When people ask “What did you do this weekend?” the answers do change, but usually it involves some cooking. Whether prepping for Monday, trying out a new dish, or cuisine, or just getting food in the fridge and freezer, for the weeks ahead, there is always cooking. This weekend was no exception, and one of the things we made (see above), just happens to be the appetizer for this week’s Monday Night Dining experience. So with our trio and guest Trish, we enjoyed Veal tortellini with a fried sage and butter sauce.
We have been making tortellini for a while, but I think this was one of our better efforts. The filling to pasta ratio was really on point, and the lighter sauce let the pasta be the star. A little shaved parmesan on top finished the dish nicely.
Our main featured Shawn’s knife skills, as he deboned 2 chickens, and stuffed them to make Chicken ballottine stuffed with apricots, currants and spinach, served with haricot verts.
Unfortunately the making of pics, were very blurry, due to the bad lighting in our kitchen, combined with the speed that Shawn’s knife glides through, separating meat from sinew and bone. The final product was really amazing. The spinach is sautéed ahead, so it is nice and mild, the apricots and currants add sweetness and the cider gastrique added a bit of tartness and almost stole the show. I could eat this again and again, which looks to be in our future, since we had 2 whole chickens… We served a Cave Springs Dolomite Pinot Noir, which I think played well off the sauce.
Our friend Trish has been under the weather for a while, and this would be her first night back to rehearsals. Let me tell you Trish being unable to sing must have been a tough go, because she lives for it. It’s so nice to have her back in the fold and ready to tackle Elgar’s The Apostles. Here comes my shameless plug… There are tickets available, just click the link in the previous sentence. This one will sell out and is not to be missed, so don’t.
BUT… being on a schedule, we could not chat all night and with our herbal tea, we enjoyed a favorite of Shawn’s, Caramel Budino with salted caramel sauce.
Steph is always saying that if we blog a cooking disaster, that it might spark interest (she said controversy might be even better, but we will tackle how long to cook broccoli another time). I did have a minor disaster with this one. I had to measure out the cream ahead of time to have enough for the other elements and make sure we had some, for the dessert, but it was left out and the kitchen was warm, which resulted in my Chantilly cream breaking and ending up in the bin. The pictures you see are from a re-plating, the next day. I love the fact that we used Shawn’s “ma-mere’s” crystal, and my great-grandmother’s silver to serve this dessert. The only issue is, there is a lot of Budino, and I mean a lot. If Luke were still here, that would not be a problem.
Time is fleeting, so we must bustle off to rehearsal, glad of the company of friends and the chance to share good food, conversation and of course a little wine.