We’re Gonna Miss You Carla

Another Top Chef episode has come and gone. I am sad to see Carla go. She seems like a truly, truly nice person (who happens to have graves – glad it has been treated). In her absence, I would like to see, in order of preference, Antonia, Tiffany, Richard, and then Mike win. In reality, I suspect Richard is most likely to win and am very OK with that.

The theme tonight was Mardi Gras (aka Jeudi Gras), seeing as that was the big event of the week. I made jambalaya. I looked high and low for a recipe I liked, but was unable to find one, so made my own. It had a pound of a Andouille, a pound of ham, a pound or so of chicken, as well as rice, chicken stock, the “holy trinity,” and spices (oregano, thyme, garlic, cayenne, onion powder, paprika, salt, and pepper). I was really quite happy by the time it was done, although the rice ended up being cooked a bit too much and the whole thing was a bit pasty.

While we were waiting for J to arrive, I threw together some biscuits from ATK. They were just yummy. I never made biscuits before getting the Cuisinart. Now I’m happy to make them at any time. God I love that machine.

M and J brought a chicken gumbo. It was really great – probably the best I have ever had. They said it was an ATK recipe, and as one would expect with ATK, it was a solid recipe. A colleague at work says gumbo is supposed to be slimy (from the okra). This wasn’t slimy, but in reality I was actually happier without having to deal with the slime factor. I suspect slime is one of the reasons I usually am unhappy with gumbo.

M and E brought a whisky raisin bread pudding with whisky sauce and banana ice cream. The ice cream was made while we gorged ourselves on the earlier courses. The entire dessert was, frankly, sublime. I forget how much I like bananas until I eat something as good as that ice cream.

Wines for the evening included a 2003 Cab Franc from Tabor Hill (not earthshattering, but very decent, and certainly better than last week’s Boring Beaujolais) and Roessler’s 2007 Ridges Pinot Noir. The latter really was an outstanding bottle that matched well with everything, and we all enjoyed it. Also worth mentioning was the Fenn Valley 42 Ice Wine, which we had with dessert. I didn’t think it was the best match with the whiskey, but it really is a fantastic bottle (and a steal). You really should pick some up if you enjoy dessert wine.

Next week we are taking a field trip to visit N and R for St Patrick’s Day. I will probably make Cottage Pie and Soda bread, but who knows at this point. The week is young!

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