April 11, 2005

dinner party, professional style

H & J let me tag along to a dinner party given by their friends D & T, and for this I am intensely grateful, because not only are D & T nice people, they give a hell of a dinner party. D was the chef, and he did three courses, all beautifully plated (readers of this blog will recall my frustration the last time I tried a plated dinner for guests) and utterly delicious. I bow before his greatness.

The starter was a creamy corn and potato soup, with chives and some sort of spicy heat, either curry or cayenne or a touch of both. He followed this with a monster pork chop, brined in bourbon, salt, honey and mustard, and grilled, with sage and a pile of caramelized onions. This brine gave the pork a smoky, sweet, salty flavor almost like ham, with a fabulous crispy exterior and a moist flavorful interior. The last course was a salad that I am definitely going to steal: watercress, matchstick raw beets and carrots, red onion, and a dressing of toasted pecans, dijon mustard, honey, salt, sherry vinegar, fresh thyme, and a tiny bit of oil. Completely fantastic, a wonderful mix of complementary sweet, earthy, nutty and peppery flavors. He said the recipe came from the second Union Square cookbook, which on the strength of this recipe alone I may have to buy.

A delightful meal, and a wonderful start to my social life in Chicago. :-)

Posted by foodnerd at April 11, 2005 08:15 AM

Welcome to Chicago! I've been here for a year and a half now, and I've been happily eating my way through the city. If you ever need tips on where to eat, let me know.

Posted by: Jessa at April 11, 2005 04:20 PM

hee! thanks! I need all the friends I can get at this point, being all new and stuff. ;-) I've been obsessing about Mexican food pretty hard so far -- it is SO good here, i can hardly believe my good fortune. And Perez is right around the corner from the office. Just now I had pork enchiladas that were dreamy, all crunchy on the bottom, despite all the yummy sauce. *swoon*

Posted by: foodnerd at April 13, 2005 09:24 PM
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