Monday, May 17, 2010

How to say goodbye to a friend with food from 1975

If you're going to do it, do it right.

If you're going to eat mass quantities, make sure it is good.

I had a friend over for the last couple days.   He's a good friend, a British Ex-Pat who lives in Key West.   We had been planning this visit since April 2008, and he finally got it all together for a short vacation.   I keep telling the man he's working too hard on that rock down there and he could do what he's good at here for more money or less effort but that's beside the point.   If anyone needs a good Property Manager, Concierge, or similar, do let me know.  He'd move here for the right situation....

Ok, enough of that pimping for jobs right?  Since I'm on that bend, if you need a Project Manager, Business Analyst, Systems Analyst or similar in Broward County, let me know.

Shamless plugs over...

I had to do something big for his last dinner here.  We got to work that morning.  The menu would be excellent and if you have a craving for a prime beef dinner that was what I had in mind.  I'd mentioned it to my friend before and he's been craving it for two years.  It fits in with my motto of if you're going to work, make it excellent and the results blow away anything you're going to find in a restaurant unless you have a personal chef or a little old lady who still cooks handy.   People don't want to do this sort of thing, the prep time is a bit high and everyone wants an instant payoff.  From the moment that the beef has been pulled out of the refrigerator until it all hits the oven was about 45 minutes, and the prep time on the other end was another hour.  

For a Saturday dinner when you're out to impress, it was well worth it.

What we served was this:

An organic greens salad with "Open Source" Catalina dressing made from scratch.
Roast Beef with Port Wine Gravy served with baby carrots cooked in the same gravy.
Mashed Potato made from scratch.
And for dessert a serving of Tapioca Pudding, small pearl of course.

What we ended up with was a week worth of food.  Again if you're going to do it, make it worth your while.  My partner went after the leftovers and reserved a cup of beef for what ended up being the lunch for today.  That was a bunch of Cornish Pasties and one small Cherry Turnover.  All were made with Homemade Pie Crust that was some of the lightest Pie Crust I had ever encountered, and not ungodly heavy.

When I had the Pastie yesterday for lunch, I didn't even get heartburn when I served it with leftover veg from the meal before and a good puddle of Port Wine Gravy.

The diet is blown for the week.  I still have enough Pasties and Beef to last me at least another 3 days and that is nowhere near enough for me to tire of that sort of food.

I've mentioned this meal before to many people, and there does seem to be a generational divide over it.  This was common before 1975 for me and those who are over 40 probably will remember a sunday dinner like this or a roast chicken.  Those under just shrug and wonder what the deal is.  You probably just have to experience it.  There are plenty of recipes, and I won't reproduce the Roast recipe here, it simply is too long.  Some of the other recipes I will over the next few days, they make for a good posting and I know that some of my friends here on the Island will want them.

I will say that the roast beef went from being merely good to amazing with that Port Wine gravy and of course a serving of Port on the side.  If you have never experienced it, Port is a strong wine with a strong and sweet flavor.  You need a strong flavor to complement a meal like that, and this fit the bill perfectly.  My personal favorite is only $17 a bottle at BJs and is called Sandeman's Ruby Port.  Tawny is good as well for a milder taste.  People who work in High End establishments call Port the Ruby Relaxer, so if you're going to have some make sure that is kept in mind.

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