Saturday, September 22, 2007

Mike's going away dinner, September 19, 2007

We had Mike, Dave, Jason, Nicole, and Priscilla over for dinner last Wednesday to mark Mike's departure from the East Coast.

It wasn't quite cool enough to be doing all the cooking I did at the last minute. Slight seasonal misjudgment and timing error. Also, as I later discover, the blower above the range doesn't actually blow air outside. It blows it back into the apartment. Two of my friends tell me, "My eyes are burning." My goal for the next time we have people over is that no ones eyes burn.

I see the major disadvantage to an open kitchen. I am a strong proponent of the completely separate kitchen.

We had roasted red pepper and olive tapas, and Mabel put out crudite with ranch dip. Then the creme fraiche and basil pappardelle with Nicole's salad. Chickpeas next. Then the portobello with red wine sauce and garlic rice, fried Brussels sprouts, and steamed eggplant.

The portobello dish turned out pretty bad. I added too much tomato paste to the sauce so it didn't quite taste right. And the portobellos themselves were so underseasoned that they tasted a little like they had negative flavor. The serving pot was also too small, so things weren't mixed together very well. But I liked the braised pearl onions.

I think the chickpeas were the star, at least for me. I think we're going to try making that for ourselves routinely.

Actually, the most memorable food item for me was the wine that Dave brought. I guess it has been a long time since I last drank a red Burgundy. This is my favorite type of wine. It is completely different from American pinot. It just makes me happy and content in an inexplicable way.

For dessert, we had Delice de Bourgogne and lemon cake that Mabel made the day before. Mabel also brought out a bottle of dessert wine that she bought at a chocolate fair a year ago. She liked it and says it was light and sparkly rather than viscous.

The apartment cooled down about halfway through the meal, and the rest of the evening was very nice.

Domaine Jacky Renard "Cotes D'Auxerre" (Burgundy) 2005 o
Quady Electra, Orange Muscat 2004 o

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