Saturday, November 8, 2008

Chevre, Pasta & Hope

Well it has been quite a while since my last post and a lot has gone on. So I will be covering a couple different events.

I guess I'll go in order of occurrence...

A couple/few weeks ago I made my first batch of chevre. It turned out awesome and I couldn't believe how easy it was to make. The fact that I was finally able to find the proper type of goats milk was really exciting.

When making the cheese I first let the whole batch drain for about 6 hours, which created a nice slightly crumbly but spreadable cheese. Here's a couple pics:

Above is the crumbly cheese and below is what I made with it.
Chevre omelet w/ heirloom tomato & mache salad, served w/ homemade bagel and chevre spread.

This is what we had for Breakfast that day. I had made a batch of bagels a couple weeks earlier and thrown them in the freezer, they were great toasted w/ a light smear of this single process chevre. I threw just a touch of lemon zest in to the egg mixture, which added a nice dimension to the peppery chevre omelet.

Guava jam and single process chevre tart

For the tart I used a jar of guava jam given to Mike and I by some friends. I reduced down the jam in a saucepan and added a couple of beaten egg yolks for texture. The crust is a standard tart crust however for a bit of a kick I added some fresh ground pepper to the dough. It was a nice addition to the sweetness of the guava filling and creaminess of the chevre. I added droplets of the chevre to the tart once it was about half baked. This allowed it to remain creamy.

I molded the remaining chevre and allowed another six hours or so of draining. This gave the cheese a texture and shape similar to the logs you by in the store. Before wrapping I rolled the fully drained cheese in fresh ground pepper, chili flakes and thyme from the garden.

Check it out:


About a week after the Chevre experiment our friend Pete came for a visit from LA. As is the tradition when Pete comes to town we had a really nice dinner party. Drue and Ali came over and made some excellent dishes. Ali's pumpkin soup in particular was divine (sorry no pics of it). Of course we also drank some amazing wines...

My dish for this party was so yummy I had to post about it. Here's the pic:Truffle Pasta w/ Golden Chanterelle and Rapini.

I was able to get an excellent Italian black truffle from Far West Fungi at the ferry building, which was used in the creation of this dish.

The pasta was handmade and hand cut, I added finely grated truffle to the dough which was made w/ 3/4 type 001 flour and 1/4 fine ground semolina.

For the sauce I used a slightly modified version of Michael Mina's truffle sauce recipe (see link at sidebar). My main modification was that I swapped the preserved black truffle for the fresh. The recipe made a rather large batch so I was able to use the remaining sauce the next day in a very grown up baked Mac and Cheese.

Once we were just about ready for the pasta course I sauteed together the mushroom and rapini and tossed together w/ the pasta. I placed a small serving of the truffle sauce in the bottom of each bowl then twirled in the pasta and veggies. For an extra bit decadence I also broiled some fatted calf fois gras. I placed a couple little slices on top of each serving of pasta (except Mike's of course)and drizzled on the rendered fat. The left over black truffle was then finely grated onto the pasta, together w/ a bit of pecorino, and lastly another drizzle of the truffle sauce.


So as many of you who actually read this blog already know I just got back from Reno where I volunteered to be part of the Obama campaign's get out the vote operation.

It was an amazing time and I really felt like we helped turn Nevada Blue.

I was so busy during this time that I did not take many photos but will post the one's I have shortly, together with a more detailed post about my experiences and the great people I met.

Signing off for now.