Thursday, June 17, 2010

La Bella Vita (or something like that...)

Now that things have settled down for the year (for me anyway), it's time to get back in the kitchen to wrangle with some mean flavours. In light of the fact that I'm hotly anticipating a new dining table (selected by the expert eye of the wonderful Missy Bell, this vintage banger will no doubt see some Texas Holdem' action too), it's time to highlight some decadent fare for the winter months which'll keep your arteries well and truly blocked - yet your soul well and truly satisfied!

I'm putting it out there; there are few better combinations than fat, potato and cheese. The dish pictured isn't mine, it's probably French and I don't know what it's called, but who cares! When it's as easy to prepare as slicing potato thinly (but please, please use the guard on your mandolins!), and layering that alternately with sliced onion and cheese before dabbing with thick cream and a healthy sprinkle of seasoning you're on a winner. Provided each component is kept in a respectful proportion, 45 minutes later your moderate oven will yield up a tantalizing result, which in this case I served with green beans, a baked field mushroom and some grain fed porterhouse. Graaaaaavy (that means good, by the way!)

Not to be outdone, and because I really should include some drinks banter, our accompanying wine almost stole the show and made me look bad...damn you Ten Minutes by Tractor! We had their Northerly facing Mcutcheon single vinyard '07 pinot, and boom -what a stunning wine! I really know very little about wines, but this magnificent drop was beautifully structured, with perfect red berries, a bordering-on-minty herbaceous lift and gorgeously fine tannins. Go find some right now. Really...right now.

At some stage I really should make some desserts lest the Gnomes of Zurich strip me of my pastry cooking veil, but until then, have a great weekend all!


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