Bring home the elegant cuisine of this Napa Valley retreat.
Test your culinary skills with these recipes from chef Christoper Kostow at The Restaurant at Meadowood in Napa Valley.
Squab with Cherries and Foie Gras
4 whole squabs
4 cloves garlic
4 bay leaves
2 cups salt
4 cups duck fat
¼ cups brewed Darjeeling tea, at room temperature
5½ tablespoons butter, divided, at room temperature
10 ounces ruby port
1/3 cup dried cherries
3½ ounces foie gras terrine
3 sheets gelatin
1 cup sweet tea, hot
1 bunch baby radishes, tops reserved for garnish
1 cup water
To make the squab: Remove the breasts and legs from the squab, and set breasts aside. Crush garlic and bay leaves, and mix together in a large bowl with salt. Pack squab legs in salt mixture and cure for 30 minutes. Rinse under cold water. Put the legs and duck fat in a saucepan, bring to a simmer, and cook until tender. Remove legs from fat and let cool.
Put brewed Darjeeling tea and 2 tablespoons butter in a food processor and process to combine. Place the squab breasts in a zip-top bag with the butter mixture and refrigerate until ready to use.
To make the cherries: In a small pot, bring port to a boil and cook until reduced by half. Pour port over cherries to rehydrate them. Once cherries have plumped, strain the liquid. Return liquid to the saucepan and reduce until syrupy.
To make the radishes: Put radishes in a pot with water and remaining 3½ tablespoons butter. Bring to a simmer and cook until tender and well glazed, about 10 to 15 minutes.
To make the foie gras: Cut the foie gras terrine into an attractive shape. Soak gelatin sheets in cold water for 5 to 10 minutes. Once soft, remove sheets from water and wring gently to remove excess liquid. Dissolve the gelatin in the hot sweet tea in a bowl, then use the mixture to glaze the terrine.
To finish: Preheat oven to 500 degrees, and bring a saucepan of water to 135 degrees. Put the zip-top bag with the squab breasts in the water and poach until medium rare (do not cook above 140 degrees). Remove the breasts from the bag. Roast the breasts and duck legs in the oven, skin side down, until crispy, about 8 to 10 minutes.
To serve: Divide the squab, foie gras, and radishes among 4 plates. Drizzle with the cherries and port wine sauce.
Cold-Smoked Toro with Osetra Caviar, Crème Fraîche, and Daikon Sprouts
For toro cure:
12 ounces salt
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons vodka
1 teaspoon freshly ground white peppercorns
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground fennel seed
Grated zest of 1 lemon
Grated zest of 1 lime
Grated zest of 1 orange
8 ounces toro
1 spring onion or baby leek
1 tablespoon Osetra caviar
1 tablespoon crème fraîche, in squirt bottle
Daikon sprouts, for garnish
Warm bread, for garnish
To make the toro cure and smoke the toro: Mix all the ingredients for the cure, except for the toro, in a bowl. Spread half of the cure on a sheet of parchment paper, lay the toro on top, and bury it with the remaining cure. Fold the parchment over, refrigerate, and lightly weigh it down (with a carton of milk, for example). Cure for 1 hour.
Remove the toro from the cure, rinse it in cold water, and dry well with a paper towel. Place it in a slotted pan. Light 2 pieces of fig wood over a burner, set the smoking branches in a large roasting pan, and place 4 large ring molds or ramekins in four corners of the pan. Set a wire rack on top of the molds and a bag of ice on the wire rack. Finally, put the slotted pan over the ice and cover it quickly with tinfoil. Let it cold-smoke for 30 minutes. Vacuum-pack the toro and freeze just until it firms.
To serve: Shave the onion bulb and thinly julienne the tops. On a deli slicer, shave the toro thinly, about 1/8-inch thick. Work slice by slice, laying each on a plate as quickly as possible. When all the toro is sliced, garnish each with several small dollops of caviar, small drops of crème fraîche, the onion bottoms and tops, and daikon sprouts. Using a small zester, grate lemon zest over the top. Serve with warm bread.
Diver Scallop and Spiny Lobster with White Soy, Cauliflower, and Egg
1 head cauliflower
2 cups milk
1 bunch yellow Swiss chard or bok choy (but not red chard)
1 cup fresh wood ear mushrooms
1 spiny tailed lobster
4 giant sea scallops (U-10)
2 cups white soy sauce with dashi
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 1/2 pounds butter, cold and cut into pieces
Fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons clarified butter
2 tablespoons butter
4 quail eggs
4 sea urchin tongues
To make the cauliflower purée: Trim away the stem and core from the cauliflower. Cut it into large pieces then process into small pieces using a food processor. In a saucepan, combine the ground cauliflower and milk and bring to a simmer, cooking until very soft. Strain the cauliflower through a sieve set over a bowl, reserving the milk. Purée the cauliflower in a blender, using only as much milk as needed to blend well. Pass through a fine sieve and season with salt and sherry vinegar, to taste. Let cool.
To prepare the vegetables and shellfish: Separate the chard leaves from the stem. Cut the stems into batons and blanch them in boiling salted water until tender. Cut the leaves into a large chiffonade. Clean the wood ear mushrooms in a large bowl of water, swishing them vigorously to remove any grit. Dry on paper towels.
Freeze the spiny tailed lobster just until the shell is frozen (not the meat). Use scissors to cut across the top of the shell to separate it from the meat. Carefully remove the meat, and remove the digestive track by pulling it out through the back of the lobster with tweezers.
Trim the scallops by removing the "foot" and rinsing the scallops quickly in cold water. Dry on paper towels.
To make the white soy dashi butter: Put the soy sauce with dashi in a saucepan, bring to a boil, and reduce until it's syrupy. Add the cream and continue to reduce by half. Slowly whisk in the butter pieces until the mixture is well emulsified. Season with lime juice to taste. Hold the butter at 140 degrees.
To finish: Put the lobster, mushrooms, chard leaves, and stems in the warm soy dashi butter and cook them slowly to just warm through.
Heat the clarified butter in a heavy skillet until almost smoking. Add the scallops, reduce the heat, and cook until golden brown. Turn and sear the other side. The total time in the pan should be about 4 minutes. Transfer the scallops to a plate and let rest.
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a nonstick pan over medium heat. Crack the quail eggs into the pan, being careful not to puncture the yolks. Cook the quail eggs sunny side up, until the whites are set and the yolks are still runny.
Remove the lobster and vegetables from the butter. Slice the lobster tail into four medallions.
Put 4 dollops of the cold cauliflower puree in the center of a plate. Top with the vegetables, a medallion of lobster, and a scallop. Place the sea urchin tongue atop the scallop and top with the fried quail egg.