Halter Ranch Steps Up for TNDC

Good food, good times, and good wine. That’s the winning combo for TNDC’s Celebrity Pool Toss http://www.tndc.org/news-events/pool-toss/coming up soon in San Francisco. Invitations will be out shortly for one of The City’s most beloved charity events which supports programs for nearly 4,000 underprivileged kids and their families in the Tenderloin neighborhood.

This year’s wine – and it just happens to be TNDC’s 20th anniversary- will include a very special Cabernet Sauvignon from Halter Ranch Vineyard in Paso Robles (red wine lovers, cheer!). This winery has gotten great press lately. Check out  http://isantemagazine.com/blog/halter-ranch-steps-spotlight.

All the food and beverages for the Pool Toss are donated which allows TNDC to set high goals to help these kids. This year the goal is $300,000 and given their stellar track record there’s every reason to believe that TNDC’s fun and wacky fundraiser will surpass even that. Halter Ranch Vineyard is helping to make it happen.

There’s still enough summer left for a road trip, so why not set your GPS for Paso Robles and stop by Halter Ranch? You’ll be in for a unique wine tasting experience. Buy a few extra bottle for home, and along with my Beef Stroganoff Lobanovsky  have a feast made for the czars. For dessert, I offer a host of choices in my new ebook on Amazon, The Russian Sweet Tooth.

1 Tbsp. Coleman’s mustard powder, 1 Tbsp. sugar, 2 tsp. salt, 4-6 Tbsp. vegetable oil (not olive) or half oil and half butter, 4 cups thinly sliced white onions, 1 lb. crimini mushrooms thinly sliced, 2 lbs. fillets of lean beef (like flank, skirt or hanger steak), freshly ground black pepper, to taste, 1-pint crème fraiche, 3 Tbsp.fresh dill, chopped, 3 Tbsp. Marsala or Madeira (mixed with 1 Tbsp. flour to thicken sauce).

In a small bowl combine the mustard powder, sugar, a pinch of salt and one tablespoon boiled water to form a paste. Set aside. Heat 2 tbsp. of oil in a large, heavy pan, drop in the onions and mushrooms, cover the pan and reduce the heat to low. Stir occasionally.  Simmer till soft about 20 minutes. Set aside.

With a sharp knife, cut the meat against the grain into thin, 2” strips like straw potatoes, never into chunks. This is not a stew.  Heat another 2 Tbsp. oil over high heat, drop in half the meat, sauté for two minutes or until slightly brown; set aside. Cook the rest of the meat in a similar way. Finally, over low heat, combine the vegetables, meat and mustard paste. Finishing the Stroganoff: Stir in the crème fraiche. Salt and pepper to taste. Add the wine and fresh dill.  Cook a few more minutes to thicken the sauce. Serve with peas and egg pasta noodles.

Method Two:  You have two choices when making Stroganoff, “cook and serve” or “ stew and serve.” Stewing  allows you to cook for large parties ahead of time. In that case, follow the recipe above up to “Finishing the Stroganoff.”  Slow simmer for an hour or more, until meat is tender. Just before serving, reheat and finish with crème fraiche.

See you in Paso!






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