A lot has happened in the last 10 days or so... too much to include here. Work was too busy this past week to update much, though I found myself wanting to update every day. In the mean time, I hope you, my gentle readers will be satisfied with a report about this evening's culinary experiments.
We had J. and G. and their son R. over for dinner tonight. J. and Mrs. Geek grew up together and knew each other since kindergarten. We tried to have them over for dinner for the last nine months or so. It was great to see them. I hope it won't be nine months before we see them again.
The menu tonight consisted of beef burgundy, courtesy of the America's Test Kitchen. Julia Child describes boeuf bourgignon as a rather rustic beef stew. If that is so, this was the Cadillac of beef burgundy recipes. All the carrots, onions, mushrooms, and herbs and spices are all kept in a cheese cloth as the beef cooks in the oven for three hours. The sauce used a base of Louis Jadot Burgundy with free range chicken stock (not called for by the recipe, but had some leftover), and a roux as a base. The preparations are more complicated than they could be, but the result is a deep, complex beef stew with only beef, pearl onions, and sauce moving across the tongue.
To go with the beef burgundy, we had green beans with lemon and butter, egg noodles (from a bag), and this ravishing Aparicio Vineyard old vine Zinfandel from Rosenblum.
For dessert, we had my second try at making a Double Chocolate Ice Cream recipe of my own creation. I call it "double chocolate" because it uses two kinds of chocolate, unsweetened dark chocolate, and powdered sweet milk chocolate. The former imparts a lovely, deep chocolate flavor that is not overly sweet, while the latter imparts some level of chocolate color -- though our guests said that it wasn't enough color to hint at the strong chocolate flavors within. My first attempt at making this recipe some weeks ago used a milk to cream ratio consistent with a vanilla ice cream I've made with much success over the last few years. That produced ice cream that never really hardened the way I wanted it to. So, I adjusted the milk to cream ratio based on some hints from an old copy of The Joy Of Cooking -- it seems that something about the chocolate requires a lower amount of butterfat in the dairy base than with the vanilla. This second batch was exquisite. The revised recipe is being copied into my files as a keeper.
In all, some very excellent culinary work this weekend.
on 2005-08-14 at 9:33 p.m.
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