Yes, a little bit behind schedule here I know. Better late then never though, right? At the last dinner on June 11 with Bryce Vineyard I was asked to come and cook the dinner on July 2 with Eric Hamacher.
Prior to the dinner however, on the 16th of June Eric and Tom asked if I would please come and cook a lunch. They had their professors from the School of Viticulture and Enology up visiting the studio. The lunch was a wonderful chance for me to be able to work with Eric more than just at the dinner. At the luncheon they all were seated outside and had a light three course meal.
Hamacher Luncheon Menu:
Local Red Leaf Salad
Shaved Sweet Onions, Pecorino, Herb Vinaigrette
Boneless Pork Chop
Green Beans, Potatoes, Onions, Radicchio Slaw
The menu for the 2nd of July with Hamacher wines was meant to be kept light and summery. First speaking with my fisherman he said there was a possibility of getting spot prawns for the dinner! I was so excited about that option but in the end the prawn fisherman didn’t end up going out… bummer. This is the menu that I served with Eric Hamacher’s wines:
Grilled Bread, Local Greens, Strawberries
Paired with: Hamacher 2007 Dry Rose
Grilled Spicy Prawns
Spaghetti, Tomatoes, Garlic, Citrus, Butter
Paired with: Hamacher 2007 Chardonnay
Strawberries, Goat Mascarpone
Paired with: Hamacher 2006 “H” Pinot Noir
Bread by Hideaway Bakery… yummm!
I made the fresh ricotta from local milk the day before the event. Everyone LOVED this cheese and they were all very impressed that I made it. People wanted to know where they could buy this cheese. Eric Hamacher said he hadn’t had ricotta cheese this good since he was in Italy! So, I guess I should pass along the recipe that I used.
I have a standard formula and method for making ricotta (just in my head), but it really never produced a great yield. Since I was making cheese for 50 people here I needed to try a different way. So, I turned to Barbara Ciletti’s book Making Great Cheese At Home and the difference in taste, texture and yield was so impressive.
Yield: 1 pint
1/2 Gallon Whole Cow’s Milk
1 C Heavy Cream
7 Tblsp Lemon Juice
1/4 tsp Salt
Heating the Milk
Blend the milk, cream and lemon juice – med. low heat. 45-50 minutes allow to reach 165-170F. Stir only once or twice during this time – stirring more will break up the curds too much. It will start to form into small pea sized curds.
Increase slightly to medium. 7-8 minutes more to 200-205F. should be right on the verge of boiling. curds should be creamy.
Remove and allow to rest for 15 minutes. Curds settle to the bottom, whey to the top. Pour into cheesecloth. Drain 20 minutes. Add salt and refrigerate.
Once at the dinner I grilled pieces of Hideaway bread, added a scoop of fresh cheese and heated it in the oven. Served along side the cheese was a salad with a strawberry (fresh, local, of course!) vinaigrette.
The dinner went over very well, it was oversold at 48 people. Everyone was able to sit outside and enjoy one of the great summer evenings of the year.