Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Teddy's Magic Roundabout

It was a serendipitous call from Teddy informing me that he had too much food for his Thursday meal and would I be able to forsake my diet (honeymoon, holidays, and Packers games had taken their toll on my physique) and come down for some goodies. Since, I couldn’t leave a good friend in a tight spot I said yes. And, then I saw the menu:
Wild mushroom soup, with truffle-porcini vinaigrette
Potted Scottish salmon, pickled cucumber, toast
‘Special’ homemade black pudding, and pork hock bacon, with apple, celery & tarragon risotto
Pan fried sea bass, crab-infused mashed potatoes and shellfish velouté
Chocolate and chestnut cake with Amaretto ice cream and Amaretti crumbs
I knew I had made the right call. I could even convince my lard-addled brain that I was eating healthy. Fish! Veggies! Fruit! Blood Sausage! (maybe not so much on the last one).

The meal started with a delectable wild mushroom soup, Teddy’s own recipe and worthy of any celebrity-chef glossy cookbook. I’m a big fan of mushroom soup ever since I lost my mushroom virginity at a small cafĂ© back in Milwaukee. Since that fateful day, I’ve vainly tried to find a soup that matched that version’s flavor, consistency, and creaminess. Teddy’s might have been the one. Creamy, without being overbearing and thick, without turning into porridge, the soup showcased everything a mushroom is; rich, meaty and earthy. A good start.

Next up was the Potted Scottish Salmon. Being a born and bred, true-blue, flag-waving patriot of the new modern colonizers I wasn’t sure what to expect. The Brits with their “Potted This” and “Potted That” just doesn’t exactly make my mouth start watering. But, after this excellent delicacy I’ve changed my tune. Hail Britannia! Sealed by a thick layer of hardened butter the salmon was a delicate mix of poached and smoked salmon with some always welcome dill. Spread upon a toasted baguette and with the added crunch of the pickled cucumber we were all scrambling to get as much of this as we could. It was the perfect light treat to have right before the house specialty: the Black Pudding.

Teddy keeps saying he should start selling his black pudding. I couldn’t agree more. He has become quite the master of blood, seasonings, and grains to make a first-rate blood sausage. Some of you out there unfamiliar with this blog might be appalled by the notion of eating congealed blood. My advice: Man up and try it! It’s fucking delicious. The sweetness of the apple rings added a crisp, autumn-like flavor to the meal. The pork hock bacon added the salty zing. It was all served over a risotto that had just the right amount of “bite”. My only regret is that I didn’t remember to take some home with me (stupid booze!)

As if the boudin noir wasn’t a main course in itself next came the sea bass. Like many, when I go to a restaurant I crave meat. I always see fish as a step down. A sort of red-headed step child to a blood red porterhouse steak. I might have been wrong in this assessment since I practically inhaled Teddy’s sea bass. Served with the exquisitely crisped skin on top, I took a generous forkful of flaky bass along with the crab-infused mashed potatoes, which were covered in a velvety smooth veloute. This was high-end restaurant quality food that you would easily pay an obscene price for. I had to restrain myself from licking the plate clean.

After we all breathed a sigh of contentment came the dessert. The Amaretto ice cream with crunchy Amaretti crumbs was perfect. Maybe it should have stopped there because I found the cake too dense and liquored up for my taste. But that’s OK because if Teddy had made an any more perfect meal I might think he’s some sort of cooking cyborg from the future determined to make us slaves to his flawless cooking style. Hell, even if that is the case then I, for one, welcome our new gastronomical overlord.

1 comment:

Teddy said...

Oooh Mick, you're so kind.

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