I just recently 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. Since I am a fan of Thomas Keller at the French Laundry, I was inspired by an appetizer of his using a savory tapioca. You eat the tapioca first as you dig into this dish (the "pearls") and the "swine" is the crispy pancetta pieces. Thus the silly name. This is a layered appetizer that can be prepared ahead and just reheated in a low oven until you are ready to serve. This does take a little time to make, but the elements can be made ahead of time and just reheated and assembled quickly. This pairs well with Pinot Gris or Viognier.
1 Cup Whole
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.
2 packages Pancetta – cut into small pieces and cooked until crispy – place on paper towels to drain excess fat