Day 264: The only way is up

September 21, 2007

OK, two sentences on the state of the house address, and no more. The offending radiator has been removed and so we are heat-free again. The roof probably has storm damage, it will be repaired tomorrow at our expense. That’s it, enough of the drama, moving on.

…Rainbows, unicorns, little fluffy clouds. Winning the lottery, chocolate, ice cream, sleeping babies…

This evening we made Warm and Cold Bordeaux Salad, Lamb Loins with Red Wine, and Sweet Carrots and White Beans. I’m not sure which parts of the meal were supposed to be warm and which, other than the lettuce, cold, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the title is a disclaimer of sorts. There is so much going on with this dish in the 30 minute time frame (more like an hour) that it was impossible to get everything to be ready at the same time. I’m concerned that writing about the process may take me as long as the actual cooking, so I will try and be very brief.


Seared in olive oil, roasted in oven with some garlic in skins.

Removed from oven, left to rest for ten minutes, garlic placed in bowl

Red wine added to pan, deglazed, butter added

Lamb seasoned with salt, pepper and thyme, served with red wine reduction

Side Dish #1-

Carrots and shallots sautéed in olive oil for ten minutes

White beans added to pan, everything seasoned

Chicken stock added, everything simmered

Serve alongside the lamb

Side Dish #2-

Bacon and whole clove of garlic (skin removed) fried (not in olive oil, despite directions)

Excess fat drained

Cooked cauliflower and sliced radishes added to pan, everything seasoned

Contents of pan served on top of chopped frisée lettuce

White wine vinegar added to pan, deglazed

Heat turned off, olive oil mixed in, pour over side dish as salad dressing

Well that only took forever, I am pretty slow at typing. The meal is good, we sat down at the dining table tonight for the first time since we moved it in from the garage. The table is full of assorted tools, toys, bills, manuals and such but that didn’t stop us, it was all very grown up. The lamb was beautiful, as it almost always is, but it is such a special occasion meat. It’s expensive and fiddly, but that grassy taste is a good one, and the red wine reduction was a good addition, even using appalling cooking wine. The cauliflower, bacon and radish dish was surprisingly successful. I never would have thought of putting those ingredients together, but they actually worked well. I think I may finally be becoming a cauliflower fan in my old age, although it has to be said that bacon makes pretty much everything taste better. And radishes that are slightly cooked become a pleasing bite of crunchy, rather than their weirdy raw counterpart. The beans, carrots and shallots dish was fine, it was a bit like blandish comfort food. It could have done with something to spice it up, maybe some bacon. We both thought that you could merge the two side dishes and you wouldn’t lose anything, except some additional washing up.

Tomorrow we will be having Columbus’s Pork Chops, which I believe may feature mushed up strawberries. Sounds good. I am taking A to her first real birthday party tomorrow, other than the small gathering we had for her first birthday. She is extremely excited about birthdays in general, often talking about her own birthday. Provided I am not in labour, I have a recipe to make something like this for her birthday. She is obsessed by piggies and by cake, that’s my girl. We may have an impromptu party if the baby is not yet here. A will be two on October 8th, and Baby #2 is due on the 11th. Might be a busy week. I really should check out what we are supposed to be cooking around that time.

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