Clif Notes

Summer Vegetable Ratatouille with Prawns

Originally Posted by Efrain Barragan on Monday, July 30, 2012

A post from our Master Chef, Anna Callaway

Summer Vegetables make a delicious dish called “Ratatouille”. The name “Ratatouille” is translated from the French word of “Mix”. Fresh summer vegetables are sautéed separately and then slowly simmer with fresh herbs. The eggplant is emphasized and is the base of the dish. This recipe was adapted from the “The Food of France” and it one of my favorite comfort foods! This time I decided to add some beautiful prawns in the last 5 minutes of cooking. Enjoy with a cold, crisp glass of Clif Family Winery’s 2011 Dry Riesling.


Serves 4

1 eggplant diced – Large Globe
2 zucchini diced
2 red bell peppers – ( I roast and peel)
1 large yellow onion
4 Large Tomatoes or 12 oz.canned, diced tomatoes
2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Clif Family Winery
1 Bay Leaf
3 Fresh Thyme Sprigs
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 Tbsp. fresh chopped parsley for garnish


Score, blanch and peel the tomatoes, chop roughly and set aside. Heat 1 Tbsp. of Olive Oil and add onion, sauté for 5 minutes. Add the roasted, peeled red bell peppers. Remove both from pan and add 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil and sauté the eggplant until soft, remove and do the same with the zucchini. Return all the vegetables to the skillet and add the tomato paste, stir well and cook 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, bay leaf, thyme and basil, stir well and cover for 10 minutes. Remove the lid and add 3/4 lbs. of large prawns and cook covered for an additional 5 minutes. Add the garlic and parsley at the last step, stir and serve. Enjoy!

Wild Salmon– In Season Now….

Originally Posted by Efrain Barragan on Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A post from our Master Chef, Anna Callaway

It’s wild salmon season! Salmon is my favorite fish – it’s easy to prepare, good for you and lends itself to many wonderful preparations. I have tried cooking salmon many different ways, but the recipe below is an all-time favorite. Pair this meal with the 2010 Rte Blanc Sauvignon Blanc.

This method yields a melt in your mouth texture and it is a medium rare finish ( slightly translucent in the center).


Wild Sockeye or King Salmon – 2 four ounce fillets – ( run your fingers over the top lightly and pull out any fine bones)1 Tablespoon of unsalted butter softened
1 Tablespoon fresh dill
1 Lemon – 1/4 inch slices
Sea Salt to taste


Preheat oven to 400 F. Set your oven timer to 8 minutes once it has reached 400 F. Spread the softened unsalted butter over the salmon filets. Season with sea salt and fresh chopped dill. Cover the salmon with the fresh lemon slices. The lemon will keep your salmon moist as it bakes.
Salmon should be ready in 8 minutes. Results will be a slight orange middle indicating a medium rare finish. If you desire a more well done fish or if your fillet is extra thick, continue for 2 or more minutes. Serve with fresh blanched green beans and diced parsley potatoes.

Climber Pouch for Sangria!

Originally Posted by Efrain Barragan on Thursday, June 28, 2012

I used The Climber Pouch for making Sangria this past weekend! It was perfect using the ripe summer fruits.


3 Oranges
3 Lemons
2 Limes
2 Nectarines
1 Climber Pouch – Cabernet SauvignonSpanish Brandy – 1/3 cup
Superfine sugar – 1/3 cup
Ice Cubes, to serve


Wash citrus and slice and then quarter. Measure out half the citrus and nectarine slices and muddle with the brandy. Refrigerate the muddled fruit, Climber Pouch and reserved fruit for 2 hours.

When ready to serve, pour the wine, muddled fruit and sugar into a large glass pitcher stirring until dissolved. Taste the Sangria and adjust the sugar if desired.

Serve each glass with served fruit slices, brandy soaked fruit and the Sangria. So refreshing!
Special Note: Adapted from “Food of the World, Spain”.

A post from our Master Chef, Anna Callaway

Paella – Slow Food – So Good!

Originally Posted by Efrain Barragan on Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A post from our Master Chef, Anna Callaway

Many of my Family Celebrations are spent gathering around a wonderful dish called Paella. My obsession with this dish began 5 years ago after trying some Paella at a friends house and fell in Love.

The aroma of smoked paprika, the different textures of the meats and vegetables all slowing simmering for hours was such a treat. I slowly built my collection of Paella Pans, Paella

stands and the various recipes I would try. Now I am even making it on the campsite. I think it is time for an even larger pan. This pan serves 14 and is 20 inches in diameter.

