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NOVEMBER 2009 NEWSLETTER

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It's turkey lurkey time, Tom Turkey ran away...

Spacer issue eight, volume six  

Turkey Gaggle
WHO CREATED THIS BEAUTIFUL TABLE?

It's that time of year again, the timeTrio of Squirrels when a young man's fancy turns to thoughts of turkey and overindulgence. Easter has its eggs and rabbits, Halloween has its spooks but Thanksgiving is one of those holidays that ties all of its wonderful traditions of thanks and family into a celebration of food and table. It is for many Americans the most celebrated meal of the year, and that table better be in uniform! Even a groaning board of turkey and all the trimmings could use a little more decoration and sweetening up; that could easily be Turkeys with Namesaccomplished with another Turkey, albeit a chocolate one! Visit our store and/ or our web site and you will find a bountiful harvest of beautiful and scrumptious items to add to your Thanksgiving celebration. Let's start by talking turkey, we have turkeys in four sizes on the web site (a few more in the store) ranging from mini to medium large. Seen above, the Minis can be used as-is or personalized to use as Bunches of Grapesplace cards. The Extra Small Turkeys are a little larger and make a perfect gift for everyone at the party. The largest turkeys we offer on the web (seen at the top of the page) will find their way toward the center of the table where they can preside over the meal before they meet their fate come dessert time! Of course our edible decorations don't stopWalnut Trufflesthere, we have cute Squirrels, Harvest Pumpkins, giant Acorns and a vineyard full of Grapes. That doesn't even mention our Fall and Maple Leaves in riotous colors. And then there are the Walnuts; candied walnut buttercream with bits of walnut, in a milk chocolate shell. Yum! From our family to yours, have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

John & Tracy Anderson

Tom Scott Vineyard

In this issue, we are proud to introduce you to a tiny winery located in the Yountville Appellation of Napa Valley, Tom Scott Vineyard. Relatives of John's, Tom and Lauren Scott meticulously tend their 1.5 acres of vines themselves to create a field blended, single vineyard wine called Barn Burner. A field blend means that the wine is composed of the specific percentages of grape varieties a lone vineyard yields in any given year. It is a great way to taste the true difference in vintages as the grape source and composition remain the same from year to year. While not yet well know, word of mouth has built up a loyal clientele. Those who have been lucky enough to experience Tom and Lauren's hospitality never forget the honor of tasting their wines in the owners kitchen! The other thing you must see is just how beautiful this vineyard truly is, from its placement in the valley to the personal touches that Tom and particularly Lauren have placed throughout their vineyard and home. They have put their hearts and souls into every part of this endeavor and it shows. We tasted the 2006 Barn Burner Cabernet Sauvignon ($125) and found aromas of boysenberry, vanilla and plum as well as cedar and basil. The palate is very rich and long with flavors ranging from the fruity (plum, cherry, blueberry) to the flowery (jasmine,elderflower, gardenia) to the meaty and chocolatey, all with a luscious finish. While the wine is difficult to find, i.e. only available at the winery web site it is well worth the effort and will become your go-to wine for a special occasion. But of course, how does Barn Burner feel about chocolate? Well, it loves Fresh Mint (creates the perfect lamb with mint sauce), Chambord, Milk Chocolate Caramel Mousse, Amaretto Almond, Brown Butter Ganache and Dark Raspberry. The next tier down includes Mocha Cream, Honey, Praline Cream, Sur del Lago, Gianduja and Cinnamon toast. Great wine, great chocolates, delicious combinations for you to enjoy.
www.tomscottvineyard.com


CRANBERRY COCOA NIB BISCOTTI WITH CAMBAZOLA AND ROSEMARY BUTTER PECANS

 

Serves 8

Every Thanksgiving I wonder what I can serve my family to keep them happy before the big event while not spoiling their appetite. Here is a little nibble that (assuming someone doesn't inhale them all) will make a perfect little preview of the feast to come. And, the components can be made ahead, so all you need to worry about is a little last minute assembly.

