Recipes by Tommy Montalvo, Monet’s Wine Bistro



veryone loves a good brunch — a perfect mealtime compromise for late risers and early lunchers.

This month, Karl Merten, the Visalia Country Club’s chef, shares with us some simple but delicious brunch items with an emphasis on light and healthy. Trend toward breakfast with a vegetarian quiche (keto-friendly!), or toward lunch with grilled salmon and fennel salad dressed in a citrus-honey dressing. Whatever you like, we hear a weekend brunch calling your name!

Peach Bourbon Brisket

Ingredients for Rub

  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon



  • 1 10-ounce jar peach jam or preserves
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon
  • 1/2 cup reserved braising liquid
  • Pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper

Ingredients for Brisket

  • 1 flat brisket (7 to 8 pounds)
  • 3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 2 large carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
  • 3 plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 2 12-ounce bottles stout
  • 1 1/2 cups bourbon
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 8 cups beef stock
  • Handful of fresh thyme leaves with small stems


For the rub, mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl. Cut the brisket in half, against the grain. Lay the meat on a baking sheet and rub both sides of the brisket with the spice mixture. Place in the refrigerator for 2 hours to cure.

Preheat the oven to 300 F.

In a large shallow pan big enough to hold both brisket pieces in one layer,

heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over high heat. Add the onions and garlic, sauté for 5 minutes. Set the onions and garlic aside. Add the brisket to the same pan, fat side down. Allow it to brown, untouched, for 5 to 6 minutes. Flip both brisket pieces.

Add the onions and garlic into the pot, along with the carrots, celery, tomatoes, stout, bourbon, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, beef stock and thyme leaves. Bring to a simmer over high heat. Cover with a double layer of aluminum foil and transfer to the oven. Cook for 4 1/2 hours.

Transfer the brisket to a platter and tent it with foil to keep it moist. Strain the braising liquid. Reserve some of the cooked vegetables and 1/2 cup of the braising liquid for the glaze. Return the rest to the pan. On high heat, reduce the remaining braising liquid for about 15 minutes. For the glaze, blend the peach jam, bourbon and strained braising liquid until a smooth puree forms.

Season with the salt and pepper.

Score the fat side of the brisket by making slits about 1/4-inch deep in a crosshatch pattern. Preheat the broiler. Once the braising liquid has reduced, return the brisket to the pan, fat side up. The liquid should only come about three-quarters of the way up the brisket, so that the meat is submerged but the fat is exposed. Glaze the top of the brisket with peach glaze, using 3 to 4 tablespoons. Transfer the pan to the broiler for 4 to 5 minutes; check frequently.

Plate and serve.

Scallop Salad With Caper Vinaigrette


  • 20 scallops
  • 12 pieces broccoli rabe
  • 1 cup Brussels sprouts
  • 1 apple, sliced into thin wedges
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons capers
  • 4 twigs of tarragon
  • 4 twigs of thyme
  • 4 garlic clove
  • 2 lemons


Clean the scallops and dry them on a paper towel. Heat a pan until hot, add some oil and salt to the pan, then place the scallops. Add the crushed garlic clove, thyme and a nub of butter. Baste the scallops with the melted butter using a spoon. Remove from pan and let rest on the side.

Add the halved Brussels sprouts and the broccoli rabe and sear them for about 4 minutes. (Save some of the leaves from the Brussels sprouts before cutting the rest in half.) To make the vinaigrette, chop the capers and tarragon and place in a bowl. Add the grape seed oil and apple cider vinegar.

Season with sea salt.

Place 5 scallops, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and apples on a plate. Top with saved Brussels leaves and vinaigrette. Makes 4 servings.

Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart


  • Pre-baked shell
  • Chocolate filling
  • 1 1/4 cups cream
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 18 ounces chocolate chips
  • 3 eggs, whisked
  • Salted caramel
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Warm cream and milk in a saucepan. Add the chocolate chips and stir until melted. Slowly whisk in the eggs. Pour this mixture into a pre-made shell. Bake until the chocolate is set, about 25 minutes.

For the salted caramel, beat sugar in another small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Add the butter and continue to stir until melted. Stir for an additional 1 1/2 minutes. Add the cream; boil for 1 minute. Add the salt and stir. Remove from the heat and cool caramel for 15 minutes before pouring over the chocolate tart.

About the Chef

Tommy Montalvo has been a chef for eight years, working with some of the most talented chefs in the area. Over the years, Tommy has learned to appreciate and respect the produce readily available throughout the Central Valley, which lets him cook with the seasons, creating from the fresh items that he can locally source.