Willamette Wrap


It’s been three nights since I indulged in a very memorable meal.  A meal I will soon not forget. 

I am also happy to report I can finally button my pants again.  Thank you very much to the 7,887 sit ups I did in order achieve that goal.  Eating well can have its…setbacks.

Anyway, last Thursday night the Wildboar and I, along with a few other couples, were lucky enough to attend a very special winemaker’s dinner at
Youngberg Hill Vineyard and Inn

We had no idea this meal would end up being one of the most exquisite pairing of food and wine’s we have experienced in a very a long time.

My only regret……I did not have my camera.  Well, I did.  It was in the car.  But the setting was too intimate, too dramatic, too special for me to click away with my macro lens in a plate of food.  It would have been irreverent to the serenity of the moment.  However, and I’m sure even my fellow diners would agree, I wish I had pictures of the spectacular food we were served.  It would have been worth the few flashes.

I don’t think I can do the food justice in description.  I can try but I didn’t ask enough questions.  There were so many layers of flavors and nuances swirling around, it was hard to stop indulging and really think about every ounce of flavor I was ingesting. 

Between the lively conversation from our host, Wayne and our new found friends from Chicago, Buffalo and Portland, not to mention the panoramic view….the experience of place, food and wine were surreal.

It would be hard to not describe this experience without mentioning the very special chef who cooked us this amazing meal, Jack Czarnecky, of the Joel Palmer House.  Jack is “Joel Palmer” as he has owned and been the executive chef at the Joel Palmer House for years and years before turning the reigns over to his son last year.  He is a decorated chef with a James Beard Award of Excellence with many other accolades bestowed upon him.

The night began with passed appetizers, one resembling the picture you see at the top of the page.  When I bit into the marionberry drizzled with balsamic vinegar and wrapped in prosciutto, I was in heaven.  How could something so simple, taste so elegant.  The next day I ran to the farm stand to purchase marionberries so I could replicate this stunning Willamette Wrap at home.

Also passed were a Mini Salad Nelson, asparagus, a medley of sweet pepper and corn, drizzled with truffle oil on puff pastry and Salmon Tartare with red onions on toast points.  All delicious but the Willamette Wrap was by far my favorite.

We sat down to a beautifully adorned table with a panoramic view of the Oregon wine country.  Fresh bread and truffle oil was waiting for us to dig in and enjoy.

Before we knew it our glasses were filled with Youngberg’s Pinto Gris.  Wayne blends a small percentage of Gewurztraminer with his Pinto Gris, giving a lively quality I had yet to experience with this wine.  I loved it.

As we were sipping away, Porcini Vichyssoise, appeared before us.  (However, I believe shitake mushrooms were used as well.)  To just call it vichyssoise seems too simpleton.  It was mycological magic, the texture and taste amazing.  I wanted to sop up the small amounts left in my bowl with bread.  Don’t worry, I refrained.

Soon to follow was a Mousse of Sweet Dayton Corn with Red Pepper Sauce and Morels.  There are no words for this.  I wish I could show you how beautiful it was.  It is imprinted on my brain forever.

The show-stopper of the night was simply called Beef Andy Warhol.  OMG.  I have eaten at many, many fancy restaurants but I have never, ever tasted meat so tender and incredible in flavor.  It was a roast tenderloin surrounded with a ragout of lobster mushrooms and spicy Chinese sausage all covered with rice noodles to resemble Andy Warhol’s hair.  It was brilliant.  Brilliant.  I will never forget it.  Ever.

As we applauded our chef as he made it out from the kitchen, we were served a fresh raspberry tart and truffles surrounded with a liqueur cream.  Again there are no words.  This meal was incredible, elegant and classy.

We of course tasted through Youngberg’s Pinot Noirs, both the Natasha and Jordan Block current releases as well as older library offerings and special blends of the past.  They were all amazing examples of the incredible Pinot Noirs found in the Oregon wine country.

These little rolls are bites of heaven.

I happen to have some Cotija cheese in the fridge and topped each wrap with a shaving.  It was a fantastic addition but is not necessary to enjoy these.

A very easy pre-meal snack.

Willamette Wrap
Adapted from Jack Czarnecky

Marionberries, blackberries, boysenberries or strawberries
Aged balsamic vinegar
Prosciutto, thinly sliced.
Cotija cheese, optional

Place a berry at the end of a slice of prosciutto.  Drizzle the berry with best quality balsamic vinegar and roll the berry up into the prosciutto.  Top with a slice of Cotija cheese if desired.