For the Pecans:
2 Tablespoons butter, melted
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic salt

2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1 Tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary, divided
1 teaspoon (more or less) fleur de sel sea salt
2 cups pecan halves

Cranberry Cocoa Nib Biscotti

Preheat the oven to 325. In a small mixing bowl, combine the melted butter, Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, garlic salt, brown sugar, black pepper and cayenne plus 1 teaspoon of the minced rosemary. Add the pecans and toss to coat. Line a baking sheet with foil and spread the nuts evenly on the foil. Bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, sprinkle the remaining 2 teaspoons rosemary and a little fleur de sel over the nuts and toss to coat evenly, making sure all the nuts are separate from each other. Set aside to cool, then store in an airtight container.

For the Biscotti:

3/4 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
grated peel of 1 orange
2 1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons anise seed
1/2 cup full bodied red wine
1 cup sweetened dried cranberries
1/2 cup cocoa nibs (if you have trouble finding them, you can substitute chopped bitter chocolate, or simply leave them out)
1 egg for egg wash

Preheat the oven to 325 Fahrenheit. In a stand mixer, or by hand, cream the butter and sugar. Add the 2 eggs, one at a time. Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then add to the butter mixture alternately with the wine. Add the cranberries and cocoa nibs and mix until evenly combined. Turn out onto a floured surface and divide into two pieces. Roll each piece into a 12' long log about 2" in diameter. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper if you have it, otherwise foil will do (or silpat). Make an egg wash by adding 1 tablespoon water to 1 egg and beat until frothy. With a pastry brush, brush the egg wash evenly over each log. Bake for one hour. The logs will have flattened out considerably. Remove from oven, let sit about 10 minutes, then cut each log in half down the center, then slice into 1/4 inch slices. Place slices flat onto a baking sheet and put back in the oven for 15 minutes to crisp them up (be aware, however, that they only become crisp upon cooling, so don't expect them to feel crunchy directly out of the oven). Let cool completely, then store in an airtight container.

To Finish:

1 lb. Cambazola cheese (this is a triple-cream blue cheese that is widely available. Also, it is very mild, so those who do not like blue cheese typically like this one. If you really don't want to test it, you could use brie, or goat cheese, or even cream cheese if you want to take mild to an extreme.)

To serve, simply place the biscotti on a serving platter, add a piece of Cambazola that has been sliced to fit perfectly on the biscotti and top with a pecan. Done!

Ad Hoc Logo

Have you seen the Yountville Greyhound bus station lately? Only the older Napa Valley visitors will remember that the building that houses Ad Hoc restaurant, and of course housed the well missed "The Diner" was once a bus station! Ad Hoc, which joined the Yountville dining scene in 2007 as a temporary restaurant is now a very well established permanent branch of the Thomas Keller empire. His third restaurant in Yountville and the most casual, presents a single fixed menu each evening that is served family style ($49). Let me state this concept again, you arrive, the menu is presented simply as a courtesy to tell you what you will be served tonight, they ask about potential allergies to alert the kitchen and a delicious three course dinner with cheese is served family style. What if I don't like what they are serving you say? Well, I'm glad you asked. They do post the menu each day on their web site ahead of service so you could conceivably abandon your reservation, but they tend to serve family favorites that don't require bravery on the part of the diner, plus they are more than willing to adjust a dish to suit you (within reason). In the six or so times that Tracy and I have eaten at Ad Hoc it has never been less than sensational. It is difficult to pick favorites, but their salad of soft boiled eggs, smoked salmon and beets was a standout (I even liked it, and I am not a salmon lover) as well as their sous-vide beef short ribs with crispy polenta. If you get ice cream sundaes with caramelized pecans for dessert - try not to fight over the pecans like we did. We have not had the pleasure yet, but we have heard that Fried Chicken night is the best thing ever. The long and the short of it is, take the risk, you will be happy you did. (P. S. How big a risk could a Thomas Keller dinner be anyway?)
www.adhocrestaurant.com

   
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St. Helena, Ca 94574
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