Clif Notes

News from the Clif Family Farm

Originally Posted by Efrain Barragan on Saturday, April 7, 2012

Spring has sprung…with winter weather! As we all know, the wet weather is welcome. I admit to being thrilled by the sunny, dry winter as far as personal enjoyment, but in the back of my mind was a tad of worry for the summer months to come. Colby, Brad and the rest of the guys at the Farm have working hard all winter expanding the gardens, cultivating the soil, preparing the irrigation, adding bee habitat and renewing our honey bee program with the help of Rob Keller of the Napa Valley Bee Company. More fruit and almond trees were planted as well. The olive trees continue to mature and will hopefully be providing fruit for our extra virgin olive oil next year. We have 47 chicks that are thriving and will eventually be providing farm fresh eggs!

In the garden we now are sowing beets, carrots, and turnips. Potatoes will be added in the next week or so. We are still on plan to have various greens, garlic, broccoli, cauliflower, roots, etc for the early part of the season for our CSA boxes. Speaking of our CSA program, we filled up quickly this year, adding 10 new spaces, and are currently taking names for our waiting list. Pick up will still be Tuesday afternoons.

If you would like more information, please contact Chris at

The Benefits of Dark Chocolate

Originally Posted by Efrain Barragan on Monday, April 2, 2012

Who can resist the lure of an organic California almond enrobed in rich, organic, dark chocolate (54% cocoa) kissed with a touch of Balinese Sea Salt? We all hear about the health benefits of dark chocolate, but I just read a few that struck a chord with me. Given the gray days lately, you will be happy to hear that the serotonin level in dark chocolate may act as an effective anti-depressant! One of the most exciting health benefits of dark chocolate is the enhancement of endorphin production which results in the generation of the feeling of pleasure!

For more fun facts check out

Blood Oranges With Shrimp Escabeche

Originally Posted by Efrain Barragan on Saturday, March 31, 2012

A post from our Master Chef, Anna Callaway

I found this recipe the January 2004 Edition of Bon Appetit and have been making it every since as an appetizer

for a dinner party or with wine on the patio with friends. It is always a hit!

It pairs very well with the Clif Family Winery’s Sauvignon Blanc.

Blood Oranges are a winter fruit but you can substitute Cara, Cara Oranges or fresh squeezed orange juice.

Let’s begin!

Prepare your blood oranges by slicing in half and use a juicer for best results. I use the Professional Juicer by Waring and it works just great.

Look at the deep orange , beautiful color. Save any extra juice in a silicone ice cube tray and freeze for later use.

Next, set up 1 lb. of large prawns. You will need to peel and devein your prawns. Do not substitute cocktail shrimp here! It will not have the wonderful texture only large prawns can provide.

Your sauce will include the blood orange juice, chopped celery, red onion and red bell pepper a garlic clove and fresh lemon juice. The wine you see here is for the chef!

The sauce will be cooked in a medium saucepan until reduced to one cup about 20 minutes. Cool and mix in red crushed pepper.

Cook your prawns in a little butter. Watch as they turn pink in about 3 minutes. Do not overcook, otherwise they will be rubbery. Set aside to cool.

Cut your prawns into 1/2 pieces and combine with the vegetables and some Clif Family Winery Olive Oil.

Arrange Shrimp Escabeche in a shallow serving dish and add additional Olive Oil if desired. Serve with tortilla or pita chips.

Enjoy with a nice cold glass of the Clif Family Winery’s 2011 Rte Blanc Sauvignon Blanc!


Yields 6 servings

1 cups fresh squeezed Blood Oranges

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

2 large garlic cloves minced ( divide)

Pinch of salt

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1 lb. cooked, deveined shrimp, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

3/4 cup chopped celery

1/2 cup diced red onion

1/4 cup fresh cilantro

3 tablespoons olive oil


Combine Blood Orange Juice, Lemon Juice, and 1 minced garlic clove in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Add a pinch of salt:

boil until syrupy and is reduced to 1/2 cup. This will take about 20 minutes. Cool and mixed in crushed red pepper.

Mix shrimp, bell pepper, celery, red onion, cilantro, and olive oil. Toss with cooled blood orange mixture and remaining minced garlic clove.

Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Cover and chill until cool around 2 hours. Best if served the day it is made. Can be made up 8 hours in advance.

