Sunday, February 12, 2006

The dinner party

Dinner for four was real nice, the menu was:

  • liptauer cheese with little bagette slices & ritzs
  • Asian peanut, bean sprouts & herbs salad
  • roast pork with fingerling potatoes & lemon
  • black sticky gingerbread
  • lemon ice cream
We drank Lillet and soda for apertif, and a bottle of pinot grigio with dinner, and I had bought some limoncello, the Italian lemon liquer, and we finished it between 3 of us. I am getting a little worried about myself, I seem to be tending to drink just a little too much when given the opportunity, but I guess in the privacy of your own home, with good friends and not driving anwhere, it's OK - still, note to self: drink alcohol slower and avoid matching those larger than yourself drink for drink ... to avoid that dreadful, slighty embarassed feeling in the morning.

The liptauer was kind of eh, paprika-y cheese spread, sour cream & cottage cheese base, the salad and pork were delish, both from Nigel, and the ice cream, also Nigel, was great. As Regan said, I think I enjoyed my next-day, breakfast slice of the gingerbread more than the night before, and it does get "wonderfully chewey" if stored in the fridge. And even the night before it was terrific vehicle food for the ice cream.

The ice cream was like a semifreddo, where you whip air into the ingredients first, and still freeze it rather than churning - 3/4 cup whole milk yogurt, a jar of store bought lemon curd, sofly whipped pint of cream (Nigel says whip it until it lies in "slovenly folds") and about 10 little meringue cookies all crushed up. Mix it all up and freeze it in a container for about 4 hours.

The salad had a dressing of 1/4 cup Miso, 3 TBLS white wine (Nigel says sake, but I had an open white wine), 1 1/2 TBLS vegetable oil, 1/2 TBLS sesame oil, and 2 tsp sugar - poured over sprigs of cilantro, mint, & flat leaf parsley, a few argula leaves, a seeded, matchsticked cucumber, grated carrots, chopped scallions, and 2 diced hot chiles. (tho one was hot and one was not ...)

The pork was easy as can be - for 2 1/2 pounds pork roast, cut 24 fingerling potatoes in half, toss with 1 1/2 lemons cut in wedges (Nigel says 2) and 2 TBLS olive oil and 1 TBLS fennel seeds, brown the meat, dump the potatoes and lemons around the edges of the pan and roast at 400 for about 1 1/2 hours. Nigel's dish of pork did not seem as juicy as mine; either the lemons or the pork gave off less liquid - I drained the juices and reduced them, meanwhile putting the potatoes back in the oven, being silently amazed at how they did not stick to the pan at all and realizing that a) fingerlings are a very low-starch type of potato, and b) pork fat is damn good grease ...

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