Friday, March 16, 2012

Allagash Stew and Napoleans Too!

Rest easy, folks! Our salt grinder has finally been replaced.

I know, I know. You were worried since I haven't mentioned anything since I chronicled the ordeal in this blog entry. I also announced Jen's pregnancy and the future arrival of two babies coming this summer. However, most people focused on the broken salt grinder and I've received an outpouring of support and guidance on how to deal with the matter of the broken salt grinder.

However, I have an announcement to make tonight. All our worries are over.

Mario Batali Vic Firth Salt Mill

I got this salt grinder in the mail. While only one quarter the size of our old, ridiculously large grinder, it does the job of representing the shameless visage of Mario Batali. It's good because Mario Batali could use the money. All he needs to do is sell 208,083 of these salt mills to cover his legal bills. That is, of course, assuming there is absolutely no production cost involved in their manufacture. If there is then my estimate will need to be revised upward significantly.

The other surprising bit is that it's made by Vic Firth who I had no idea were in any sort of business other than the manufacture of drum sticks.

Who knew?

Kerrygold Vintage Cheddar

Tonight we had dinner guests, something that hasn't happened in a while. I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that most people find it odd that I spend ten minutes taking pictures before anyone is allowed to eat.

I started off by putting out this nice Kerrygold Vintage Cheddar with grapes and crackers.

I wanted to make lamb and Guinness stew but I thought it would be pretty irresponsible to go and purchase some Guinness considering how many other miscellaneous stouts I had in the fridge and in my beer cellar (also known as my cupboard).

Lamb Stew with Allagash Black Belgian Style Stout

Instead I chose to use this Black Belgian Stout from Allagash Brewing Company in Portland, Maine. I'd purchased it on my trip up to the brewery back last October and I hadn't had it since then.

It was every bit as delicious as I remembered it.

Lamb and Allagash Black Stew

I cooked some garlic, onion, celery, carrot, potatoes, and turnip down with some salt and pepper and also browned up the lamb stew meat before combining it all together with the Allagash Black and some chicken stock and throwing it in the oven for a couple of hours. At the end I sauteed some English peas and tossed them together with the stew.

Allagash Black Belgian Style Stout

For beer, naturally, I poured the remainder of the Allgash Black. I wish that my cold was gone so that I could fully appreciate the flavor of this one. Much like last night I was left with the impression that it was beery and delicious but I couldn't really pick up a lot of the subtleties. Luckily I'd had this one before so it wasn't a total waste.


For dessert Jen made her famous family recipe of Napoleans, a classic treat which emulates the desserts of the 1950s.

Now I know why people romanticize the 1950s so much despite the fact that the world was clearly a worse place. With desserts like this around it would tend to skew your memory. It's hard to remember all the pollution and government sponsored racism when you remember your mother's delicious dessert bars.

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