Bittersweet Chocolate and Goat Cheese Truffles

Bittersweet Chocolate & Goat Cheese Truffles with Tart Lemon sauce
You’ve just eaten for hours. Many courses and many wines later, it’s time for dessert. Ugh!
Mercy! All you really want is  little something to shift palate gears. 
Who remembers the green foil wrapped Andes Mints,  ubiquitous at every Steak house host stand in the 70’s and 80’s.
They were that perfect palate shifter, coating your overwhelmed tongue with herbal chocolate notes. These truffles are perfect in that way. Just a bite or two of lingering chocolate-citrusy love to leave your palate refreshed and happy.
These little two bite wonders make a dynamic finish to a big meal and are a cinch to make.

Makes a dozen
6 oz. Best quality bittersweet chocolate 67-73%, chopped
6 oz. fresh unsalted goat cheese
2 tbls. confectioner's sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp. lemon extract or zest of one lemon

In a stainless bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, melt the chocolate, stirring until it is smooth. Remove the bowl from the pan and let the chocolate cool slightly. In a electric mixer bowl, whisk together the goat cheese, the confectioner's sugar, the vanilla and the lemon extract until the mixture is light and fluffy. Fold in the soft chocolate by hand until the mixture is combined well.
Chill the mixture covered with wax paper for 1 hour, or until it is firm.
Put the cinnamon on one plate and the cocoa powder on another.
Form heaping teaspoons of the mixture into balls .
Carefully dip on half of each ball in cocoa powder and then the other side in cinnamon.
Chill the truffles on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper for 30 minutes, or until they are firm. The truffles keep in an airtight container, chilled for 3 days.

 Lemon-Muscatel Sauce for Truffles
8 oz sauvignon blanc or other tart, unoaked white wine
juice of three lemons
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp Lemon zest

optional garnish
Lemon thyme or marjoram leaves
Orange or pomelo sections

In a non-reactive pot cook the wine, sugar and lemon until it is reduced by half. .
Add 1 tsp fresh lemon zest strips.

Drizzle each truffle with a few drops of lemon sauce. Sprinkle a few marjoram or lemon thyme leaves onto the sauce. Pow!

Greek Watermelon Salad by Ric Orlando

Greek Watermelon Salad

This is the very trendy, most delish salad on the block. Sometimes a dish takes off because it is that good.
This is easy, just assemble, dress and eat. Just make sure the onion are thin and the melon and tomatoes are a bit beefier cut. Texture is key here.

Arrange on a platter slices of
peeled cucumbers
sweet onion

Dress with red wine vinegar and olive oil.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Garnish with crumbled feta and Kalamata olives.

Finish with roughly chopped fresh herbs…mint for sure, maybe some dill or parsley.

Thai Melon Salad by Ric Orlando

Here is another recipe from my Coxsackie Farmer's Market demo...Melon Love!

Thai Melon Salad
This is super refreshing, clean and surprising.
Bring it to a pot luck BBQ. Its great with smokey grilled fods or its also delish spooned on top of a bowl of steaming hot rice.
Yet another great way to use up any leftover melon. Use whatever melon you have for this.
Makes about a 6 cups.
Note- Allergic to Peanuts, use cashews, sunflowersseeds or nothing.
Want it Vegan?use tamari instead of fish sauce....

 1  cup  watermelon – large dice, seeded
1 cup honeydew, large dice
1 cup Canteloupe, large dice
1 medium cucumber, peeled, quartered lengthwise,  and sliced thin
1  red onion, peeled quartered lengthwise,  sliced thin 
1 big   not so ripe tomato, quartered and sliced
I medium carrot, peeled, sliced lengthwise then sliced into very thin half moons.
1    tsp crushed red pepper
 small bunch of mint, chopped
handful of bail, or Thia basil, roughly chopped
pinch  salt
pinch  pepper
  1 1/2           cups  peanuts -- chopped
1/4           cup  cider vinegar
1/4           cup  sugar
1/4           cup  fish sauce ( you can sub tamari sauce)
1 tablespoon peanut oil (optional)