The higher quality balsamic vinegar and prosciutto used in this dish, the better the results.  Sweeter berries will also make a difference. 

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54 Comments

  1. So fancy! :)

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  2. Julia 2

    How lucky for you to be able to have that experience! Sounds amazing.

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  3. Sounds like an incredible and memorable experience Cathy. Thanks for sharing.

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  4. Wow. You have found yourself in paradise;)

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  5. I am happy for you. After all that moving, you were rewarded. The appetizer looks amazing..something I might be able to prepare here. Simple is always best, as long as it’s the “right” ingredients.
    Would love to make that soup too.

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  6. Alta 6

    This sounds like an amazing, beautiful experience. Wow. And you described the dishes so well, my mouth is watering! Yum!

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  7. That was not a meal, it was a blessing. Oh. my. I would have been in heaven as I sure you thought you were.

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  8. Claire 8

    Impressive! I’m a prosciutto fan, but the only fruit I’ve seen it wrapped around has been honeydew (NOT a fan!), so this is very cool. I may have to give this a shot the next time we entertain.

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  9. Kate 9

    The meal sounds poetic, romantic, mystical. An explosion, one after another, of tastes in your mouth.

    I can so understand the irreverance of bringing a camera. Not appropriate in this setting. At all.

    I may have not been able to stand all the sensualness of the food and had a mini orgasm on the spot. Sorry. It’s just me.

    Be still my heart. What an awesome meal!

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  10. Laura 10

    Great combinations and I love learning about new cheeses.

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  11. Mary 11

    It sounds like such a wonderful evening. I’ll have to try the Willamette wrap. It sounds delicious.

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  12. What an incredible culinary experience. I’ve enjoyed reading about it, and as always, your food photography is outstanding! Sounds like you’re really enjoying settling into the Willamette Valley and I m’dear, am thoroughly enjoying reading about it!

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  13. Katrina 13

    It all sounds de-lish to me!

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  14. Holy cow those look unreal. And so simple. I love that!

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  15. Fallon 15

    I recently just tried prosciutto and loved it. Eating it with berries I’m curious how the salty and sweet will play out. Sounds delicious!

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  16. Ramona 16

    Would love to taste those. They look great.
    Ramona

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  17. how lovely!

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  18. dawn 18

    How lucky are you? What an incredible meal to share in an incredible place. Your new life is shaping up quite nicely.

    Also, what a great appetizer and so easy…thank you!

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  19. grace 19

    sometimes the camera just isn’t a welcome guest at the table. meanwhile, dang! this sounds like a fabulous little nosh, and one i’d never have though to make. sweet, salty, chewy, and juicy—awesome.

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  20. congrats!!!!

    as for this dish – d-r-o-o-l. those giant pictures really are drool-worthy. sweet, salty and tart? perfection.

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  21. elra 21

    This look so beautiful Cathy, perfect appetizer and delicious I am sure! Love the blackberry.

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  22. Bob 22

    The dinner sounds amazing and those wraps look great!

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  23. Marjie 23

    Seemingly simple things (like your appetizer) are best, and everything is better if someone else cooks it, don’t you think?

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  24. Pam 24

    What a fantastic evening and dinner. The food descriptions made my mouth water.

    I love these little bites – sweet and salty is the best.

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  25. Kim 25

    It sounds like a delightful time! This recipe is just terrific and the Beef Andy Warhol is one I would love to try.

    My mother and her husband go wild mushroom picking on occasion and they have given me lobster mushroom a time or two. They are one of my favorites.

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  26. KathyB. 26

    I can hardly stand it! The description of the food and wine , the evening, the company…your view! And I know my Hubby will be making these wraps for his next wine tasting! Love reading this noble Pig! I just want to be there myself!

    A great pairing, Noble Pig and the Willamette Valley, for sure!

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  27. We were the Chicago couple lucky enough to be at this dinner. We have also eaten at many well known restaurants here and all over, and this was absolutely one of the most sensational overall food and wine evenings we have ever had. Cathy understated how scrumptious it all was and the conversation was also terrific. Needless to say, I am also exercising extensively this week!

