Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Foyt Wine Pairing Dinner - Hor D'ouevre

My first idea for an Hor D'ouevre was a Crostini with a piece of brie and the pink lady's.  To my surprise, the brie cheese sucked up all of the fruits the wine offered and brought out a lot of the acidity from the high alcohol content in the wine.  The slices of fruit overpowered the cheese and couldn't keep up. 

Trial and error.  I consider this like warming up at a basketball game.

We moved onto the next idea...

My Sous chef began making Ricotta Cheese.  Boiling the Milk to separate the curds,
The ricotta cheese was to stuff these squash blossoms.

Stuffed Squash Blossoms with Ricotta Cheese
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients                                                    Amounts
For the Ricotta
Whole Milk                                                       1 qt.
Orange, juice                                                     3 Tbsp.                                                     
Vinegar, White                                                   3 Tbsp. 
Salt, 2 finger dash                                               TT
Parsley, finely chopped                                      1 tsp.
Lemon Zest                                                       1/2 tsp.

Squash blossoms (optional)                               4 ea.
Zucchinni, small diced                                    1/4 cup

For the Ricotta
1.  In a Medium sized sauce-pan begin on high heat to bring milk to a slow boil and reduce to medium - low heat.  Do not stir to create clumping of milk curds.
2.  Add vinegar to stabilize the curds.  Then add orange juice, salt, parsley, and lemon zest for flavor.

For the Zucchinni Blossoms
3.   Remove pistils and rinse flowers.  Pat dry and stuff 3/4 full with ricotta cheese mixture.
4.  Heat a Saute pan and add olive oil till glowing before smoking point.  Place squash blossoms inside hot saute pan and cook till a light brown.  Gently turn each piece and heat till cheese melts and becomes gooey inside.

The wine went well with the delicate flavors.  The acidity from the lemon and orange that flavored the cheese went with the acidity and buttery notes of the Chardonnay.  The squash blossoms were airy and added a nice flavor to the over-all dish.

Trying one last thing my favorite pairing was the crostini with the ricotta cheese individually.  The crunchy crostini laid the alcohol down and brought out the fruits in the wine that was in harmony with the taste of the food.  The combination of the two ideas tasted amazing.  The squash blossoms were still my favorite.

*Crostini's can be made in a 350˚F oven by toasting French Baguettes 1/4" thick that are brushed with olive oil, and are toasted till light brown or until it is cooked to desired crunchiness.  

Tomorrow: Appetizer - Scallop