- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 14, 2006

When Dolores Cakebread was a young wife and mother, cooking was an essential part of her life. “I have three sons and a husband who love to eat, so I cooked,” says Mrs. Cakebread, who, with her husband Jack, built the Cakebread Cellars winery in Napa Valley.

Once the winery was in operation, Mrs. Cakebread’s cooking expanded with the staff size and guest list until she found she was preparing Friday-night dinners for 20. “I cooked every Friday night because there weren’t many restaurants [in the Napa Valley].

“We wanted to share the lifestyle, which is more than the vineyard,” says Mrs. Cakebread, who showcased fine ingredients including their locally produced honey and olive oil along with the wines. Now the vineyard has two chefs and is renowned for food and wine workshops with chefs.

But you may wonder why someone who hosts dinners for large groups is featured in a column on cooking for two. The reason is to encourage you to enhance your meals by featuring wine. Any meal, even for a couple, is more pleasurable served with wine, Mrs. Cakebread says.

If you’d like to serve more than one wine with a meal, pour out a 2-ounce serving, cork the remainder and serve it over a few nights’ meals, says Mrs. Cakebread. If you’re serving one wine, allow for a 4-ounce serving and save the remainder.

For a special dinner, Mrs. Cakebread recommends this robust seafood entree.

The following recipe, adapted from “The Cakebread Cellars Napa Valley Cookbook” (Ten Speed Press) is an excellent dish to pair with a dry, fruity sauvignon blanc.

Spicy seafood stew

1 tablespoon olive oil

cup chopped fennel

1 shallot, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

1 3-ounce link andouille sausage, cut into -inch thick slices

1/4 cup dry white wine

1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes with chilies (see note)

1 cup chicken broth

pound peeled and deveined raw shrimp, cut into bite-size pieces

Salt and pepper

1 tablespoon minced Italian parsley

Crusty bread

Heat oil in large pot. Add fennel, shallot and garlic, and cook over medium-high heat for 3 minutes.

Add sausage and cook for 1 minute to slightly brown. Stir in wine and increase heat to high. Cook for 1 minute, or until liquid is reduced by half.

Stir in tomatoes, broth, shrimp, and salt and pepper to taste. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes or until shrimp is cooked through. Sprinkle with parsley and serve with bread. Makes 2 servings.

Note: Depending on the brand, canned tomatoes with chilies can be very hot.

If desired, substitute 1 can of plain diced tomatoes and add 1 teaspoon minced jalapeno chili with the shallot and fennel.

TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES


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