Pairs with our 2010 Grenache


2 cups Bomba or Valencia Rice
4 cups Chicken or Fish Stock
1 cup of White Climber Wine
4 Tablespoons of the Clif Family Farm Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tbsp. Spanish Saffron
2 lbs. of Bilbao Chorizo, sliced in 1/2 rounds
1 piece of chicken thigh per person, best if left on bone with the skin
2 Tbsp. Sweet Smoked Spanish Paprika
2 Tbsp. Hot Smoked Spanish Paprika
4 cloves of Garlic
2 cups of chopped Spanish Onion
2 cups of Fresh Green Beans, cut in 1.5 inch segments
1 cup of peas
1 cup of sliced red piquillo peppers
1 cup fresh grated Tomato
1 lb. of mussels
1 lb. of clams
2 lbs. of 16/20 Shrimp, Shell on, Deveined
Italian Parsley and Lemons for Garnish


Toast the saffron in a small pan about 3 minutes until fragrant and add the cup of wine. Set aside. Meanwhile heat stock in a saucepan and cover. Heat Paella Pan over medium heat and add olive oil.

Cook chicken until brown on both sides, about 10 minutes total. Without removing chicken, add sliced chorizo and cook an additional 10 minutes. Remove chicken and chorizo in a separate pan to rest.

Add the chopped onion and garlic to the oil and sauté until translucent, then add rice stirring until well coated. Next, add the hot and sweet paprika, hot chicken stock and wine with saffron. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. After about 15 minutes of simmering, you can begin to add the mussels, clams, cooked chicken and chorizo. Stir a little to incorporate evenly. Once the rice looks a little drier, add the shrimps, green beans, peas, peppers. Be sure to tuck the shrimp into the rice. At this point, I like to cover the pan with foil and let it cook another 10 minutes. The rice will begin to caramelize at the bottom of the pan but not burn. Remove foil to see if the shrimps are cooked, let rest for 5 minutes. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and a lemon wedges. Enjoy with the Clif Family Winery newly released Grenache!

Special Note: This recipe was adapted from the “The Spanish Table” Recipe Collection

In addition, all the spices, rice, chorizo and Paella cookware can be found in their stores and website

Sunday Brunch – at your Leisure…

Originally Posted by Efrain Barragan on Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Sunday is the perfect day to enjoy an artfully prepared Brunch. Special occasions like Graduation Parties, Father’s Day, or Baby Showers are more special when you can leisurely enjoy with friends and family.

This buttery French Toast recipe pairs perfectly with a chilled bottle of our 2011 Dry Gewürztraminer. This aromatic wine pairs beautifully with the orange and honey based batter. Garnish this decadent dish with your favorite seasonal fruit. Enjoy!


  • 6 eggs – Organic
  • 1 1/2 cups half and half
  • 1 tsp. Orange Zest
  • 1/2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 1 TBS Honey
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 loaf Challah Bread
  • Unsalted Butter


Preheat your oven to 250 degrees F.

Wisk together eggs, half and half, orange zest, vanilla, honey and salt. Slice Challah bread in thick 3/4 inch slices. Soak each slice in egg mixture for 5 minutes, turning once. Melt 1 Tablespoon Butter and 1 Tablespoon of Vegetable oil on large nonstick griddle over medium heat. Add the soaked bread and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Place the cooked French Toast on a sheet pan and keep warm in the oven. Serve with sliced fresh fruit, maple cured bacon and warmed syrup.

* Special Note: Recipe was adapted from Barefoot Contessa, Family Style and the Food Network.

Meyer Lemon Pasta with Asparagus

Originally Posted by Efrain Barragan on Monday, May 21, 2012

A post from our Master Chef, Anna Callaway

Spring is here, time to celebrate with Greens! Inspired by my upcoming trip to Florence, Italy, I have created a simple, classic pasta with Asparagus.

This is a perfect Saturday evening meal, enjoyed with a glass of the 2011 Rte Blanc Sauvignon Blanc from the Clif Family Winery.


  • Fresh Asparagus – 1 lb.
  • Fresh Pasta, fettucine style
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, 1 Tbsp. lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • one clove of garlic, minced
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 2 Tbsp Clif Family Winery Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Butter, unsalted
  • 3 ounces of white wine, Rte Blanc 11 - Clif Family Winery
  • 2 oz. freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano


In a large stainless pot, add 3 quarts of water and 1 generous tablespoon of sea salt. Bring to a boil and add 1 lb. of asparagus, ends trimmmed. Remove asparagus after 2 minutes and place in a single layer to cool, reserve cooking water. In a stainless skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of butter along with 1 tablespoon of Olive Oil. Add the minced shallots, garlic and red pepper flakes. Saute for 2 minutes and add the lemon juice and white wine, reduce until syrupy. While the mixture is reducing, bring the water to boil again and add the fresh pasta. Remove the pasta noodles after 90 seconds and add to your skillet and toss. Adjust the consistency of the pasta and sauce with your pasta water, adding 1 tablespoon at a time. Garnish with shaved Parmigiano-Regiano and lemon zest. Enjoy!

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