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Sunday, April 24, 2011

terra blanca weekend

Three years ago we had the pleasure to cook for Dawn and John's wedding reception in Benton City.  It was the first time we had been outside of the Walla Walla-Dayton-Milton Freewater 'metropolitan' area.  Last year, Terra Blanca contacted us (the winery Dawn works for), and we did a wine dinner and a cooking class for their Chef Seminar Series.  This year we came back for an appetizer party in February and then the big Spring Release Weekend.

Here is what the schedule looked like at Terra Blanca Winery:
Thursday - Brian did a Chef Seminar class.
Friday - I did a tv spot for KVEW Tri-Cities Morning Show (woke up at 3am to get ready and there on time!!!)
Friday Night - Myself and a cook friend did appetizers for 75-100 guests
Saturday - something like 1200 tasters descend on the winery, and we sold small plates to go with their wine.
Saturday Night - we created a buffet for all the winery staff and their guests.
Sunday Morning - left in a fog after packing the vehicle for two hours.

It was a busy and long weekend.  Add to it, Brian and Tracy did an appetizer drop off Friday, a buffet dinner for 85 guests Friday, and Saturday served a lovely family style meal at Dunham Cellars for 33 ladies celebrating their "many many years in business" party... and the sandwich shop kept humming along quite nicely.

Here are a few shots.

In the wood fired oven we crisped up some polenta cakes, caramelized some roasted red peppers, and roasted portabella mushrooms with olive oil... here is the finished dish with balsamic reduction, extra virgin olive oil, and shaved parmesan.  Is there anything more soul satisfying than cooking with cast iron.

A really terrible photo of our meatballs, with roasted garlic marinara, grilled walla walla bread company baguettes, smeared with roasted garlic... big enough to eat with a fork, but more fun to eat with skewers.

Shrimp, spanish chorizo, and corn fritters with saffron aioli.  Addictively yummy.


Monday, April 11, 2011

the feast at reininger winery... and downtown

It was Cayuse Weekend, Feast of Walla Walla Weekend, and Breakfast Week.  For some strange reason we delivered breakfast Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.  (We aren't as fun and cheery rolling into the catering kitchen at 5:00 am.)

Last Fall Release we did a small plates dinner paired with Reininger Winery library vintages and current releases.  It was fun, the guests had a great time, and we were invited back.  Saturday we did five courses paired with their Viogneer, Chardonnay, Desiderata, Anomoly, and Semillon.  I gave one server the job of reminding me to snap a photo before the first plates went out.  The shots were a bit rushed on the phone camera...

Here is the chilled pea soup, bright and vibrant green, topped with some creme fraiche soft like just whipped cream, we served fresh cracked pepper with it for guests to self moderate the pepper levels.  [It was so good we served the last bits at the sandwich shop the next day, the first customer of the day bought one small soup, then bought two large ones to take home.  Paired with the Voignier.]

What says Spring more than grilled asparagus and garlic rubbed bread, and egg salad (farmer alice's eggs, capers, shallots, tarragon, softened with a good deal of olive oil and a touch of water) so soft it falls partly into the sauce category, with a few prosciutto bits?  I can't think of anything more Springy.  Paired with the Chardonnay.  Simple, rustic, just how we like to eat.

Our version of chicken ballentine (or is it a gallentine?), three pounded thin chicken breasts laid out on cheesecloth to form a sheet of chicken, stuffed with a forcemeat of chicken thigh meat, sweated onions, thyme, parsley, minced tenderloin and cream, rolled into a compact cylinder and then poached to just barely done in a chicken stock.  Sliced and set in a rich and reinforced roast chicken stock we call a brodo, blanched carrots, sugar snap peas, and peas.  Paired with the Desiderata.

Grilled rosemary and garlic Fehrenbacher Farm rack of lamb, on top of the almost best beans in the world, calypso beans from Welcome Table Farm, roasted sweet onion, extra virgin olive oil.  Paired with the 2004 Anomaly. (so yummy)

For dessert... which we don't make... we made.  Brian our outstanding cook, made a a bread puddding, creme anglaise, roasted pear wedges, candied tangerine peel, and tangerine syrup, which looked lovely, and tasted fantastic.