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.