Friday, February 22, 2013

Big Week, part two (the Food Episodes)

More on last week's happenings:

Tuesday was an epic dinner at a fancy restaurant.  The kind of meal I don't get very often.  And by 'very often,' I mean 'ever.'  Friends took us out as a Big Thank You to Cory for a Big Favor, and it was incredible: course after course of the most amazing food.  Even the dishes made from ingredients I don't usually like were great - cranberry 'snow' with beet puree? Bring it.  And the stuff I do like?  My brain and body almost exploded.  Oysters unlike any I've ever had, poached lobster that made me question my place on earth, an egg cream that made me pine for days that never really existed. (An egg cream can do that?  Apparently it can.)

Wednesday night I had off.  Sort of.  I took advantage of the freedom to do prep for the dinner I made for Valentine's the next night.  I knew I wouldn't be able to get home until later than ideal on Thursday, so I needed to cover some ground ahead of time.

Here's the thing about that: we don't usually do much for V-day.  We acknowledge that it exists, we mention it, we wish each other the happiness of the day, but we don't historically make much of it.  And by 'historically,' I mean 'ever.'  Or, more precisely, 'so far.'  But this year was a little different.  For whatever reason, we decided to have an extra-special-nice dinner in.  So I did a bunch of prep on Wednesday and when I did get home on Thursday, I did my magic in the kitchen.  

And for kicks in the wake of our other-worldly meal on Tuesday, I put on my best 'fancy waiter' as I'd bring out the courses.  You know: weight slightly forward, hands gracefully floating the dish to the table, describing it in a hushed throaty half-whisper.

This is a Perfect Valentine Manhattan, adapted from the classic recipe with Hudson Manhattan Rye, Dolin Dry Vermouth, Carpana Antica Sweet Vermouth, peychaud and orange bitters, and Morello cherries.
Watercress soup, with a whiskey cream. (This was actually an exciting discovery, and is a strong contender to be T-Day worthy...)
Haricots verts (ok, they were green beans - hey, I'm in 'fancy waiter' mode.) in a Kürbiskernöl and lemon glaze.
Roasted fingerling potatoes with tarragon and thyme.
Filet mignon with mushrooms, adapted from a recipe by James Beard.
Vermont ice cream, made with milk from happy cows and rich organic chocolate.
Ok, I punted on dessert and went with Ben & Jerry's.  Still, it was a pretty good meal.  A Happy Valentine's Day.

No visual stimulation for you today - I haven't been feeling the 'take pictures of food' thing lately. I'm sure I will revert.

Stay tuned...

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