FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Zinfandel Advocates & Producers commission a Thanksgiving recipe
November 2003---Zinfandel Advocates & Producers asked San Francisco chef Mark Dommen to create a uniquely Zinfandel-inspired dish for the Thanksgiving table. "Since Zinfandel is the quintessentially American wine, and Thanksgiving one of the most quintessential American holidays, why not make sure Zinfandel is included in the foods prepared as well as the wineglasses," asks Rebecca Robinson, Executive Director, Zinfandel Advocates & Producers.
Chef Dommen devised a Spiced Zinfandel & Fig Compote to accompany almost any type of Thanksgiving table---whether it features turkey, game, fish or vegetarian choices. "The rich meatiness of the compote makes it a versatile side dish," Dommen explains. "There is a necessary tartness to the compote which makes it balance well with the sweetness, making it a great match for Zinfandels," he adds. The compote is also a great condiment for turkey sandwiches or a cheese course.
After the Pilgrims' devastating first year in the New World Governor William Bradford proclaimed a celebration of "thanksgiving" in 1621. In 1863 President Abraham Lincoln made it a national holiday. Since then each President has issued a Thanksgiving Day proclamation, usually designating the fourth Thursday of each November as the holiday.
Spiced Zinfandel & Fig Compote (created by chef Mark Dommen)
Procedure: Dice all the dry fruit into small pieces and place in a non-reactive sauce pan. Add the Zinfandel and bay leaf and allow to sit for thirty minutes. After thirty minutes, put the pan on the stove over medium to high heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Turn the heat down and continue cooking until the wine has reduced to a syrupy consistency. While the wine is reducing, put the remaining spices into a dry sauté pan and toast over medium to high heat. Remove the spices from the sauté pan and put into a spice grinder (you can use a clean coffee grinder) and grind to a fine mixture. When the wine mixture has completely reduced add the honey, lemon juice, spices and the salt. Mix well and taste the compote to make sure it is balanced. Adjust the seasoning according to your taste. The compote can be made up to a week ahead of time, stored in the refrigerator and brought to room temperature before serving. If it's made the day it will be served, it can be kept at room temperature. Serve the compote in a clear glass bowl if possible, to take advantage of its bright color.
Zinfandel Chocolate Truffles
Put the Zinfandel into a saucepan and reduce over high heat until you have 1 Tbsp.Zinfandel reduction,set aside.Be careful with the wine reduction,and make sure you do not scorch the sides of the saucepan;it will give the truffles an off flavor.Meanwhile,chop chocolate into very small pieces,ranging in size from a 1/4-1/2 inch.Put cream and honey in another saucepan,bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add chocolate.Cover and allow to sit about 5 min.or until chocolate is melted.After chocolate has melted,add butter in small pieces and stir until smooth.Transfer the mixture to a small bowl and mix in Zinfandel reduction.Allow mixture to cool 30 min.,then refrigerate until it’s set,approxi- mately 1-2 hours.
Using a very small ice cream scoop or a melon baller,scoop out the truffles from the mixture and put them on a plate.Working with truffle mixture will make them soft—put truffles back in the refrigerator for approximately 15 min. in order to set-up again.Next,put the cacao in a small dish or in a ziplock bag and roll each truffle one by one until it is completely covered.Arrange on a plate and ser ve.Truffles are best eaten at room temperature. Truffles can keep at least a week in the refrigerator,in an airtight container.If the cacao disappears,it means it has been absorbed by the moisture in the refrigerator—simply re-roll them in fresh cacao and they will have a fresh look.
Mark Dommen is a freelance chef in San Francisco. He grew up on his family's Zinfandel ranch in Sonoma County. Most recently he was the Executive Chef for Julia's Kitchen, the restaurant at COPIA: The American Center for Wine, Food & The Arts, in Napa. Dommen has worked in some of the world's most distinguished restaurants, including Fleur de Lys in San Francisco and Lespinasse, Park Avenue Café and Palladin in New York. Dommen graduated from the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco; he earned an undergraduate degree in hospitality management from the University of San Francisco.
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Zinfandel Advocates & Producers
PO Box 1487
Rough & Ready, CA 95975