Roasted two whole red snapper tonight. Wowzer! Excellent quality fish, simple treatment. Fresh tomato, onion, EVOO, caper sauce. Braised fennel, black Camargue rice.
(Started with boudin noir and caramilzed pears, pear cider from Normancy; Red hawk cheese with prune / walnut slab; chocolate sherbet with chantilly and crushed dried oranges. A lot of wine. Maybe best dinner party ever)
While I'm sure everything was great, that Red Hawk cheese is just so good, it almost makes me think we make some cheeses as good as they do in other parts of the world.
A tip on Red Hawk and its siblings, and maybe most cheese. These are sold way too young here, so I buy as far in advance as I recognize an upcoming need. Last night's was bought a month ago. I took it out of the fridge at 7am yesterday and left it a room temp. At serving, it was almost spoonable.
The brown slab next to it was an experiment that came out well. I had bought Catalan prune and walnut "cakes" some dozen years ago but they vanished from our cheese stores. Lots of fig and almond cakes but no prune. So I chopped dried prunes, soaked them in Muscatel for a week or so, added toasted walnuts and anise seeds and packed it into a small loaf pan (lined in Saran). Tamped it down daily for a week and this was the result. Not as condensed as the real one, but everyone loved it. I will let it age more and if I make it again, will give it more lead time.