Saturday, February 17, 2007

Cooking with friends: a special bottle of burgundy wine, a chantarelle cappuccino, a boeuf bourgoingnon, and a matcha loaf

Here’s how to get hold of that very special bottle of wine that you see at your friends’ place.

A fortnight ago K. and I were invited to have dinner with some good old friends of his, Peter & Kristel. We had a lovely meal, drank some good wine (and pomegranate juice) and watched holiday pictures from South Africa, where the couple had spent the New Year’s Eve. It was my first visit to their place, so I was shown around the house (lots of lovely art, a captivating fish tank). Before we continued with biltong and fig compote, we stood for a while next to the couple’s wine collection.

It was then that K. spotted a precious bottle of Burgundy: Clos de la Roche, Patriarche Père et Fils (Beaune, 1992). K. adores Burgundy, so he came up with a cunning idea.

So it happened that last Sunday, Peter & Kristel turned up at our doorstep with that very bottle of Bourgogne, as K. had managed to convince them that it’s indeed a good idea to drink this wine together. As a good bottle of Burgundy needs a good Burgundy dish, then I made my Boeuf Bourguignon again. We invited another couple, Paavo & Kristina and their little daughter Gretel over, too (yep, the ones who almost ate all my apple cake few months ago:), who contributed a starter. And not just a starter, but a stunning wild chantarelle cappuccino.

Cooking the chantarelles with herbs and cream:

The soup is ready – it does look like a real thing, doesn’t it? We used our new (well, we bought them in November) iittala Origo bowls and Arabia plates:

The incredibly smooth chantarelle cappuccino was garnished with thyme and served with stuffed baked portabello mushrooms - being made on the photo below. As you can see, then little Gretel (aged 5) is a good hand in the kitchen, although only half of the blue cheese ended up on the mushrooms, as Gretel ate the rest of it. Note that we all need some moral support in the kitchen – hence the wine glass on the worktop (for the mother) and the teddy bear (for Gretel):

For the main course, I made Anthony Bourdain’s boeuf bourgoingnon again.

And for the dessert, we had my matcha loaf (third time in less than ten days), this time made by K. and supplemented with some finely chopped almonds. K. also candied some fresh kumquats and piped some Madagascar vanilla flavoured whipped cream on top:

And as for the wine? Well, it was definitely good enough excuse for a lovely night in with old (for K.) and new (for me) friends. It was full of character for sure, even if the other bottle, Bourgogne A. Rodet (Antonin Rodet, 1998) was more to my liking..


Anne said...

What a lovely meal! The soup looks great - and I love the bowls. Per doesn't like stripes, so I'm not allowed to get them :) I'm always happy to see them anywhere else though. :)

Valentina said...

Pille, what a lovely post. I enjoyed every word. And the meal..ula,la..everything seems divine. I have to read some of your past post which i have missed.there is so much to catch up on.till next time.

Freya said...

it all looks wonderful, particularly the dessert! I am also intruiged about the biltong, what is it like?

Anonymous said...

It looks like you had a wonderful evening with delicious food!

Anonymous said...

What a fantastic meal! I love each and every dish :) I'm bleeding at the ears with envy of the chantarelles AND your iittala bowls!!! And K is quite active in the kitchen...will he share his candied kumquat recipe? :)

Pille said...

Anne - the soup was wonderful. And I'm glad that K. agreed to buy those stripy Origo bowls quite easily - I had been dreaming about them for a while:)

Valentina - it's really nice to see you back in blogosphere again! (and I have to make your raspberry and pistachio cake soon!)

Freya - the matcha loaf is a recent favourite of ours - we've made it on several occasions. It's simple to make and the colour is so festive and exciting. Do try it!

Dagmar - it was fun and enjoyable indeed. Entertaining and cooking for friends is a really pleasurable..

Joey - oh please, don't be envious. You've got lovely things in your kitchen that I wouldn't mind having, so we're even:) Re: the candied kumquat recipe. Well, I asked K. He said he halved the kumquats and then added a little water and not too much sugar (maybe 1/4 of the weight of the fruit) and then simmered until thick. But that's not really a recipe, isn't it? Your kumquat marmalade looks pretty identical, if sweeter.