I’ve been on a mission to vanquish all the leftovers from Saturday’s party, so I made a plan that would include pretty much everything that remained. Today pretty much sucked; it rained, and I couldn’t get my mind out of second gear all day. I did accomplish a few things- in the kitchen, even- but I also spilled duck fat all over everything, and then yogurt on the floor right before serving the meal. So I was in a pissy mood, and needed something to take the edge off. What does that? Carbs, and melted cheese. Oh yes. There’s a little science for you all, free of charge.
Among the things I accomplished today were the preparation of a big crock of kimchi which should be ready by Thanksgiving, two different sauces from the Japanese Cooking book (Tosa soy sauce and ponzu, which both need to sit overnight, get strained, and then age for a month in a cupboard) and a huge pot of broth made from the rest of the smoked chicken carcasses plus beef and lamb bones that were lurking in the fridge.
So for dinner I made a roux with smoked chicken fat, then stirred in some cheap Chilean sauvgnon blanc and smoked broth until it was silky. Then I grated in the rinds of three cheeses we had left: Manchego, another hard more yellowish one, and a crumbly blue, and added a tease of truffle oil. I steamed and mashed some purple potatoes and reheated the polenta and mushroom soup. Into a pyrex dish went all of the above, smooshed into layers, topped with a little more of the yellowish cheese, and into the oven. While it heated through I heated up the jus from the short ribs to sauce the result.
I’ll be honest: this looked like a smashed ass. A big bowl of wrong. The scallion slivers I strew around the top only highlighted the fail that was this pile of food. Without the armature of noodles to separate the strata, it all just kind of burbled together into a grey-brown goop. So there will be no picture tonight. But the taste, oh, the taste. Deep, funky, hot, meaty, mushroomy, cheesy, and with a double-shot of starches; it was like the hairy bastard love child of lasagna and mashed potatoes with gravy- if they ate shrooms and got down hard and nasty in the mud at some hippie dipshit festival up in the alps somewhere.