Explore a few of our favorite French regions with June’s wines. The recipes below are tried and true, and are wonderful pairings for June’s picks. We’d love to see your photos of your wine pairings! #barrelroomwineclub

Smoked Salmon Croquettes

This is a Barrel Room classic, courtesy of Chef Manuel Hewitt. We love these croquettes with sparkling wines and bright, crisp Sauvignon Blancs. A perfect pairing for the Seyssel!

Note: Adapted from "Traditional Spanish Cooking" by Janet Mendel

Makes 3-4 servings. This is an involved recipe, but definitely worth it!

1 lb Yukon gold potatoes, peeled
4 oz chèvre
1/2 medium onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 T chives
1T fine kosher sat
1/2 t white pepper
1.5 cups Panko
3 large whole eggs whipped
1.5 c AP flour
6-8 oz smoked salmon
1 c creme fraiche
1 T black pepper
high temperature oil


  1. Boil peeled potatoes in heavily salted water until soft. While your potatoes boil sauté diced onion over medium heat for 4 minutes or until they begin to turn translucent. Add garlic and sauté until garlic becomes very aromatic (1-2 minutes).

  2. Drain and mash potatoes, add chèvre, minced chives, and sautéd aromatics and stir until fully combined. Add salt and white pepper, adjust salt to your liking, but keep in mind the saltiness of the smoked salmon.

  3. Divide potato mixture into evenly sized balls. (Chef Hewitt: “I like to use a 1/4c measuring cup and then divide each scoop in half. This makes evenly sized croquettes.”)

  4. Set up 3 medium bowls, one with flour, one with whipped eggs and 1/4 c of water, and one with panko bread crumbs. Bread each croquette by first rolling them in flour, then using your hands or a slotted spoon coat them in eggs, and then finally in the panko. At this stage you can form the breaded croquettes into uniform puck like shapes.

  5. Heat cooking oil to 350 if you have a frying thermometer or if you don’t heat over medium high heat. Carefully fry the croquettes in batches until golden brown, careful not to cook too many at a time, the oil will lose too much heat and the croquettes will become soggy with oil.

  6. Remove from oil using a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

  7. Mix 1 tablespoon ground black pepper into creme fraiche.

  8. Plate creme fraiche on bottom of plate, and place hot croquettes on top, spoon a bit more creme fraiche onto each croquette.Place a small amount of smoked salmon on each croquette. The amount is up to your taste preference.


Tomato, Zucchini and Eggplant Bread Gratin

Jerry Traunfeld created this gorgeous gratin to highlight ripe, juicy tomatoes and other late-summer vegetables, which moisten the crispy bread crust as they bake. "Don't be afraid to lift a corner with a spatula and check to see whether the bread is toasted," he says. "When it's browned, it's done."

Makes 6 servings. Allow about 2 hours total for this dish.

  1. Ingredients
    1/2 medium eggplant, sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
    1 medium zucchini or yellow squash, sliced 1/4 inch thick
    Kosher salt
    6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    4 garlic cloves, minced or mashed
    One 14-ounce loaf rustic white bread, crusts removed and bread sliced 1/2 inch thick
    Freshly ground pepper
    1/2 cup torn basil leaves
    3 medium tomatoes, sliced 1/2 inch thick
    1 teaspoon thyme leaves

    Preheat the oven to 400°. In a colander, toss the eggplant and zucchini with 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and let stand for 20 minutes. Drain well and gently squeeze out any excess liquid.

  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir the olive oil with the garlic. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with 1 1/2 teaspoons of the garlic-infused oil. Tear the bread into 2-inch pieces and line the bottom of the baking dish with bread, fitting the pieces tightly together. Drizzle the bread with 2 tablespoons of the garlic oil and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the bread with half of the basil.

  3. In a medium bowl, toss the eggplant and zucchini with 2 tablespoons of the garlic oil and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the tomato slices with salt and pepper. Arrange the eggplant, zucchini and tomatoes over the bread, overlapping them if necessary. Sprinkle with the thyme leaves, salt and pepper and drizzle with the remaining garlic oil.

  4. Bake the gratin for about 40 minutes, until the vegetables begin to brown and the bottom of the bread is golden brown. Remove the vegetable gratin from the oven and let stand until cooled slightly, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining basil, cut into pieces and serve.


Braised Rosemary Lamb Shank

Braised lamb and Vacqueyras… a pairing made in heaven! We love the way the peppery Syrah and bright cherry Grenache interact with the savory notes of lamb and potent rosemary in this dish. Enjoy!

Makes 6 servings. Though simmer time is recommended at 30 minutes, it can take up to an hour for the meat to be perfectly tender.

6 lamb shanks (about 5 pounds total)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
3 large carrots, peeled, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
10 garlic cloves, minced
1 750-ml bottle dry red wine
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes with juices
1 14 1/2-ounce can low-salt chicken broth
1 14 1/2-ounce can beef broth
5 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel


  1. Sprinkle shanks with salt and pepper. Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add shanks to pot and cook until brown on all sides, about 8 minutes. Transfer shanks to bowl.

  2. Add onions, carrots and garlic to pot and sauté until golden, about 10 minutes. Stir in all remaining ingredients. Return shanks to pot, pressing down to submerge. Bring liquids to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover; simmer until meat is tender, about 2 hours.

  3. Uncover pot; simmer until meat is very tender, about 30 minutes longer. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Chill until cold; cover and keep chilled. Rewarm over medium heat before continuing.) Transfer shanks to platter; tent with foil. Boil juices in pot until thickened, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon over shanks.