Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Not quite Scherazade

We are having dinner parties both Friday and Saturday. Friday is going to be cous cous night and I haven't started my grocery shopping! Must chant to self in order to get self to venture out in this miserable weather.

It all started when I experimented with some osso buco (osobuco in castellano), bought from my butcher. I didn't want to make osso buco milanese - my pet peeve is making the soffritto (carrot, onion and celery which form the holy trinity, the backbone of Italian cooking, etc.) I had some pulped red pepper (stranger things had happened when I experimented in the kitchen!).

I made a base with garlic and olive oil, then added bay leaves, cinnamon, Sichuan peppercorn (currently in love with the floral note in these blushing darlings), leftover red wine, some dark and light soy (I did say I wasn't in the mood for classical), and azucar integral (I think it is musvocado sugar). As I was adding the lightly pan-seared osso buco to this experiment, I remembered some chickpeas disguised as soyabeans (another long and not so interesting story at the supermercado) and my bright red pulp. I chucked them all in, together with a handful of chili flakes.

5 hours later, I lifted the lid and was immediately transported to some place where I ate with my fingers and finished dinner with fresh mint tea and rosewater scented delectables... The sauce was doing a song and dance on my tongue, the meat was melting; I had only one thought that moment - cous cous. I quickly ripped open the colourful box to release those baby grains. I dealt with them the Cheat's way: just poured hot stock onto them and when the liquid was fully absorbed, I forked through some pistachios.

That night, Guillermo ate in silence for a good 5 minutes. I thought, oh no, I had forgotten about the Argentine adversion to flavours! Anything more than salt or sugar is too demanding for this lot; most of them actually prefer bland food with lots of salt or sugar, bless them. Just at that moment, he came back to life and beamed "this is wonderrfull, darrling!" The week after, he was still raving about the "tashin (tagine) y cous cous" to anyone who cared to listen.

Will post blog on the dinner parties.

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home