Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Years Eve Dumplings

To help us make it to midnight, we decided to make a bunch of Asian dumplings. That stretched out over a good 4-5 hours and helped us power through.

What we made.
From "Land of Plenty":

  • "Zhong" crescent dumplings
  • Pot-sticker dumplings with chicken stock
  • Leaf-wrapped glutinous rice dumplings (except the Asian shop was out of banana leaves, so we did these in parchment paper.
  • Two dipping sauces based on the sweet, aromatic soy sauce recipe: one from the crescent dumplings recipe, one just kind of random (the soy sauce, some black vinegar, chili oil, scallions)
From "Japanese Soul Food":
  • The base gyoza recipe
  • Miso dipping sauce
  • Rayu 
So that's three different cooking techniques: steaming, boiling, and pan steaming/frying; four different dumplings; and three different dipping sauces.

I also made a batch of quick cucumber pickles to go along with this giant mass of delight.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Cheval Blanc, Basel

The Cheval Blanc got its third Michelin star this year. The restaurant also has 19 points from Gault Millau. We were fortunate enough to be able to get a reservation on greg's birthday (we made that reservation more than a month in advance), so off we went. We'd never done either a three star or something with such a classical luxury setting (the closest would probably be Lampart's in Haegendorf, which I somehow didn't blog), so this was a real experience.

I'm not close to eloquent enough to describe a meal like this, so here are some impressions. We were there for more than four hours, had some really exceptional food and wine, and enjoyed great service. There were a couple dishes that brought me close to tears. There were a few surprises in there (microplaned fois gras!). The sommelier picked interesting wines, including a couple types that we'd never heard of (Muscadet-Sèvre-et-Maine and Godello) and an excellent champagne and Swiss pinot. The service was great and not overly stiff.

Two very happy faces for this one.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Tanja Grandits, Basel

Another trip to the restaurant formerly known as Stucki. In my usual "there's no way for me to describe it" way, I'll leave this at: "wow. Amazing and creative food, great service and wine"

Two very happy faces.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

It's late spring!

We picked up some sweet peas, white asparagus, and the first strawberries of the season at the market on Saturday.

Dinner was simple: peas, steamed white asparagus with hollandaise (Ruhlman's Ratio version, but with extra vinegar at the beginning instead of adding lemon juice at the end since we didn't have lemons) and Serrano ham, and a big salad.

Dessert was macerated strawberries with cream whipped with armagnac (should have had a bit of sugar in the cream too!).

Saturday, May 16, 2015


After having some good cevapcici at a local place, we decided that they would be something good to add to the repertoire. So I tracked down a likely sounding recipe at serious eats and away we went.

Aside from quantity, I followed the recipe pretty closely: 300g lamb, 300g beef, grated onion, garlic, baking soda, etc. After forming the cevapcici (38-40g each seemed the right size) I let them sit for a few hours before cooking.

Instead of firing up the grill, I cooked the sausages in the grill pan. I'm sure the grill would have been better, but these turned out excellently as is. Will certainly need to add these to the regular list.

Next logical step: making ajvar ourselves too, but that's for another time. :-)