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When the chardonnay makers have lunch.

IF YOU THOUGHT that rules governing the use of certain wines with certain foods were hard and fast, you may find liberation in the way a group of California winemakers approached choosing foods to complement their Chardonnays. Some of the combinations may surprise you; we think all will please your palate.

On these pages, you see a salad and three entrees served at one tasting, each with a companion Chardonnay. As you put together your own menu, select one dish, or make several if there are extra hands to handle the complexities.

Host Brice Jones of Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards began with winning simplicity, offering a lobster salad dressed and served with his full-bodied, citrusy Chardonnay made by Bill Bonetti.

Zelma Long of Simi Winery capitalized on the fresh, crisp tropical fruit overtones of her wine to complement salmon; the wine also has enough rich feeling in the mouth to match the earthiness of a saffron mayonnaise.

By contrast, Tom Selfridge emphasized the butter-oak tones of his mellower, fuller-bodied Kendall-Jackson Chardonnay by using the woodlike flavor of chanterelle mushrooms with chicken.

Smoke is a subtle taste element in wine contributed by the heat-shaped oak used to make wine barrels. Its gentle impression on Stephen Kistler's smooth Kistler Vineyards Chardonnay is delicately echoed in a smoked chicken filling for ravioli.

Although each of the wines has its own style, many others have similar flavors and suit these foods. Advice from a good wine shop can help you expand your options.

Lobster Salad

6 cups (about 5-1/2 oz.) inner butter lettuce leaves, rinsed and crisped

Cooked lobster (directions follow), shelled and sliced

Chardonnay dressing (recipe follows)

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Arrange the lettuce and lobster on 4 salad plates. Top with dressing, and add salt and pepper to taste. Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 98 cal.; 8.2 g protein; 4.1 g fat (0.7 g sat.); 2.1 g carbo.; 147 mg sodium; 27 mg chol.

Cooked lobster. Immerse 1 live Maine lobster (1 1/2 to 2 lb.) in an 8- to 10-quart pan with 6 quarts rapidly boiling water. When boil resumes, reduce heat, simmer 15 minutes, drain, then let cool.

Chardonnay dressing. Mix together 1/4 cup Chardonnay and 1 tablespoon each extra-virgin olive oil and lemon juice.

Smoked Chicken


6 dozen (14-oz. package) won ton wrappers

Smoked chicken filling (recipe follows)

1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour smoothly mixed with 1/4 cup water

1 cup regular-strength chicken broth, unsalted

1/4 cup Chardonnay

1/4 cup whipping cream

1 teaspoon cornstarch dissolved in 2 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons minced parsley

Salt and pepper

Place 1 won ton wrapper on a flat surface. Spoon about 2 teaspoons filling onto center of wrapper. Brush edges lightly with flour-water mixture; align another wrapper over filling and press edges together firmly to seal. If desired, used a zigzag-rim ravioli cutter to decoratively trim edges of ravioli. Lay ravioli on a flour-dusted baking sheet; cover with plastic wrap to prevent drying.

Repeat to shape remaining ravioli. Lay them on the pan in a single layer, without touching. If made ahead, cover airtight and chill up until the next day. For longer storage, freeze in a single layer until firm, then transfer to an airtight container and freeze for up to 1 month.

In a 5- to 6-quart pan, bring 3 quarts of water to a boil over high heat.

Meanwhile, combine broth and wine in an 8- to 10-inch pan over medium-high heat. Boil, uncovered until reduced to about 2/3 cup, about 10 minutes. Stir in cream and cornstarch mixture until sauce boils; keep warm.

When water is boiling, add ravioli and cook, uncovered, until heated through, 4 to 5 minutes (if frozen, 6 to 8 minutes).

Quickly transfer ravioli with a slotted spoon, draining briefly, to 4 to 6 warm dinner plates; top evenly with sauce. Sprinkle with parsley. Add salt and pepper to taste. Makes 36 ravioli--4 to 6 main-dish servings.

Per serving: 380 cal.; 18 g protein; 19 g fat (6.8 g sat); 34 g carbo.; 560 mg sodium; 72 mg chol.

Smoked chicken filling. Pour 1/4 cup hazelnuts into an 8- to 9-inch-wide pan. Bake in a 350[deg] oven until nuts are golden under skin (rub off some skin to test), about 15 minutes. Enclose nuts in a clean towel and rub cloth to remove skins.

Drop nuts into a food processor or blender; discard skins. Whirl nuts with 6 ounces diced smoked chicken, 1/2 cup (4 oz.) neufchatel (light cream) cheese or cream cheese, and 2 table-spoons each milk and firmly packed parsley until mixture is smoothly pureed.

Chicken with



1/2 ounce (about 1 cup) dry chanterelle mushrooms, or 1/2 pound thinly sliced fresh common mushrooms

1 tablespoon butter or extra-virgin olive oil

3/4 cups regular-strength chicken broth

1/4 cup Chardonnay

2 teaspoons minced fresh or 1 teaspoon dry tarragon leaves

4 boned and skinned chicken breast halves (about 1 1/4 lb. total)

2 tablespoons whipping cream

Combine chanterelles and 1 1/2 cups water in a 1 1/2- to 2-quart pan. Bring to a boil over high heat; cover tightly and simmer gently until mushrooms are very tender when pierced, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 30 minutes. Lift chanterelles from water, squeezing liquid from them into pan; reserve water.

In a 10- to 12-inch nonstick pan over medium-high heat, melt half the butter.

Add chanterellas (or sliced mushrooms) to pan. Stir often until chanterelles are tinged a darker brown, about 5 minutes (8 to 10 minutes for sliced mushrooms). Carefully pour reserved cooking water into pan, taking care not to add any grit from mushrooms. Add broth, wine, and tarragon. Boil over high heat until liquid is reduced to 1/3 cup. Pour into a bowl.

Melt remaining butter in pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook until lightly browned on both sides and meat is no longer pink in center of thickest part (cut to test), about 10 minutes total; transfer to plates and keep warm.

Return mushroom mixture to pan, add cream, and stir over high heat until bubbling. Spoon sauce evenly over chicken. Serves 4.

Per serving: 220 cal.; 34 g protein; 7.3 g fat (3.6 g sat.); 3.2 g carbo.; 136 mg sodium; 98 mg chol.

Poached Salmon with

Saffron Mayonnaise

1/3 cup white wine vinegar

1 dry bay leaf

10 black peppercorns

4 salmon steaks (about 6 oz. each), 3/4 to 1 inch thick

1/2 cup reduced-calorie or regular mayonnaise

1/32 teaspoon powdered saffron dissolved in 2 tablespoons of Chardonnay

Salt and pepper

In a 4- to 5-quart pan, combine 2 quarts water, vinegar, bay, and peppercorns. Bring to a boil over high heat, then cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

Return water to a rapid boil; add salmon, cover, and remove at once from heat. Let stand until fish is opaque but still moist-looking in the thickest part (cut to test), 10 to 12 minutes. Do not remove lid until you are ready to check for doneness; if needed, cover and let stand longer, testing every 2 minutes until done.

Meanwhile, mix mayonnaise and saffron mixture.

With a slotted spoon, lift fish from pan. Let stand until cool to touch. Gently peel off skin and set fish on plates; serve warm or cool with mayonnaise ladled onto portions. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serves 4.

Per serving: 309 cal.; 32 g protein; 18 g fat (3.5 g sat.); 2.5 g carbo.; 208 mg sodium; 70 mg chol.
COPYRIGHT 1991 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:includes recipes
Date:Oct 1, 1991
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