Wednesday, June 3, 2009
My wife and I have this fun little game going, well fun for me anyway, I challenge her cooking skills with random food items, prepared on some special occasion, and it being a special occasion, she cannot refuse. Now, I am no chef, so I don't always know what foods go with what, and sometimes my requests come straight from my taste buds rather than actual, practical ingredients, but somehow it works. This past meal was very special, it was my birthday. A month beforehand, my wife asked me what I wanted and I quickly gave her my standard answer, "something awesome" I said to her. And then I proceeded to volley ingredients and dishes that were popping into my head with incredible celerity. My final menu was this; Foie Gras on brioche with a salad of rocket lettuce and draped delicately with a reduction sauce made up of Vinegar and Port for a starter, followed by a ginormous plate of Filet Steak, Hand Cut "Chips" as my very English wife calls them, we American's would say, French Fries, Bernaise Sauce and a very special side of Truffled Macaroni. A delicacy we first discovered on our second visit to the venerated Restaurant in Bray, England called The Fat Duck. Now, let me first say that, although I adore my wife's cooking, her Truffled Macaroni didn't compare in the slightest bit to Mr. Blumenthal's. Sir, if you're reading this, please send me the recipe. I will comfort myself with it tonight as I sleep in the doghouse for my disgraceful comment about my wife's Truffled Macaroni above. Thank you!
We ended the meal on a high note. I am not a huge fan of sweets and although I will eat almost anything, I reserve my fat cells for savory food, rather than sweet. However, there is an exception to this rule, I will gratify my urge for sweets with two things, chocolate and ice cream. I am a total sucker for both. So when my wife asked me what I'd like for dessert my response was automatic, "Chocolate Mousse." Like, how dare you not know what your loving Husband would want for dessert. She agreed and created the most amazing Chocolate Mousse I have consumed to this day. And I'm not just saying that to make up for the Truffled Macaroni comment above. It was light, fluffy and exceptionally decadent. Everything Chocolate Mousse should be. In fact, everything she made that night was exactly how I would have liked it prepared in any of the best restaurants in the world. The Filet was beautifully cooked, with just the right amount of pink showing, it was tender and the juices were very much still intact. The Bernaise sauce left little to be desired and I think the additional helping of Tarragon, added to the overall complexity and sheer intensity of the sauce. As always the "chips" were cut thinly and cooked to perfection. She does do a good chip, that's for sure.
The Mousse was definitely the highlight of my evening, however, there was another guest at the table that I greeted with exuberance and delight, it was a bottle of 2004 Chateau Pavie purchased from Wine Library in Springfield, New Jersey. This was my first tasting of Pavie and it lived up to all the hype. It is dry, yet exhibits an incredible amount of intense fruit. Still young, I think this 2004 is an underrated superstar that needs to be nurtured and kept in a cellar for 10 years until it becomes approachable. Even young, it was a noble wine and one I look forward to it trying again. Gerard Perse, the owner of Chateau Pavie has done a great job. Keep your head up Mr. Perse, the people who dislike this wine are either old school in their thinking, or their taste buds have been abused by too many years of smoking and slander.
It was a fantastic meal which I'm hoping my wife will top when we play our little game again next month. I have asked her to make a ridiculous meal, that I conjourned up while reading a preview of Eat My Globe in a magazine on a US Air flight. That was it, after that 10 page preview I came up with a mindboggling recipe that you'll just have to wait to see. Simon, my wife is not happy with you. Sorry, buddy.
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