Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Day Two Seventy Three - Pumpkin Results

So folks was this week's Marriage Mondays easy for you? Did you figure out who won the chance to be paired with our pumpkin?

Contestant Number #1: Fleur du Maquis - What a fantastic cheese this is! Isn't it? Well unfortunately it misses the boat when being paired with the delicately nuanced pumpkin today, why you may ask? The cheese will overwhelm the pumpkin when the two flavor profiles are placed next to one another that's for sure! That being said, this would be somewhat like an oil and water sort of relationship, they simply do not mix. Floral, herbaceous, oozy, and completely creamy and unctuous is this cheese that when paired with the round earthy warmth of the pumpkin, neither of the two would bring about hidden nuances in the other. Fleur du Maquis is great on its own with some baguette and a nice glass of wine, it is actually a pretty versatile cheese for wine pairing surprisingly enough.

Now is where it gets tough because both the second and third contestants could work for completely different reasons, so lets examine each direction...

Contestant Number # 2: Mimolette - Orange could in fact work with orange here, how you may ask right? Well Mimolette being such a firm dense cheese with butterscotchy and caramelly notes, it could be the perfect grating cheese when paired with roasted sugar or pie pumpkins. The mixture of the sweet notes of the cheese will bring out the warm earthiness of the pumpkin and allow it to shine. This is such a simple easy preparation but it sure hits the spot with a nice glass of red wine.

How to prepare the roasted sugar pumpkins?

Chop up the pumpkins into small squares and toss with EVOO, shallots, sage, nutmeg, some salt and pepper. Roast at 275 for about forty minutes and then pull out and grate Mimolette over the top and sprinkle some chopped up chives to finish it off! Straightforward, autumnal and delish!

Contestant Number # 3: Gorgonzola Mascarpone Torta - Yes this is that perfect balance of sweet and savory and actually when baked into a pumpkin walnut bread would be a fantastic hidden blue cheesy creamy oomph. However, this sort of cheese could not really work with pumpkin in other formats because of the creamy texture it would overwhelm the pumpkin.  Sometimes the mixture of cream plus cream masks the specific nuances of each element.

How to make the pumpkin walnut bread?

One can of pumpkin puree
1/2 cup of chopped up roasted walnuts
2 full eggs & 2 egg whites
1 cup of pastry flour
1 cup of gluten free flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
sea salt
1/2 lb of gorgonzola mascarpone torta
1 cup of buttermilk
1/2 cup of water
Maple Syrup
Drizzle of honey
Dusting of brown sugar for the top

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Combine all dry ingredients into one bowl and all wet ingredients into another bowl and then slowly whisk together.
3. Spray Pam Cooking Spray or coat with olive oil or something of the sort so that the bread loaf pan is well greased.
4. Pour mixture into loaf pan and place in the oven for between 20 and 25 minutes. Pull out when golden brown and cooked through.

Enjoy this with a nice warm beverage on a cold Fall evening.


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