Aphorisms from the Professor: Brillat-Savarin

Monday, September 21, 2009

Tonight we had four friends over for dinner. We did a lot of the prep work yesterday so that tonight could just be about putting things in the oven. I was in charge of the ribs. I was told to do a dry rub on one rack, and a marinade for the other; I decided that if we were going to do two different preparations, they should taste different too.

On one rack I did a dry rub based on Bobby Flay's recipe (pictured left). The one main substitution was red pepper flakes instead of cayenne. On the other rack I made a marinade that was thai/satay inspired. The base was half a cup of leftover peanut satay sauce, to which I added lots of ginger, cilantro, garlic and green onion. While I did that, my boyfriend stuffed the chicken with garlic, onions, thyme and a bit of red pepper flake (pictured right).

Baguette with goat cheese and roasted tomatoes
Pork, apple and fennel wontons

Main Course:
Roasted chicken (served with gravy)
Roasted veggies (brussel spouts, potatoes, parsnip, butternut squash and acorn squash)
Sauteed collard greens with garlic and green onion
Cheddar cheese grits with bacon and onion

Dessert: Creme brulee

Dessert qualifies as our adventure for the night. The "creme" was taken care of yesterday and set in the fridge overnight. But how to get the "brulee"? The adventure-mood was set when my boyfriend decided to buy an industrial-size torch instead of a cute, small kitchen torch. I guess once you are buying a torch, go big or go home. I mean, if we ever needed to use a torch to fix our car, we would feel stupid if we only had a kitchen torch...right?

The recipe we had called for a cup of vanilla sugar to be spread evenly over the 6 ramekins. Unfortunately, we did not buy nearly that much, since we had no idea how much we needed when we went to the grocery store, and it only came in small paper packets. When we just torched that (about a tablespoon per ramekin) it didn't seem "burnt" enough. Plus we were all impatient and when it wasn't hardened IMMEDIATELY, we figured there wasn't enough sugar. So we added some regular granulated sugar on top of the already "bruleed" vanilla sugar. (First we tried icing sugar and this was a mistake!!!) The granulated sugar + vanilla sugar produced the look we were expecting, but also left us with an extremely thick and chewy top layer (it was really almost toffee at this point), and the creme got liquefied from all the heat. It tasted great, we'll just need to work on the details of "brulee-ing" next time.

1 comment:

  1. I wish I had been invited!!!! It all looks yummy!!