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Where Did the Time Go?

February 10, 2008

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I have no clue! :(
I about…say oh, twenty restaurants behind in posting?
::weep::
Must run out for my Sunday Cave Day…
BUT!
I’ll leave you with photos from a dinner party at Don’s last night! :)

For seven very delicious hours we nibbled/devoured a gorgeous hunk of pork belly…

…with a wide cheese assortment! Since getting to know Don, my cheese, pork, and cocktail intake has increased about 10,000% making life all the more tasty. My tummy is a bit plushier, but alas, it’s a small sacrifice in the name of good food.

With cheese must come baguettes, and oh yes, there were more baguettes than you could imagine.

Don’s friends brought over a fantastic bottle of olive oil from a recent trip to Spain, which we feasted on with baguettes and maldon salt. On the right is sherry vinegar.

A few glasses of wine in, someone decided it was time for cocktails. As I’ve gotten to know myself better, I find that it is difficult for me to say ‘no’ to cocktails. Luckily, I have pretty high tolerance and don’t turn all red, whew!

While we devoured perhaps a bit too much cheese (most of us were already stuffed before the real dinner came!), Don was busy on the marinade for spicy Korean ribs.

Getting ready for the oven. As I took this photo, the scent of the ginger, green onions, Korean pepper paste and even more pepper flakes, wafted ever so seductively towards me, and I swear, if I had just a tad less restraint, I would have picked up the raw ribs and gnawed it down right there.

But I waited and was greatly rewarded when the ribs went out the oven and were finished over charcoal in the back lanai, imparting that wonderful crazy crisp char. Goodness, I had forgotten just how much I love, love, love ribs! What made me happier was that everyone simply pushed utensils aside and make good use of their fingers. Jezzzus it was awesome, the best part was when I tore off a huge chunk of meat and watched all the steam rise from the end of the bone – like a magic show, only tasty! :)

Ian made an awesome spicy sausage lasagne with mozzarella, ricotta and parmesan. Don went around and grated mountains of aged parmesan over everyone’s dishes. drooool. I was a lasagne-addict growing up in Hawaii, but it just occured to me, two bites into the dish, that it’s been over a year since I’ve had any lasagne! ::sigh:: Time flies. But all is healed with good lasagne? I sure hope.

A simple salad with vinegar and oil to balance everything out. It was ridiculously refreshing in light of all the rich dishes leading up to the salad.

For dessert, we made baklava…above are almonds, walnuts and pistachios. Don toasted the nuts over the stove, ground, and then blended them with a touch of sugar.

We did not skimp on butter! Four sticks, making for pound of butter were employed to ensure each and every layer of phyllo was liberally doused in goodness.

Don did most of the actual work…but I attempted to help with the assembling, heheh.

Six layers of phyllo, followed by a generous layer of the ground nut mix, three layers of phyllo, more nuts…repeat, repeat. Set out to chill, then cut and bake off!

Out of the oven, right before a fragrant pour of warmed cinnamon-infused honey with orange zest.

Ahh, this photo does not do the final product justice! I tucked away three nicely sized squares and triangles before deciding I should stop while I’m ahead…

And because you should never have only one kind dessert when you can have two! Don boiled a can of sweetened condensed milk to make dulce de leche…he did a rather elaborate experiment a while back, boiling eight different brands of sweetened condensed milk for varying periods of time (2, 4, and 12 hours), making for a total of 24 cans. See his results here.

We put the many baguettes to great use, warmed them back up in the oven and made impromptu baguette + spoonfuls of dulce de leche + maldon salt sandwiches!

To end the night, more cocktails, a few rounds of tennis Wii and smiles all around :)

Full set of photos from dinner on Flickr :)



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