Notes from the Wyndhavyn
Spring into Summer
Dinner Party
June 4, 2005

NV Jean Lallement Brut
Currently my house favorite champagne. Even when it’s flat it tastes good.

Lavender Honey’d Melon & Proscuitto di Parma Kebabs
de Fussigny Pineau des Charentes

I used Sonoma Syrup’s Lavender Syrup and Avocado honey we bought in Santa Barbara to enhance the flavor of the early season Organic Cantaloupe and Honeydew Melon. The Proscuitto was procured from Dean & Deluca (I prefer San Daniele but I acquiesced to Jack’s desire and purchased Parma). The touch of green is a single leaf of Persian Cress which resembles wild Arugula in flavor – but is less spicy – purchased at the St. Helena Farmer’s market. I marinated the melon on Friday and rolled and cut the proscuitto on Friday as well. Sat afternoon I skewered the elements. Excess melon juices were split between the sake cups. Just before serving I poured Pineau des Charentes over the top of each skewer into the sake cup they rested on.
(The de Fussigny came from Bern's Steak House.)

Fatted Calf’s Spiced Torchon of Foie Gras, Carmelized Ramp & Bourbon White Peach Tartlettes
1994 Zind Humbrecht Gewürztraminer Heimbourg Vendange Tardive

I carmelized the ramps and peaches on Friday and assembled the tarts on Saturday. I used pre-made tartlette shells from : The white peaches were from Hamada Farms (St. Helena Farmer’s Market) but a bit on the underripe side. The ramps came from Earthy Delights and they were the most beautiful things in the world when they arrived. Ramps don’t carmelized well. They get woody. I would not use them again in this dish. The bourbon I used showed too much oak – another choice would be better – a brandy or cognac. The Zind-Humbrecht was great and great with this dish. I served the Foie Gras Torchon too warm – it was almost like butter when we got to eat it. It would have been better a bit colder. The torchon is excellent quality and is really good – albeit expensive - $115/pound at Dean and Deluca. I did not detect any particular spices in it.

Fatted Calf’s Finocchiona
D&M were kind enough to bring this great sausage to share with us. It was a complete surprise and fit in perfectly with the Fatted Calf theme! It was delicious. Just the right amount of chewiness and spiciness.

Wild King Salmon Rilettes ala Bouchon with Anna’s Daughter’s Rye Bread
1996 Francois Cotat Les Monts Damne’s
I used the Bouchon cookbook recipe – but altered it in that I used 3 kinds of salmon: cold smoked, cedar plank grilled and poached. The cold smoked was sliced rather than in a chunk – it changed the texture but not the integrity of the dish. For clarified butter I used Ghee. The finished rilettes were spread on wheat free sliced rye from Anna’s Daughter and topped with a thin quarter slice of lemon. The recipe made 3x the quanity needed for this appetizer. The little breads were great. I will buy them again and recommend them. They have a country heft to them. The wine paired really well with this dish. In fact I really liked the wine by itself!

Fatted Calf’s Pistachio Mortadella, with Rick’s Picks GT1000 Curried Green Tomato & Alexander Valley Manhattan-Style Pickles, and Avocado Tomato Salad with Persian Cress

1999 Calera Pinot Noir Jensen

This is fantastic Mortadella. I was so excited when I saw it at Dean & Deluca I had to add it to the menu. Fortunately D&D also had these new great pickes from Alexander Valley. They are like “new” dills and are wonderfully addictive. We popped open a Ricks Picks Curried Green Tomato pickle to pair with it – another hit from Ricks Picks NYC. The avocado tomato salad was dressed with L’Olivier Basil Olive Oil and chiffonaded Persian cress.
(The Calera Jensen pinot was smooth and elegant. - Jack)

Fiddlehead & Ramp Soup
I made the soup a week ahead from the Earthy Delights Ramps and Fiddleheads and froze it. I also froze 9 whole fiddleheads separately for a garnish. The chicken stock I had purposely made light as I wanted the flavors of the ramps and fiddleheads to show. The soup was lovely. It was loosely based on a recipe that came from Earthy Delights which is basically a homemade chicken stock with finely sliced ramps and quartered fiddleheads added to it. Note: you must always cook the fiddleheads first before you use them in dishes or eat them.

Braised Lamb with Middleton Garden’s Asparagus, Porcini Mushrooms & Green Sauce
1993 Castello di Farnetella Poggio Granoni (from Magnum)
2001 Bodegas Valsacro Dioro Seleccion J&D

This dish was spectacular. It was gorgeous looking and tasted like heaven. The inspiration for it came from Amanda Hesser’s The Cook & The Gardener – May. The dish in the book was Braised Lamb with Asparagus, Garlic and Peas. Our garden peas weren’t ready and there weren’t any for sale at the farmer’s market but I specially ordered 2 pounds of Middleton Gardens Asparagus for this dish and it really sang. The Porcini addition happened on Friday when I found some perfect looking ones at the farmer’s market. This dish had about $20 worth of porcini in it which if I recall correctly was about 2/3 of a pound. The green sauce was inspired by picadas I usually make for stew. It consisted of a puree of blanched fiddleheads, the burgundy stem portion of the ramps (about 10) and the last of the Nuovo PasoOlivo Olive Oil we got from Zingerman’s. The magnum of wine came from B-21 Wines in Tarpon Springs, FL. (Both wines were wonderful! - Jack)

Cheese Course:
Brescianella Stagionata
Bingham Hill’s Poudre Puff
Goat’s Leap Sybil
John Folse’s Evangeline
Flower Marie
Pleasant Ridge Reserve
Le Chevrot
Aged Piave
Sally Jackson’s Guernsey

Wild Flour Bakery Breads

1980 Beringer Private Reserve Lemmon Chabot Vyd Cabernet Sauvignon
1997 Howell Mountain Vineyards Black Sears Vyd Zinfandel
1996 Greenock Creek Seven Acre Shiraz

The Bingham Hill Poudre Puff, Folse’s Evangeline and the Goat’s Leap Sybil came from Raymond & Co Cheesemongers (John Raymond -formerly of Keller’s Market St Helena, doesn’t have a retail store yet) at the St. Helena Farmer’s Market. The Flower Marie came from Dean and Deluca - it was the big hit of the cheeseboard, extremely runny and very flavorful. The other cheeses were brought by our guests. Jack took a small entourage to Wild Flour Bakery in Freestone on Saturday morning to buy bread (it was still warm when they brought it home – they had to wait for it) and a baker’s dozen of Hazelnut, chocolate biscotti.
(The wines all rocked, esp. the Beringer.)

House made Strawberry Raw Milk Ice Cream made from Middleton Garden’s Strawberries
with Lemon Verbena Whipped Cream & David Glass Italian Almond Cake

I made the ice cream a week in advance of the party and froze it in silicone canella molds to give it an interesting shape. The Raw cream came from Organic Pastures. The strawberries came from the Healdsburg farmer’s market – Middleton Gardens. The David Glass Italian Almond cake I bought frozen at the Larkfield Market. I infused the whipping cream with Lemon Verbena from our garden by submerging fresh leaves in the cream and bringing it to a boil then letting it cool and removing the leaves before whipping. I infused it on Friday and whipped just prior to serving. The ice cream being very dense was left out about 10-15 minutes before serving.

SF’s Poco Dolce Chocolates with Grey Salt (almond, hazelnut, crystallized ginger, burnt caramel toffee)
& Gold Coast Coffee with Organic Pastures raw cream & Wild Flour Bakery Biscotti

I bought the Poco Dolce Chocolates at Dean & Deluca. About $16 for 8. They are spectacular tasting. The chocolate is dark and rich and the grey salt adds a real zing. We would buy them again. The Coffee is from the fantastic Gold Coast Coffee Co at Duncan’s Mills. It’s worth the trip to buy it.

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