Nighthawk Cassoulet and Annabel’s Greek & Orange Cake

Nighthawk Cassoulet

Serves 6–8

2 cups (1 lb) dry white beans (or canned)
2 Tbsp duck fat or peanut oil
4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
Sea salt and pepper
4 oz pork belly, diced
2 medium onions, finely diced
1 carrot, finely diced
1 stalk celery, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup white wine (like Nighthawk Chardonnay)
4 oz chorizo sausage, diced
2 cups chicken stock
1 tsp chopped lemon thyme or regular thyme leaves
1 sprig rosemary
1 bay leaf

Note: This cassoulet can also be made as a vegetarian dish. Swap the chicken for 2 roasted poblano chili peppers, leave out the pork belly and chorizo, use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock, and add 2 Tbsp julienned sun-dried tomatoes along with the garlic.

(If using dry beans) cover the beans with water and soak overnight.

In a sauté pan over high heat, heat the duck fat and sear both sides of the chicken thighs, about 2 minutes per side. Season with salt and pepper. Remove the chicken from the pan and put it in a large slow cooker.

Using the same pan, sauté the pork belly until golden brown. Add the onions, carrots and celery, cook for 5 minutes, then add the garlic. Cook for another minute, then deglaze the pan with the white wine and transfer the contents to the slow cooker.

Drain the white beans and add to the slow cooker along with the chorizo, chicken stock, thyme, rosemary and bay leaf. Cook on the high setting for 6 hours, or until the beans are tender.

Remove the chicken from the bones, shred the meat and add it back into the cassoulet.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Pair with: Nighthawk Vineyards Chardonnay. Aged for eight months in French oak, this delicate wine features aromatic elegance and mineral complexity distinctive to this high-altitude vineyard. It is silky and smooth on the mid palate, with a crisp, long finish.

Annabel’s Greek & Orange Cake

Serves 8


⅔ cup butter
½ cup berry sugar
Zest of 1 orange
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup semolina
¾ cup ground almonds
2 tsp baking powder
3 Tbsp orange juice


4 Tbsp water
1 cup sugar
1-inch stick cinnamon
1½ Tbsp lemon juice
1½ Tbsp orange juice

To Serve:

¼ cup sliced or slivered almonds, blanched and toasted
1 cup clotted cream or crème fraîche

For the Cake:

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Grease an 8-inch springform pan and line the base with parchment paper.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the beater attachment, cream the butter, sugar and orange zest until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs, beating well between each addition.

Fold in the semolina, almonds, baking powder and orange juice, then transfer the batter to the prepared cake pan.

Bake until the cake is golden brown and has shrunk from the pan sides, about 30 minutes. Allow it to cool in the pan, then turn it out onto a plate.

For the Syrup:

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar, 4 Tbsp water and the cinnamon stick. Gently bring to a boil, and simmer for 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and remove the cinnamon stick, then stir in the lemon and orange juices. Let cool for 15 minutes, then pour the syrup over the cake. Cover and let sit for a few hours to give the syrup time to absorb.

To Serve:

Sprinkle with almonds and serve with a dollop of clotted cream or crème fraîche.

Pair with: SpearHead 2017 White Pinot Noir. This very rare wine is the result of making a white wine from red Pinot Noir grapes. It is an excellent food wine, with rounded edges that complement richer cuisine.

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