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Press-Republican. (Plattsburgh, N.Y.) 1966-current, December 14, 1995, Image 18

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PAGE C-2 THURSDAY, DECEMBER 14, 1995 SMORGASBORD PRESS-REPUBLICAN - PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. WORDS ON WINE Making the case for Pick of the week: In the regular estate bottled Charles Krug Cabernet. Sauvignon 1991, Napa Valley, we find a conventional but enjoyable wine with a core of concentrated raspberry-black currant fruit. It could age for three to five years, but it's good now for those who like a cabernet witjh plenty of backbone. Its present character would make it appropriate with steaks and hearty autumn dishes. About $13. I know, I'm always saying, ''Drink wines when they're young, life is too short and you don't have a cellar.\ The corollary is that we ought to taste older wines any time the opportunity presents itself. It's a- matter of ••curiosity, of checking on the state of a wine during hibernation, of gaining experience. I wrote \older\ rather than \old\ on purpose, because we're talking about California wines today, not 25- or 50- or 100- year-old Bordeaux wines. Not many wines from California exist. over the age of 20 or -25. Only .a few collectors hoarded wines from such great years as 1968- or FREDRIC KOEPPEl Wine critic 1*974, and the track records for aging California wines have yet to be set. In the short history of the •Napa Valley's post-Prohibition wine industry, Mayacamas Vine- yards qualifies as an old-timer. The . mountainside winery* was founded in 1941 by Jack and Mary Taylor, who.sold the con- cern to Bob and Elinor Travers in 1968. Mayacamas concentrates on cabernet sauvignon (about 2,000 cases annually), noted for its firm oaken and tannic struc- ture, and also produces, small quantities of chardonnay and sauvignon blanc and an occa- sional late-harvest zinfandel. AP Photo Chocolate Hanukkah Stars Chocolate star cookies perfect Hanukkah treat By The Associated Press For Hanukkah, bake and serve chocolate Hanukkah stars. These festive cookies are made with cocoa and dusted with powdered sugar. The cookies can also be served plain. Chocolate Hanukkah Stars V-z cup (1 stick) butter or mar- garine, softened 1 cup sugar 2 eggs 2 cups all-purpose flour V-i cup cocoa 1 tsp. baking powder l h tsp. baking soda V-i tsp. salt Powdered sugar . In a large bowl, beat butter, sugar and eggs on medium speed of electric mixer until light and fluffy. Stir together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to butter mixture, beating until well blended. Cover; refrigerate dough until firrh enough\ to handle. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. On lightly floured- surface, roll dough to V* -inch thickness; cut with star- shaped cookie cutter. Place' on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in a 350-degree F oven for 5 to 7 minutes or until no imprint re- mains when touched lightly in center. Cook for 1 minute; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Makes about 4 dozen cookies. Nutrition facts per serving: 60 cal., 1 g pro., 9 g carbo., 2.5 g fat, 15 mg chol., 70 mg sodium, 10 mg calcium. Recipe from: Hershey's Cocoa Try Indian-style corn bread By The Associated Press ' Corn bread is always popular. \ The following recipe is an adap- tation of Indian sweet-potato corn bread from the New York ^Public Library cookbook, • \Around The American Table,\ . by Michael Krondl (Adams Media • Corp.). The baking powder is a mod- ; em addition, although it is possi- • ble that a leavening may once have been made from wood ashes; ash can combine with the natural acids of corn to form car- . bon dioxide, Before European ovens came along, the bread was probably baked by setting it on a stone ;that had been heated with hot coals. An earthenware pan was then Set over the bread and more coals heaped on top of it. This bread will be a little richer if you , use milk, though water is more authentic. Sweet Potato Corn Bread 2 lbs. sweet potatoes 1 Tbsp. butter 1 cup cornmeal v,,.. V-i tsp. salt 2 tsp. baking powder 1 cup water or milk Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place the sweet potatoes in a small baking pan; bake until very tender, about 1 to 1 V-i hours, depending on size. Cool briefly, then scoop out and mash the pulp. Measure 2 cups pulp. Butter a 10-inch cake pan or similar baking dish with the 1 tablespoon butter. Stir together the cornmeal, salt and baking powder. Add the water or milk. Stir in the mashed potatoes. Spoon into the prepared dish. Bake in a 375-degree F oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until firm. Makes 6 serving^. I recently tasted Mayacamas cabernets from 1990, 1989, 1985 -and 1983. The eemplam£i& pftexu .registered that Mayacainas cabernets sacrifice fruit to tan- > nin, and, true to form, these wines, particularly the '89 and '85, were abidingly firm and res- olute. The '89 exhibited close, to unspeakable toughness and min- eral depths. The '85 is a huge, biting and austere wine that will require five to eight years even to see if it will come ground. The '85 and '89 can be found at retail for about $35, • , From the not-so.