Posts Tagged ‘locavore’
A Dinner to Remember..
Leaving Georgetown on a Friday night I was stuck on M Street for 40 minutes to cover about 7 blocks. The Weekend traffic made what should have been around an hour and 15 minute trip more than 2 hours, but the resulting dinner was truly worth it!
I (although I say “we” quite a bit – once you’re at a Whisky Dinner, you become a we!) attended a Cocktail Dinner at the Catoctin Creek Distillery, featuring the Wandering Chef – an entertaining and delicious affair and my first time visiting the new Catoctin Creek Distillery in the heart of Purcellville.
We enjoyed a private tour of the new space from owners, Scott and Becky Harris. Becky guided us through the process of making whisky, and Scott described for us the wonderful history of their “new” building, which is nearly 100 years old.
Dinner was a five course affair prepared by Chefs Wes Rosati and Maria Aros of The Wandering Chef. Chefs Rosati and Aros are formerly of Lansdowne Resort, and have combined talents to provide exquisite dining for our new venue!
Oh, and did I say cocktails? Yes, Katie Morrison was on hand to expertly craft cocktails paired with our dinner! As always, I forgot to get the cocktail recipes (shame!!), but the “Catoctinog” was a great starter for me – essentially a Whiskey egg nog, but more creamy nog than egg – cream and whiskey are made to be together!
Here is the Menu (all sourced from local producers and use of seasonal ingredients):
Braised Green Lentils with Local Lamb Sausage, Roasted Carrot Puree,
Honey and Chili Marinated Rack of Lamb
Mint and Lime Gremolatta – I think the Rack of Lamb stole the show – with whisky, you need meat (fat is good too) and the tender lamb on the bone was decadent..it also was delish with the lentils fatted up carrot puree (lamb sausage to boot!)
Paired with CCDC’s “The Wry Gingerman”
Dark Chocolate “Pots de Crème”,
Cranberry-Mint Compote and Freshly Whipped Cream
Catoctin Creek Distillery is located at 120 West Main Street, Purcellville, Virginia and the new location is WAY better than the old warehouse!
For reference, the event was held on Friday, December 13, 2013 – yes, Friday the 13th – Boo!
First of all, I want to mention that it’s really great that Daniel is using local resources as his ingredients. It’s really sad that people are so urbanized and removed from nature that they don’t even trust the fruit that grows on their local trees! Just like Daniel used the local quinces for this recipe, I have often thought about using the ginkgo “stinky” fruit that falls from the female trees that are common all over Washington, D.C. Stinky Gingko Fruit – unfortunately, it is SO stinky, that it will probably never happen!
The first point I want to make is that I am not a proponent of pairing dessert wines and dessert – the way I see it, there’s a missing synergy. In my book (sorry for the blatant promo!) I Drink on the Job – I have a complete chapter on pairing wine and food, and the principle that comes to mind is “1+1=1/2”. It seems weird, but when you put a sweet food in your mouth and then you drink a sweet beverage (it could be any beverage – fruit juice, cola, etc.), the sweetness is significantly reduced. The pairing rule I often learned was that the wine should be at least as sweet at the dessert, but I don’t see how it makes a difference – sweet and sweet mostly cancel each other out!
Another point is that the Yinzer torte is made with highly acidic quince fruit turned into a butter emulsion. So now you have acidity – and yes, you do want to match a dishes acidity with the wine, or the wine will taste really flat! You could easily pair this dish with a traditional dessert wine like a Sauternes or a Hungarian Tokaj, and that will do just fine. But let me throw a curve ball.
1) I prefer to have contrast to a sweet dessert dish – just like many people really enjoy coffee with sweets because the tannin in coffee contrasts the sweetness of dessert on your palate, I would rather pair this with a spirit – and my spirit of choice for this dish is either a Cognac or a Calvados. Cognac is distilled from grapes and has a nice fruit component. Calvados is distilled from apples and has that fruit component as well. You could have a whisky or a Scotch, but definitely avoid a really smoky/peaty version of the latter – there are no smoke components to this dessert (unless you’re puffing on a cigar at the time!),
2) Change the dish a bit to make it go better with wine – this is called a pairing “bridge”. For example, you could put some chopped walnuts on top and maybe serve with a slice of blue cheese and now Ruby Port goes perfectly! Crunchy nuts would also add texture which makes food more interesting on the palate. Add a caramel sauce, and now a Tawny port, which is port that has been pre-aged in barrel will work with those flavors. You could even bridge this dessert by making a dessert wine reduction, and that would bring the flavors together.
3) Add fresh whipped cream with a little liqueur in it like Cointreau. OK, it won’t match better with any wine, but certainly it will make the dish all the better, and isn’t pleasure what you’re really after?
Consider yourself paired!
Charlie Adler, Author, I Drink on the Job