Saturday, July 18, 2009

Grandmother's Milk Money.....Mom and I started talking about her childhood again the other day. It’s funny how conversations start….one minute we were talking about how well her living room furniture has held up and the next thing I knew, we were talking about Grandmother Ogg’s milk business! It seems Grandmother had 2 cows that she milked everyday and had regular customers that Mom’s 2 brothers delivered the milk to. She kept her “milk money” hidden under the living room rug until she had enough saved to buy a new piece of furniture!
I was not a big fan of fresh milk from the farm; I much preferred pasteurized from the dairy. However, the food Grandmother made with fresh milk was outstanding! I loved the cream that rose to the top. She had a green carnival glass cream pitcher that was filled every morning with fresh cream. We had it on our oatmeal, over fresh strawberries, whipped on fresh sliced peaches. And in homemade ice cream!
When I was a child, cream meant desserts to me. Today, well to be honest, I still think of desserts, but I also think of savory sauces and creamy soft polenta. It makes me remember dinner parties and holidays of the past. Cream is good!

I apologize for not sending recipes to you as often. Summer is a busy time. So, today I will give you two of my favorites using wonderful rich heavy cream. I don’t want to hear that it is bad for you. I’m not suggesting you eat these every day….just occasionally, on special occasions. Cream should be enjoyed, should be relished!

This first recipe may look long and difficult, but your oven does all the work.

Chardonnay Poached Salmon with Dill Dijon Whipped Cream
3 cups Somerset Ridge Chardonnay
3 cups water
1 lemon, sliced
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
10 juniper berries, crushed
3 bay leaves
1 stem fresh basil
3 fronds fennel
1 (2 1/2 to 3 pound) salmon fillet, skin on
Olive oil
2 lemons, sliced for garnish
1 bunch dill, for garnish
Dill Dijon Whipped Cream, recipe follows
Special Equipment: 2 (18 1/2-inch or 10 1/2-inch) foil pans
Pastry brush
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Put the Chardonnay, water, lemon, peppercorns, juniper berries, bay leaves, basil and 2 fennel fronds into a large saucepan. Place the pan over high heat and bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and let the liquid simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, discard the fennel and basil and let cool.
Put the salmon into the foil pan and top with the remaining fennel frond. Pour the poaching liquid over the salmon. Cover the pan with foil and seal it tightly. Place the pan into the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Remove the foil halfway through the cooking process and baste the salmon. Reseal and finish poaching. Remove the pan from the oven, remove the foil and brush the top of the salmon with the poaching liquid to remove any white bits.
When the pan is cool enough to handle place it over your sink. With a sharp knife, make a few punctures in the bottom of the pan to let the poaching liquid drain. Place the pan directly into the second pan to prevent dripping. Brush the salmon with olive oil, cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.
To serve, cut the end off the foil pan and, with a spatula, slide the salmon onto a platter. Fan the lemon slices out along the top and garnish the sides with the dill. Serve with Dill Dijon whipped cream on the side.
Dill Dijon Whipped Cream:
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons dill, chopped
Salt and pepper
Pour the heavy cream into a large bowl and, using an electric mixer on high, beat until soft peaks form. Add the mustard and continue to beat on medium for 1 minute. Fold in the dill and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Transfer to a decorative bowl for serving.
Yield: 1 cup

This recipe is a favorite, Raspberry Pound Cake with Ambrosia Cream, using Somerset Ridge Ambrosia Dessert Wine to flavor the delicious whipped cream.

For Pound Cake:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the loaf pan
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons orange zest (from 1 medium orange)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing loaf pan
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (10-ounce) bag sweetened, frozen raspberries, thawed and drained
For Cream
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
3 tablespoons Somerset Ridge Ambrosia Dessert Wine
To make the Raspberry Pound Cake:
Set an oven rack in the lower 1/3 of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9 by 5 by3-inch loaf pan.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, orange zest, cinnamon, and salt. Whisk to combine. In a separate bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together the sugar and butter until blended, about 30 seconds. With the machine running, add the eggs 1 at a time. Add the vanilla extract. Add the dry ingredients, a small amount at a time, until just incorporated. Using a rubber spatula, fold the drained raspberries evenly into the batter.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 55 to 60 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. (Cake may deflate in the center during cooling)
To make the Ambrosia Cream:
In a large bowl, beat the cream until it holds soft peaks.
Add the vanilla extract, powdered sugar, and Ambrosia Dessert Wine. Continue to beat mixture until cream holds stiff peaks.
Transfer the pound cake to a serving platter. Slice and serve with the Ambrosia Cream.

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