Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Gourmet Club - November 2009

Well that didn't go so well.

Tarah and I are part of a Gourmet Club that meets every few months. It's really just 4 couples of self proclaimed foodies that come up with a theme and have a ball eating great food and getting drunk. The meals usually consist of 5 courses with the host making the appetizer and the main dish. Comfort Food was the theme this time, leaving it basically wide open for interpretation. Tarah and I have been having so much fun with the busiati pasta that we wanted to do that for the club; plus it's standard that a dish is practiced and perfected before the club dinner which we've already done with this dish. "We'll just make a couple of small changes so it's more traditional" we said, "we're good at pasta, what could go wrong" we said. So instead of my normal pasta recipe we used a traditional Sicilian recipe with only semolina flour and water. And instead of the cheater method for making the shape we followed the video that I mentioned in my last posting.

The dough felt great and actually the new method of shaping the pasta worked well and was really fun. We learned in the past that the pasta needs to dry out in order to hold its shape during cooking; so we dried the pasta overnight.

After a delicious appetizer of polenta stars toped with a tangy chutney, and an exquisite example of what may be the embodied definition of comfort food, french onion soup, came our dish. We planned ahead and had the water heating before we sat down to the soup. After the soup we salted the water and through in the pasta. 2 minutes "no, I think it's basically dry pasta, it'll probably take just a bit longer" 5 minutes "no sorry it's still hard" 10 minutes then 15 minutes "what the fuck." Finally after 20 minutes in boiling water we removed and served the pasta. Everyone was polite as they discretely curled their tongs back to removed hard bits of pasta from their molars. The reality is I don't know if it would have ever fully cooked. The braised meaty main dish was another out of this world example of comfort food and what better way to end the theme but with warm molten chocolate toped with whipped cream. Overall the meal was great and we ended the night by having a cocktail at Boka (the bar on the first floor of their building).