Din Din Supper Club 'Hazelnut Panna Cotta with Pinot Noir Strawberries' from Mighty Gastropolis Portland

Portland, Oregon is a creative hub for all things bicycles.

It has also a lively food scene as you will see when you get your hands on a copy of The Mighty Gastropolis Portland (Chronicle Books. 2012) by Karen Brooks with Gideon Bosker and Teri Gelber.

Tattoos are standard fare, Supper Clubs such as Din Din an integral part of the Portland scene.

Here is a Pinot Noir flavored recipe from Din Din.

Hazelnut Panna Cotta with Pinot Noir Strawberries

Every restaurant, it seems, serves panna cotta or “cooked cream,” but none does it like this, intensely flavorful and so light you fear it might levitate off the plate. Things really get interesting when the hazelnut flavor hits—a golden brown haze of nutty particles free floating on top. Oregon is the world’s hazelnut headquarters, and the best come from Freddy Guys, a Portland farmers’ market favorite with a website boasting “Read about us in the New York Times!” Grab them if you can. Break out some pinot noir for dinner, and let guests macerate their berries at the table to spoon over dessert: very French, very Din Din.

Serves 6
Panna Cotta
tsp vegetable oil
cup/70 g raw hazelnuts
vanilla bean
cup/180 ml whole milk
1 cup/240 ml heavy cream
3 tbsp plus 1 tsp sugar
tsp kosher salt
1 tsp unflavored gelatin
2 tbsp cold water
2 tsp good brandy

2 to 3 tsp sugar
cup/120 ml Oregon pinot noir
8 ripe strawberries, cut into-in-/6-mm-thick slices


1. To make the panna cotta: Coat six 2- to 3-oz/60- to 90-ml ramekins with the vegetable oil and set aside.

2. Preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C/gas 5. Place the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and toast, watching carefully to avoid burning them, until lightly browned and fragrant, 8 to 10 minutes. Cool briefly, then enclose the nuts in a kitchen towel. Using your hands, rub the nuts together to remove their skins. Set the nuts aside.

3. Halve the vanilla bean lengthwise, and, using the dull side of a knife, scrape the seeds into a medium saucepan. Add the vanilla bean pod, hazelnuts, milk, cream, sugar, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and then immediately remove from the heat. Discard the vanilla pod.

4. While still hot, transfer the mixture to a blender and, holding the lid down, pulse about four times to break up the nuts slightly. Return the mixture to the same pot to infuse at room temperature, about 15 minutes.

5. Put the gelatin in a large bowl and sprinkle the cold water over it to moisten. Set aside.

6. Over medium heat, warm the hazelnut mixture until just hot to the touch and starting to steam, about 3 minutes. Add the brandy and immediately remove from the heat. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into the bowl of gelatin, whisking well to combine. Strain one more time over a clean bowl. Pour into the prepped ramekins, and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Chill for 4 to 6 hours, until set.

7. For the strawberries: In a medium bowl, whisk the sugar and wine together. Add the strawberries and marinate until they’ve softened slightly and absorbed some of the wine, about 20 minutes.

8. Remove the panna cotta from the ramekins by running a hot knife around the inside edge. Turn each upside down over a separate serving plate and tap the ramekin to release. Garnish each with a few spoonfuls of the strawberries and their liquid. Serve immediately.

(* Recipe from The Mighty Gastropolis Portland by Karen Brooks with Gideon Bosker and Teri Gelber- Chronicle Books, Fall 2012- reproduced by permission, all rights reserved....Illustration is lovely Courtney Sproule of Din Din)

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