Spring into Summer
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!