Summer entertaining is easy with simple, crowd-pleasing recipes from light bites to sweet delights that require almost no time in the kitchen.
Invite over a few close friends, heat up the grill, and set out your favorite wines for a truly memorable outdoor dinner party. Select simple recipes that can be prepared ahead of time and quickly seared on the grill once guests have arrived. Prep, chop and marinate everything then store it all in containers.
Continue the trend of simplicity by serving food-friendly wines, such as those from Las Rocas. Las Rocas, which literally means “the rocks” because of the rocky soil where the grapes are grown, produces an incredibly vibrant Garnacha and refreshing Rose that pair wonderfully with these dishes.
Begin the festivities at sundown to take advantage of the cooler breezes and a beautiful sunset. Line the table with a row of small candles, hang sparkling white lights from the trees and put on your favorite music.
For more information, visit www.lasrocaswine.com.
Pan Seared Rib Eye with Balsamic Glaze and Crispy Salted Potato Wedges
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
For Crispy Fingerling Potatoes
1 lb. small Yukon gold potatoes cut into wedges
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. roughly chopped fresh rosemary leaves,
plus a couple of sprigs
Kosher or coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 3/4-lb. bone in rib-eye steaks, about 1-in. thick
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
1/2 cup aged balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
For potatoes: Place the potatoes in a saucepan and cover with cold, salted water. Set over high heat and bring to boil. Cook until potatoes are fork tender, about 10 minutes depending on the size of potatoes. Drain and rinse under cold running water. Pat potatoes dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set potatoes aside and begin steak.
For steak: Sprinkle large cast-iron skillet with kosher or coarse salt; heat skillet over high heat for about 8 minutes, then add steaks. Sear until steaks are crusted brown, about 4 minutes; turn steaks. Sear to desired doneness or about 6 more minutes for medium rare. Transfer to cutting board and let rest while you make the sauce.
Wipe out the pan and add shallot; cook, stirring, about 1 minute. Slowly add vinegar and 1 tbsp. of water and bring to a boil. Stir continuously until reduces and thickens about 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat, swirl in butter and season with pepper to taste. Drizzle sauce over steaks just before serving.
To finish potatoes: Heat olive oil in large skillet over high heat. When hot, add seasoned potatoes, cut side down, and rosemary. Cook until golden and crispy, about 2 minutes per side. Sprinkle with additional salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with Las Rocas Garnacha, a vibrant and versatile red wine with rich dark berry flavors and aromas
Red Wine and Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta
Yield: 6 servings
1 cup blackberries and or raspberries
1 vanilla bean, cut in half
3 cups Las Rocas Garnacha wine
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup whole milk
1 1/4-ounce packet unflavored powdered gelatin
2 cups whole Greek-style yogurt
Fresh mint sprigs for garnish
Remove a wide, 2-inch-long strip of zest from orange with sharp paring knife. Peel and segment orange and toss with blackberries; cover and refrigerate.
Scrape seeds from vanilla bean. Place seeds and pod in a small saucepan. Add wine, 1/3 cup sugar, and orange zest strip. Simmer over medium-low heat until reduced to 1 1/4 cups, about 35 minutes. Discard vanilla bean pod and zest strip. Cool completely. Set aside 1/4 cup for serving.
Combine milk with remaining 1/3 cup sugar in medium saucepan. Sprinkle in gelatin and let stand, undisturbed, until gelatin softens about 4 minutes. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until gelatin and sugar are just dissolved (do not boil); let cool. Whisk in 1 cup of wine reduction and yogurt until smooth. Pour into six 6-ounce ramekins or jars, cover and refrigerate until set, at least 3 hours or overnight.
If using ramekins, dip bottom of each ramekin in warm water to loosen. Invert each pannacotta onto a plate. If using jars, skip this step. Drizzle Panna cottas with reserved wine reduction and garnish with oranges and berries and sprig of fresh mint.
Goat Cheese Crostini with Grilled Peaches, Serrano Ham and Marcona Almonds
Yield: 1 dozen crostini
12 slices French bread, sliced on the diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick slices
Extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
12 thinly sliced pieces Serrano ham
2 ripe peaches, halved, pitted and sliced onto
12 thin wedges
2 oz. goat cheese, crumbled (about 1/4 cup)
1 tbsp. roughly chopped Marcona almonds
Preheat grill. Brush each slice of bread on one side with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Grill, oil-side down until lightly golden brown, about 3 minutes. Remove from grill and place a piece Serrano ham on each. Drizzle peaches with 1 tbsp. of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
Grill peaches until grill marks appear, turning once, about 1 to 2 minutes per side. Place warm grilled peaches on top of each crostini and sprinkle each with crumbled goat cheese and Marcona almonds. Drizzle them lightly with additional olive oil. Serve.
Serve with Las Rocas Rosé, a fruit-forward seasonal wine with notes of raspberry and strawberry.