Food and Drink

The sun sparkling on the fall foliage provided a picturesque welcome to the hundreds of wine lovers who bused and trained up from Manhattan or drove from Connecticut, Massachusetts and elsewhere to celebrate the harvest and buy cases of Millbrook Winery's award-winning 2013 vintage. Executive Chef Waldy Malouf, Senior Director of the Culinary Institute, instructed each of the CIA's restaurants to prepare one of its signature dishes to compliment the Millbrook wines being served at the luncheon.  719 The star of this year's crop of wines was Millbrook's new Reisling. My husband, Gerard, somewhat of a wine virtuoso himself, has been telling me for years that Reisling would do well here, so my interest was piqued—and even more so when I learned that it was an "Alsatian" style Dry Riesling, which is less sweet than the German variety. (In Germany adding sugar is permitted and commonplace.) 
The latest addition to my kitchen works like magic. It makes two pounds of crispy French Fries with just one tablespoon of oil. Its "innovative pulsating heat technology and an automatic stirring paddle ensure even distribution of the oil." We bought it for the French Fries.
There is much confusion as to the differences among pates, terrines, and the other, similar forms of charcuterie. Even many French enthusiasts do not know the difference, due to the fact that the word "terrine" refers both to the earthenware container in which they are both cooked and one of the specific types of dishes cooked in it. The situation has been further muddled by uninformed food writers, chefs and marketing professionals who have misused the nomenclature when baptizing their creations. So I thought it was high time to get back to basics and explain it all. Here is a lexicon that will help you decipher what you are enjoying.
As the Farmers’ Market season inches to a close, many of us wonder how we will survive a winter without the great-tasting treats to which we have become accustomed. If you are focusing on those delicious pies from Ruth's Southern Classic Desserts, no need to fret. Just a hop, skip and a jump (or ten- minute ride) will take you to the heart of downtown Pleasant Valley, where Ruth maintains her shop next to neighbors Marion's Spa and Dollar General. Entering the cozy 700-square-foot storefront feels more like visiting someone's home. The couches invite you to sit and just look around to take in the decor. Music plays; authentic pictures of early 1900s mothers, wedding couples and family portraits catch your eye, and Ruth offers you some coffee or tea in antique china cups. The decor exudes charm. It is busy with heirlooms that customers have donated to create this unique and intriguing atmosphere.

More than 100 food lovers gathered at the famous club to enjoy a selection of fine foods from the Hudson Valley. Chef David Haviland—raised in Cortlandt Manor, a graduate of the CIA in Hyde Park and chef at Tarrytown's renowned Equus restaurant at Castle on the Hudson—is no stranger to the bounty of the farm-to-table movement in the Hudson Valley. He specializes in creating dishes that feature the best of HV products and invited a number of his purveyors to participate in this special dinner. Among the numerous dishes served were many of our favorites:


Pardon the pun, but I was very slow to adapt to this method of cooking. As my readers will know, I love braising and never saw a reason to stretch the timing out from 2–3 hours to 5–8. I have finally seen the light. It is not a matter of time but of freedom. Once the ingredients are in the crock pot or slow cooker, they cook themselves and even turn themselves off when done. No need to be home watching over them, and so far the outcomes have been perfect.

I am not saying it is the best—because I really do not know—but I bought this KitchenAid 6-Quart Slow Cooker with glass lid. It has four temperatures: warm, slow, medium, and high. It has 24-hour programmability on the digital display, so it is easy to start the slow cooker when you go out and return to a warm, delicious meal. And if you are running late, the slow cooker automatically goes into keep-warm mode for up to four hours after the set cook time elapses. Theoval-shaped ceramic vessel is easy to remove and clean and works for braised meats, soups and stews. 

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