Thursday, September 27, 2007

Ironchef 2: Veal

So, Ironchef 2 and I am already nearly 2 weeks late in posting it. I should apologise to all, especially Foges, who went to so much effort to prepare a beautiful meal and I have left it undocumented until now.

As I mentioned in my Tom Phat post, the day was beautiful and sunny, then slipped to heavy rain as the afternoon progressed. Perfect for eating slow cooked veal and drinking wine, I say. You can find out how our Ironchef events started here. However I’ll summarise by saying that five of us take turns to host a lunch. Two courses are cooked, with the main according to a selection of designated themes, be it ingredients or chefs, cuisines and so on. The third dish is provided by the person next in line to cook and the previous month’s cook plus any additional guests bring wine. That means 2 out of 5 cooks get a free ride twice!

Foges cooked a beautiful mushroom soup when we dined last month so we knew we were in for a treat. Before we could start on the beautiful smell that was wafting from the kitchen we were provided entrĂ©e by McFly (named because an unidentifiable source decided he looks a little like Marty McFly…..). Salmon poached with Kaffir Lime leaves was used to make these delicious Salmon Cakes which we snapped up double time. I’ll have to tell you the exact ingredients of the sides later, but the whole ensemble was delicious. I was starving by this time so when that last cake was sitting on the plate, you know the one everyone’s too polite to take, I took it.

Luckily I was still hungry when mains came out, because it wasn’t a dish to pass up. From Stephanie Alexander’s Cook’s Companion Foges had cooked veal brisket stuffed with olives. Apparently veal brisket (a breast of veal) is quite hard to source, so if you’re planning on using it you should order in advance. Foges had just returned from 4 weeks overseas just 5 days earlier so she had little planning time, not enough to order veal brisket. Whilst this makes her lunch even more admirable, it meant she had to use whatever cut the butcher could offer. Instead of one large roll or meat, we each got our own little tender parcel, stuffed with a mix of pork, sourdough, olives, parsley and garlic. All this cooked for 3 hours in stock, with vegetables and bacon. We ate the dish with risoni drenched in the meat juices.

By this stage we were well past our 3rd bottle of wine and ready for the lemon tart prepared for dessert. I’m a big fan of citrus tarts and this one was particularly creamy. I must remember to ask Foges what recipe she used.

Four bottles of wine later (including a strange Slovakian red) we had cleaned up and were ready to declare Ironchef 2 a success. Who knows, soon enough we may start our very Zingara Cucina….

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