August 20th, 2009.
It's almost embarrassing how much time has passed since this date. It is February 21, 2010 today, and 6 months have passed to this day. But I could not let JC's Thursday Night be left without my attempt at a proper acknowledgement.
8/20/2009 was my first night at JC's home and prior to arriving he had warned us that we should be prepared for a very warm night as his A/C was not cooling off his home on this particularly hot summer day. What he did not tell us is that he was offering us showers of sweat with his wonderful meal. I recall that Teddy phrased it nicely: "It's like we walked into a lung!", while Adam mentioned that he at least now knew what it would be like to be cremated.
So drenched and drooling, JC began to show us how he does TNC.
Bacon Explosion & BBQ Sauce.
A meal former President Bill Clinton would thoroughly enjoy no doubt. I had yet to try this American terrine surrounded by a criss-cross of crispy, thick bacon. I had obviously heard about it, but did not realize just what exactly it was that I was missing out on. But now I understand the infatuation with this dish: your fork penetrates through the crisp piggy outside, then draws delicious juices from the porky moist inside... simple right? Simple or not, it is truly an amazing all American dish. I must say, it reminds me a little too much of the Superbowl for some reason, which I detest. But it is a great recipe for bacon lovers, and for those who want to venture exploring the extreme deliciousness of bacon and pork.
Macaroni & Cheese with Lobster and Truffle Infusion.
Even before this plate hit the table, we couldn't help but notice the truffle aroma lifting off of the gooey layers of pasta and cheese. Bite after bite, the taste of truffle and lobster consistently teased my palate and made me want more. This meal was paired with a wonderful sharp white pinot grigio that cut through the tasty bechamel that included cheddar, fontina and Parmesan. I also recall that this cool wine also made survival in JC's cheesy human stove possible. We were also all very happy with how the meal was baked under a perfect parsley, chive and breadcrumb crust.
Meatloaf with Millionaire Mash.
This wasn't just any meatloaf. Elk, veal and pork all made an appearance. And it wasn't any old mashed spuds. This was a version of Hester Blumenthal's mashed (Teddy explains that Hester studied cookery under the great Marco Pierre White, and and was responsible for a wonderful restaurant known as "Fat Duck"). As JC put it, he "did a bit of butter, then thought I should add some potato." But the real star was definitely the meatloaf. The celery in the meatloaf added a little crunch to the meaty goodness. But the moist meat was just so perfect... paired perfectly with the BBQ sauce. I wish I had a better photo, and perhaps one of the inside of this meatloaf. You just have to trust me: this was hands down the most delicious meatloaf I have EVER had, and JC should be damn proud.
Banana & Ginger Pudding.
JC made a big deal about not being happy with the pudding. He wanted it to be more "solid" and less floury, and perhaps it should have been a little more cooked. But I thought it was still delicious and the chocolate sauce over the pudding and the spice ginger and tender pieces of banana were quite tasty.
Despite my delay in acknowledging his wonderful meal, I suppose it says something about JC's skills in the kitchen that I still remember, 6 months later, how delicious it all was. As I sit here writing, I especially crave the meatloaf - oh, that perfect meatloaf. Perhaps I am hoping that JC does another night soon, although I know my own turn to host is long overdue. Hmmm, maybe I can just do JC's meatloaf for my turn to host... it is certainly a dish that could be the centerpiece, no, a masterpiece, to any dinner.