Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year's Eve

It was a quiet evening - Madame is out of town :-(. Bryan was free and as usual had some wines to try. So I put together a quick dinner to suit. Of course with 2 of us and several wines to try, it became a bit complex! For the main course I did an old stand-by Served with Pommes Anna (using the Cooks Illustrated recipe) and some sauteed/steamed cauliflower with fresh red chiles.. For a starter I made a room temp black-eyed pea dish, and for dessert a cherry clafoutis using some mysterious liquor brought back by a co-worker from Poland. Dave Gilbert came later and brought a bottle of the Stellekaya Orion 2005 with him. So we just sipped on that without a food pairing. That was a fantastic bottle. The evening did go on a bit and I see 5 used wine bottles (not all empty) shared amount the three of us. That goes some way to explaining why I feel a little groggy this morning - that and getting to bed slightly after 2am! So here are some of the dishes...

Black Eyed Peas
1t neutral vegetable oil
1 Linguisa sausage (you could use kielbasa if you wanted) diced into 1/4" cubes
1 medium red onion diced
12 oz fresh black eyed peas
2 cups chicken stock
1 yellow bell pepper (diced and blanched)
Cabbage leaves blanched - 1 per person
salt/pepper as needed
3 drops lemon juice per serving.
Coarse sea salt for crunch

In a skillet, heat the oil over a medium flame until shimmering. Add the sausage and cook until it has taken on some color. Add the onion and cook some more - softening the onion. Once the onion is soft, add the peas, toss to mix well and add the stock. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 10 or so minutes. Turn off the heat, adjust the seasoning - that will largely depend on the sausage you are using.

Blanch the yellow pepper dice for 10-15 seconds in boiling, lightly salted water and immediately transfer to an ice bath. Do the same with the individual cabbage leaves.
Place the cabbage leaf on the plate, and trim to desired shape with kitchen shears. Make a small mound of the room temp peas/onions/sausage on the leaf. Add the lemon juice, sprinkle some of the yellow pepper on top, scatter some sea salt and serve.

2003 Hermitage Blanc Paul Jaboulet "Gaspard de Sterimberg" This was crisp enough to cut through the fattiness of the linguisa. It stood up well to the intense flavors, but was otherwise a bit undistinguished. Surprisingly less interesting than the 2005 that we tasted at the Texas Sommelier convention back in August..

Clafoutis is a traditional French dessert from the Limousin area of central France. It is a simple enough dessert, but is very impressive looking when it comes out of the oven. Think giant cherry popover (or Yorkshire pudding) . Like many batters this batter is better if allowed to develop a little, so I make it an hour in advance, and refrigerate it. I hold back a little milk to thin it just prior to makeing the dessert.

3/4 cup all purpose flour
Pinch of salt
6 eggs
1 cup whole milk
Butter to grease the dish
1 lb of pitted cherries. I used a jar of sour cherries in light syrup. These were drained
3T Kirsch

Sift the flour into a small bowl with the salt. Beat the eggs lightly in a separate bowl and incorporate the eggs into the flour using a whisk. Add all but 2T of the milk and whick until a smooth batter is formed. Leave  to stand (in the fridge) for about an hour.
Drain the cherries and then immediately cover with the liqueur and toss to make sure that the cherries are fully covered. Leave these to sit too.
When ready to cook it, preheat the oven to 400F. Grease a low oven proof pan (I use a gratin dish) thoroughly with unsalted butter. Mix the cherries into the batter and pour immediately into the greased dish. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 35 minutes - or until puffy. Sprinkle with superfine sugar and serve hot from the oven - maybe with a little thin cream.

1 comment:

hampers said...

Thanks for sharing the recipe of Black Eyed Peas. Wine will do better with it. It was nice going through your blog.