Pearls before Swine

I was the guest Chef for a charity dinner to help the Britt Festival at Schmidt Family Vineyards and the following is the appetizer I created for this event. This is a layered appetizer that can be prepared ahead and just reheated in a low oven until you are ready to serve.  This is a dish that will take a little time to make, but the elements can be made ahead and assembled quickly.

This pairs well with Pinot Gris or Viognier.


“Pearls Before Swine”

makes 6 four oz. servings

Parmesan Tapioca

  • 1 Cup Whole Milk
  • ½ cup Small pearl tapioca – soaked overnight
  • 2 cloves Garlic – mashed
  • 1 Shallot – minced very fine
  • 1 small package 1.5 oz. demi-glace (I used lamb demi in this dish since the entrée was lamb)
  • 6 oz. finely grated parmesan cheese (you may substitute Asiago)

To make the Tapicoa:   Heat the milk with the garlic, shallot and demi-glace.  Heat this until the demi-glace melts completely.  Add the tapioca that was soaked to the hot milk mixture.  Cook until tapioca is creamy and thick and no longer raw in the middle (approximately 7- 10 minutes).  Add the cheese and mix until melted.  Reserve.

 Crispy pancetta

2 packages Pancetta – cut into small pieces and cooked until crispy – place on paper towels to drain excess fat

Creamed Spinach

  • 2 T butter
  • 2 T all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 package frozen chopped spinach – thawed and drained
  • 2 cloves garlic – mashed
  • sea salt and pepper
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne
  • ½ cup Pernod (you may substitute Ouzo)

Make the creamed spinach:  Melt the butter, add the flour to create a roux.  Heat the butter/flour mix until just bubbling.  Add the milk and whisk until it is the consistency of mashed potatoes.  Add the garlic, cayenne and spinach.  Cook for approximately 10 minutes to cook out the flour taste.  Season with sea salt and pepper to taste. Add the Pernod and mix.  Reserve.

To serve:  Place small amount of pancetta on bottom of ramekin, cover with small amount of creamed spinach and then top with the Parmesan Tapioca.  Garnish with fried leeks.  Serve hot.

Happy Cooking Everyone!

Chef Constance


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: