July 17, 2010
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Fruit Dinner

A small dinner party. Constraints: work night, very hot weather (we don’t have air conditioning), no pork, shellfish, or pineapple, no oven[1].

There’s a lot of fruit here, both overtly and in the shape of surprising quantities of lemon and lime in the marinades, dressings, and sauces. We drank beer and lots of a nice vinho verde.And here are the notes:

  1. I still love the Wolf, but the oven stopped ovenning about a week ago. I used to use the oven two or three times a year, but now I’m completely hobbled. With expected temperatures in the 90s, grilling made lots of sense.
  2. The tomato sorbet was a hit. I made it the night before, and it might be better to prepare it instead the same day; there’s not really enough sugar for the sorbet to be stable. The sorbet had lots of tomato flavor and made a nice contrast with the tartare. It’s easy to make if you have an ice cream gizmo. (Our new Cuisinart is simple and works very well).
  3. The roasted peach soup used 3C of duck broth, which means we used the entire duck.
  4. I cured a hunk of flunken for the pastrami, a cut usually used in pot roast. It was lean — perhaps leaner than I myself prefer — but very tender and tasty. I suspect most people aren’t wild about fattier cuts, and in any case this was already a very rich dinner on a very warm night.
  5. I substituted pecans for walnuts, and ground them much too fine; getting the soup to be liquid was tricky. Rather than add extra cream (I was out), I added extra poaching liquid from the pears. It was still too thick to filter off the nuts, which made it reminiscent of nut butter. But a shot glass of the stuff was kind of fun.