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A Hedonistic Weekend – Friday Dinner

2009/09/23

If you read my Braised Waygu Short Ribs post late last week you’ll know that I was away at a friend’s cottage for a rather hedonistic weekend of food and wine with some good friends. It was a phenomenal weekend and the short ribs were only the tip of the iceberg for what we ate.

Mid-afternoon snack

Mid-afternoon snack

Shortly after arriving at the cottage and unpacking the supplies for the weekend, we decided to sit out on the deck and enjoy a light afternoon snack and a bit of wine. MM made duck prosciutto (lower left) which was, once again, absolutely outstanding. The cured fat layer is ridiculously tasty. MA brought a selection of charcuterie and cheese from Jean-Talon market in Montreal. The charcuterie was from Le Cochon Tout Rond. Clockwise from upper left: coppa, rosetta, fegatello, and chorizo. Cheeses included Bouq Emissaire, Pied de Vent, Riopelle, and another I didn’t get the name of (sorry).

To kick off the weekend we opened several wines to go with these snacks: 1996 Moreau Chablis Le Clos, 1998 Renato Ratti Barolo Marcanesco Conca, 2003 Guigal Cote-Rotie Chateau d’Ampuis, and 1975 Vega Sicilia Unico Ribera del Duero from magnum. I’ll add tasting notes for all the wines in an upcoming blog entry.

Shrimp and scallop with Vidal icewine/grainy mustard sauce

Shrimp and scallop with Vidal icewine/grainy mustard sauce

As we tend to always have way too much food at the cottage, we decided to pare back the menu this time. Regardless of that, we once again ate way too much. Friday’s dinner started with F.’s preparation of seared scallops, sauted shrimp and a Vidal icewine/grainy mustard sauce (Kozlik’s Double Crunch for those wondering). While the presentation wasn’t the most elegant in the world, the dish was good with the piquancy of the mustard offset nicely by the sweetness of the icewine. A delicious bottle of 2006 Aubert Chardonnay Ritchie Vineyard paired well with the seafood.

Braised Waygu short ribs, sauteed rapini, celery root mash

Braised Waygu short ribs, sauteed rapini, celery root mash

The main course consisted of amazingly tender and succulent braised Waygu short ribs and sides. For details on the preparation of the short ribs, check out last week’s blog entry. The bitterness of the rapini cut through some of the richness of the beef and everything was tied together nicely with a sauce made from the strained and reduced braising liquid set with truffle butter. A trio of flights accompanied this dish. From Hermitage, 1989 Chave Hermitage and 1990 Jaboulet Hermitage La Chapelle, from Bordeaux, 1989 Chateau Mouton-Rothschild and 1989 Chateau Palmer, and finally a couple wines from California, 1995 Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve and 2002 Verite La Joie. The 1990 Jaboulet Hermitage La Chapelle was almost unanimous in its wine-of-the-weekend (WOTW) praise, the 1989 Chave Hermitage just behind. All were glorious wines and paired beautifully with the short ribs.

Chocolate Souffle just out of the oven

Chocolate Souffle just out of the oven

Dessert was chocolate souffle with a 70% cacao chocolate. Making souffle can be a trepidatious affair at the best of times and even more so when it’s 1am and many, many bottles of wine have been consumed. Undeterred, however, I pressed on and made a lovely, delicate, yet rich dessert that paired beautifully with 1995 Quintarelli Recioto della Valpolicella and an interesting bottle of 2006 A Foreign Affair Cabernet Franc which is a 100% appassimento wine made here in Ontario. The rise of the souffle was not bad considering the available ramekins had sloped sides.

Chocolate Souffle

Chocolate Souffle

Chocolate Souffle

Chocolate Souffle

The souffle was cooked perfectly. Runny and rich in the middle, a slight bit of crunchiness from the baked outside. Excellent contrast in textures.

It was a wonderful start to the weekend! The quality of wines from Friday would not be surpassed Saturday, but that’s not really a surprise. The six wines served with the short ribs were probably the strongest set I’ve ever had in a row. Excellent stuff!

My next post will be the notes for Friday’s wines followed by entries on Saturday’s dinner and finally Saturday’s wines.

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