Holiday Entertaining Tips and Video

Mike and I recently had the opportunity to spend some time in the kitchen with Chef Ruth van Waerebeek, the Executive Winery Chef at Concha y Toro in Chile. We tasted some delicious wines and cooked some delectable treats for the holidays.

Chef Ruth likes to pair her foods to the wine, so the focus is on finding flavor combinations that bring out the best in a wine.

Check out our videos as we cook with Chef Ruth!

Recipes, pairings & video:

Crispy Fried camembert cheese with nut crust
(Makes 8)


Pair with Concha y Toro Casillero Del Diablo Carmenere 2008


8 pieces (4-ounces each) of camembert or Brie cheese
1/3 cup toasted walnuts
1/3 cup toasted almonds
1/3 cup toasted sesame seeds
2 large eggs
¼ cup heavy cream
Oil for frying
Quince or guava paste for serving
Mixed salad greens for serving (opt.)

Place the cheese in the freezer for 30 minutes.

In the food processor place the walnuts and almonds and process until coarsely chopped. Transfer to a shallow plate, add the sesame seeds and combine.

In another shallow plate mix to combine the eggs with the heavy cream. Take the cheese out of the freezer, Dip each piece of cheese in the egg mixture and dredge in the nut mixture, pressing to coat well. Arrange the cheese on a platter, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 45 minutes or up to 6 hrs.

Before serving, heat the oil in a deep fryer or wok until hot. Add the cheese, a few pieces at the time, and fry, turning once, until browned on both sides, about 4 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Repeat with the remaining pieces. Serve at once with a slice of quince or guava paste and some mixed greens.


Chupe de Jaiva (Creole-style crabmeat pie)
(Makes 6 single servings)

Pair with Concha y Toro Marques de Casa Concha Chardonnay 2007

5 cups stale white bread, crusts removed and cut into small pieces
1 ½ cups seafood broth (or bottled clam juice), hot
2 tablespoons canola oil \
¾ cup scallions, finely chopped
½ red bell pepper, in small dice
1 medium carrot, coarsely grated
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 cup corn kernels (defrosted)
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon paprika powder
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
½ cup milk (or more)
1/3 cup heavy cream
¾ pound lump crabmeat (picked over)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon spicy red chili sauce, or to taste
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese


altPlace the bread in a large bowl, pour the hot seafood broth or clam juice over it and let soak for 15 min. Crumble and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 370°F.

Heat the oil in a large skillet; add scallions and bell pepper and sauté, stirring frequently, for 4 min till soft. Add carrot, garlic, spices and herbs, corn, and reserved soaked bread, and stirring, pour the milk and cream into the mixture. Cook, stirring, 3 minutes longer, (if the mixture is too dry, add a little more milk). Take off the heat and stir in the crabmeat. Season this mixture with salt, pepper and chili sauce to taste and mix to combine. Butter 5 to 6 individual gratin dishes and divide the crabmeat mixture evenly over the prepared dishes. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and bake the hot oven 20 to 25 minutes until nicely.

A great dish to enjoy with this elegant, well-balanced Chardonnay – the perfect combination between a rich, buttery mouth feel and a refreshing, crisp aftertaste.

Grilled lamb skewers in merquén marinade,  with a Chilean-style mint salsa
(Makes 4 servings)

From the Northern Andean foothills till the Patagonian grasslands, tender lamb is the meat of choice for the “ Parrilla” or Chilean grill, especially when spiced up with the pungent and exquisite merquén mixture, an unique smoked chili pepper mix from the indigenous Mapuche Indians. Served with a refreshing green mint salsa.

The ideal match for a great Chilean cabernet!

If merquén is not available you can make your own spice mix based on: mixture of ½ teaspoon dried oregano, 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika powder ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon ground coriander seeds

Pair with Concha y Toro Casillero del Diablo Reserva Privada 2006

Ingredients for the merquén marinade:
½ cup olive oil
3 tablespoons plain yogurt, preferably whole-milk
2 tablespoons onion, grated
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 tablespoon merquén or other smoked chili pepper mix

For the skewers:
1 ½ pounds leg of lamb, deboned and degreased, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
36 fresh bay leaves
4 small firm peaches, quartered
8 12-inch bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes

For the Chilean-style mint salsa:
¼ cup scallions, chopped
½ cup fresh mint leaves
¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves
½ jalapeño pepper, seeds removed
1 clove garlic
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup canola oil
¼ cup cold water
1 tablespoon sugar
Salt to taste

Prepare the marinade; combine all the ingredients for the marinade in a glass oven platter. Add the lamb, mix to combine and let sit for up to 2 hours.

Prepare the Chilean mint salsa: Put all the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasonings, this salsa should be brimming with flavour. Refrigerate until ready to serve or up to 3-4 days.

Prepare charcoal, gas or electric grill to medium hot.

Thread 3 pieces of lamb, 2 quarters of peach and 3 bay leaves loosely on each skewer. Lightly oil grill rack. Grill skewers, turning occasionally, until just cooked through, 10-15 minutes. Serve with mint salsa.

And how does it all taste? Mike and I taste through what we’ve cooked with the wine pairings.