* Grammy nomination pending.
The night before I tossed together the ingredients to make the shockingly simply no knead bread recipe from Sullivan Street Bakery: flour, salt, yeast, and water. I let it rest for about sixteen hours then finished it in the oven. I'd post a link to the recipe but it's on a horrible website that forces you to log in to view it. So instead I won't help promote their crappy, frustrating website. Too bad, the guys who did the recipe are great and it's not their fault.
I also put together a cheese plate for the bread. Unlike the bread I did not make the cheeses which is definitely in their favor. I know cheese courses are supposed to have a theme like that they're all from Italy, or they're all from sheep's milk, or they're three variations on the same cheese. Unfortunately I believe that to be lame and think my favorite theme is that they are all cheeses that I like.
For a salad I tossed some kale in a vinaigrette I made from shallot, Dijon mustard, Lyle's Golden Syrup, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Then I topped it with sliced roasted chestnuts and prosciutto. I was going to add toasted pecans as well but I didn't have any. I'm glad I didn't because this worked perfectly as is. Another recipe for my growing arsenal of kale salads.
For the next course I roasted a whole pumpkin, scooped the meat out of the peel, and layered it in a pan with some sauteed spinach and garlic, and ricotta cheese. It was okay but missing a little something. Tonight I reheated it and added a little cream and cayenne then grated some nutmeg over the top. I think that added the element it was missing. Next time I may opt to leave out the garlic all together and maybe roast some red jalapenos to add to the layers.
For the main course I roasted a pheasant. The pheasant was from MacFarlane Pheasants which you know has to be good because they have the domain pheasant.com. You don't get the domain pheasant.com without knowing your stuff about pheasants. Or, I suppose, just happening to be extremely lucky in the early 90's.
I put a few strips of thick cut bacon over the top, seared it in a hot oven for about 20 minutes, then removed the bacon and put it in the roasting pan with the innards, onion, garlic, and carrot. Then I cooked it for another 30 minutes or so.
Jen doesn't like spaghetti squash. Unfortunately for her when I know she doesn't like something I usually take that as a challenge for me to prepare it in a way so that she does like it. I think that might make me a jerk since I do this predominantly to try to prove her wrong about her notions on food. This generally has a low success rate.
Last night was different as she really liked this. All I did was roast in normally with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper, then scrape it out and toss it with a little butter and freshly chopped chervil.
Chervil is an herb that I have not always loved. I worked with a chef who insisted on using it in a lot of dishes and as an incredibly dumb twenty-year-old I thought I was so great because I thought chervil was really stupid. I thought it was unnecessary and a waste. However, like segmenting a lemon, I have developed a fondness for it. It has a slight licorice taste to it that is very pleasing. With the spaghetti squash it worked quite well.
Added secret bonus: Jen doesn't like licorice either. Double win for me!
I also made these popovers with fresh thyme just before serving the pheasant. After a recent trip to a brunch place that served basketball-sized popovers I've been wanting to make them again so I whipped up a quick batter with egg, milk, salt, sugar, flour, and fresh thyme.
I also made a quick whiskey caramel sauce for the top of some pumpkin ice cream. It was delicious.
Since there was a guest I made a few more courses that I generally would but I was able to get the whole dinner done pretty quickly. This is a menu I'd highly recommend because everything on it is extremely easy to make and it takes very little time. Of course you may be wondering about recipes and I don't really have any recipes because recipes are not really my thing.
So, instead, for people who like lists of things I'll post a list of the regulation of household expenses of M. Myriel from Victor Hugo's Les Miserables.
NOTE ON THE REGULATION OF MY HOUSEHOLD EXPENSES.
For the little seminary - 1,500 livres
Society of the mission - 100
For the Lazarists of Montdidier - 100
Seminary for foreign missions in Paris - 200
Congregation of the Holy Spirit - 150
Religious establishments of the Holy Land - 100
Charitable maternity societies - 300
Extra, for that of Arles - 50
Work for the amelioration of prisons - 400
Work for the relief and delivery of prisoners - 500
To liberate fathers of families incarcerated for debt - 1,000
Addition to the salary of the poor teachers of the diocese - 2,000
Public granary of the Hautes-Alpes - 100
Congregation of the ladies of D——, of Manosque, and of Sisteron, for the gratuitous instruction of poor girls - 1,500
For the poor - 6,000
My personal expenses - 1,000
Total - 15,000
Bon appetite, 24601!