Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Veal Chop

I've been running veal chops as a week end special. It isn't part of the regular menu. I usually run one or two off menu specials because we have so many customers who dine with us several night out of a month, so eventhough I change the menu seasonally, they are always asking for something new. I grilled this and topped it with sun-dried tomato, fresh basil, and buerre blanc.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Chinese New year's Eve

I was invited to a Chinese New Year's Eve dinner at a friends house last night. Nu (my friend) and her mother prepared a chinese feast. We started with shark's fin soup-delicious. There were spring rolls and egg rolls as well, with at least three homemade dippping sauces. There was a whole roasted suckling pig, roast chicken, spicy crabs, two rices, and several salads. One of the standouts was an abalone and mushroom salad that I really liked-it was the first time I had eaten this salad. There was a delicious chicken, cabbage, and mint salad dressed with a light sauce, similar to spring roll sauce. I should mention that this Chinese family also lived in Viet Nam for a time, so their food has many Viet Namese influences.

We finished the evening drinking champagne and eating dragon fruit and Asian pears. At the end Nu and her mother passed out beautiful chinese envelopes with cash inside-which is a Chinese tradition.

Mardi Gras

We had a big crawfish boil at the restaurant for Mardi Gras. Also made Gumbo, jambalaya, bread pudding, Hurricanes etc. I made the Paul Prudhome recipe for Cajun Shepherd's pie for the first time. It was from his first cookbook backin the 1980's. It consists of a deliciously spiced meat loaf, topped with sauteed vegetable (with another set of spices, frosted with mashed potatoes, and a spicy brown sauce on the side. It was delicious and reminded me of how much I loved that book when it was first published.

It is always a treat to eat in his restaurant in New Orleans named the same as his book "K Paul's Lousiana Kitchen". There is always a line to get in, and they have a community seating policy, so a couple of times, I have shared dinner with absolute strangers. It seems a bit strange, but it was not unpleasant or uncomfortable at all, I remember meeting some lovely people and engaging interesting conversation.