M. Andrew Gordon

New England/Italian Autumn Dinner Party

In Dinner Party on October 24, 2010 at 9:16 pm

Last night I hosted the second of the once-a-month dinner parties I vowed to undertake upon moving to new apartment in September, a project which I will write about in greater depth soon and which should also yield some good recipe posts. The idea for the New England-Italian pairing was brought on by an interest in making ravioli and a modified affogato. From there I just decided to keep the whole thing rooted in some Italian culinary traditions, from menu structure to the actual food. I make no claim to have any great knowledge of those culinary traditions but that is a fairly accurate parallel to my general cooking style: a broad understanding paired with limited expertise and loose interpretation of rules, styles, and techniques.

With a focus on New England ingredients I decided to pair all courses with a New England beer since the region has a great many breweries who craft excellent beers. For the most part the pairings were well-received even from several people who are not regular beer drinkers.

The Menu:

Apertivo: New England cheeses with house pickled parsnips, pickled apples, and corn and black pepper crackers

  • Westfield Farm’s Hickory Smoked Goat Cheese paired with Mayflower Brewing’s Autumn Wheat Ale
  • Pineland Farm’s Cheddar paired with Harpoon Brewing’s 100 Barrel Series Glacier Harvest Wet Hop Ale
  • Jasper Hill Farm’s Blue Cheese paired with Otter Creek Brewing’s Stovepipe Porter

Antipasto: Octopus confit with mussels and cannellini beans paired with Berkshire Brewing’s Gold Spike Ale

Secondo: Japonesa squash ravioli with dandelion green pesto paired with Peak Organic’s Fall Summit Ale

Primo: Rabbit ragout served over rustic cornbread paired with Smuttynose Brewing’s Really Old Brown Dog

Dolce: Autumn Harvest Affogato (pumpkin semifreddo, apple gelato, and cranberry-molasses sauce) paired with Ipswich Brewing’s Oatmeal Stout

Rabbit ragout over cornbread

Octopus confit with mussels and cannellini beans

Autumn Harvest Affogato

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