Last Night's Dinner...Okay, it was really Sunday's dinner, but I had it written down. FYI, Le Pichet is a French restaurant here in Seattle.
Cheese Plate and Hummus
Le Pichet Chicken
Le Pichet Cauliflower au gratin
Brillat-Savarin Triple Cream
French Couronne Brie with Pepper
English Farmhouse Cheddar
King Island Australia 'Roaring Forties' bleu
French Roquefort Societe
Homemade sour dough bread
sesame oil (didn't have tahini paste)
Run all through a food processor and serve with pita bread.
Wine: (Washington State) Kalamar Merlot 2000
Quick run over to DeLille Cellars in Woodinville for some wine tasting...
Le Pichet Chicken
3-4 pound roasting chicken
8 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon sea salt
Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Truss the chicken. Melt the butter in the roasting pan over a medium flame on the stovetop. Select a heavy roasting pan just large enough to hold the bird. When the butter is foamy, place the bird in the pan on its back. Baste well with the butter. Season liberally with the sea salt and fresh ground black pepper. Put the chicken in the oven and roast until done, basting once or twice during the cooking. The chicken is done when a knife stuck into the deepest part of the thigh comes out hot. Depending on the size of the chicken and our oven, this should take about 1 hour. Remove the trussing string and serve immediately.
Note: I saw James Drohman, the chef a Le Pichet, make this at the Seattle Gourmet show in November. The recipe is from his handout. He said he uses about a 3.5 pound chicken because that weight is done in an hour. I used two five-pound chickens last night and they were over cooked (180F) in an hour. I think the reason his smaller chickens cook in an hour is his oven door probably opens three-six times in that hour, which allows the temperature to drop. Next time, I'll insert a thermometer at the 30 minute mark and pull the chicken out at 160F.
Wine: (Washington State) DeLille D2 1999 and 2000
Gratin de Choufleur
1 medium cauliflower
1 cup cream
1 cup milk
½ cup flour
½ stick butter
1 cup grated gruyere
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Trim any green leaves or brown spots from the cauliflower. Steam the cauliflower with salted water until tender but not soft. Cool. While the cauliflower is cooking, make up the béchamel. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. When the butter is foamy, add the flour one spoonful at a time, and whisking the mixture smooth between each spoonful. Cook this mixture over low heat for several minutes. Add the milk and cream to the flour and butter mixture. Bring to a boil and adjust the consistency (add more milk if it is too thick. If it is too thin, simmer gently until it thickens a bit). Season the béchamel with salt, pepper and freshly grated nutmeg. Butter a baking dish just large enough to hold the cauliflower. Cut the cooled cauliflower into slices about ½-inch thick. Layer these into the baking dish, overlapping slightly. Add half the grated cheese to the warm béchamel and stir until incorporated. Pour the béchamel over the cauliflower, covering evenly. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese over the top. Bake the gratin in a 350-degree oven until the top is golden and the cheese is bubbly.
4 large russet potatoes
oil for deep frying
Slice potatoes in a mandolin, or cut 1/3" x 1/3" x 4". Soak in water for about 30 minutes to reduce starch content; drain. Run potatoes through a salad spinner to dry. Heat oil to 320F. Cook fries (in small batches) for five minutes; drain on wire rack. When all potatoes have been cooked, increase oil temperature to 375F. Cook potatoes again, this time for three minutes. Put potatoes in a large metal bowl and toss with kosher salt. Serve immediately with chicken and cauliflower.
Quick chocolate mousse
14 oz (440 ml) can sweetened condensed milk
4 oz (125 gm) pkg instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup cold water
1/2 pint whipping cream, whipped
In a large mixer bowl, beat condensed milk, pudding mix and water; chill five minutes. Fold in whipped cream. Spoon into espresso cups and chill.
Wine: (France) Domain de Durban Muscat de Beaumes de Venise 2000