Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Summer Entertaining with Formaggio Kitchen

Last week, I attended yet another class at Formaggio Kitchen - but this time, we learned all about summer entertaining.

The two-hour class included a variety of sips and nibbles prepared by Julia and Jessica (our instructors for the evening). Each drink and bite we tried were all simple yet elegant items that can easily be put together for a summer shindig - and require little heat to prepare.

First up: a Cocchi Americano Cocktail paired with apricots with Bayley Hazen Blue Cheese and honey, as well as roasted red grapes with thyme and buffalo mozzarella.

This was one of my favorite pairings of the evening thanks to the simply prepared but wildly fresh apricots. The sweet apricots paired with the tangy, stinky blue cheese was an incredible combination, and the refreshing cocktail happily washed each bite down.

The second pairing of the night included Rose Sangria with fresh berries and June Taylor Blackberry Fennel Syrup, served alongside a goat cheese tart with tomato jam and cherry tomato confit.

Haven't I said enough with "rose sangria"? In case I haven't, this beverage was way too easy to drink, and it complemented the rich, buttery tart beautifully.

The third pairing of the evening included a variety of cheeses, paired with a Cantine Cincinnato "Castore," 2012. 

The cheeses included a goat's milk, two sheep's milk, and a cow's milk, all paired with a different condiment.

My favorite cheese and condiment pairing was the Cabot Clothbound Cheddar with the Fieschi Mostarda di Cremona (candied fruits). The sweet, syrupy fruits paired with the salty cheddar was a divine combination - and the white wine they were paired with didn't hurt, either.

The final course of the evening was a Poderi Cellario Moscato d'Asti, 2012 (not pictured) served with honeyed ricotta, which was topped with macerated strawberries and extra aged balsamic drizzle.

I'm usually not a fan of moscato - it's typically too sweet for me - but this one was surprisingly dry and crisp. The dryness of the wine also helped to balance the sweetness of the dessert, which was decadent and dangerous (let's just say I ate the entire thing in about 30 seconds).

Formaggio Kitchen's Summer Entertaining class was informative, fun, and incredibly delicious. We even got sent home with recipes for the dishes we sampled during the class! I highly recommend taking one of their classes, if you haven't already.

If the world was going to end tomorrow, what would your last meal be? Mine would be a bottle (or two) of wine, cheese, and crusty bread.

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  1. that certainly sounds amazing! and certainly yummy :)

  2. I think the rose sangria and tomato tart would be my favorite course. What a fun class!

    1. That was a fantastic course! I'm still dreaming about that tart...

  3. What a great class! I kinda want a cheese plate right now. Whenever I get asked that last meal questions and my answer always changes, but for sure it will involve spaghetti, lots of cheese, and chocolate, of course :)

  4. I LOVE Cocchi Americano...I need to try that drink!

    1. It was my first time trying Cocchi - so tasty! They sent me home with the recipe for that drink, actually. Here it is:

      Cocchi Americano
      Soda water
      Orange or lemon peel
      Citrus bitters

      Take a rocks glass and fill it with ice. Pour in two fingers of Cocchi Americano. Top with soda water. Finish with a twist of orange or lemon and a dash of bitters.