new heights

food detective

Categories: Sauces and Such, Dinner for Two, Dinner Party, Eating Out, Posted on May 28, 2024 by Sandy Bergsten

Certain milestones deserve distinct celebration. As our new reality gave way to a new location, I knew I would need to find a proper place to ring in my husband’s 70th. Those who know Dave, know he loves his “brown” liquids. Luckily our new hometown is home to High West Distillery. What I didn’t know was that they have this lovely little cottage that serves an intimate prix-fixe menu curated with whisky pairings. I set a reminder on my calendar to call the moment reservations at Nelson's Cottage would be released.

The evening did not disappoint. We were greeted on the porch with a welcome cocktail and an array of delectable pre-dinner bites. I don’t know what I loved more, the Paper Plane or the adorable handblown glass in which the drinks were served.

As we sat down to dinner, the Cottage’s whisky ambassador kicked off the meal with a lesson on whisky tasting, how to pair whiskey with food, and a brief history of whiskey in Park City, Utah.

The six-course meal was unbelievable. If you’ve ever been to Alinea in Chicago, here’s its western counterpart. First came a chili crisp grissini with a charred scallion and ginger butter. Then ahi tuna with blistered cherry tomatoes, ramps and bonita flakes and a pairing of Bourye ’24. A refreshing palate cleansing heart of palm salad with watermelon relish, cucumber, snap peas with a yuzu chili oil. I slightly swooned over the roasted red snapper with asparagus and this to-die-for miso sweet and sour sauce which was paired with a High Country ’23 bourbon. Next up a bone-in Iberian pork chop with black garlic jus, collard greens, fava beans and yuca paired with A Midwinter Night’s Dram Act II. A savory sweet finish of brioche bread pudding with blueberry ice cream and double rye caramel sauce and the final pairing of the evening a barrel finished Manhattan.

Hand’s down it was one of the  top meals I’ve had. I knew I needed two things. First the components of that heavenly miso sauce and some of those killer little glasses so I could craft my own welcome cocktail to greet guests in our new house. I succeeded on both counts.

After a brief but relentless rendition of “food detective” I got what I needed for that ethereal sauce. Turned out the base was coconut cream not butter. And I discovered that the distillery had a little store that sold its bourbons, ryes and their collection of signature glasses. Score!

Unpacking boxes and trying to make those first at-home dinners is a real challenge. Thankfully I found enough utensils to replicate that sauce. The first time with grilled scampi and asparagus with a cilantro rice. It was phenomenal but I was so tired I forgot to take a picture. Next up grilled salmon, roasted Yukon gold potatoes with asparagus drizzled with what is sure to be my go-to sauce of the summer.

Here is my rendition of the Cottage’s miso coconut cream sauce.

Melt a tablespoon of unsalted butter in a medium saucepan over medium/medium-low heat. Add the finely chopped shallot and sauté for two minutes until softened.

Whisk in a tablespoon of white miso paste.

Cook whisking occasionally until it starts to caramelize about one to two minutes.

Whisk in a tablespoon of dry white wine and simmer for a minute.

Stir in a half cup of coconut cream.

nd one-quarter teaspoon mirin rice wine.

Simmer for two minutes until the sauce thickens slightly.

Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Off heat stir in one tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice.

A perfect accompaniment to so many dishes.

If you’re ever in Park City, come on by- your Paper Plane awaits.

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