October 1, 2013

Party with blackfoot

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I'd been looking forward to this day for a while.  After months of hard work (and lots of mullah being spent in the process), I Love Lubutin's new pad is finally ready.  Given that it's also around the time of her birthday, this housewarming and birthday party got me pretty excited.  An extensive menu was planned and circulated, and I looked forward to a fantastic home-cooked cheat meal.

Half the gang had already arrived and was already busy prepping our lunch.  We had collectively bought a whole leg of Jabugo Cinco Jotas jamón as the housewarming gift, and Kung Fu Panda was busy slicing it up when I walked in.

It was indeed a beautiful sight… a whole leg of jamón ibérico de bellota set up on a jamonero, with some of the fat and skin already trimmed off, and the fat starting to liquefy and dripping down…

Several people tried their hand at slicing the jamón, although I think Kung Fu Panda delivered a plate of the most beautiful and even slices.  The Cinco Jotas jamón was actually a little sweeter than I remembered, and although most of the pieces I ate today were relatively lean, the few that carried the wonderful fat were simply heavenly.

Jamón ibérico is best paired with Sherry, and Kung Fu Panda very kindly supplied us with two bottles.

Península Palo Cortado Solera Reserva, from Lustau - walnut, toasty, a little yeasty, perhaps.  Long finish.  While I'm happy to drink Sherry at "room temperature", like wine I am mindful that "room temperature" in Asia isn't the same as what it is in Europe…

Valdespino Tio Diego Amontillado - sharper nose with stronger alcohol, also more intense nose and more grapey.

The Worm Supplier brought over a big collection of bread from Bread Elements, which made a very impressive line up…

...but I decided to start with the pan con tomate first, which was pretty awesome with a sprinkle of Maldon Salt.  But let us not forget the awesome bread…

Next on my list was the squid ink roll, which was probably a little more salted than the others, and definitely had the ink flavor.  Yum.

Next I moved on to some French figs, which many others were oohing and aahing over.  I don't know if these were the best figs I've ever eaten, but they were pretty good for sure.

After munching on some more jamón, we were served a batch of mini burgers.    The patties were very tasty, as was the onion confit.  The choice of bun was a curious one, as they were very much on the sweet side and hardened after toasting.  Nevertheless, I managed to inhale this in about… oh… two bites.

Given that there would be around 10 of us, I brought a magnum of red to lunch... but didn't expect that there would be NO drinkers today!  I think we only finished 1/3 of the magnum, and most of that was drunk by myself... Boo hoo...  I hope I Love Lubutin saved the rest for cooking.  Cooking with some France red wine made by La-Fite would be SO GRAND!

2002 L'Evangile en magnum - aired for 1 hour prior to drinking.  Smoky, pretty sweet and ripe prunes, dried herbs, cedar and potpourri.  After 2 hours the sweetness really came out and dominated.

With the savory part of the meal over, I finally got my hands on some of Susan's awesome kougin amanns, the recipe of which appears in her book.  Normally I'd go bananas over these, but given that I'm on my diet program, I decided to stop after just two of them.

Finally, we had Susan's tarte tatin, which was a little wetter today than usual, but still delicious.  I dispensed with the crème and just had the tarte on its own.

Even though I wasn't stuffed - and probably could have taken in more food if someone twisted my arm - I was pretty satisfied and happy.  Many thanks to all the chefs/elves/slaves who helped put this meal together, and I'm glad I did my morning jog before lunch to burn off some of the calories!

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