The Mad Chef

One man's search for sanity through the creation of tasty vittles

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Get Your Love On

The mayonnaise has been made from scratch, and it's blended with cracked pepper and a balsamic vinegar reduction. Equal parts of ground pork and beef have been mixed with sundried tomatoes, kalamata & gaeta olives, flat-leaf parsley, garlic, crushed chile flakes, anchovies, and egg yolks and pattied into 6 big-ass burgers. A cheese guru has provided me with an asiago fresco to melt on the patties. My lovely and talented wife has made angel food cake from scratch (and damn is it good), although I'll have to find out later just how good it is with fresh strawberries and homemade whipped mapleview farms' cream. I've already got a glass of Blanton's in my gut, champagne is in the fridge, and it's time to get our love on.
Love Feast '05: You can't stop the Love.

Friday, April 01, 2005

The Love Feast, Finally

It's usually in February around St. Valentine's day, but for many myriad scheduling reasons our annual Love Feast dinner party is finally happening this Saturday. This has traditionally been a dinner party where each couple is assigned a course and the accompanying alcohol, with each dish intended to be an aphrodisiac of some kind. I always do the main course, and my lovely and talented wife prepares the dessert. In the past, I've made homemade ravioli with oyster & mushroom filling and served with a puttanesca sauce, a braised Thai-inspired pork roast, and homemade gnocchis with a mushroom-sage-cabernet cream sauce. This year, I was planning on pan-seared monkfish with a lemon-caper-bacon pan sauce, served over bitter greens with a side of jasmine rice with coconut milk and thai basil. . .but then I realized that my brilliant scheduling had landed the Love right smack dab on the night of the Final Four. We live in basketball country, and we are a basketball people, so I had to find a way to make the two work together.
So I will be making. . .Love Burgers.
I'm going to do a meat combo of beef, pork, and maybe some ground veal, and I'm taking some inspiration from the first Love Feast and using some key puttanesca ingredients in the burger blend. I'm thinking garlic, black olives, parsley, red pepper, and anchovies. I'm also going to take my first shot at a homemade mayonnaise (thank you, Professor, for replaying your Mayo Clinic episode last night!), and cruise the cheese counter at Whole Foods to find something appropriate to top it. Maybe some grillet-sauteed mushrooms, maybe still use the bitter greens, maybe a lot of things, but I'll see what inspires at the farmer's market in the morning.
I think I'm also going to break out the Euro-Pro and fry up some homemade potato chips, cause what says love better than some bubblin-hot oil? Topped with some fresh chives and a little white truffle oil. . .this might still be OK.
My lovely and talented wife will be working with angel food cake (from scratch), strawberries, and homemade whipped cream, but I'm not 100% sure what her final vision is. I trust her, though, it'll be tastyfied.
Erik and his ladyfriend are handling the cocktail hour, which I believe will feature the limoncello he's been working on for a while now, and we've got some other friends round out the first course. I have no idea what they're bringing, but I have faith in The Love.
Not so much time to write today (or this week), so I'll have to cut it short. I've got some new job duties, and hopefully they will turn into something official soon. It's much more fulfilling work that what I currently do, and would actually provide a daily challenge. I pretty excited at the prospect, but I don't want to get ahead of myself before it's official. . .of course, I'll be shouting it from the blogtops once/if it is!
Love update on Sunday or Monday, until then.