Happy New Year!! May 2010 be filled with delicious eats and memories!
Since starting my Final Year Project stint at Biopolis a few weeks ago, I have been really tired. Lots of brain juice drained fresh daily. And balancing other commitments have become increasingly challenging.
But I shall persevere in faith for restful increase.
Anyway, speaking of good eats and delicious memories, I had a very enjoyable dinner at Ivan's place. This big friend with an equally big heart decided to host a simple dinner for a few blogger friends. And what a treat it was!
Though I was tired, I couldn't quite say no to friends (and steak). And so I met with Camemberu, Ladyironchef, The Baker and our host, Recent Runes. Some Like It Haute had to unfortunately miss this dinner due to work engagements. :S
Dinner kicked off with one of my least favourite vegetables. I like tomatoes when bruised into ketchup and sauces or even in a single slice in a burger but other forms scare me. But it was with much relish that I went for second and third helpings of this Tomato Salad. The plump fairly sweet slices of chilled Momotaro tomatoes on a bed of baby spinach and dressed with Dijon vinaigrette were outstanding. The Dijon vinaigrette packed heaps of flavour and kick. hic. kick. hic.
Then the 6-Hour Braised Oxtail with Red Wine Jus and Pearl Shallots brought me back to my senses with its fork-tender meat and flavoursome but clean-tasting jus (fantastic with baguette!). Ivan's rendition was relatively light-and-fresh-tasting in expectation of...
S-T-E-A-KKKK!!! Oh yes, another yummy dish of cow. The 800ish-gram 21-Day Grain-Fed Dry-Aged Ribeye was a beauty to behold and the smell of it sizzling in browned butter was equally alluring. What seemed to be missing on this steak turned out to be the Balsamic Glaze. The second steak (photo not taken as both hands and mouth were still very busy) had this sweet-tart sticky glaze and immediately, the flavours of the steak were more pronounced.
To accompany the steaks was a bowl of Boiled Potatoes in Butter and Herbs. Steak and potatoes are best friends, specially when the potatoes are soft, sweet, buttered, herbed and sprinkled with big flakes of salt.
Dessert was kindly provided by The Baker. Her Apple Pie was a good ending to the meal. I like that it was not overly sweet and the apple wedges were chunky enough with bite. Paired with ice cream, it was a great ending to a meal! *lens-and-finger-pointing included*
And we were well-lubricated with a Tsantali Organic Cabernet Sauvignon 2003 that I brought, and a Majella Shiraz 2006 and a Tokaji Aszu Eszencia provided by Ivan.
Though drained out by a long day at work, I was glad I came for this dinner. It made me fantasize even days later! Proof that food with foodies does magic.
The thing I like about home-cooks is that though many a times the food may not be restaurant standard, it is rustic, earnest and cooked with love. These are quality ingredients I like.
A big thanks to Ivan for hosting us over for dinner. Having also hosted several dinners at home, I greatly appreciate the efforts in preparation, cooking and cleaning in a one-man operation. Mucho gracias, amigo!
Chew On This: I'm glad I did.