Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Christine's Birthday

A simple meal, with a few friends at their place in Saugerties. I made some ramp pesto and kumquat-habañero chutney ahead of time, and marinated venison loin in tequila, white wine, chile powder, cumin, jalapeño, and garlic for a couple of days. The venison (see below) seared up in a cast-iron skillet, and then the chutney mixed with duck broth reduced in a pan went over it, as did the marinade which I dumped into the skillet post-meat to deglaze and reduce. Shelled more fava beans and cooked them slow with onion, oregano, and tomato paste. Steamed parsnips and puréed with truffle oil. Roasted a butternut squash and puréed with very little. Chris cooked collards in dashi and onion, and we slathered a big hunk of lamb leg with the ramp pesto and threw it on the grill. Dessert was an unbelievable vegan chocolate raspberry cake from the Alternative Baker.

We drank a lovely Domaine du Bagnol rosé, and a killing 1996 Colin-Déléger Chassagne-Montrachet to start. With the venison, we had Bugey Cerdon sparkling gamay rosé which, because it's off-dry, handled the heat from the chutney and worked surprisingly well. With the meal we had a 2001 Kristial Châteauneuf and then a 2000 Beaucastel which was just tremendous after a couple hours in a decanter.

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