Monday, June 06, 2005

A Homecoming Meal

A little something with which to begin. Posted by Hello

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.


Blogger Chubby Hubby said...

so, can one order welcome-home meals or are they only for the mysterious and worldly Mr W? (hmmmmm.... for some strange reason, while writing that, I had flashes of Mr Big in my head.)

And yah, please tell Brando, I will happily have a bellini or two for him.

12:46 am, June 07, 2005  
Blogger Joycelyn said...

for you, chubby hubby, yes ;)

when we're all back (we leave early nxt week), will cook dinner. hopefully, with sicilian loot - have read that bottarga is a specialty. fantasising about that mentaiko/bottarga concoction we were talking about at oso after tasting SL's pasta...

brando, meanwhile, will be eating vicariously through your venetian posts.

9:28 am, June 07, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you find that the combination of cream and milk made the custard overly rich? I've made it a couple of times following the recipe exactly and have found the mouthfeel unappealing. Much prefer it chawanmushi style, with stock. When I remember to make that substitution, that is. Keep forgetting to and only realise that I don't like it the way it is in the book only when I sit down to eat it.

11:27 am, June 07, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


(i wish i could say something more substantial but i dont know enough to comment, and 'wow' pretty much sums up how i feel each time i read your entries.)

1:33 pm, June 07, 2005  
Blogger Rachael Narins said...

I am enraptured by your blog, it is exquisite! I am so glad I found you (and linked to you, so I can come back for more!)
Great start, I cant wait to read more!


10:29 pm, June 07, 2005  
Blogger Joycelyn said...

hi everyone

thanks for your feedback

anon: yes, the little custard is indeed rich. but i guess hence keller's tiny eggshell-sized portions. btw, i love chawanmushi too...

gwenda: you are very kind; much appreciate the feedback especially coming from yourself. checked out your blog - very nice!!

rachael: thank you very much for encouragement. and for link - i am flattered beyond belief! can't believe i didn't come across fresh approach earlier...your blog and website are awesome...

11:32 pm, June 08, 2005  

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