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Monthly Archives: October 2004

Saturday, October 30th, 2004

Caramel Apples

I’ve always wanted to make real caramel apples and decided that this was the year. I was worried about the recipe I had found, only because it had so many ingredients, but it turned out great. It was fun, slightly dangerous, very sticky and way easier than I thought it would be.

We had some leftover caramel after dipping our apples, so we ate it like fondue—dipping in sliced apples and sprinkling them with nuts and fleur de sel. I think the sugar made me hyper because all of a sudden I was scouring the kitchen looking for other things to dip. Let’s just say that I don’t recommend the caramel cheese.

But the caramel was the best I’ve ever tasted. Seriously.

Sunday, October 17th, 2004

What is Celeriac?

Many people asked at the dinner last night, what is celeriac? and I didn’t really know. I mean I knew it was delicious and related to celery, but I didn’t think it WAS celery.

It looks like it’s in the celery family, but grown especially for the root and not the stalks or leaves. Prove me wrong.

Saturday, October 16th, 2004

Friends of Freeland

Mom recruited me to help her with an 8-course fundraising dinner for 20 people to benefit Friends of Freeland.

This was the menu:
Smoked Trout Rillettes
Duck Rillettes
Mini Cheese Palmiers
Crab & Dill Toasts
Celeriac Soup
Sweet-potato Ravioli with Sage & Pecans and Green Pea Ravioli with Truffle Butter Sauce
Avocado & Pear Sorbet
Boeuf a la Ficelle with Horseradish Cream or Grilled Halibut with Cilantro Lime Butter
Fig, Prosciutto and Arugula Salad
Cheese Course (Truffle Cheese from Whole Foods—very expensive and very delicious)
French Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Sauce

Everything turned out great and tasted amazing. Yes, it was exhausting, but for a good cause.

Saturday, October 9th, 2004

Le Pichet

While I’ve never been to France, Le Pichet is the picture I have in my head of what a French cafe looks like. I love that it’s warm and sterile at the same time, that the table tops are made out of slate and that they smoke and play loud accordion music on Sunday afternoons. I had been hearing about the roast chicken for two, so this outing was specifically to try this dish.

Since the chicken takes almost an hour to cook, we started out with the charcuterie plate. The charcuterie was fantastic with great country-style (i.e. chunky) pork rillettes and marinated beef tongue. I haven’t ever (knowingly) had beef tongue before, so I was a little wary. Here’s my verdict: Beef tongue is good! It’s kind of like eating foie gras though—it’s so rich and fatty tasting that I can only handle it in small amounts.

Then we moved on the salad verte, which always amazes me in its simplicity and deliciousness. I want to figure out what they put in that dressing that makes it so good.

Then on to the chicken! At first, I was a little disappointed that the chicken didn’t come with pommes frites, but once I tasted the macaroni broth and bed of braised leeks that it came with, I was sold. It was an amazing and perfect roast chicken. The waitress recommended a great table wine, Domaine des Rozets Coteaux du Tricastin 2001, which we drank with the meal.

We were too stuffed for dessert, so we moved on and had drinks at Zig Zag. I had a Vesper (mmm) and Zach had something with Brandy that he really enjoyed, and I didn’t enjoy as much—which is weird because I really love single-malt Scotches, but I haven’t acquired a taste for Brandy yet. I do have to say that I would never recommend Zig Zag on a weekend night-it’s just too crowded and too insincere, but definitely worth it on a weekday night for a delicious drink.

Le Pichet on Urbanspoon

Saturday, October 2nd, 2004

Garden Party

G & C graciously offered to let me host a party at their beautiful home at the Dunn Gardens. I was really excited but also a little nervous about cooking in a kitchen that’s not my own.

I decided on a seafood menu, so I picked up some gorgeous salmon and prawns at mutual fish (my favorite fish monger) and headed north. There was a scheduling glitch and I was locked out of the kitchen until an hour before the party started! I was panicked and wandering about the garden trying to reach someone on the phone. Finally I just started de-veining shrimp on the gardening bench outside.

Once we got in, it was a mad rush, but I had a few friends helping, so we managed to get everything prepared just as the last guest arrived. G & C were pouring their famous lemon drops, which they spent months taste-testing and perfecting, and the guests brought some great wine.

Food seems to taste better when it’s not prepared in a rush, so I was a little disappointed with the results, but everyone had a good time.

Chile-Lime Shrimp with Avocado
Figs of the Gods (port stewed figs served on gorgonzola toasts)
Sauteed Mushrooms on Toast
Sweet-potato Ravioli with Sage & Pecans
Horseradish Crusted Salmon with Beet Sauce & Mashed Potatoes
Soft Chocolate Cakes

I totally forgot to take pictures of the food and I didn’t realize my camera was set to the red-eye double flash setting, so it looks like we had dinner at Glamor Shots…