Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A (mercifully short) Interval

Pasta al salmone

Friday 27 March
Comfort food: much needed before Holt had to go back to teach (dam’ it).

Lake House

Thursday 26 March
Back to Lake House (indoors) for a post-lecture dinner with Don and Martha.
Fine PEI mussels and PEI* calamari, followed by a merely OK pickerel with wild rice. Despite the lamb hash of night before, some daimon caused Holt to order the daily special: a nice braised lamb shank with garlic and pesto mash. All went well with a bottle of the Strewn red (Two Vines).

*Polypods are Excellent Ingestion

Lamb Hash

Wednesday 25 March
Back for its third successful run at this theatre . . .

Rainbow Trout

Tues 24 March
Huge things, though not as sea-worthy as the steelheads. We did them with a little braised fennel and some red grapefruit sautéed in the butter with red onion. And enough left over to made a tasty apple and cuke salad for lunch.

Rozbif and Salad

Monday 23 March
Nothing like cold roast beef. Plus a salad of whatever bits and pieces were left over from the party. Not as pretty but mighty tasty for the pennies they cost.

Devolution Dinner

Sunday 22 March
There had been so much food on Saturday that Holt didn’t feel the need to proffer the traditional accompaniment to prime rib, but a cupful of dripping and gravy was too good to waste. So we had a Northern Dinner: Scotland (scotch broth) made in the slow cooker and Yorkshire pudding. Holt used to make Moosewood’s “Custardy Popovers” all the time, so that, like Spaghetti Carbonara, he first met up with certain classical dishes in vegetarian avatars.

Party with K. v. S.

Saturday 21 March

That brings us to Saturday. Andi and Joel's conference was done and everyone felt celebratory so Katharine von Stackelberg came over to meet Andi and Joel von Fultonfishmarket.
We started with some asparagus and prosciutto and then another blood orange and beet salad, but on a bed of spring greens and with a little mound of shaved fennel cured with white balsamic vinegar, besprinkled with goat cheese. So pretty and so tasty.

A surprise hit was the potato galettes with nova lox and sour cream. A surprise not for the ingredients (what's not to like) but the method. The link is here, a fine recipe but what's ingenious is the pre-cooking. This allows you have the galettes not only guaranteed tender but premade and raring to go when your guests come in. It's now a standard part of our repertoire:
Line microwave-safe plate with plastic wrap. Overlap enough potato rounds (about 12) on plastic to form 4-inch round. Microwave on high until almost tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer potato galette to baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Repeat with remaining potatoes and 3 teaspoons oil to form total of 4 galettes.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add galettes and cook until crisp and brown, 1 1/2 minutes per side.
Then a mighty prime rib, with a mushroom and vegetable wine sauce (instead of the standard roast vedge) washed down with lashing of Wildass white and Cave Spring red. For dessert a Banana bread with cappucino gelato.

Leg o' Lamb and Vedge

Friday 20 March

Roasted with sliced onions, turnips, parsnips, and carnips - I mean carrots.


Thurs 19 March
The blog has suffered from neglect (and it ain’t the only one).

After a terrific private tour laid on at Stratus on a day full of sunshine, we had a wander through the quaint of NOTL (Niagara on the Lake), a stop off to top up at Strewn, and when it got a tad chilly retreated to the Stone Road Grille.

We all shared the charcuterie plate, each little pickle and meat lovingly handmade. There was duck prosciutto, salame, mortadella, a tic-tac-toe plate of house-pickled vegetables. And a creamy chicken liver paté (for those who like that sort of thing).

We had a starters of lobster "triangolini" (stuffed with lobster, ricotta, and meyer lemon in a sauce of lobster bisque) and the Chef's Salad: bibb lettuce, bresaola (brazoul' in Barbara's Neapolitan dialect; this was also "house- cured" but mysteriously missing from the charcuterie), Niagara Gold cheese and a little duck confit with a qute quail egg, plus olives. Nothing exceeds like excess.

Then B&H had the citrus braised short ribs, which are sort of gigantic pillows of tender beef still loosely attached to the bone; the citrus was Meyer lemons (a signature flavor). Plus a crispy duck.

For desert, we all split, since we were just about to split, the profiterols, and our nice waitress persuaded the kitchen to give us 4 instead of 3, each on its own plate), so no ugly fights. As the menu says “With White Chocolate Chili Ice Cream Spiced Praline & Bourbon Caramel Sauce.” The chili was odd, but added a subtle buzz to the background.