Saturday, February 16, 2013

Cheesestravaganza, Country Walk, Sweet Potato Soup, Salmon and Snow

L. has not been having the easiest of times as of late, so I thought it would be nice if she and Fatty could come out to the country for a little respite. Additionally, she's in the process of trying out a new diet, which would pretty much put an end to her cheese consumption. This is, of course, a travesty. I figured if she had to bid adieu to cheese in all its glory, she should go out with a bang. So before going out to the country, I stopped at DiBruno Brothers to pick up a few stellar cheeses for us to all enjoy in a sort of final stand (for her...I simply cannot imagine my life without cheese). Mad props to the cheesemongers for being so good natured and chatty with me. They were equally sympathetic to L.'s cheese-less future and had good recommendations that further strengthened the list of cheeses already on my list. And just what was that list?
Well, some I chose based on previous McCrossen's cheese and wine events. Other cheeses made the cut due to a longer standing love of them. And then there were a few new ones I tasted at the suggestion of the mongers, and enjoyed heartily. So. Starting in the top left corner (the cutting board was a present from cousin's a map of France with different cheese regions notated): Cabot clothbound cheddar; Hudson Red; Comte Essex; Fougerus; Ossau Iraty; Chatham Hearts; Truffle Tremor...with a Roquefort in the center.
Oh boy a good plate it was. I might could have gotten a bigger slab of the fougerus, and the Chatham goat was good but not as interesting as the goat's cheese I had wanted (which had peppercorns in it/it wasn't in stock). The Ossau Iraty was a definite nutty delicious success. And the cheddar remains some of the best that I've had.
I was very pleased with the plate. While L. and Fatty were driving to meet me, I began preparing some of the elements of the dinner we would eventually eat. Once they arrived, the cheese plate went out so all the cheeses could warm up and live up to their potential.
While the cheeses were warming up we went on a woodsy walk.

At some point during that walk, it started to snow. Also, we did a photo shoot of silliness.

This is me practicing to be a goal post in the Super Bowl.
While this is Fatty running.
And this is me out of chronological order.
His return.
So in addition to the cheeses, which we enjoyed with baguette and red wine (gluten free crackers for Fatty), I made a sweet potato chorizo soup with a little walnut/arugula pesto accompaniment. Turned out pretty well.
I also poached a salmon in white wine. The salmon was laid upon a bed of leeks and topped with shallots. Turned out nice, though I think I used a slightly too sweet white wine. It wasn't moscat sweet, but something a bit dryer would have made me slightly happier. Additionally, I made a brie/mushroom/pea risotto, but by that point in the evening I totally forgot to take any photographs of it.
Once we were properly stuffed we went back outside, where the snow had really begun to fall and stick. At some point we went back out to the field, feeling the snow fall on our eyelashes and seeking the stars from the crowds.
These two are always great company and I delight in being able to feed them from time to time.

1 comment:

Huck said...

These cheeses look delicious. Very delicious. What a great plate!