December 12, 2015

Hello Kitty Taipei tour day 3: belated white truffle birthday

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One of the mission I set for myself on this trip home was to do my annual home cooked dinner with the parental units.  After all, I didn't get to fly home for dad's birthday, and once again we're in white truffle season, so I made sure to bring one of those gems home for mom.

I did a reasonable job last year making risotto according to g4gary's recipe, so I figured there was no need to tamper with success and follow another recipe.  Instead of using rehydrated porcini, I rehydrated some morels that My Favorite Cousin gave me, and added some maitake (舞茸) and nameko (滑子) to the mix.  I even managed to use up some of the 1997 Von Schubert Maximin Grünhauser Abstberg Riesling Spätlese-trocken leftover from dinner two nights ago...

But of course we have to have white truffle... and I picked out a pretty fragrant one weighing around 90g - roughly the same weight as what I took home last year.

So yeah... white truffle shaved on top of mushroom risotto is pretty damn good...  My only regret is that I was too lazy and cut the onions to bigger chunks compared to last year.

Mom loves lamb, so we decided to cook a couple of racks of lamb.  This isn't as easy as it seems when you're in Taipei, as shopping for ingredients used in Western cooking can be a challenge in this city.  But we managed to get the lamb rack we needed, and got home early enough to defrost them.

It's been a long, long time since I last used my SousVide Supreme... and I've been the butt of a few jokes about taking an hour to cook a few soft-boiled eggs with it.  Today Hello Kitty made good use out of it - first defrosting the lamb, then slow-cooking it over 2 hours.

The result was pretty good.  The lamb was very, very tender.  It has also absorbed a lot of the rosemary, salt, and pepper rub sealed into the vacuum pouch.  Browning it in the pan before resting and serving delivered that nice crust and smoky fragrance.  Oh yeah, we shaved some white truffle over the lamb, too.

Mom demands veggies at every meal, so we simply put some mixed veggies in the oven.

As it's a belated birthday celebration, of course I had to break out a special bottle for the occasion.  I took the opportunity to pop the cork on the second of three ex-château bottles I snagged at auction a few years ago.

1940 Latour, ex-château bottling - opened and served immediately without decanting.  Nose was plummy, smoky, with wood and leather notes, along with a little green pepper.  Definitely layered and complex.  Slightly acidic and the acidity became more prominent after an hour.

Since dad enjoyed his ice cream so much last year, I decided to just get some Häagen-Dazs vanilla ice cream and shave the rest of the white truffle on top...  Since I didn't get a big pint this year, dad was only allowed about half a scoop...

Finally we get to the mignardises... and tradition dictates that I bring some Pierre Hermé macarons home.  Even though mom only really likes the the white truffle, I still got us églantine, figue et foie gras as well as the chocolat et foie gras.

But nothing beats shaving white truffles on top of truffe blanche et noisette macarons!

I think the parental units were pretty happy tonight.  Whew!

P.S. We had some bits of white truffle leftover, so I decided to drop a few slices into the very last drops of the 1940 Latour and let it soak for a while.  Honestly I think the combination of the fragrances was pretty nice, as the nose of old Bordeaux could have some earthy notes that would work well with the truffles.  Palate, however, was a different matter... as the acidity of the wine had gone up significantly by now.

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