Sunday, September 26, 2010

We had a dining room party

We completely remodeled the dining room - resulting in the need for a formal party to celebrate. It was in honour of the designer who worked so patiently with us. So we made it a special occasion.

Starting with some appetizers and a nice Cremant de Bourgogne in the living room (appetizers were an edamame dip with red chili, served with fried, salted wontons; Small cubes of aged Parmigiano Reggiano, some spiced olives. All this as a preface to the dinner itself.

Naturally we had home made bread - this time ciabatta rolls made in the afternoon. Butter balls accompanied those.

Starting with this salad, but using Valencia ornages instead of blood oranges, finished with pomegranate seeds and guanciale lardons.  The wine was a 1998 Gravonia (100% Viura) Rioja. The pick of the litter from the 2009 Texas Sommeliers convention.

The main course was braised beef ribs (with cinnamon, clove, cardomom, thyme, nutmeg spicing), serverd over a bed of sauteed onion/grated carrot (they had been sauteed using the strained fat from the braise, together with pommes boulangere and sauteed red/rellow/orange peppers. The peppers had been julienned, but also had the interior layer of slightly bitter flesh removed. The wine for the main course was a Tikal Patriota (60% Bonarda, 40% Malbec). The faintly spicy notes in the wine really picked up the cinnamon and nutmeg in the braise, and the nutmeg/thyme in the potatoes.

For dessert we had a summer pudding served with thick cream. I aadded a little creme de cassis to the berries on this occasion. The pic below is from a previous event, but shows a summer pudding at its finest. The wine was a Beringer Nightingale 2005 Botyritized Semillion/Sauvignon Blanc blend. Perfect with the tartness of the berries and the lusciousness of the cassis.

After dinner we adjourned to the living room for after dinner drinks of Calvados, Angostrua Rumm and Bushmills 12 year old Irish. Together with specially roasted El Salvador Matalap coffee roasted to City+ to get some of its toffee notes developed, and Belcolade Costa Rican chocolate drops.

A very satisfactory evening indeed - and the first of many exciting dining occassions in the new dining room.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A sign! Edamame Dip

This was clearly meant to be. Alton Brown on Good Eats did a show on edamame in which he described an edamame dip. Then yesterday madame and I were out for lunch and an edamame dip was offered. Must be a trendy thing. So not wishing to be behind any trends, I immediately thought about making one - so here it is. It's kinda like making hummus except that you use edamame instead of chick peas and red miso paste instead of tahini.
16 oz shelled edamame  - cooked and cooled
6 green onions minced
3 cloves garlic peeled and sliced (you could reduce this to 1 or 2 depending on taste)
1 roasted hatch chile finely chopped
2 T red miso paste - key ingredient. Adds a depth and richness. We bought ours at an Asian supermarket
2T sweet chili sauce
1T soy sauce
Juice 1/2 lemon (more if needed to your taste)
1/3 cup vegetable oil

Put everything except the lemon juice and oil into the food processor and process until mostly smooth. Add the lemon juice, blend again and taste. Adjust to suit your own taste. With the motor running, finish off the dip by adding the oil and continue to process until smooth. Taste, add salt/pepper to taste - we didn't because the soy sauce added enough saltiness.

Chill for 2 hours or so before serving.

We served it using bagel chips, but madame will be taking left overs to work with celery.