Sunday, December 23, 2007

Work in Progress

I took a break from cooking for our party this evening to upload a few photos of the stuff I'm making. All but one of the dishes in the slideshow are finished (hence the title of the post) and there's a lot more that I did not take pictures of.

The last dish in the show is of the creme caramel that was the subject of an earlier post. I was a bit disappointed to find that when I unmolded it the edges showed signs that the custard had heated too rapidly, probably at the beginning of the cooking cycle. The evidence that suggested this was in the form of pockets or pores at the edge near the bottom of the custard (the top of the custard in the photo). When the custard gets too hot, it causes the rapid expansion of air and nearly simultaneous coagulation of the egg proteins.

I suspected that something like this would happen soon after I put the custard into the oven, and I had backed down on the heat. Not soon enough, apparently. Fprtuantley the custard did no get too hot and the eggs did not develop that funky sulfide smell that happens anytime you over heat eggs. That would have really pissed me off.

Oh, and the reason the custard got too hot. It was the pot I used for the water bath. It was copper which transfers heat very efficiently. I should have taken this more seriously and dropped the initial oven temp even more than I did (the recipe called for 350, I dropped it to 300).

Some of the other things I'm making that are not pictured in the slide show are

Lamb rib chops with herbes de Provence

Really small potatoes filled with creme Fraiche, some topped with Paddelfish caviar and others with smoked salmon all bedded in sea salt

Cheese fondue made with Hendricks Farms raw milk Gruyere and Bavarian style Swiss Cheese

My wife made a cool looking Bundt cake

There's more, I just can't recall what it is. Peace out!


cookworm said...

Great googly moogly, does that stuff look good! Pardon me while I drool on the keyboard a bit.

CarolinaGirl said...

Wow! Looks like the makings of a delicious fete. Party on!
Happy Holidays,

Egaeus said...

A cool-looking bundt cake? I hope it's more of a "I'm looking forward to trying it," and not Robert Irvine when he took Paula Deen's fried canned black-eyed peas out of the fryer and said, "those have a nice color."

That food looks amazing. Now I know what you meant when you said you'd be cooking until Sunday. I feel like I've accomplished something if I cook at all. Now, I'm ashamed. :)

IdahoRocks said...

That slide show went so fast I had to watch it like four times before I could figure out what was making me salivate so much. Then I found it: the 14 yr. old goose confit! Although the rest of the meats got me going as well... The desserts, I love to look at them and taste them, but they just don't get me get the juices running like the charcuterie....

Anonymous said...

Hey Bob,
As guests at your wonderful party last night, we can vouch for the fact that the food was just delicious. Thanks for all the effort. I thought the creme caramel was smooth and silky--I think it turned out just fine. Merry Christmas to you and your family! --Valerie

boberica said...

You had me at 14 year goose confit...something pulled from the basement??? happy holidays by the way!

Bob del Grosso said...

Thanks it was a pleasure to have you and your family here.

I made that confit 14 years ago for Xmas for a couple. For reasons that are not clear to me any more I dragged my feet on delivering it. A few weeks passed and I when I found out that the husband had become fatally ill and died.

I could not bring myself to eat the stuff until now.

Funny that it was still good to eat. It has been refrigerated most of the time but still it seems weird that it was still good. Even the fat had only the slightest trace of rancidity.

Happy holidays back at you!

Deborah Dowd said...

This looks like a wonderful menu- lucky guests! Hope you are enjoying all the blessings of the holiday season with lots of love and laughter, friends, and of course food!

boberica said...

What a powerful truly powerful.