Saturday, February 9, 2008
Yesterday, February 8th, was my birthday, and the most fabulous meal was prepared for me.
It started with wine and cheese. A fresh baguette was served with four spectacular cheeses. Two of the cheeses had truffles in them. One was Truffle Tremor, by Cypress Grove. I think that the other was Sottocenere with Truffles. One was a brie, and the other was an aged, stinky goat cheese. They were absolutely magnificent with Chateauneuf du Pape.
In-between the appetizer course and main course was a little palate-cleansing tapa: a tiny bowl of succulent chicken on top of green peas, saffron rice, all cooked together in sweet coconut milk. It was a sweet as a dessert.
Then came the second course: raw oysters, served at home! There were two types of Chesapeake Bay oysters, opened right over the sink and handed to me, barbarian-style. They were very good and were such a treat.
Finally: the main course consisted of the following melange. On a long, rectangular, white partitioned Japanese plate were placed, left to right-
1. two huge sea scallops, cooked in their own juices to perfection;
2. a large scallop half-shell, onto which was placed cooked and seasoned lump king crab meat mixed with a "filler" of home-grown mashed potatoes, on top of more sliced scallops; and
3. a huge, tender half-fillet of Chilean sea bass, sauteed in olive oil and fresh-chopped ginger.
The scallops were great, and the juice in which they were served was so tasty, I almost looked for bread to sop it up. The crab meat was actually served atop sliced scallops, and the combination was sea-complex and delicious. The sea bass flaked delicately with my fork and gleamed with richness. The meat was juicy, tender and slightly sweet...not fishy tasting, but lightly flavored and with a luxurious mouth-feel. It had just a hint of ginger.
By this time, I was much too full for dessert, so I just had a couple more sips of wine...and a tiny bite of organic milk chocolate when I got home (shhh!).
The miracle of this birthday dinner is that it was cooked for me in a friend's home. Truly special.