Almond Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

Originally Posted by Efrain Barragan on Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A post from our Master Chef, Anna Callaway

Almond Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with a wine and cherry reduction sauce - Pair with Gary's Improv Zinfandel

Diced roasted almonds with goat cheese and fresh herbs

Butterfly tenderloin, pound flat and add almond mixture

Pan sear tenderloin

Serve with Broccolini and Pureed Cauliflower

Recipe using Sundried Berries and Cherries

1.5 lb pork tenderloin
½ cup chopped almonds (fromSundried Berries and Cherries)
¼ cup goat cheese
2 T chopped fresh thyme
2 T Olive Oil – Clif Family Winery
2 T unsalted butter
1 cup Gary’s Improv Zinfandel Wine1 cup chicken or beef stock
½ cup chopped dried cherries ( from Sundried Berries and Cherries)
( soak the dried cherries in the Zinfandel wine while you are preparing the tenderloin)
Fresh ground pepper and salt to start
Preheat oven to 375 F


Chop the roasted almonds and combine with the goat cheese and herbs. Butterfly the tenderloin and flatten with a mallet. Carefully place the goat cheese and almond mixture in the center of the tenderloin. Roll the tenderloin around the center mixture to create a roll. Tie the tenderloin every 2 inches with twine. Sear in a pan with the olive oil for about 10 minutes. Place in the oven and cook for 20 minutes. Temperature should reach 145 to 150 F. Let rest. While the tenderloin is cooking, bring the wine, broth, and dried berries to a simmer in a sauce pan. Cook until reduced to one cup. Remove from heat and swirl in butter, remaining thyme and season with salt and pepper. To serve, thinly slice pork tenderloin and serve with sauce.

Smoked Paprika Romesco Sauce

Originally Posted by Efrain Barragan on Thursday, February 23, 2012

A post from our Master Chef, Anna Callaway

Romesco Sauce is one of my favorites sauces to make! It is really easy to prepare using “Gary and Kits Napa ValleySmoked Paprika Almonds. It is a staple in Spain and often served with roasted seafood, potatoes or enjoyed as a dip.

Begin with a couple of ounces of almonds and follow these easy steps below:

Heat your oven on to 350 F. Next, take some tomatoes and unpeeled garlic. Roast for 30 minutes. Tomatoes will collapse and release their juices. The garlic will roast in its skin. Meanwhile soak a couple of red chilies in some warm water.

Place the stemmed and seeded chilies along with the roasted peeled garlic and process until it looks chopped.

Add your roasted, peeled tomatoes (one cup). Process until smooth. Drizzle in 1/3 cup of Clif Family Winery - Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Process until smooth again. Last add 2 Tbs. of Red Wine Vinegar, a pinch of sugar and salt to taste. The pinch of sugar balances the flavor of the smoked paprika and roasted tomatoes. That’s it! If you want to have a velvety smooth sauce, just strain in a medium strainer. The photo on the right shows the chili pepper flakes you remove when straining.

Anna Callaway is the Master Chef at Clif Family Winery and creates the Gary & Kit’s Napa Valley products. You can find more from Anna on her blog

Preserving Lemons

Originally Posted by Efrain Barragan on Monday, February 13, 2012

A post from our Master Chef, Anna Callaway

I am really enjoying the lemons this winter. Every new pick seems to be juicier than the last, cocooned in the perfect rind for zesting.

I especially love the distinctive bowl gracing my kitchen counter. This year, I decided I wanted to preserve them so I would be able to enjoy them year round. I went to my cookbook library, in search of the perfect recipe, and set my sight on Thomas Keller’s rendition from “Bouchon”. Thomas Keller is chef/proprietor of Napa Valley favorite French Laundry. It’s great to have special ingredients on hand to spruce up an ordinary weeknight to something really special.

Special Note:
The lemons should be washed thoroughly in sink or small tub of soapy water, rinse and drain. I like to wear some thin non-latex gloves when working with foods that will be prepared for long-term storage.

First I slice my lemons very thin and alternate sugar and sea salt in each layer. I then stack them so they can be reformed into their original shape. Be careful to remove the seeds with the tip of your knife.

Your finished lemons should fit neatly in a pre-sterilized glass jar. Put these in your refrigerator for a 24 hour period.

The juice from the lemons will release. Next, pour some Clif Family Winery – Extra Virgin Olive Oil to fill up the extra space. Refrigerate for 3 weeks. For longer storage, drain the Olive Oil which can be used for salad dressings, marinades, etc. Freeze the sliced lemons for long term use.

These lemons can be your “secret ingredient” in fish preparations, morrocan foods, cioppino, braised meats, etc. Enjoy!


6 lemons washed
Sea Salt
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Cut the ends off each lemon so that it stands. Slice each lemon thinly and carefully remove all seeds.
Reform each lemon. Lay the bottom slice on a work surface and sprinkle with a light dusting of salt. Top with the next slice of lemon and a light dusting of sugar. Continue alternating the slices with layers of salt and sugar. When all the lemons are re-formed, stand them upright in a snug-fitting container. Place in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Pour enough Olive Oil to cover the lemons and return to the refrigerator for 3 days. Drain the oil and reserve for other uses. (The lemons can be refrigerated for 3 weeks or can be frozen for long storage.)

-Thomas Keller’s Bouchon recipe

Anna Callaway is the Master Chef at Clif Family Winery and creates the Gary & Kit’s Napa Valley products. You can find more from Anna on her blog

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