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  28. KAYOLA 28

    I am sure Oregon is just as happy to have you as you are to be there….these look de-lish..and your dinner sounds like it was awesome…I would love to try these…I am going to have to look for marionberries now…my grocery list gets longer and longer reading your blog…

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  29. Cassie 29

    OMG! My mouth is watering!

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  30. Once again, I am indescribably jealous of the mushrooms available in the Pacific NW! Sounds like an amazing meal.

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  31. SnugBug 31

    Glad to hear the button on the pants is working again! 😉

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  32. Hilary 32

    What a lovely sounding evening .. so glad you all had a good time ..
    Hilary Melton-Butcher
    Positive Letters

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  33. LilSis 33

    That meal sounds absolutely fabulous. My mouth was watering while reading you describe your meal. The beef dish sounds amazing. Will you try to duplicate it and share the recipe with us?

    I’ll be making these gorgeous little wraps next time I have friends over for dinner and cocktails. I love trying out new appetizers! I’m bookmarking now!

    Could you use Parmesan instead of the Cotija or do you think it would it be better not to substitute?

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  34. Noble Pig 34

    I would never try to duplicate that meat.  I want to remember it just as it was.

    The Cotija is completely optional.  I do think Parm might be a little too much flavor with the tart/salty/sweet combo.  I do think a schmear of goat cheese on the inside would be good too.

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  35. Noble Pig 35

    Snort.

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  36. Rick 36

    Your photography is amazing.

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  37. Noble Pig 37

    I know, I know!  I did feel like I understated it but I think if I went on and on people would think I’m nuts.  But really I could go on and on because it was truly an amazing dinner experience.  I will never forget it and I’m so glad we met you!

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  38. What a wonderful and memorable evening. Marionberries are unique to the Northwest and are perfect in these wraps. The whole meal sounds amazing.

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  39. Julie 39

    Sounds truly amazing! Those little berry rolls look truly scrumptious!

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  40. Cheryl 40

    Beef Andy Warhol? That is the best name EVER!!!!! Will have to see if I can replicate that with some more non-gourmet hands…

    LOVE it!

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  41. Melynda 41

    A lovely evening to be sure. Made even better by your own feelings of how incredible everything was. Memories of the evening will always be fresh in your heart and mind, because an evening such as that fills you up everywhere. I am so glad you were able to go.

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  42. sharon 42

    Sounds like an absolutely lovely evening.

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  43. This sounds like an amazing meal – what an experience! Thanks for replicating the Willamette Wraps for us – they look excellent!

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  44. Helene 44

    We want to visit Oregon in August, so maybe we should make a stop at this Vineyard. The menu sounds so good. I’ll have to make those Willamette Wrap. They look so yummy.

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  45. I’ve been wrapping proscuitto around fresh figs for ages–but those berries look even better. Can’t wait to give it a try! Thanks for sharing.

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  46. It sounds simply glorious. One of those times when food and wine and setting all come together. I would love to have seen the Beef Andy Warhol but I can understand completely just wanting to savour the experience and not be whipping out the macro lens. This way we can all picture it through your eyes and that’s no bad thing.

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  47. Liz C. 47

    Be still my heart! What a fabulous idea for summer appetizers. Mr. Snoots is a major prosciutto hound, so he will love this! I’m going to make these for him tonight…

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  48. Wayne 48

    Cathy,

    It was great having you as our guests.Don’t be strangers to our hill. You are neighbors.
    Glad you enjoyed the evening, the food, the wine, and the company.

    Cheers,
    Wayne

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  49. LilSis 49

    Thanks, Cathy! I’m glad I asked. I can’t wait to make these.

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  50. Lisa 50

    Simple and exquisite! Those rolls are a great way to beat the summer heat in style. Sounds like an amazing evening.

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  51. Jude 51

    Would’ve loved to see how the morel dish looked. You could’ve just invited me, you know.

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  52. I am a man with berries, and a fondness for anything hamlike (meat products and humor included). This is an amazingly original recipe and one that I will latch onto like a burr on a bare foot.

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  53. These sound amazing! So easy and elegant looking! I can’t wait to try these…and wow my family when I whip out a fancy plate of them at our next gathering in a few weeks! Awesome!

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  54. I read in one blog before that bloggers are digital self publishers who are able to share to thousands of people interestinginformation that might come in handy. You are able to grab that. Thanks for posting.

    Reply

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