Smoked/Roasted Lamb with Lavender and Garlic makes for a perfect fall feast...Read More
Every once in a while, (and maybe just a little more than that), I'm struck by a moment of true beauty as I walk Longtable vineyards. This was "just another one of those" -- an instant of balance between the cool, foggy morning and the rich, blue late-summer sun. A few of our apple trees are there on the left, with a tiny pear-tree that will yield maybe 12 pears in the coming weeks, to the right is our"Block 3" Cabernet Sauvignon, which the brilliant David Ramey has been using as a key part of his "Annum" for the last several years. It's great fruit and only getting better as the vines mature.... 2016 looks like it's going to be a fabulous year if the weather comes through as promised.... Stay tuned!
These rolls are everything I want them to be – flavorful and with a moist, flexible crumb that stands up to whatever I might serve on them while also being so easy that I find myself just nodding and smiling at the “OMG’s” they inevitably receive.Read More
Bay-leaf and citrus in a garlicky brine makes for flavorful and moist chicken on the grill, or out of the oven or the smoker... A spectacular pairing with Hey Kid! Viognier or Forks on the Left "Mixed Blacks"Read More
In some ways it’s only fitting that the first Longtable/Forks on the Left blogpost is Thanksgiving related. Thanksgiving has been my favorite holiday since as long as I can remember – if there is such a thing as a Longtable Lifestyle -- the family/friends/food/wine thing that Thanksgiving brings, is it.
We tend to have big turnouts for Thanksgiving, this year, the table was for thirty-five and that meant 86 pounds of turkey. I’ve long ago stopped preparing whole turkeys for our celebration, choosing instead to give each part of the bird its best chance to shine. The choice leads to moments like this one (dubbed “Synchronized Turkey Breakdown Family Band” by my daughter, Sophie, on the left, showing off her mad butchering skills).
The breasts most often get cooked “sous-vide” with earthy, wild-mushroom puree or light herbs to maximize the white meat’s delicate flavor and moist texture; the legs and thighs get brined overnight with bay and citrus and aromatics and smoked/then grilled to enhance the dense, rich substance… And the wings? Ah, the wings… we think about those wings all year:
Crispy skin with a lightly-salted finish, moist and meaty, fall-off-the-bone tender with just a tug of the tooth… They are done “confit” – cooked low and slow under flavorful oil and then finished in a hot oven until they crackle like a potato-chip bubble. We did four birds this year, wings separated into three pieces (I did the tails this way, too) – there were twenty-eight pieces in all, and they landed on the table near the end of the meal when chairs were being pushed back and the “no-more/can’t believe I ate all that” looks had landed solidly on guests’ faces – every bite of wing and tail vanished in minutes with even the reluctant left fighting to share.
These crisp and flavorful wings are one of the highlights of our Thanksgiving...Read More