Let’s Get Ready To Rhombus

We organized an impromptu dinner with Gerard and Alison because we hadn’t seen them in ages. They brought a big hunk of beautiful halibut, and I got all geeky with a variety of local mushrooms and some leftovers. The two vivid purées (sweet potato and purple cauliflower) from the other night became- with the addition of some eggs and flour- crêpe batter, and some fresh oyster and shiitake mushrooms made a nice duxelle with some of the dried black trumpets and a few porcini. Sautéed gently with onion, herbs, garlic, and a splash of wine until silky, it was a deep and resplendent shroom paste. After I cooked up the two-toned crêpes in separate batches, I stamped out diamond shapes with one of my new cutters, then layered them all together, alternating, again within the confines of the lozenge.

Et voilà. I gave some thought to making a sort of an emulsified butter-type sauce for these, but people were hungry so we just ate them.

Next up, we had a dozen malpeque oysters from PEI garnished with homemade ponzu and fennel fronds. To go with both these dishes, a Finger Lakes Chardonnay: Red Tail Ridge Nutt Road Vineyard. Not bad at all, and I like their focus on sustainability. If I can find their pinot I will surely try it.

Lastly, the halibut, which Gerard rubbed with salt and pepper and baked until just opaque (occupied as I was with my pretty shapes, I had neglected to get a fire going). I did manage to make some mash with pan di zucchero (a chicory relative) and wilted some chard and kale with garlic. And we added some kimchi or emphasis. Delightful.

Dessert was five local cheeses with a little sticky Australian Muscat I brought back from VT. It’s cloying in any but the smallest amount, but a little sip with a pungent blue is a honeyed, walnutty treat. It’s telling, though, that we returned straight away to the 2000 Hilberg-Pasquero Barbera which we had opened for the main course. Biodynamic, funky, and with a deep, chewy center, it held our interest all the way to the bottom of the bottle.

3 comments to Let’s Get Ready To Rhombus

  • Zen Chef

    I love how the leftover purees became.. colorful crepes. hehe. Clever idea!
    Those oysters look incredible. I could have two dozen of those without problem. Now i'm developing a big craving. Trouble!

  • Brooke

    The oysters look delicious.

    Maybe I'm just a dumbass, but how can a wine be "chewy"? Seriously.

  • peter

    M. Zen: Me too. It's pretty hard to eat too many oysters.

    Brooke: It's a descriptor that suits wines with a good tannic body; they reward a little sloshing around in the mouth by unfolding and revealing interesting complexities.

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I'm a painter who happens to also spend a lot of time growing, making, and writing about food. I'm particularly interested in the intersection of frugal peasant cooking techniques and haute improvisation. And I have a really great personality.

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