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Holiday Entertaining, Family Style

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Baby Wellingtons
Spicy Marinated Green Beans
Crostini With Fig Spread and Bubbled Brie

(Family Features) - Traditional holiday gatherings typically involve dishes that take a long time to prepare and even longer to digest.

David Mirassou of Mirassou Winery and his wife Jeannie have started a holiday tradition of their own. They prefer to prepare an assortment of simple, make-ahead appetizers for holiday entertaining, making their family gatherings less formal and more fun.

David and Jeannie are part of the sixth generation of America's oldest winemaking family, and they like the focus of holiday gatherings to be sharing delicious foods and distinctive wines.  "This time of year is very special for our family," says David Mirassou. "The holidays provide the perfect occasion to celebrate with great food, great wine and to toast to family and friends."

David and Jeannie suggest turning a holiday get-together into an interactive experience guests will remember. They recommend serving a variety of smaller and simpler versions of your favorite classics, allowing guests more sampling opportunities and you more time with friends and family. Make sure to offer a variety of wines with suggested food pairings, and set each bottle next to the corresponding dish.

For more delicious recipes or wine suggestions, visit www.mirassou.com.

Baby Wellingtons

Ingredients
  • 1 pound beef tenderloin filets, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 pound mushrooms, very finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup Mirassou California Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped tarragon
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 (17.3-ounce) package puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 (4-ounce) jar horseradish
  • 1 cup sour cream

Preparation
    1. Place beef cubes in freezer 30 minutes. Meanwhile, melt butter in medium skillet. Add mushrooms, shallots and garlic, and cook over medium heat 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add wine and tarragon and cook until all excess liquid has cooked off. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.
    2. Preheat oven to 450°F. Roll each puff pastry sheet into 11-inch square on lightly floured board. Cut each sheet into 9 equal squares and place equal amounts of mushroom mixture in center of each. Top with beef cubes and brush pastry edges with beaten egg. Fold in pastry to enclose and pinch edges to seal well. Place seam-side down on baking sheet and brush with beaten egg. Bake about 12 minutes or until pastry is golden brown. Stir together horseradish and sour cream and serve with Wellingtons.

Preparation Time
40 minutes

Cook Time
25 to 30 minutes

Serves
Makes 18 appetizers

Notes, Tips & Suggestions
Vegetarian alternative: Substitute 18 (1 1/2-inch) baby portobello mushrooms, stems removed.

Pairing suggestion: Mirassou California Cabernet Sauvignon

Spicy Marinated Green Beans

Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups white wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons crushed red pepper
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon whole mustard seed
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 large stalks fresh dill
  • 3/4 pound fresh green beans, ends trimmed

Preparation
    1. Place all ingredients except green beans in medium saucepan and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes.
    2. Place green beans in shallow dish and pour boiling marinade over top. Let cool, then place in ziplock bag and refrigerate several hours or until ready to serve, turning bag occasionally.

Preparation Time
15 minutes

Cook Time
15 minutes

Marinate Time
Several hours

Serves
Makes 12 servings

Notes, Tips & Suggestions
Pairing suggestion: Mirassou California Sauvignon Blanc

Crostini With Fig Spread and Bubbled Brie

Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup stemmed and chopped dried figs (slightly heaping)
  • 3/4 cup Mirassou Monterey County Pinot Noir
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 lemon slices, seeds removed
  • 24 (1/4-inch thick) baguette slices, cut on the diagonal
  • 2 tablespoons walnut or extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 pound cold Brie, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme

Preparation
    1. Combine figs, wine, honey and lemon slices in medium saucepan. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and cook, covered, over low heat 30 minutes. Let cool slightly, then puree in food processor or blender.
    2. Brush bread slices with oil and place oil-side down on large baking sheet. Spread about 1/2 tablespoon fig spread on each baguette slice and top with equal amounts of Brie, then top with thyme. Bake at 450°F 8 to 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Preparation Time
10 minutes

Cook Time
40 minutes

Serves
Makes 24 appetizers

Notes, Tips & Suggestions
Pairing suggestion: Mirassou Monterey County Pinot Noir

SOURCE: Mirassou Winery


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