Bringing the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen Home + a KitchenAid® Appliance Giveaway!
So let’s talk bucket lists. One thing that is on my bucket list is the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen. It is THE culinary event as far as I’m concerned. All of those celebrity chefs together in a gorgeous town like Aspen. Holy moly, can you ask for anything better? Man the things you would learn, the food you would eat, and the wine you would drink!
Since not all of us are lucky enough to be able to make it to the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen (hello one year old), KitchenAid is doing something really cool. For the first time ever, they are bringing the dinner Chef Chris Cosentino created for the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen to all of us here at home. #HaveDinnerWithUs is a virtual sit down dinner with everyone around the country, heck even the world, who wants to be a part of the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen. Here is how you can participate. Visit http://www.kitchenaid.com/AspenDinner/ for the Aspen dinner recipes and instructions from Chris Cosentino himself. Host a dinner at your home inspired by his recipes and wine pairings. Share your dinner on social media using #HaveDinnerWithUs. You will be glad you did because I am giving away a suite of appliances to some lucky winners who share their meals.
I hosted this dinner with my family a week ago, and you guys it was seriously so much fun! It gives you an excuse to have people over and get gourmet for the day. It’s something different than the same old same old, and I felt like a professional chef making these dishes. The dinner was SO DELICIOUS. No wonder Chef Cosentino is so famous. I am now dying to go to his creation, Cockscomb Restaurant, in San Francisco.
So a little bit about the dinner I hosted to give you some inspiration. Let’s start with the prep. Below is a lil timeline for you.
3 Days Before: You will want to start the cured egg yolks three days before your dinner. They take 24 hours to cure in the salt mixture and two days to dry out at room temperature.
1 Day Before: I would buy the rest of the ingredients, including the lamb and clams, the day before the dinner. You will marinate the lamb the night before, but the clams can be kept as is in the fridge until you are ready to cook them the day of the dinner.
This is where my refrigerator came in super handy. It has a temperature controlled drawer with a seafood setting. So I set it to that, and the clams were perfect the next day.
I would keep the herbs in the fridge with stems in water if you can to keep them fresh. I used the herb storage container that came with my refrigerator. It’s pretty cool. It’s angled, so you can place water in one side and the stems remain submerged while the leaves don’t get wet.
Night Before: Then the night before your dinner, you will need to marinate the lamb and chill the panna cotta. (The panna cotta only needs to set for four hours, but I felt it was just easier to get this out of the way the night before and have it ready.)
Day Of: The next day, a few hours before dinner, I set the table. For the base of the tablescape, I used a gray linen tablecloth. I don’t know why, but when I think of Aspen, the first color that comes to mind is gray. Maybe it’s because of the gray Aspen trees.
Since Aspen is all about the natural setting, for a centerpiece I simply laid seeded and spiral eucalyptus on the table.
I adorned each seat with a napkin, printed menu, and piece of thyme.
I served each course family style, along with the wine pairing suggestions from Chef Cosentino. It was more than enough food, and it was so delicious.
Course 1: Crushed Avocado + Pea Bruschetta with Mint + Cured Egg Yolk
Oh man are these good. I love anything with avocado, and the cured egg yolk sets it over the top. I have never cured egg yolks before. It was so fun learning something new.
Course 2: Braised Lamb Shoulder with Clams, Pickled Chilies, and Mint
Need I say more really? This tastes even better than it sounds. The lamb + clams ... I would have never guessed ... but oh what a pair!
You can use the bake or convection setting on your oven for the lamb. As a side note, to use the convection setting, you will need to convert the cooking temperature from the recipe provided. I cheated a bit because the EasyConvect(TM) Conversion System on my oven figures out the convection times and temperatures for you.
The lamb cooked low and slow like this makes it just fall apart when done. No cutting required. And the pickled chilies add another layer to this dish.
Course 3: Bay Leaf Panna Cotta with Strawberries, Balsamic, + Black Pepper
The lemon and bay leaf notes in this panna cotta are only matched by the olive oil drizzle which adds just that something extra that is so divine.
The panna cotta starts over the stove, and then moves to the fridge.
To make the panna cotta, you simmer a heavy cream, milk, lemon, bay leaf, sugar, etc mixture over the stove along with a short few other steps. Was there ever anything that sounded more divine?
You can’t send guests home empty handed right? For parting favors we gave guests herb bouquets and recipe cards for these three recipes. That way guests can host their very own three course meal … a little pay it forward if you will.
I made the herb bouquets using the herbs they will need for the recipes wrapped with a piece of twine.
There you have it! I can’t wait to see your dinner! As promised we are doing a GIVEAWAY. To enter, make this dinner at home and share a pic using #HaveDinnerWithUs. Then come back to the blog and comment with a link to your social media post. The KitchenAid® Appliance GIVEAWAY runs between 6/24/16 and 8/31/16. One winner will be chosen every two weeks with the exception of the last prize which will be awarded on 8/31/16. You only have to enter once to be eligible for all remaining prizes. The appliances we are giving away are as follows (these are my FAVORITE by the way):
WINNER: PAM CHAMBERS!
KitchenAid® Pro Line® Series Blender with Thermal Control Jar
WINNER: BRENNA HERMES!
Sparkling Beverage Maker powered by SodaStream® with Mini CO2 Carbonator
WINNER: MAREK CRABBS!
Nespresso® with Milk Frother
WINNER: CINDY BENKOWSKI!
12" Convection Digital Countertop Oven
WINNER: HILLARY THOMAS!
Oh man good luck!
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Thank you to KitchenAid® for sponsoring this post and for generally being awesome.