Saturday, December 18, 2010

Holiday Cheese School

Sunday was our second class with Palo Alto Cheese School. Once again, Chef Jaimie Casey created an exceptional afternoon experience for the attendees. We were greeted fireside in the drawing room of the Duveneck House at Hidden Villa Manor with a glass of Pomegranate Fizz to sip. Jaimie's Cheese Straws with Sage and Bacon were passed while we waited for everyone to gather.

Our first treat was a warm Twice Baked Goat Cheese Souffle with Dressed Greens that Jaimie recommended we try with both the Pomegranate Fizz and the Chandon Classic Rose Sparkling Wine. I don’t usually care for sparkling wines, but this one was an exception. I enjoyed it with the soufflĂ© and also with the first cheese on our list for the afternoon.

We mixed and matched the following cheeses and wines as we learned about each individual cheese:

Brillat-Savarin (Triple Cream Cow’s Milk Cheese from Normandy, France)
Appleby’s Cheshire (Unpasteurized Cow’s Milk Cheese from Cheshire, UK)
Queijos Casa Matias (Unpasteurized Sheep’s Milk Cheese from Portugal)
Muffato Blue (Pasteurized Blue Cow’s Milk Cheese from Veneto, Italy)
A blue cheese cheesecake (a tasty little morsel!) 
Jaimie’s famous Dark Chocolate Goat Cheese Truffles

Chandon Classic Rose Sparkling Wine
Hahn Cabernet Franc ‘06
Quady Port Starboard Batch 88

It’s always fun to discover new cheeses, but usually I avoid the blues. The Muffato Blue was a new experience for me. Coated with mint, chamomile and marjoram, it is not too strong and a little spicy. I could eat it all day. The little cheesecakes were also great. Jaimie always shares her recipes and you can find many of them on the Palo Alto Cheese School website.

Several people didn’t make it to class which left already prepared plates and glasses on the tables. We had considerable negotiating going on at our table to determine who got which leftover cheese and wine. I got a great deal with port and half of one of the chocolate goat cheese truffles. MMmmm!!

As a holiday gift, Jaimie sent us each home with a jar of her homemade marmalade or jam. I chose the California Lemon which was divine on the gingerbread we made the other night. I can’t wait to see what cheese delights are in store in the new year.

1 comment:

  1. Cheese school. Geeeesh! I'd probably die doing my homework!!!

    I love cheese and this made me so hungry this morning when I first saw it.