By the time I arrived at Adam's house, it was 8 o'clock and I had consumed a considerable amount of alcohol. The lacklustre English managed to wangle a draw at the new Wembley against a (depleted) Brazil and after supporting them for 2 hours, it was nearly cause for muted celebration. So, a few pints later, I found myself stumbling over to Adam's place on 19th St in Park Slope for some solid nutrition. The man like Grant has been my accomplice that afternoon, and it was by following his heels I was able to find my way to venue for this week's TC.
I was all fired up despite being half cut, as Adam had posted his menu a mouthwatering 3 days before the actual event and it looked fucking good. Roasted garlic and yellow pepper soup, beef carpaccio with wasabi cream cheese and black bread crostini, Poblano peppers stuffed with catfish, mango with cilantro sauce, pork tenderloin with onion jam and Rioja and citrus reduction, and a dessert that was supposed to be peach and vanilla mousse with cashew nuts.
I have to say, that first mouthful of soup really brought me around. It had a wonderful creamy depth and a sweet Scoville goodness to it, I felt like pouring the whole damn thing down my throat in one. Medicinal for sure. It has a great colour too, very appetizing. Miraculously, I suddenly found myself in a state of near-sobriety and it opened up my palate - I was hungry for the next dish.
I think Adam bought the carpaccio in from Fresh Direct, a bit of a cheat no doubt, but it was the pairing with black bread and wasabi cream cheese his imagination conjured up that impressed me most. The lightest sprinkling of salt on the meat, loaded up on the warm bread, and seasoned again with a peppery and unctuous cream cheese made for an incredible first mouthful. And a second one. And a third. My companions must have been relishing the same high I was as we ploughed through the rest of our Asiatic cheesesteak. No words were uttered, jut nodding of heads and brief smiling murmurs of appreciation.
The broiled peppers were overstuffed with a finely chopped mixture of grilled catfish, mango and cheese and they were delicious too. A melting capsicum case and sweet syrupy mango provided a good counterpoint to the spicy cilantro coulis (or should that be the other way around??) and I these were a hit with the chaps too, although I secretly longed to put life in rewind and go back for another round of course # 2.
Adam knoweth the correct way to cook meat to perfection and he made no mistake with the pork tenderloin. A salty crisp and blackened outer, making way to a moist and dribbling core under the slightest pressure from the knife. And those onions were tremendous too. A wonderful accompaniment.
I think the less said about the dessert the better. Without knowing the full story, I think he didn't allow a warm egg mixture to cool sufficiently to avoid curdling a cream mixture. Or some old bollocks like that. He did offer an ice-crusted plastic tub of something around towards the end of the evening, but I turned my nose up at it and didn't even attempt to try. It produced a similar response from my fellow diners when it was waved under their noses.
It was fairly difficult to remember anything else. It had been a long night for this old boy and I wobbled home to bed, with Mike to prop me up, while we picked up random bits of discarded furniture and other bobbins along the way.