The names of the great champagne houses read like a who's who of the wine world. Veuve-Cliquot, Bollinger, Roederer aren't just the names of three amazing wines, but they are also the names of three of the Champagne widows who ran the family business and made it to the top of a male dominated industry. Madame Cliquot is probably the most famous and the name of her champagne says it all, the veuve of Veuve Cliquot means widow. Madame Bollinger took control of her winery in 1941, right in the heat of World War Two and she doubled the winery's production. She is credited with one of the most famous wine quotes of all time. "I drink Champagne when I'm happy and when I'm sad. Sometimes I drink it when I'm alone. When I have company I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I'm not hungry and drink it when I am. Otherwise, I never touch it - unless I'm thirsty." For more information please visit http://www.vinicode.com.
1/4 to 1/2 cup prepared horseradish (adjust to desired taste) 2 cups sour cream 2 tablespoons lemon juice 1 teaspoon salt
Mix up the horseradish sauce at least an hour before serving. It can be made up 1 or 2 days before hand and then refrigerated until ready to serve.
How to Prepare Horseradish
8-10-inch long piece of horseradish root 2 Tbsp water 1 Tbsp white vinegar Pinch salt
If you have access to a garden horseradish plant, use a sturdy shovel to dig up an 8-10-inch long tuber of horseradish. (You can't pull it up.) The plant itself, once established, propagates with tubers, and is very hardy.
Remove the leaves from the root and rinse the dirt off of the root.
Grate or process the horseradish fine. Add the remaining ingredients and store in an airtight container. Can be kept for as long as three months. Will begin to lose potency after that.
pastry for 2-crust 9-inch pie 1 1/2 pounds rhubarb, trimmed, washed 2 eggs 1 3/4 cups sugar 4 tablespoons flour 1/4 teaspoon mace or nutmeg dash salt 1/4 cup orange juice 1 tablespoon melted butter
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
1. Prepare pie pastry (mix or from scratch). Roll out half to a 12-inch round on a lightly floured surface. Fit pastry into a 9-inch pie plate. Trim overhang to about 1/2-inch.
2. Cut rhubarb into 1-inch pieces (cut up rhubarb should measure about 4 cups) In a large bowl, beat eggs slightly; blend in sugar, flour, mace, salt, and orange juice. Stir in rhubarb, coating well with the batter. Spoon into the prepared pastry shell.
3. Roll out remaining pastry to an 11-inch round; cut several slits near the center to let steam escape then cover pie with pastry. Trim overhang to 1/2 inch and turn edges under, flush with rim; flute edge. Brush pastry with melted butter. If desired, sprinkle with a little sugar.
4. Place pie on a baking sheet to catch spillovers. Bake at 425° 50 minutes, or until pastry is golden and juices are bubbly. Cool completely on a wire rack, then cut into wedges.
1/2 medium pineapple, peeled, quartered lengthwise, and cored 3/4 stick unsalted butter 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 2 to 3 teaspoons ground cardamom 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 3/4 stick unsalted butter, softened 1 cup granulated sugar 2 large eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 tablespoon dark rum + 2 tablespoons 1/2 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
a well-seasoned 10-inch cast-iron skillet
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cut pineapple crosswise into 3/8-inch-thick pieces. Melt butter in skillet. Add brown sugar and simmer over moderate heat, stirring, 4 minutes. Remove from heat. Arrange pineapple on top of sugar mixture in concentric circles, overlapping pieces slightly.
Sift together flour, cardamom, baking powder, and salt.
Beat butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, then gradually beat in granulated sugar.
Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla and rum. Add 1/2 of the flour mixture and beat on low speed just until blended. Beat in pineapple juice, then add remaining flour mixture, beating just until blended. (Batter may appear slightly curdled.)
Spoon batter over pineapple topping and spread evenly. Bake cake in middle of oven until golden and a tester comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Let cake stand in skillet 5 minutes.
Invert a plate over skillet and invert cake onto plate (keeping plate and skillet firmly pressed together). Replace any pineapple stuck to bottom of skillet. Sprinkle the 2 tablespoons of rum over cake and cool on plate on a rack.