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This year instead of traveling to a far off land Handsome and I have decided to do a staycation and prepare meals around our favorite vacation eats. One of our favorite recent vacations was to Napa Valley, California. Most Napa Valley restaurants serve delicious farm to table meals that are paired with delightful wines. To make us feel like we are back in the California wine country again, we will be visiting different Farmers Markets every weekend, seeing what produce looks exceptional and building a meal around it.
Look at the gorgeous baby heirloom tomatoes I found.
We are pairing our meals with Estancia Wines. Have you ever had a glass Estancia Wine? Did you know the word Estancia in Spanish means Estate? Their vineyards are located off the coast of California in Monterey. Over 200 years ago the Franciscan Friars were the first to plant a crop of wine grapes in that area. The Friars recognized that area was a perfect spot to grow grapes because of the region’s morning and early evening fog that is split up by the intense afternoon heat. These are the weather conditions wine makers dream of. Which is part of the reason Estancia Wines are so delicious.
Back to my favorite staycation meal…
Let me tell you what was on our menu.
Our meal started with Burrata bruschetta paired with a Pinot Grigio.
Followed by a chicken grilled vegetable crostata served with Pinot Noir.
We ended the evening with butter infused almond & sea salt dark chocolate bark along with a lovely glass of Estancia’s Cabernet Sauvignon.
- 1 Pre-made refrigerated pie crust
- 4 slices of Gouda cheese
- ½ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1 small container of button mushroom, sliced
- 1 zucchini, sliced into thin rounds
- 1 chicken breast
- 4 basil leaves, sliced into thin strips
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 egg, beaten
- salt & pepper, to taste
- ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Heat grill pan over medium high heat.
- Season both sides of the chicken breast with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
- pan and cook on both sides until the grill on the chicken are dark brown (the chicken will fully cook in the oven)
- Slice chicken into 1 inch strips. Set aside.
- Put butter and olive oil into a hot saute pan. When butter has melted add the sliced mushrooms and saute for about 8 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Place pie crust onto a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with baking spray.
- Add the 4 slices of Gouda to the center of the pie crust.
- Add mushrooms on top of the cheese.
- Place sliced chicken on top of the mushrooms.
- Add the sliced zucchini about 2 inches in from the outer rim of the crust and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Turn the outer rim of the crust up and over ½ of the zucchini rounds.
- Brush beaten egg over the pie crust.
- Bake for 30 minutes.
- Sprinkle Mozzarella cheese over the crostata and bake for an addition 8 minutes until the Mozarella has melted.
- Remove from oven and sprinkle with basil.
And now for my favorite part of every meal…Dessert.
There is something spectacular that happens in your mouth when dark chocolate is paired with a Cabernet.
Butter Infused Almond & Sea Salt Dark Chocolate Bark
1 teaspoon butter
1 teaspoon coconut oil
1 cup silvered unsalted roasted almonds
1/8 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon Pink Himalayan Sea Salt
2 cups semi-sweet dark chocolate
- Line a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper with a light coating of baking spray.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, add butter and coconut oil. Add almonds and table salt to the skillet and stir to coat nuts for about 5 minutes until golden brown. Set aside and let cool.
- Melt chocolate according to the package directions. Once the chocolate is completely melted spread a thin layer onto the baking sheet. Sprinkle the almonds (press them down a little) and the Pink Sea Salt over the top of the chocolate as soon as it is spread out.
- Place baking sheet in a cool area to let chocolate firm up. Once chocolate has hardened break into pieces.
- Bark may be stored up to 2 weeks in an air tight container (No batch I have ever made has never lasted longer than 24 hours!).
To learn more about Estancia Wines check out their Facebook page .
Please enter Estancia Wine sweepstakes,
Toast The Coast here.