Monday, November 5, 2012

Food! Glorious Food!

So, Friday night my friend and I made dinner together.  Let me back up and say that this friend is a former chef, which I imagine contributed greatly to the success of this meal.

Here is the menu:
Steak tartare (first time I'd ever made it); I hand-chopped the cutest tenderloin I've encountered in recent memory.  The dressing was rather simple - finely chopped caper berries, a little Dijon mustard, a chopped anchovy, a little olive oil, a dash of Worcestershire, a dash of Frank's Hot Sauce, salt & pepper to taste (I may be forgetting something...).  Yes, we topped it with a raw egg.  (Just another reason to eat local & organic!)  It was a revelation - rich, creamy, and delicately balanced; chef said it was the best she's tasted.  Yay!  Now I want to make it at least once a week.  Not sure if the ladyfriend will go for that.
Photo by chef; food better than photo
Sweetbreads (a new favourite meat); sweetbreads are rich and creamy, with a light hint of liver (okay, here you might be, "Gross!"  But liver gets a bad rap, and remember, I said "a light hint").  We poached them in a court bouillon and then sauteed them in a little bacon fat (of course!) to get a nice crust going, finishing them in the oven.

Finally, there was the Cornish game hen breast on risotto encircled by sauteed leeks with bacon (match made in heaven) and turnips.  Chef made a sauce by reducing chicken stock until it was almost unbearably rich.  I'm having food flashbacks now!
It seems that things couldn't get much better, but the wine I brought turned out to be fantastic.  A few years ago (probably five or so), my dad and I went to Lailey Vineyard.  I remembered thinking the wine was really good and had kept an empty bottle to remind myself of it.  Unfortunately, I never seemed to make it back to the vineyard, and the LCBO never seemed to stock it. (I am trying to resist going into my tirade about the LCBO and the dismal lack of choice such an operation offers.)

But there it was yesterday, at the LCBO.  I picked up the bottle of pinot noir hoping that my memory served me well.  It did, and beyond.  I have no faith that the LCBO will continue to stock it, but I feel like a return to the vineyard is in order.

If this is all too much, perhaps it will bring it all back to earth when I say that for dessert we stole some of her son's Halloween candy.  I ate a mini-Butterfinger.  Yum!

It was a lot of fun cooking together; way better, in fact, than going out to a restaurant.

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