Thursday, September 18, 2014

Good Bye to Summer and Rosé, Welcome to Fall foods and its wines

Last weekend and through this week we got our first look at the upcoming Fall season as we felt a chill start to move into the northeast. The cooler evenings and first falling leaves leave no doubt that the sun is setting on 2014's amazing summer.

On our annual visit to "The Block" to spend time with some good friends last weekend we did our part to bid Summer 2014 a fond farewell. There is always great food and wine to share with our friends and it is a few days of recharge as we prepare for the busy season that will rule our lives now and on through the holiday season.

Part of the deal on this weekend trip is that we are responsible for one meal of our choosing and of course we would be remiss if we didn't bring along wine to accompany the menu. As I thought about the menu and tried to figure out this years selection I ran through my mind some old favorites or things that we have seen and/or tried lately that might give me some inspiration but wasn't having much luck. Time was passing and our weekend kept getting closer but I just wasn't feeling any direction.

That is until I was working out in the yard and saw how wonderfully the Sage was growing this year. "I wonder if Andrew over at Tutto Pasta has any Mushroom Ravioli today" I thought to myself... Some brown butter and Sage with the 2010 Produttori Barbaresco and we are getting somewhere! A quick phone call put that to rest but opened the door at the same time. "No Mushroom Ravioli" he told me. "I will get into that in a couple of weeks but right now I have Pumpkin and Butternut Squash Ravioli with Marscapone cheese" he said. "You could do them with a brown butter and sage sauce". This guy is reading my mind...

That is when it clicked!

Everything I would need to make this delicious meal was right under my nose. I've got the wines here at the store and as I look through the glass in to Fairfield Cheese Company I realized that my starter dish was just a challenge to Laura away from reality so I wandered over and told her that I was going to be having Broglia Gavi and needed a couple of cheeses to pair with it. "Goat" she said "and I've got another idea or two". So I left her to work her magic

Next was the main course so I hopped into the car and drove down the street to The Pantry. Fresh local Pears, Some beautiful Heritage Pork chops, great looking Fennel bulb, and Arugula caught my eye. Now we are cooking! I knew Tony would have Potatoes in the pantry and the other things I needed so I was set thanks to my neighbors.

As in life, my menu was altered a bit as life dictated it should but it was wonderful and everything was delicious as we bid farewell to summer and welcomed the Fall season.

Here is how we did it...

Tony and I got to work on the prep for the meal so we popped open a bottle of Ferrages Rosé (Gone for the year just like summer) and broke out the cheeses. Laura put Bloomsdale Goat, Ubriaco Rosso, and Olli Wild Boar Sausage in the bag (she also added a Blue but we'll get to that in a minute). I grabbed some Potters Crackers while I was there and our meal was started. After our prep was done and the cheeses had come up just a bit in temperature we all sat down and chatted over some delicious meat and cheeses. (nicely done Laura, Thank you!)

Next, everyone moved over to the table and while the water in the pot boiled for course number three, I plated the Salad course. Arugula (dressed with fresh squeezed Lemon and Olive oil) topped with sliced local Pears, Crumbled Bayley Hazen Blue and caramelized Walnuts. Perfect with the Broglia Gavi. "Save a bit of wine for the next course" I said.

Tony also opened the Barbaresco to taste with the Ravioli, I took some fresh Sage leaves that I had picked from the garden and dropped them into the butter I had browning on the stove. The Ravioli went into the water and in just a minute or two we had our pasta course. Simple and delicious. The smell of Sage filling the house told us that fall was here. If there was any doubt left these delicious little pasta squares filled with Fall goodness certainly flipped the switch in our minds. Good with the Barbaresco but perfect with the Gavi.

Meanwhile, Locally grown Potatoes, Fennel, Onion and Garlic that were tossed in Olive oil were roasting in the oven and the grill was heating up. Unfortunately just like summer, the grill ran out of gas and we went to plan B. Instead of Grilled, our Heritage Pork chops were broiled but they were moist and delicious and the Barbaresco worked perfectly with the course.

With our bellies full and our glasses empty we continued our conversation and shared time together on a beautiful cool evening on Block Island.All is right in the world...

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