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Posted by: Kim_Hamilton on 06/06/2008 10:00 AM Updated by: Kim_Hamilton on 06/07/2008 11:56 AM
Expires: 01/01/2013 12:00 AM
:



"School is Out Celebration"~By Jenny Baxter of Jennys Kitchen

Welcome Readers....School’s out for the summer! So who do you think is the happiest the students or the teachers? Well, this teacher can tell you that she is ready for her “School is Out Celebration” and this year the theme will be centered on red wines. I love to support my locals and in order to keep it fair, like a good teacher would, I place the names of our magnificent wineries in my school satchel and without peeking draw out 6 titles. Then it is off to the .....



wineries to sample and purchase the “nectar of the gods” for my annual end of the year party. Aren’t we fortunate to have seventeen fabulous wineries in our own backyard?

This year I am considering holding the gathering away from my home. I want a peaceful beautiful spot surrounded with the sights and sounds of nature. Somewhere that is not too hot, not far to travel to and that is somewhat private. Well, aren’t we lucky once again to have Beaver Creek in the South Grove of Big Trees Park in our own backyard?

My list of guests will be small in number and large in friendship. A mixture of dynamic women of diverse backgrounds who will each contribute a special attribute to vigorous and stimulating conversations as we dangle our feet in the creek and sip Calaveras County wines. Of course what is wine without a spread of delectable hors’ d ourves to caress our palates? As colorful as our personalities are so will my menu be.

Imagine sinking your teeth into a crisp sesame won ton cup filled with a creamy basil sauce with chunks of Portabella mushrooms and diced prawns. Or grilled lemon olive oil basted scallops with mango salsa, spicy curried chicken breasts in phyllo packets, cherry tomatoes stuffed with pesto orzo, marinated artichoke heart cheesecake, lemon grass turkey meatballs in a Pacific Rim sauce, and to top it off Merlot truffles. These specially selected picnic foods will be easy to transport and fairly easy to whip up!

Now I just have to decide what linens to bundle and what plates and stemware to pack. The nicest thing about having a red wine party is not having to keep the wine chilled!

Merlot Truffles



6 oz. dark chocolate

1/4 stick of chopped butter

3 Tablespoons cream

1 beaten yolk

3 Tablespoons Merlot (one of my favorite red wines)

¼ cup unsweetened cocoa

Combine the first three ingredients in a saucepan and cook over low heat until the chocolate melts stirring constantly. Keep It Sensuously Simple ( a food tip from Jenny) melt the butter first and then add the cream and chocolate. This will keep the chocolate from scorching. Add some of the chocolate mixture to the yolk and stir thoroughly. Add the yolk to the pan of hot chocolate and cook about 2 minutes stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and stir in the Merlot. Place into a chilled bowl and place into the refrigerator until completely cooled about one hour. Then beat with a mixer until the chocolate becomes light in color and the consistency is fluffy. Chill until the mixture holds its shape about 45 minutes. Using a small cookie dough scoop shape the chocolate into balls and place on a tray lined with parchment or waxed paper. Chill until firm. Roll the balls into the cocoa and place into a candy paper cup. Makes 24

Mango Salsa

Zest of one lime

Juice of one-half lime

2 teaspoons red wine

Fresh diced mango

½ cup fresh diced pineapple

Tablespoon minced red onion

2 teaspoons minced fresh cilantro

2 Tablespoons minced red pepper

teaspoon fresh grated gingerroot

1 toe minced garlic

Combine the liquid ingredients in the bottom of a decorative bowl. Add the other ingredients mixing after each addition. When all the ingredients have been mixed cover the bowl and place in a refrigerator overnight. Serve with the grilled scallops. Makes approximately one cup.

Scallops

1 lb. sea scallops

2 Tablespoons Calaveras Lemon Olive Oil

Baste the scallops with the olive oil and place in a grilling basket. Grill one both sides about 3-5 minutes. Place on a platter and set an umbrella toothpick in each scallop. Spoon some salsa over the top and “Bon Appetito!”

Serves 4-6





Well it’s thyme to go.

Happy summer!

Jenny Baxter

Jenny’s Kitchen





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