Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Culinary Pyromania

On a gorgeous Sunday a mere 36 hours form our on the fly party I trucked over to Food Intolerance’s house for a fabulous dinner party.  Luckily, prior to the Jaegar bombs on Friday we had completed the gumbo, and with risk of bragging, I have the gluten free roux down pat.  First try, minimal burns and I had the beautiful dark brown color poised and ready for gluten free goodness. Caramel and fresh egg sauces... Not so much. 
However thanks to Terry Thompson-Anderson’s Cajun Caesar Salad, the tide may be turning for one of those.  After whisking three egg yolks over warm water per the recipe instruction,  I was finally able to create a beautifully textured salad dressing rather than a runny mess.  I did have the help of several emulsifiers: mustard, mayonnaise, a little sour cream but a definite step in the right direction. As written in the recipe, cayenne toasts are addictive with their warm spices and slow burn.  I saw many guests opting for these on their own rather than dipping them in the dill dip.  The dill dip was good, but it was dip... How good can it really be?  
So, with the Masters decided and surprisingly little mention of Tiger Woods, we filled our plates and headed outside for some dining al fresco. 
Taste, taste, taste... When will I learn?  My gumbo had a gorgeous roux, and developed flavors however it desperately needed a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper.  Unfortunately, I didn’t discover this until it was in front of my diners.  It did receive compliments, but a gumbo that needs seasoning is a bit of a downer.  Luckily, an impressive dessert was on the menu.  
I thought lighting the coq au vin was exciting, however, compared to bananas fosters it was weak tea.  With sugar and cinnamon simmering sweetly, Food Intolerance and I added Grand Marnier and Rum and lit the pot ablaze. The result? A gorgeous blue flame that I swirled with extreme pride.  
After happy birthday was sung, and pictures snapped it was time to call it an evening.  A beautiful spring Sunday, a great meal among friends and family, and he made it to Home Depot before it closed...  I think our 60 year old was happy with his celebration.
Cooking Notes:
Raw egg sauce: while in New Jersey my mum and I took in Julie and Julia; my ears perked a bit when  Meryl Streep described making her ‘fool proof’ mayonnaise by adding heat... After my successful caesar dressing I’m not only ready to give this mayonnaise a go, but a re-do of my failed aioli from party #12.  
The Party in Numbers:
Parties Completed: 32
Weeks Before Deadline: 21
Bottles Consumed: 2.5
Justified Purchases: a birthday card.  However we must check for fire extinguishers

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