Gougeres, Carpaccio and Strawberry Milkshakes

by Ann Marie Michaels on January 1, 2009

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Waiting for Dinner

I’m finally getting around to posting about the fantastic meal we had the other night at a 14-acre dairy farm on Vashon Island, Washington.

These dinners are held every Sunday night and most everything on the table is grown or produced on the farm (with the exception of coffee and sugar and flour and salt and a few other things). This meal was like living Michael Pollan’s book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma.

I’d post the name of it but the owner asked me not to. He’d rather stay under the radar; I respect that.

Here is the proprietor:

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Here is the chef, Tyler Palagi and his delicious gougères:

Chef Tyler Palagi and His Delicious gougères

Gougères are savory choux pastries made with cheese — in other words, French cheese puffs. They are SOOO good. Especially with a nice glass of white wine (sorry, I forget what it was).

Chef Tyler Palagi is from Seattle’s Spring Hill.

Chef Tyler Palagi of Spring Hill in Seattle

I really want to go there, after reading their dinner menu. Can you say Veal Sweetbreads, Duck Egg Yolk Ravioli, Pork Liver Paté, and Lardo? Oh, and Spruce Needle Cured Moose?

I ask, does that not make you want to run as fast as your legs will carry you to Spring Hill?

Here’s my sister, readying herself for the onslaught of courses (there were many):

My Sister, Amy

So many courses that I was not able to capture them all — but I will try to enumerate most of them…

We started with a Winter Squash Soup with Sauteed Currants:

Winter Squash Soup with Sauteed Currants

Then we had this fantastic raw milk cheese (similar to a Camembert) made right there on the farm:

Raw Milk Cheese Made on the Farm

Then this amazing carpaccio (thinly sliced raw beef):

Carpaccio

Along with that, we had “Tongue & Cheek” — a plate of pork tongue and cheeks. Fabulous!

There was also some delicious tomato jam, something I had never tasted before but was so very good.

And some homemade pickled lemon cucumbers.

And some kind of cabbage salad.

And a plate of carrots and peas in butter.

And then some scrambled eggs — made from pastured eggs, of course.

Um, yeah, we’re missing some photos here. I guess I was too busy eating to take pictures or take notes. :-) Can you blame me?!

After that we had this pasta — made with butter and garlic and shell beans:

Pasta with Butter, Garlic & Shell Beans

Then we had Beef Bourguignon. And Yukon Gold potatoes mashed with butter and cream.

And finally, for dessert: strawberry milkshakes made from raw milk from the Jersey cows on the farm. And some dessert wine (sorry, I didn’t catch the name).

Strawberry Milkshake and Dessert Wine

And lastly, coffee that was roasted for us on the spot:

Hand Roasted Coffee

Don’t these people look happy?

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We were blissful. Good food does that to you.

It was a stunning, perfect meal and I would go back every week if I could.

If you want to attend one of these dinners, held every Sunday on a dairy farm on Vashon Island in Washington State, email me or comment below and I’ll mail you the info.

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