Thursday, March 09, 2006

A winter dinner - to recollect before spring

Spring is approaching, so I would like to record a dinner we had in New York a few weeks ago, before the winteriness of it becomes unsavory. The guests were writers, none vegetarian. Lamb was decidedly to be a central feature. We began with fennel, thinly sliced, sauteed in olive oil and a little salt, then cooked until soft and nearly melting in good chicken stock - transferred it to an oven pan, covered with sliced parmiggiano and grilled until golden for ten minutes or so. Patricia Wells's Provençal recipe, excellent and never fails. Then, the lamb: from Ada Boni, "alla cacciatora" or "alla romana" - cubed, browned in oil, then cooked further with garlic, sage, rosemary, to which I then added a spoonful of flour for thickness. It then cooked in vinegar diluted in water, covered, for a good 45 mn. Meanwhile, I had sliced lengthwise carrots and fingerling potatoes and put them in the oven, with olive oil, rosemary, garlic. I had also chopped and sauteed some celeriac, then cooked it in chicken stock (not unlike the fennel) with garlic, chili pepper and rosemary, until soft - then grossly mashed it with a fork; that recipe from the River Café Cookbook I. The lamb was good, albeit acidic - the (Sherry) vinegar I used was too young. But it went beautifully with the rather hot celeriac mash, and the potatoes and carrots completed it all very well, in terms of taste, texture and colour. The wines: a chaotic evening to which friends brought some forgetable labels, although I did open a 1996 Cos d'Estournel (I think). I forget the dessert - might have been the vanilla ice-cream with hot chocolate sauce again, and blood oranges and clementines on the table. A good evening that was. The next menu will definitely be less wintery.



Post a Comment

<< Home