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Spring Recipes from Chef Tara

March 4, 2016

With spring almost here, Winery Chef Tara Wachtel has created two recipes for our fans!

Dungeness Crab Deviled Eggs

Paired with Reserve Chardonnay

½ pound picked lump Dungeness crab meat
8 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and cut in half
¼ - 1/3 cup aioli or mayonnaise
1 tablespoon finely minced fresh tarragon
1 tablespoon minced fresh chive
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon Tobasco sauce
Kosher salt
½ ripe avocado, sliced
French fried onions (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper

Pick out 16 pieces of claw meat for garnish. Add remaining meat to a bowl and scoop out egg yolks into the bowl and mash yolks and crab together with a fork. Mix in aioli, herbs, lemon juice, and Tobasco. Season to taste with salt. Spoon yolk mixture into egg white cavities. Place a crab claw, avocado, and crispy onion on top to garnish. Twist on fresh black pepper.

Grilled Za’atar Chicken with Tomato Cucumber Salad

Paired with Reserve Pinot Noir

1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
1 cup heirloom or vine ripe tomato, diced small
2 cup cucumber, diced small
1 teaspoon minced fresh fresno chile
¼ cup chiffonade parsley
Juice of 2 lemons
Kosher salt
3 tablespoons safflower oil
¼ cup *za’atar spice blend
8 bone-in chicken thighs, about 8 ounces each

Preheat a gas grill to medium high for 15 minutes. While the grill heats, make the salad. In a small sauté pan, toast the coriander seeds, cumin seeds and sesame seeds over medium heat, shaking frequently until lightly toasted and fragrant. Remove from heat and allow to cool a bit. Crush seeds in a mortar and pestle until uniformly cracked and ground slightly. Then combine in a medium bowl with the tomato, cucumber, fresno chili, parsley, lemon juice, and salt to taste. Toss to combine and set aside.

Sprinkle chicken generously with salt and toss with safflower oil to coat. Sprinkle liberally with the za’atar, pressing to adhere. Put the thighs on the grill, skin-side down, and cook for about 6-8 minutes; until skin is crisped, but spices are not overly browned. Flip and cook 6 to 8 minutes. Thighs are done when a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh reads 165F. Remove from heat and serve with the salad.

*Za’atar is becoming more widely available in specialty markets, or gourmet grocers.