I hope you all had a wondeful thanksgiving holiday, I know we did. As important as the holidays are for gathering family and friends, they are even more important in terms of cooking, no? I deep fried my bird this year, again, as I love anything fried, especially a 15 pound bird! We had 10 people at the house this year, so it facilitated the large bird, and some sides. My wife did garlic mashers, I did au gratin potatoes, with gruyere and chedder, and the gravy. All were well recieved. My mother in law chipped in with squash casserole and a variety of relishs, and we rounded the meal out with my mother’s homemade pumpkin pie. A feast to remember, for sure.
We did burger’s at the house this weekend, but not just any burgers, I knew I had to step it up. The challenge was thrown down by a wine collector friend of mine to pair a burger with 2001 Caymus Cabernet. A fun task, I assure you. I went with two, just to be safe. The first was a burger that consisted of ground 70/30 Ribeye steak, wrapped in Caul Fat and topped with Smoked Chedder cheese, Smoked Jalapenos, Applewood smoked bacon, and just for fun, a dash of peanut butter under the pattie. The combination with the wine was fantastic, the ribeye steak was more than able to the task of standing up to the Caymus, which is a BIG, BOLD cab to be sure. But nothing could have prepared us for the tast explosion of the second burger. For that, I used ground Lamb, combined with some Duck Confit that I made last month. I again wrapped it in Caul Fat, then grilled it to medium rare. The toppings for this one were carmalized onions, and a fresh Dijonaise. Now that’s a burger!! Sadly though, it wasn’t as willing in terms of the wine pairing, as the subtlety of the lamb was no match for the vino. Goodbye for now, and remember…
Eat Well, Eat Often, and Enjoy It All
I finished off the Cheese Festival on Sunday, it was concluded with a Grilled Cheese cookoff. I was pleasently surprised to see that one of the judges was one of my chef instructers from culinary school. His name is Andy Floyd, he taught me alot, of that I’m certain. So it was good to see him, and to meet his son. The event itself, in it’s second year, still needs some organizational work, but overall was an enjoyable enough two days. I was able to meet a few more artisinal cheese makers, and the one that really stood out was James Ranch, out of Durango Colorado. The apprentice cheese maker, Amber, was a delight to talk to, and seemed to really enjoy her new chosen profession (she is a former school teacher, and let slip that she enjoyed the company of the cows over the kids). They served a cheese called Leyden, which is infused with Cumin seeds, delicious. I highly recommend it if you come across it. That’s all I’ve got for you this time, but remember what I said…
Eat Well, Eat Often, and Enjoy it All
Went to the Cheese Fest today in South Denver, great time, but, wow, that’s a lot of dairy products to put into your belly..
I did end up with some great stuff to bring home, and there were alot that I’d have liked to bring along, but really, how much is too much.
The selections I came up with are …
Marco Polo, from Beecher’s Handmade cheese, they are out of Seattle, in the Pike Place Market. This is a great cow’s milk cheese that they infuse with Madagascar Pepper for a great flavor, kick and finish. I can’t wait to make a beer cheese soup with it.
Another is called, Tyghee, from Star Valley Cheese in Wyoming. This one I found by by smell, as they were browning it in a saute pan. This stuff was so good, we went back for seconds, and thirds, and…well, you get the idea.
The last one I bought was a Goat’s Milk Gouda from Victory Hill Farm in Scottsbluff Ne. Only been aged about four months, but you’d never know it. It has the character of a much older gouda.
If you ever get a chance, try out these cheeses, and always look for the small artisanal cheese makers, they make some pretty cool stuff.
I’m going back tomorrow to try some more, and to be there for the grilled cheese sandwich cook off, should be fun.
I’m starting this in hope that there are people out there who might find the random musing of a catering chef interesting. Do you exist, who knows, but I will post this everyweek in hopes that you do. I’m not even sure what I will write about, but knowing that I love food, and I love talking, I’m guessing that I will be able to give you a bit to chew on every week. Please enjoy the ramblings, and let me know how I’m doing. Eat well, eat often, enjoy it all.