Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Day Two Thirty Eight - Truffle Results

It's that time again! Results time!
Let's cut to the chase!

This week for me, there is one clear winner, a decent pick and one clear looser...any ideas which is which?

Contestant Number # 1 : Prosecco - Our sparkling contestant sure is fabulously bubbly and delish, a great treat! Like putting on a pair of stilettos and that little black dress.. Pairing this with our Pecorino Tartufo will be a decent match but I think the sparkling will "dress up" the cheese in a way that we don't necessarily want. Just because our cheese has some dressy elements, doesn't mean it's all around dressy! There is something quite special about the inherent marriage found in the cheese of high and low -- a centuries old pressed sheep's milk cheese, a simple classic way of cheese making is paired with the aromatic black truffles, a more indulgent addition. That being said, there is nothing wrong with enjoying this cheese with a glass of Prosecco, they just won't be the ideal companions, fine yes, ideal no.

Contestant Number # 2 : Oktoberfest - Here's where I tricked you folks...Oktoberfest beer would be great with a nice aged Pecorino, hold the Tartufo. Why you may ask? Well that's because the nutty maltiness of the beer will overwhelm the truffles and it will become all about the beer and not about the delicate nuances of the shaved black truffles and the creaminess of the cheese. However, try some Oktoberfest with a nice Pecorino and you will be pleased.

Contestant Number # 3 : Zinfandel - Therefore by deduction, contestant number three is our winner -- it is not too dressed up for our cheese nor does it take the reins and overwhelm the nuances of our dear Pecorino Tartufo. The black pepper and herbal notes will work in excellent harmony with the earthiness of the black truffles and the red fruit notes will be the a great marriage for the smooth creaminess of the cheese paste. All around a great match!

Now on to this week's recipe idea with the Pecorino Tartufo! It is a simple Pecorino Tartufo, mixed mushroom, orzo dish, great with a glass of Zinfandel for a slightly chilly early Fall evening.

Start by boiling a salted pot of water for the orzo. While the water is boiling and the orzo is cooking, grab a dozen portobellos, a dozen crimini, and a dozen porcini mushrooms and slice these up. Toss them into a sauce pan with some extra virgin olive oil, diced shallots, salt, freshly ground black pepper, fresh thyme and rosemary, and some dry vermouth. Saute over low heat till golden brown. Once the orzo is finished, combine the mushrooms and the orzo over low heat and slowly shave a little bit of Pecorino Tartufo into the dish with a little more evoo, melting the cheese and melding the flavors together. Serve the dish with a few sprigs of basil and a few leaves of arugula and some extra shavings of Pecorino Tartufo. I guarantee you will enjoy this earthy, woody, Fall-y dish.

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