Etorki – Cheese of the Month

shaved etorki cheese
grilled sunburst and pattypan squash
wild baby arugula
toasted tamari almonds
 roasted almond oil & late harvest riesling vinaigrette
First brush sunburst and pattypan squash with a little olive oil, season with salt and pepper then grill.

Cline Cellars Late Harvest Riesling Vinegar

La Tourangelle Roasted Almond Oil
Vinaigrette: Steep minced shallot in late harvest riesling vinegar, then season with sea salt and fresh ground pepper, and whisk in La Tourangelle roasted almond oil in a 3:1 ratio of oil to vinegar. The riesling vinegar and this almond oil are a match made in heaven; delightfully sweet, bright, nutty, toasty. Very elegant.

Plate wild baby arugula with warm grilled squash and toasted tamari almonds. Then spoon vinaigrette over. Top with shaved Etorki cheese.

Etorki is a sheep’s milk cheese produced in the French Basque Country. Etorki has a smooth, velvety texture and rich, hazelnut (almost burnt caramel-like) flavor. Its aroma is sweet and buttery, and the cheese is voluptuous on the tongue. Because of its supple texture, you can bend it a bit without breaking so it is great for shaving with a vegetable peeler.

Etorki, which means “origin” in Basque, is a pasteurized sheep’s milk cheese that has been produced in the heart of the Basque region of southwestern France for over 4000 years. 
The cheese is made from local sheep’s milk in Mauléon, in the Atlantic Pyrenees. More specifically, Etorki is made from the milk of black- or red-faced Manech ewes. The ewes’ milk is exceptional, but there is only a scant supply; it takes 22 ewes to provide the same amount of milk obtained by the milking of a single cow. 
The scarcity of ewes’ milk and the limited milking season – December to July – offer a partial explanation for the higher price of cheese made from sheep’s milk in comparison to that made from cow’s milk. And Etorki is composed of over 98% ewes’ milk. For more on delicious Etorki, please visit the Ile de France website here.
My Cousin Vicki’s Wedding 
October 2008

What does Vicki & Jonah’s Wine Country Wedding at Cline Cellars in Sonoma, California last year have to do with the Cheese of the Month post?

Wedding Favors!

They chose to give an assortment of hand-crafted oils and vinegars as gifts. Great idea! Mine was the Late Harvest Riesling Vinegar. There was also Blood Orange Vinegar, Pomegranate Vinegar, and White Truffle Oil among others. Perfect wedding favors for foodies like us! Thanks V & J!

Dear Vicki & Jonah:
 Congratulations and blessings on your first anniversary!
Best wishes for many many more happy years together.
Love, Cousin Lori Lynn

Wine Country Wedding

Come join me for a glorious day in the California Wine Country where we celebrate Vicki and Jonah’s Wedding.

Vicki is my cousin. My father, Leonard, and her paternal grandmother, Edythe, were brother and sister. You may recall me talking about my Nana, born in Kiev, Russia? Nana was Vicki’s great-grandmother. Nana and my Aunt Edythe were excellent cooks, perhaps Vicki and I inherited some of our passion for cooking from them?

Vicki and Jonah live in Chicago where they met at a wine tasting a few years ago. Both wine aficionados, they decided to come out to Sonoma, California to be married in the magnificent vineyards of Cline Cellars.

The Kiddush Cup: The Rabbi recites blessings over the wine, a symbol of joy. The couple sip from the same cup of wine, representing the life they will share as one.

Married under the Chuppah: The traditional Jewish canopy representing the home the couple will build together. It is open on all sides to symbolize unconditional hospitality to family and friends.

The reception was held on the beautiful flagstone patio at Cline Cellars. Cline Cellars produces rich, distinctive Rhône-style wines and intense, flavorful Zinfandels, which we all thoroughly enjoyed.

The weather could not have been more perfect for an outdoor wedding. And the bride and groom could not make a more perfect couple. And we couldn’t be happier for them.
Hors d’oeuvres

Charred Sweet Corn Soup Shooters Garnished with Heirloom Tomato Concasse

Scaloppine of Eggplant with Sky High Goat Cheese, Kalamata Olive and Fresh Basil

Ahi Tuna Fire Spiced on Crispy Lotus Root Topped with Citrus Aioli

Tuscan Salad of Wine Country Organic Greens, Crisp Prosciutto, Sonoma Goat Cheese, and Figs served with a Balsamic Vinaigrette Infused with Opal Basil
Main Course

Pan Roasted Liberty Farms Duck Breast with Creme Fraiche Mashed Potatoes, Sauteed Vegetables of the Season in a Zinfandel Pan Jus

Pacific Wild King Salmon with a Cedar Plank Essence served with a Chardonnay Tahitian Vanilla Bean Sauce, Citrus Whipped Potatoes, and Roasted Vegetables with Fennel, Red and Yellow Peppers and Zucchini

Tahitian Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with a Wild Berry Compote and Florentine Cookie

Singing and Dancing

We dance the Horah, a Jewish circle dance to the song, Hava Negila, a celebratory song meaning “let us rejoice.”

Wedding Cake

Bottom Tier: Flourless Chocolate Cake with Fresh Raspberries and Chocolate Fudge Layers. Top Tier: Almond Macaron Cake with Praline Buttercream and Chocolate Fudge Layers.

Dear Vicki and Jonah – Mazel Tov and may your life together be as beautiful as your wedding day.