Rodney Strong

Please Verify Your Age

By clicking Enter, you are confirming
that you are of legal drinking age.

Back to Top

Holiday Pairings with the 2013 Chalk Hill Chardonnay

November 13, 2015

Winery Chef Tara Wachtel crafted these unique recipes with the specific wines and your holiday festivities in mind. With winter celebrations often being a traditional time of year, Chef Tara created a classic recipe for each wine as well as a more avant-garde one for the more adventurous home chefs!

With a hint of minerality on the long finish, the Rodney Strong Chalk Hill Chardonnay is delicious when paired with butternut squash. The classic Butternut Squash Soup recipe is sure to remind you of your holidays past, but add a twist to a traditional ingredient with the Soba with Butternut Squash, also created with the Chalk Hill Chardonnay in mind.


  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3 pounds butternut squash - peeled and diced
  • 1 cup thinly sliced leeks
  • 1/2 cup minced shallots
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced onions
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 6 cups water
  • Bouquet garni with 1 sprig rosemary tied in green leek leaves
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 inch pc of rosemary
  • 1/2 cup crème fraîche
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • Kosher salt
  • Sherry vinegar
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Heat the canola oil in a heavy bottomed soup pot. Add squash and season well with kosher salt. Add the leeks, shallots, onion, and garlic. Stir and cook until softened, about 10 minutes, reducing the heat as necessary to keep the garlic and squash from browning. Add the water and bouquet garni, bring to a simmer and cook 30 minutes for the flavors to blend and squash to be tender. Remove from heat and discard the bouquet garni. Transfer the soup to a blender, in batches, and purée. Strain the soup through a fine sieve. Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning. Heat a medium skillet over high heat. When it is very hot, add the butter and rotate the skillet over the heat as necessary to brown the butter evenly, add the rosemary and swirl – being careful, as herbs will crackle. Scrape up any bits that settle in the bottom. As soon as the butter is a hazelnut brown, remove the rosemary, pour it into the pot of soup and stir. Place the crème fraîche in a small bowl and grate in a couple pinches of nutmeg, set aside. Gently reheat the soup until just hot. If it is too thick, add a little water and adjust seasoning with salt, a dash of sherry vinegar, and black pepper. Ladle the soup into six serving bowls. Top each with a dollop of crème fraîche. Serve immediately.


  • 8 ounces tofu, sliced into 1/2 slices
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil - divided
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, microplaned
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 4 cups butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Soy sauce to taste
  • 1/2 pound soba noodles
  • 3 tablespoons finely sliced scallions
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

Press tofu slices with paper towels firmly, to squeeze as much liquid out as possible. Cut into ½ in slice. Heat the 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large nonstick skillet brown the tofu until lightly colored, about three minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add the onion to the pan, and sauté until softened, but not browned. Add the garlic, ginger and sesame seeds, cook, stirring one minute. Add the squash and cook, stirring often, for 10 minutes. Stir in the mirin, water, and butter. Cover and simmer five minutes or until the squash is tender. Uncover and return the tofu to the pan and season with soy sauce to taste. Cook soba according to package instructions, and toss with remaining 1 tablespoon canola oil. Divide noodles between two bowls and top with squash and tofu broth. Sprinkle with scallions and drizzle with sesame oil.