Recipe caRds Almond And ChoColAte dipped poAChed peArs Yield: 6 servings Juice of 1 lemon Juice of 1 orange 1 bottle of white wine 8 c. water 1/2 c. honey 1/2 t. black peppercorns 1/2 t. cloves 4 cardamom seeds 2 star anise 1 bay leaf 6 Bartlett pears, peeled 8 oz. premium dark chocolate 1/2 c. California almonds, sliced and toasted for 8 minutes in 400˚F oven Method (1) put juices, wine, water, honey, black peppercorns, cloves, cardamom, star anise and bay leaf in a wide saucepan. Gently place pears in liquid. Cover surface completely with a parchment paper circle 1/2” larger than the pot. Be sure pears are fully submerged, but not touching bottom of pot. (2) Bring liquid to boil, then reduce heat to just below simmer. Cook pears until fork-tender. Gently transfer to a glass bowl. pour enough liquid to just cover pears. Cover and refrigerate until cool, preferably overnight. (3) strain remaining poaching liquid, and return to saucepan. Cook over high until syrupy. Chill. (4) in a double boiler, melt chocolate until smooth. dip each cooled pear in chocolate, and roll in almonds. place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and refrigerate until chocolate is set, 30 minutes. (5) lightly drizzle with reduced poaching liquid. serve at room temperature. Wine pairing: heinz eifel eiswein 2008 (Germany) Recipe and photo credit: Almond Board of California, Modesto, WAtermelon CuCumBer shrimp CoCktAil Yield: 4 servings 2 t. extra virgin olive oil 1 bunch scallions, trimmed and chopped 1 t. toasted sesame oil 2 t. fresh lime juice 1/2 c. water 1/4 c. sugar 1 t. salt 1 clove garlic, minced Cracked pepper or hot pepper sauce, to taste 1 lb. cocktail shrimp, cooked, cleaned and chilled 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped 1/4 c. cilantro leaves 4 3” watermelon circles Method (1) heat the oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the scallions, and sauté. remove from heat, and stir in sesame oil. set aside. (2) Whisk together the lime juice, water, sugar, salt and garlic. spice to taste with pepper or pepper sauce. stir in the shrimp, cucumber and cilantro. mix well, then chill. (3) divide watermelon among 4 small dishes. divide the shrimp and cucumber mixture over the watermelon, and drizzle the scallion marinade over the top of each cocktail. Wine pairing: Argyle riesling 2008 (oregon) Recipe and photo credit: National Watermelon Promotion Board, Orlando, Fla., riCe puddinG With CrAnBerry, FiG And ApriCot Yield: 4 servings 8 oz. indian harvest tinawon Fancy rice 2 c. 2% milk, divided 1 t. unsalted butter 1/2 vanilla bean, split 1/4 t. kosher salt 1 whole egg, beaten 1/3 c. granulated sugar 1/2 c. indian harvest Cranberry Aurora Fruit Blend (or mixed dried cranberry, Black mission fig and apricot) Fresh or dried fruit, for garnish Fresh mint sprigs, for garnish Method (1) Cook rice according to package directions; reserve. (2) in a medium saucepan, combine 1 c. milk, butter, vanilla bean and salt; bring to a slight boil until bubbles form on the perimeter. remove from heat, and reserve. (3) in a bowl, whisk egg and sugar until smooth. once sugar is dissolved, whisk in the remaining 1 c. milk, then temper in the reserved milk mixture by pouring slowly and whisking constantly. remove vanilla bean, and scrape the meat into the mixture; discard the bean husk. Add the hot mixture back to the saucepan with the dried fruit to plump. With a wooden spoon, fold in the rice until the mixture thickens like porridge. let cool before service. (4) to plate, scoop into individual bowls or shape into molds on each of 4 plates; garnish with fresh or dried fruit and a sprig of mint. Wine pairing: sables d’Azur rosé 2008 (France) Recipe credit: Chris Dwyer, CEC, ACE, AAC, executive chef, The Kahler Grand Hotel and International Hotel, Rochester, Minn., Photo credit: Indian Harvest, Bemidji, Minn., 8 | Chef