The celebrity face behind Robert Mondavi Wines, Queer Eye alum Ted Allen is the host of Uncorked: Wine Made Simple on PBS and Chopped and Food Detectives on the Food Network. The renowned food and wine expert is also an Emmy Award-winner, a longtime contributor to Esquire, a guest judge on Bravo's Top Chef and Iron Chef America, and, well, you get the picture. With spring and summer in mind, Allen shares a few of his favorite recipes, and discusses current food trends in an exclusive video.
While Californians tend to be weary of local wines, usually opting for Italian Pinot Grigio, Aussie Shiraz, or Chilean Chardonnay over local fare, they can still appreciate what Mondavi did for West Coast vintners.
After building Napa's only major winery following the Prohibition, it was up to the first-generation Italian and Stanford graduate to put California back on the international wine map. Mondavi finally did it in 1968 with an unlikely Sauvignon Blanc, renaming it the "Fumé Blanc."
Just shy of his 95th birthday, the legendary winemaker passed away in 2008, but his namesake is still going strong, thanks to Ted Allen.
Allen recommends pairing Robert Mondavi Private Selection Chardonnay with two of his new recipes.
Poached Emmentaler Eggs with Grilled Bread
From: Ted Allen
1/2 cup grated Emmentaler cheese
4thick slices of whole-grain crusty bread
salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Fill a 12-inch saucepan with about an inch of water and heat to boiling, reduce heat to a simmer, and add a half-teaspoon of salt.
3. Brush each slice of bread with olive oil on both sides, and grill each side until golden.
4. Crack each egg into a small bowl and season with salt and pepper, then slip the eggs gently into the simmering water.
5. Cook 2 1/2 - 3 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon and place in individual oven proof ramekins.
6. Sprinkle with cheese and place in oven until cheese melts, about five minutes. Serve the eggs immediately, with bread. You can also dress up the eggs a little more with a little roasted garlic, herbs, or truffles.
Biscuit Puffs with Prosciutto, Scallion, and Asiago
From: Ted Allen
1 (7 1/2 ounce) tube buttermilk biscuits
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
4 ounces prosciutto (or ham, or cooked bacon), minced (about 1/2 cup)
4 ounces Asiago cheese, crumbled
3 scallions, white and 3 inches green, minced
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Open the tube of biscuits and separate into 10 individual biscuits.
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2. Cut each in half crosswise, then form each half into a round about two inches in diameter.
3. Using a pastry brush, paint each round of dough with sesame oil. Spoon about 1/2 teaspoon ham and 1/2 teaspoon scallion in the center of each round, gather edges of the dough together above the filling, and then form into a ball.
4. Dip one side of each ball into the beaten egg white and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Sprinkle lightly with sesame seeds.
5. Bake until the tops are golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.