A Homecoming Meal
A little something with which to begin.
Our darling W is finally home! A welcome-home meal is, as always, in order.
For mains, I will be serving the pork trotters with sauce gribiche (Thomas Keller recommends keeping the roll of pork mixture for as long as 5 days). The flavours, with keeping, seem to have matured into a more subtly nuanced, cohesive whole. This is a rather rich preparation, but I nonetheless wanted to precede it with something to whet the appetite. This little something, then, would have to be dainty in proportion but big on flavour, served in a judicious quantity so the tastebuds are piqued, not sated. It should, as Keller amusingly describes in The French Laundry Cookbook, subscribe to the law of diminishing returns. The idea being that the first bite is the most impactful, and the following mouthfuls - as the sensation starts to fade - not quite as so when the palate acclimatizes. A thoughtfully meted out portion, one that leaves you wanting more rather than feeling overwhelmed, does the trick.
I decided on a recipe from the canapes chapter of The French Laundry Cookbook (in my mind the ultimate guide to tasty-little-somethings). Namely, the white truffle oil-infused custard cooked and served in an eggshell, seeing as W loves his eggs as much as I do. I used some truffle oil produced from the Langhe in Piedmont, Italy's most legendary hunting grounds for the precious tartufi bianchi d'Alba. The extra virgin olive oil base of this fabulous condiment has been infused with real white truffle, not synthetic truffle aroma (which, by the way, is pretty vile stuff). Instead of the dollop of black truffle ragout and chive chips called for in the original recipe, I topped the cooked custards with porcini duxelles and parmesan wafers - porcini and parmesan being another two of W's favourite foods.