-great vintage 1983, Mayacamas produced a more-than-deoent cabernet that displays a generous,, mellow, minerally bouquet; in the mouth, the wine shows plenty of grip, a high gloss of dried herbs and flowers and raspberry-tea fla- vors. After a few minutes in the glass, however, the wine gains a dusty tannic quality, and the fruit submerges. Available at the winery, about $45. It seems clear that the Mayacamas Cabernet Sauvignon 1990 is the best cabernet the winery has made in a decade. The bouquet develops from an initial scent of mint andminerals to a heady fragrance 6f thyme, _lay§n<igr and '-dried cherries; plenty of oak arid tannin assert themselves, but the tannin — at first — * is soft and grainy, en- couraging the concentrated plum and black currant flavors to float to the surface. Give it five to eight years. About $25.. The .wines I didn't expect to be excited by, but was, werev two Mayacamas chardonnays. Made completely without bar- rel-fermentation, malolactic fermentation or aging on the lees (sediment of dead yeast cells)', these chardonnays were thrilling in their elegance, audacity and purity ^ . \ * The Mayacamas Chardonnay 1990 -is so perfectly balanced that you don't notice its stupendous 14.5 percent alcohol, so beautifully integrated that its 12 months in oak barrels seem merely to have lent an. inex- tricable sheen to each atom in the' bottle. No gushing, buttery, billowy, toasty tropical chardon- nay here; its essence lies in hints and nods toward spice, lime- stone, caramel, flowers and dried herbs and citrus flavors, bolstered with essential but respectful oak and acid. Wow. About $20. Atthis point, the Mayacamas- Chardonnay 1992 is more high- toned and austere than its older cousin; there's a touch of juiciness to the citrus-pineapple fruit, a pass at cloves and floral fragrance, a burgeoning earthy chalky note. It needs three to five years to blossom..About $16, and the chardonnay bargain of the decade. Dignified, profound and grown-up,, these wines definitely do not line up with the state's myriad \me-too\ chardonnays. Founded in the Napa Valley in 1861, Charles Krug Winery rates as the second-oldest in the state; a bit older is Buena Vista, estab- lished in 1857. (Both, of course, took time out for Prohibition.)' Krug has suffered from incon- sistent quality for decades, though it found a firm foundation again with red wines in the mid-1980s. It's the winery, by the way, that Robert Mondavi, after long battles with his brother and mother, broke away from in 1966 to start his own now widespread empire. Krug markets a reserve-style cabernet under the Vintage Selection designation, recogniz- able-by-the-diagonaLred_stripe^in the label's upper left corner. I recently tried the Krug Vintage Selection Cabernets from 1991, 1988 and 1983. All are well-made and fairly straightforward red wines. The simplest is the rustic '88, featuring a vivid youthful bou- quet, luscious black currant and blackberry fruit and firm but well-mannered oak and tannin. The '83 is surprisingly lively and spicy; the mellow bouquet is dus- ty, fleshy and bacony. In the mouth, the wine displays rasp- berry-cherry flavors and dense tannin whose presence grows in the glass, slightly dominating the fruit. This wine has been re- released by the winery at about $20: The Krug Vintage Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 1991 is the blockbuster of the trip, though it's a wine that finds its ideal in solidity and power rather than complexity, requiring five to seven years to soften. About $28. (Fredric Koeppel writes this Scrlpps Howard News Service column weekly for The Commer- cial Appeal in Memphis.) Microwave good holiday helper By WOODENE MERRIMAN Pittsburgh Post-Gazette After two glasses of pink,.,,, champagne, Great Aunt Gertie's, getting giggly. Cousin Horace is starting in again on \how I won the war.