Foothills Celebration – A chance to enjoy ‘food, wine, music, art and atmosphere’ |

Foothills Celebration – A chance to enjoy ‘food, wine, music, art and atmosphere’

The third annual Foothills Celebration has become a popular sipping and tasting event. Leisurely stroll through historic downtown Grass Valley on Saturday, March 6, from 1 to 4 p.m. as shops throughout town host more than 40 Gold Country wineries and restaurants, all offering tastes of their best fare.

Local and regional fine wines will be poured while samples of gourmet treats will be served from area restaurants. Entertainment will include Coolheat, (jazz) On the Loose, (bluegrass) Kindred Spirit, (Celtic) Foothill Express, (barbershop) and Harmony & Company (country.)

“It is very exciting watching all these people coming to downtown Grass Valley and having such a great experience enjoying the food, wine, music, art and atmosphere,” said Howard Levine, executive director of the Grass Valley Downtown Association. “Every year there is a greater participation by the wineries and restaurants, as this event captures their imagination.”

You won’t want to miss the raffle during this event. Prizes include a gourmet dinner for 10 at the Swan Levine House or a bed- and-breakfast overnight getaway at Piety Hill, including dinner at the Swiss House and lunch at the South Pine Street Café. Or one might win Music in the Mountains’ Summer Fest season tickets for two and a case of wine. This event is a fund-raiser for the Grass Valley Downtown Association and Music in the Mountains.

Below are some recipes you will sample during the Foothills Celebration. We asked several wineries, who will be pouring during the event, to suggest one of their wines to feature with the recipes.

Indian Springs Vineyards suggests a 2002 Viognier, a wine typifying the apricot/peach and blossom character of the variety which is crisp and clean, to accompany Asia Restaurant’s Singapore Chicken and Coconut Jasmine Rice.

Singapore Chicken

24 ounces chicken breast in 1/2-inch strips, 1/4 inch thick

3/4 cup ginger, coarsely chopped

4 tablespoons oil

23/4 tablespoons garlic, coarsely chopped

4 tablespoons soy sauce

15 ounces fresh button mushrooms, sliced

3/4 cup water

31/2 tablespoons oyster sauce

11/2 teaspoon sugar

11/2 teaspoon black pepper, ground

15 ounces onion, sliced

3 ounces scallion, 1-inch lengths

12 ounces red bell peppers, 1/8 inch strips

Instructions: In wok or large pot, heat oil on high heat for 11/2 minutes, add garlic and fry for 30 seconds. Add chicken and soy sauce; stir fry for 3 minutes. Add onion slices, fry 2 minutes. Add ginger, mushrooms and water; cook 1 minute. Add oyster sauce, sugar, black pepper, scallions and red bells. Cook until chicken is just done. Oyster and soy sauce can be found at Bonanza Market. Serves 4 to 6 people.

Coconut Jasmine Rice

2 cups jasmine rice

1/2 cup coconut milk

1 teaspoon turmeric powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

Water – see rice cooker instructions

Instructions: Place jasmine rice in rice cooker pot; add turmeric powder and salt. Pour in 1/2 cup coconut milk and hot water to 2-cup mark on the rice cooker pot. Stir well. Place in rice cooker and press the cook button. Stir rice well after about 10 minutes. Let the cooker be in warm mode for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Note: For cooking without a rice cooker, add 3 cups water. Without covering, bring to a boil, then simmer with cover on for 30 minutes. Let it sit for at least 10 minutes before serving. For a wetter, softer result, add 1/4 cup more of water. For a stronger coconut flavor, and depending on brand, use 1/4 cup more coconut milk. All ingredients can be found at the BriarPatch. Serves 4-6.

Asia Restaurant offers regional Asian cuisine from India, Thai, Malaysia, Indonesia and China. The restaurant is undergoing major changes in decor and menu. All entrees are now mild, and chili and spice condiments are at each table.

Sierra Star Vineyard & Winery suggests a 1999 Cabernet Sauvignon, a full-bodied, 100 percent Cabernet smooth wine with a nice long finish, aged two years in French oak in their caves, to accompany Carlos’ Restaurant’s Stuffed Smoked Salmon Arugula Salad.

Stuffed Smoked Salmon Arugula Salda with Creme Fraiche

(Molded Salmon over Salad)

Fillet of smoked salmon, thinly slicked

1 bunch of rinsed arugula

1 cup spinach

12-inch x 12-inch plastic wrap

3-inch round pastry cutter

Instructions: Lay plastic wrap down on even surface. Lay salmon slices in center of plastic wrap, overlapping the edges to form a 5-inch x 5-inch square. Carefully pick up plastic wrap and place over pastry cutter. Tear a handful of arugula from the bunch and mix some with the spinach to reduce the bitterness and push down slowly in center of salmon, lifting the edges as you go. Fold in the edges of the salmon, then close in the plastic wrap and press lightly. Remove from the cookie cutter mold and the remove the plastic wrap.

Citrus Vinaigrette

1 cup orange juice

1/4 cup olive oil

orange segments

orange zest

juice of one lime

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon fresh, finely chopped ginger

Instructions: Combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl, leaving the orange aside. Taking the orange and a grater, zest the orange. Then, taking a pairing knife, peel the orange and cut out the orange segments, removing the membrane.

Crème Fraich

4 ounces Crème Fraich

2 teaspoons capers

1 tablespoon finely chopped red bell pepper

1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic

1 teaspoon finely chopped shallot

1 teaspoon fresh dill

Combine all ingredients.

Instructions: To arrange, place the stuffed salmon with arugula mound in the center of a plate.

Place the orange segments around the salmon, then mirror the citrus vinaigrette on the plate. Finish with a dollop of Creme Fraiche on the top.

Nevada City Winery suggests a 2002 Sauvignon Blanc from the Rocky Ridge Vineyard – a limited bottling – a dry wine with good acidity with the flavors of grapefruit, citrus and melon, to accompany Tofanelli Restaurant’s Crab Cakes

Crab Cakes

3/4 pound potatoes, yellow Yukon preferred

1 pound crab meat, fresh preferred

1 red bell pepper, roasted and peeled

3 scallions, bulb only, minced

1 egg

11/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 jalapeno, seeded and minced

8 tablespoons mayonnaise

1/2 teaspoon white pepper

3/4 cup bread crumbs, toasted

Instructions: Place potatoes in oven at 375 degrees and bake until tender. Cool, peel and finely grate. Combine the crabmeat, potatoes, red bell pepper, scallions, parsley, jalapeno, egg and mayonnaise and mix together in a large mixing bowl. Add salt and pepper and mix gently. If mixture is dry, add more mayonnaise. Sprinkle bread crumbs over mixture and gently mix. If the mixture does not hold together when cakes are formed add more bread crumbs. Do not overly add bread crumbs. It is better to have mixture looser than dry. Chill mixture for at least 1 hour.

When mixture is well chilled, form small cakes about 2 inches in diameter, which makes about 12 cakes. Larger cakes can be made if desired. Cakes can be deep fried or pan fried. To pan fry, add just enough oil to coat the surface of a nonstick frying pan. Use medium-high heat and cook until golden brown and crisp on each side. To serve, top with a small dollop of aioli, remouldade and/or salsa. Serves 6.

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