Chef's Choice Recipes

Say What?

What is your favorite holiday dinner tradition?

Cassoulet! (cas-oo-LAY) I love spending a holiday making this amazing dish with my mother-in-law. It goes with so many wines and warms the soul both in its preparation and delicious consumption. Think hearty white bean, sausage, pork stew. Also famously seen on an election day banner in 2008: ‘Cassoulet Forever!’”
Patrick Reuter, Dominio IV Wines

“It’s my hubby’s family’s tradition of ‘completing the circle.’ Instead of everyone trying to clink everyone else’s glass during a toast (difficult with lots of people), one person starts with the person on their right and they clink glasses, repeating around the table, ending up with the person on the originator’s left clinking the originator’s glass, thus ‘completing the circle.’”
Jim Maguire, Hawkins Cellars

Rum-soaked mincemeat tarts drizzled with warm custard sauce while opening gifts on Christmas Eve.
Danuta Pfeiffer, Pfeiffer Vineyards

“New Year’s Eve is my favorite holiday to spend with friends. Now that everyone has kids, dinner leans towards the interactive. Fondue is a huge hit with kids! The best part about celebrating New Year’s Eve with kids is that you can celebrate twice! Once at 9 p.m. with the kiddos and again at midnight with the adults. Twice the countdowns means twice the sparkling wine!”
Carrie Wynkoop, Cellar 503

“My favorite holiday tradition is the brining of the turkey. Here’s a quick recipe. It is the juiciest, most flavorful turkey you can imagine.”
Craig Leuthold, Maryhill Winery

Turkey Brine

1 cup kosher salt
1 cup brown sugar
* juice of 5 lemons and oranges
* sage, thyme, rosemary, to taste

1. Combine all ingredients in a five-gallon bucket with about two gallons water and ice.
2. Place turkey in bucket; set outside (if temperature is 40°F or above, place in refrigerator). Let turkey soak overnight.
3. Rinse before roasting.

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