find.  We’ve also included wonderful Ponte wine pairings for those who want a real treat!

Grilled Salmon & Farro
Pair with 2015 Vermentino


  • 5 – 2 lbs. skin-on salmon filets, cut into 6-ounce portions
  • 2 fresh peaches, peeled and cut in half
  • 1 lb. farro
  • 2 bunches broccolini
  • 2 cups wild arugula
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup peach preserves
  • 1Ž2 cup brown sugar
  • 1Ž2 cup lime juice
  • Zest of 2 limes
  • 1 tbsp. Creole seasoning
  • 1 cup water
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Combine peach preserves, sugar, lime juice, lime zest, creole seasoning and water in a medium sauce pan. Cook until liquid thickens. While the sauce is cooking, grill peaches either on an outside grill or in a grill pan on your stovetop. Slice peaches in quarters. Set peaches and sauce aside. Cook broccolini for 5 minutes in boiling water, remove and immediately shock in a bowl of ice. Remove broccolini from the ice once chilled. Boil farro in 6 cups of water. Cook farro until tender and chewy, 25-30 minutes. Remove from heat, drain excess water and season with salt and pepper. Place salmon on hot grill (or stove-top grill pan) flesh side down and grill until cooked to desired doneness, usually 4-7 minutes, depending on thickness. Heat 1 Tbsp. of olive oil in a sauté pan and cook broccolini 1-2 minutes to warm it. Season with salt and pepper. Toss arugula with 1 Tbsp. olive oil, salt and pepper. Place 1 cup of warm farro on the plate, top with arugula, broccolini, salmon filet and grilled peaches. Glaze with peach/lime sauce and enjoy.

Skirt Steak in Balsamic Reduction
Pair with 2013 Doppietta


  • 2 lbs. skirt steak (cut in four equal portions
  • 1 lb. Tuscan kale (cleaned, chopped and blanched)
  • 1Ž2 lb. fingerling potatoes (cut in half, longways)
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 2 tsps. fresh chopped rosemary
  • Salt and pepper
  • Onion rings of your choice

For balsamic reduction:

  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbsp. honey

For sauce:

  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch dissolved in 3 tbsp. water and 1/8 tsp. balsamic vinegar or sherry

Heat oven to 350°. Toss potatoes in 1Ž2 cup olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread evenly on sheet pan and bake for 15 minutes, or until tender to the bite. Remove and set aside. Season steaks with 1Ž2 cup olive oil, salt and pepper. Add steaks to a large skillet on medium-high heat and sear to desired temperature. In a separate skillet, melt butter, add potatoes and kale and heat thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper then set aside. Simmer broth and butter over medium-low heat until reduced by half. Add cornstarch mixture, stir slowly. Simmer and reduce again slightly until smooth and rich. If too thick, add vinegar and stir (should not be gravy consistency). In a separate small saucepan, stir balsamic vinegar and honey together over high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes until the vinegar mixture has reduced to 1/3 cup. Place potatoes and kale in the middle of the plate and top with skirt steak. Drizzle with sauce, then with balsamic reduction. Stack onion rings on top of steaks and enjoy!


Seared Fresh Alaskan Halibut
Pair with 2015 Pinot Grigio


  • 2 lbs. halibut, cut in equal portions
  • 1 lb. baby heirloom tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1Ž2 lb. pea tendrils (pea vine, roughly chopped). Find at farmer’s markets and well-stocked supermarkets
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa, 1 cup basil shallot vinaigrette (see instructions below)
  • 1Ž2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. chopped shallots
  • 1 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp. black pepper
  • Cooking spray

Basil Shallot Vinaigrette

  • 5 cups olive oil
  • 1Ž2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1Ž4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 8 oz. fresh basil
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. salt

Heat a 10” skillet on medium-high heat. Season halibut filets with salt and spray the filets with cooking spray. Drizzle with olive oil, spray the pan as well and place filets on heated pan. Let sear. While fish is searing, add garlic and shallots to another skillet and sweat for a few seconds on medium-high heat until shallots are translucent. Add pea tendrils; wilt for one minute. Add quinoa and season with salt and pepper. Heat for another minute then set aside. Place all basil shallot vinaigrette ingredients in a blender and blend for 30 seconds until well emulsified. Once fish is well-seared on the first side, slip over and sear the other side. On a plate, drizzle basil shallot vinaigrette around the perimeter of the plate. Place quinoa on the right side of the plate and top with fish. Place tomato halves on the vinaigrette drizzle and enjoy.

Posted by , September 2, 2016 No comments

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