Sunday, February 13, 2011

dinner at place pigalle

this time around, i decided to visit place pigalle for my birthday dinner. it was a good choice. it's a pleasant little spot overlooking puget sound, just around the corner from the fish market.
when it came to selecting a wine bottle, i decided on cote du rhone, and picked the cheapest bottle for economical reasons. it was delicious, so maybe price was a good deciding factor!
my father ordered half a dozen raw oysters, which i'm not usually such a big fan of, but these were delicate, and refreshing. i liked the accompanying sauce.
i shared their green salad with my sweethearts. it had gorgonzola, spiced pecans, roasted garlic, and i thought it was a flavor explosion, far exceeding my green salad expectations.
for the main course i ordered game hen, which was perfectly cooked. my sweetheart ordered the swordfish special, which was also delicious.
for desserted, we ordered pot de creme au chocolat and rasberry pecan torte (which was more interesting than delicious, but i have high pastry standards). the chocolate was rich and enticing. we washed it down with courvoisier. all in all, a successful outing.

Monday, January 24, 2011

more soup!

soup is one of the most gratifying things to make during the colder winter months, and the william-sonoma soup book is one of my favorite resources for all things soup related. the other day i made their eastern-europe inspired sweet and sour flank soup.
first i sauteed an onion and 3 cloves garlic in vegetable oil.
then i browned my flank steak in the pot, about three minutes on each side.
next i added, in no particular order: a box of beef stock, 4 cups water, 1 head of cabbage (chopped), 1/4 cup golden raisins, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 can whole peeled tomatoes, 1 bayleaf, and the juice of 1 lemon.
after bringing the soup to a boil, i let it simmer for 1 hour, then removed and cut the flank steak. i put the pieces back in the soup, and then served. the meat was pretty tender, and i really enjoyed the sweet and sour combination. also, flank steak is a pretty economical meat option. all in all, a successful dinner venture.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

poulet au porto

i had never roasted a chicken before, and new year's eve seemed as good a time as any. with julia child to guide me, a chicken from don and joe's, and my basting companion, i set forth. we followed a strict basting schedule, taking the bird out every 8-10 minutes for a little grease bath.

about two thirds of the way through the roasting, i boiled mushrooms for 8 minutes, then put the mushroom liquid in a boil, and added a healthy dose of cream with a little cornstarch to the mushrooms. in a different pan, i added a little chicken fat, and sauteed a shallot. i then added the mushroom juice and some port, which i reduced. i then added the mushroom cream mixture, and lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.

meanwhile, the bird cooled on the cutting board, until it was read to be but into serving pieces. piece were then placed in another pan, doused in cognac, and we attempted to set fire to the bird, but it did not cooperate in this endeavor. we only got a little flame, and then added the mushroom cream sauce. the result was delicious, i have certainly never had a boozier mushroom with my dinner!