Sunday, November 26, 2006

Kitchen and Party

We had a party last night and before long, everyone was gathered in the kitchen, which, I think, is always a good thing.

Adam took pictures of food. The tray of amuse bouche are based on a Thomas Keller recipe from his cookbook The French Laundry. The cookbook is named after his restaurant. Thomas Keller may be the best chef in the country and even if I could get the ingredients he uses, I don't think I have the skill to cook a lot of his stuff. But this one is simple. Keller was thinking about a cheese course, and he thought that since Brie is a double cream cheese, it could be whipped like whip cream. And it can. Just cut the rind off and put it in a mixer. This is why he is perhaps the premier chef in the United States. I mean, who thinks this way? But the result is whipped Brie, which he serves on a syrup of reduced balsamic vinegar. So I did, too. Only I put mine on toast. They are incredibly good.

I think that it's fun to have, in addition to food that I'm reasonably sure everyone will love, a dish that I'm reasonably sure no one has ever eaten. Last night I made a recipe from Mario Batali's book The Babbo Cookbook. It's a smoked fish 'carpaccio'. Essentially, smoked fish (he uses sable but says salmon or trout will also work--I've never even seen sable, so I used alternating slices of salmon and trout) with a salad of grapefruit and oranges in olive oil and lime juice.

It was the dish I was uncertain anyone would like, and a number of people liked it a great deal. So now I've cooked Thanksgiving and thrown a party in the new kitchen, and it's slowly starting to feel like ours.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

We had sable in Vancouver--it's amazingly good. I have the Babbo cookbook, but havent' tried anything in it. Am off to whip Brie before bedtime now.

Laura K. in Ohio

November 26, 2006 11:26 PM  
Blogger Maureen McHugh said...

Laura, you know if you ever want a little taste of Texas, we're here. You can always come to Austin. I'll cook something out of the Babbo cookbook for you.

November 26, 2006 11:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks. I'll remember that. :-) That would be great.


November 27, 2006 12:10 AM  
Blogger dubjay said...

Whipped brie, smoked sable . . .

Nuthin' like the taste of downhome Texas cookin'!

November 27, 2006 5:50 PM  
Blogger Beth Adele said...

I agree, accumulation of guests in the kitchen is the proper course of a good party. I know where *I* would've been, and the fish carpaccio looks and sounds divine!

November 28, 2006 8:52 AM  
Blogger mary grimm said...

Whipped brie! I feel inspired. I wonder if my grandsons would like it. I have a secret agenda to inject a little interesting food into their SE Ohio diets.

November 28, 2006 10:58 AM  
Blogger Maureen McHugh said...

Walter, it struck me as hubris to try to make, oh, Texas chili.

Lucette, if they like cheese, they will probably like whipped brie. It's like brie only really light. Sort of as if brie were butter...

November 28, 2006 6:24 PM  

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