Sunday, July 06, 2008

Colorado chef's degustation: course eight...

Our second composed cheese course featured in the recently prepared Colorado chef's degustation event, featured rich triple cream St. Andre cheese. St. Andre is a mold-ripened semi-soft French cheese made from cow's milk. During the cheese making process, extra heavy cream is added, creating an ultra-concentrated, creamy cheese which is very soft at room temperature. The taste is exquisite-- deep, fatty, and somewhat acidic (yet playfully sweet).

For our composed cheese course, we constructed a Napoleon of St. Andre and puff pastry, warming it gently in the oven until the cheese was deliciously soft. Caramelized Asian pears added a touch of sweetness, with a praline and mustard agrodolce (an Italian sauce using acid to balance sweetness) providing a deep burnt sugar taste and acidic foil to the sweetness of the fruit and the creaminess of the cheese.

Handmade ice cream-- rich with Tahitian vanilla and Australian Murray River pink salt offered a cool, creamy, and somewhat salty complement to the other components on the plate, enhancing each of their tastes. Lastly burnt sugar "glass," infused with the spicy aromatics of African grains of paradise, completed the dish creating both a dramatic appearance and a lingering finish on the palate.

Tomorrow, dessert! Be sure to come back and visit 'comparing apples and orenji...'

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