Dinner 01-20-2012

Roasted beet  salad, marinated in grapefruit juice and red wine vinegar, with chopped tarragon, chives, shaved red onion, and a drizzle of olive oil.  Sweet and refreshing as always. 


I think braising is my favorite technique. Makes a great sauce, and tenderizes cheap, tough cuts of meat. Beef short ribs pan seared then braised. Braising liquid starts with sweated bell pepper, jalepeno, onions, garlic. Then added san marzano tomatoes, tomato paste, 2 cups of strong coffee. Sauce is finished with a cup of unsweetened chocolate. Garnished with chopped cilantro.

This dish was great.  I like things that really concentrate their effects on the nose rather than fooling you into thinking tastes are on the palate. The coffee and chocolate give this dish a mysterious aroma  that pairs extremely well with the browned meat.  The red bell pepper you don't taste directly, but I think it adds a very subtle sweet highlight, which accentuates the chocolate aroma.  The cilantro and jalapeno give this dish an earthy/spicy balance.

Gateaux aux amandes. So tender and light in texture. Elegant flavor of almond. Served with a spoonful of a strawberry-rhubarb compote like thing, and whipped cream (siphon method).

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