Rory and I decided to have some people over for dinner on Friday. Thad, Erika, Loraine and Alex were two couples we were long overdue in having over, especially since Erika is a frequent reader of the blog. I pretty much stuck to thing I knew here, other than with dessert.
I actually made the very first recipe I ever posted here. And while it was good the first time around, this time it was much, much better. Three major difference: better browning, dried mushrooms, more reduction.
I wasn't able to buy the flanken style short ribs that I like, so I had to go with something smaller, but I really got a good sear on them. The last few months have really taught me the importance of getting a good crust on the meat.
The first time around I didn't think the dried mushrooms were that important, I was wrong. They added an earthiness that really gave the flavor some extra depth. I won't skip this again.
Reduction: I didn't do this right last time. Basically a half hour before we sat down I took the meat out of the pot and cranked up the heat and let it cook down for a little more than a half hour. The results was this thick, rich sauce that was awesome.
I roasted the asparagus and made the usual mashed potatoes. The only thing I may do differently is not cook it for as long as I did in the future. The meat cooked for about six and a half hours and was pretty much falling apart. I could probably get just as goof flavor with the meat holding together if I cooked it for three hours.
But overall, the entree was great, the dessert, well, it tasted good.
I attempted to make my first ever souffle, a dark chocolate and lime souffle in individual ramekins. The recipe isn't very complex, but I wanted to do as much as possible beforehand so I wasn't in the kitchen after dinner. I decided to make the chocolate portion of the dessert before any one arrived and then after dinner whip the egg whites and finish the job.
It didn't work. By the time I got to the chocolate mixture it was all crumbly. I tried adding some of the whipped egg whites but it wasn't taking. I added a little water mixed it and then added the egg whites and it still seemed too heavy. I put the batter in the ramekins and baked for about 15 minutes. The result: individual brownies. They were good, but they weren't souffle. At least I know what I did wrong.