Wednesday, January 28, 2009

E is for Ecbatic(1)

Today tastes like escargot, endive, eisel2, and erasers.

Two lines and two footnotes. A record, even for this blog.

Some months ago, when I had That Conversation with my doctor ("You need to change your evil ways, Spike." "Or what, doc?" "Well . . . let's just say I wouldn't start any long books or all-day suckers if I were you.") I found a recipe for cauliflower soup that didn't taste like punishment, but was still actually low-fat and all that good stuff. I began carrying that for lunch each day, playing with the ingredients for variety.

DH Gareth came into the kitchen one day, and asked, "What is that heavenly smell?" I told him, and he poked his head into the kettle to see for himself. He smacked his lips and said, "I think we need to throw a dinner party, and feature this as one of the courses."

So we started planning. We'd wanted to throw a paired tasting dinner for our extreme foodie friends for some time; had discussed ways to do it--a travelling dinner where we'd have appetizers at one home, soup at the next, and so on; or possibly just getting together for dinner once a month and rotating the hosting duties. But nothing came together.

Until this last Saturday, when we whipped up a batch of soup, begged an insane foodie buddy to make us some pasta (fresh, from-scratch pasta with seafood sauce! So not on the cardiologist's diet, "If it tastes good, spit it out.") roasted a fabulous leg of lamb, and I made a Boca Negra-- a deadly flourless chocolate cake flavored with bourbon. The cake is a deep black souffle, and yes, you will have a black mouth upon consumption of the same.

Dinner was a hit, but Gareth needs to refine his pour a little. It's easier to serve some more wine to come out even with the course, not so easy to remove some excess wine from one's bloodstream! We almost had a house full of guests who came to dinner and couldn't leave!

This brough up a round of "we have to do this more often," and "we'd love to host the next one," and Mischief's Lad volunteered that he had some elk in the frezzer that he didn't want to go bad, so we told him that if he'd set the date, we'd be there.

Hoping something grows from this. I think once a quarter'd be nice, as well as dividing up among the participants well.

1. Ecbatic: a grammatical construction indicating result without intention. Like Topsy, it just growed.

2. Eisel: a sour wine, resembling vinegar


Spike said...

So, where is the recipe?!? You tease us!!

Spike said...

Just for you, o my name twin:

1 medium-large head cauliflower
2 16 oz cans chicken broth
2-3 leeks
Fresh garlic, peeled and crushed
Herbs de Provance
Olive oil

Wash the leeks well and cut white and green parts into slices about 1/8" thick. Cut up the cauliflower, quarters is fine.

Pour the chicken broth into a large pot, add leeks, cauliflower, garlic, and herbs. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer about half an hour--longer is okay. You want the veggies done to English tastes.

Now, either scoop the solids out of the pot, puree in a blender, and return--or use your handy stick blender to puree the leeks and cauliflower in situ.

You're done! Serve hot, topped with a drizzle of olive oil. (Truffle-flavored is SO WORTH IT in this recipe.)

Spike said...

Yum. Sounds delish. Thanks for sharing!

Soup is nature's most perfect food. I just had a big bowl of split pea soup with Christmas leftover ham bone. Divine!