Sunday, November 20, 2011

Moules frites and more; a homemade feast

What a weekend of eating this has been! We had a fantastic meal of dim sum today and a huge dinner last night. Just some preparation for Turkey Day right?  I'll post on the dim sum later but for now... last night's dinner.

We cleaned out the Dekalb International Market, starting the night with Blue Point and Apellation oysters with lemon and a pickle plate (in the background), composed of our friend Adam's homemade whole cukes and beets.

After a fresh and flavorful start to the meal, we fried things.

Many things.

I completely forgot to take a picture of the fried plantains we made, which I take only partial blame for as we were all complicit in eating them quickly!  Dipped in a homemade red pepper aioli and dusted with plenty of sea salt, they were delicious.

So were the fries, but we saved those for...

the mussels.
 We used Julia Child's steamed mussels recipe but left out the parsley (because 2/3rds of us were not fans of wet parsley clinging to our mussels) and subbed in apple juice with a splash of apple cider vinegar for the white wine because 1/3 of us is a nondrinker.  Guess what?  The drinkers didn't miss it, and voted the apple juice a fine substitute!

 To temper the richness of the meal, we made a salad.  But not just any salad; Thomas Keller's wedge salad from Ad Hoc at Home, a cookbook I've mentioned once or twice on this blog. Thomas Keller tops his iceberg lettuce with brioche croutons, bacon lardons, and a buttermilk blue cheese dressing that was the most complex thing we made that night.

It's my new favorite salad.

Gratuitous shot of a perfect fry.

Of course, no good meal is complete without dessert.  Since we were going all out with from-scratch dishes, and Thanksgiving is coming up, I decided to attempt a from-scratch pumpkin pie.

Here it is, in all its finished glory.  Was it labor-intensive? Yes. Was it worth it?  Absolutely. The pumpkin flavor was deeper and richer than any pumpkin pie I've ever had before. I even forgot to add cream to the pie filling and the flavor and texture was still amazing.  Of course, the cream ended up whipped on the side.

The perfect end to a perfect meal?

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