\ And under the dining room table, the 4-year-old and th6 3-year-old, tired of sharing, are pulling Pocahontas apart. It's time to get dinner on the table, in a hurry. But you forgot a few things. The microwave is good at covering for you. For ex- ample: The turkey's out of the oven, and has been standing, draped Fast Foods Cooking with your microwave with foil, the requisite 30 minutes before carving. When you cut into it, the breast is done but the legs aren't. Put the underdone legs in a Pumpkin flan sports less fat and calories Ottawoy Newt Service COLUMBUS, Ohio - Made with egg substitute and evaporated skim milk, this reduced-fat flan sports pum- pkin-pie seasonings and the traditional caramel topping. It tastes rich yet has only 3 grams of fat and 185 calories per serv- ing. Both desserts can be made a day or two ahead and need no further attention until serving time. . ' Adding corn syrup to the sugar when making the caramel and cooking it in the microwave reduces the chances of over- cooking or burning. Reduced-Fat Pumpkin Flan 1 cup sugar, divided 2 Tbsp. light corn syrup 1 tsp. lemon juice 1 Tbsp. water 1 cup canned pumpkin 1 tsp. ground cinnamon 1 tsp. ground nutmeg 1 tsp. ground allspice 1 tsp. vanilla extract 1 cup (8 oz.) frozen egg substitute, thawed 1 can (12 oz.) evaporated skim milk In 10-inch deep-dish pie plate or round 1-quart casserole, place cup sugar, spreading evenly. Drizzle- corn syrup, lemon juice and water over the sugar. Do not stir. Place in microwave oven and heat on high power 2 minutes. Rotate turn and continue microwaving in 30-second inter- vals. When sugar starts'to melt and turn brown, microwave in 10-second intervals, rotating It's a hot chile What's the world's hottest chile? The Red Savina Habanero. Recently accepted into the Guin- ness Book of Records as the hot- test chile known, the wrinkled Chinese-lantern-shaped fruits are even hotter than the regular orange habaneros, tipping the Scoville heat scale at 350,000 to 400,000 units. . Red Savina's flesh has that fiery fruitiness that characterizes this family of chilies, which in- cludes Mexican habaneros and the incendiary Scotch • bonnet peppers of the Caribbean. turn at each interval. If hot spots occur, gently stir occasionally. When sugar is completely dissolved and syrup has turn a golden brown, remove dish with potholders and tilt dish to coat bottom and sides with syrup, being careful not to splash any syrup onto your skin. Tilt and swirl several times until syrup cools enough to coat sides of dish. Set dish aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In mixing bowl, whisk together remaining cup sugar, the pumpkin, spices and vanilla 'until smooth. Whisk in egg substitute, then the milk un- til blended. Pour into caramel- coated dish. Set plate in a larger pan. Pour hot water into pan to come halfway up sides of dish. Bake about 1 hour or until a knife inserted halfway between edges and center comes out clean. Remove pie plate from pan of water and place on wire rack to cool. Cover and refrigerate up to 1 day. Before serving, run a sharp knife around flan and in- vert onto serving platter. Yield: 8 to 10 servings. Great Enjoy me to five® Coffee \. • Fine quality coffee in regular and decaffeinated • Strengths to suit every taste • Consistent \packet per pot\ quality, convenience • High quality Biinn® brewer CALL -. Anthony DeFiore 1-80O-484-7199 Security ext. 5048 and ask about the AMW• Coffee Service ©1990. AMWW CORPORATION. VSX microwave-safe casserole, cover with crumpled wax paper, and zap at 50 percent power a few minutes. Time will depend on the size of the legs and how much additional cooking they need. Forgot to -get the butter out of the refrigerator to soften a little? Zap a stick of cold butter at 20 percent power for 15 to 20 sec- onds. If it is light butter (with water in it), reduce the time. Dinner rolls are cold? Place four on a paper towel on a plate, put another paper towel on top. Zap 15 to 18 seconds on high. Take care not to overheat; they'll get so hard Cousin Horace could break a tooth. The after-dinner chevre, Camembert or brie isn't as \ripe\ as you'd like? Unwrap the cheese, put a half pound on a serving plate and zap at 50 per- cent for 1 minute, until the center begins to soften. Let stand 2 minutes before serving. To warm up microwave-safe serving dishes, fill one with hot water and zap until the water begins to steam. Remove, pour the water into another serving dish and repeat the process, until all serving dishes have been heated. To warm up microwave-safe dinner plates, run each one quickly under the hot water faucet, or sprinkle with water, stack up to six at a time and zap on high. In my 850-watt microwave, six plates get very warm in 3 minutes. Dry with a dish towel. If the 8-ounce tub of non-dairy whipped topping for the pumpkin pie is still in the freezer, get it out and zap it at.30 percent for 1 minute to thaw. •, (Woodene Merrlman If the author of \Zap It Again,\ featuring more than 400 ways to use your microwave. To order, send your name and addreis and a cheek far $10.07 ($8.50 plui $1.57 for poitage and handling), payable to the Pittiburgh Poit-Gaxette. to Zap It Cookbook. Box 476, Pittsburgh, Pa. 15230. Allow two weeki far delivery.) Scripps Howard Hews Service SUPERMARKET On Plattsburgh Plaza) THIS SUNDAY 17th for an GRAND RE-OPENING! -Samples! -Prizes! OUT PRICES THRU DEC. 31st!! . ' ' FLYER!!! I I t 7 \ « k A

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