August 29, 2009

Thai feast at home

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Tonight a group of chefs and foodies reconvened at the apartment of a friend who had generously invited us to sample her Thai helper's cooking. I was really looking forward to the feast, not just for the yummy Thai food but for the inevitable procession of desserts which were sure to follow...

We started with a nice bottle of bubbly from Moët, which accompanied the plates of deep-fried spring rolls. The spring rolls were delicious and were served with the typical sweet and spicy sauce. As I expected the carbonation from the bubbly only served to turn up the heat that was already dancing on my tongue...

Next we were presented with two starters. The pork larb was absolutely delicious, with lots of lime, shallots and chillis topped with some mint leaves. It's actually pretty spicy, and my tongue starts to burn... Normally this is served with rice, but I was having this on its own.

The pomelo salad was also excellent, with shredded chicken, roasted peanuts, coconut milk, chilli and topped with plenty of deep-fried shallots. This was also a bit spicier than I expected. So delicious, but I refrain from having seconds as I know there's more food coming.

I'm drinking plenty of ice water by now, but I also brought something to soothe that fiery sensation on my tongue. The 1999 Selbach-Oster Wehlener Sonnenuhr Riesling Auslese was exactly the wine to do the trick. This off-dry wine from the famous vineyard in Mosel always delivers, showing typical petrol, polyurethane, minerals as well as orange marmalade. The low alcohol level (8.5%) and relatively high sugar level helped neutralize the heat.

Then we were hit with a full spread on the table. I dove right into the curry crab. The crab meat was incredibly sweet, and the addition of Chinese celery into the mix with onions and chilli peppers made things very fragrant and interesting. Wow... this was the best dish for the entire evening, and I think we all can agree on this. Finger-licking good...

There were also some yummy chicken wings, with a slightly sweet glaze and sprinkled with deep-fried garlic. I took a couple of these cause I was already getting full at this point.

The prawns were also very sweet and yummy, with lots of onions and chilli peppers. Unfortunately most of the dish was left untouched as we were pretty stuffed by this point.

Finally there was the stir-fried water spinach. Very delicious with the deep-fried galic on top. Classic veggie in any Thai meal.

I was nervous about the second bottle of wine I brought. The 2003 Clos Mimi Etiquette Rose is a wine unlike any other. The late-harvest Syrah is vinified dry with an extended fermentation, resulting in an incredible 19% alcohol. It was this high alcohol level that worried it may completely clash with the spicy food. Well, my fears kinda came true.

Whatever this is, the Etiquette Rose is not a food wine in my opinion. Predictably it was very "hot" and alcoholic on the palate, with notes of acetone, floral/rose, strawberries, slightly metallic and a hint of caramelized sugar. The finish is decidedly bitter. I quickly realized that I was the only one at the table still drinking the wine. I think I'll follow winemaker Tim Spear's advice and open the next bottle with a cigar...

The long series of desserts came, starting with some cherries. We were then served some light-pink Champagne sorbet, which was light and refreshing. Then came the double-caramel ice cream, with swirls of caramel mixed in. This was so rich and so good, but I found myself unable to fit in a second helping.

Funnily enough, after a bit of time I was able to enjoy the slice of chocolate tart, where the crust was salted. Served with crème and marinated kumquat. Yummy.

Finally, my favorite arrived - the canelés. Always lovely and delicious, this was the perfect way to end the evening.

1 comment:

Lambda said...

I was in the office, endured a morning of fighting with idiots (of course they beat me with their experience) and missed lunch because of an "urgent" call. As I was clicking my mouse aimlessly, the window of your blog popped up. I was angry after the call. The hunger hit me hard when I read the description of the the tummy Thai food. Tears started to roll down my cheeks as I read on. Felt very sad and then I felt angrily hungry and ate a CdC baked pork chop on rice in 8 minutes with vengence!


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