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I read all these threads about these fabulous dinners people have at home, with photogenic, obviously labor-intensive food, and legendary bottles.   I can't speak for anybody else on this board, bu

If I'm not enjoying wine when I'm seventy, then my nieces and nephews are going to be stuck with a shitload of wine they won't know what to do with.   Or my next wife, who by then should be almost

Whaddya mean? That's more than half the meals I serve. Tossed with great care, I might add.

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What was really surprising about this dinner was that my bain-marie was right where I thought it would be.

I was ready for an extended desperate search:  that's exactly the kind of item that likes to move about my apartment at will.

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8 hours ago, Sneakeater said:

What was really surprising about this dinner was that my bain-marie was right where I thought it would be.

I was ready for an extended desperate search:  that's exactly the kind of item that likes to move about my apartment at will.

Best to keep your bain-marie with your chafing dishes and fondue kit.

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You really have an actual bain marie?

I just stick a (real) pyrex bowl over a  saucepan with an inch or two of simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl isn't in the water.

Sorta like this...

image.thumb.png.c8e7a84a7cdefe9b5c1ee1007d2d0787.png

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1 hour ago, Behemoth said:

I use the next to lowest setting of my induction stove. 😎

Show off.

12 minutes ago, Anthony Bonner said:

you know what's kind of a bitch? heating egg whites in the stand mixer bows over a pot of water.

If only this thing wasn't like double the price of an actual Kitchen Aid mixer...

image.png.9d5716170a8693d15da9d980b834b98b.png

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2 hours ago, joethefoodie said:

You really have an actual bain marie?

I just stick a (real) pyrex bowl over a  saucepan with an inch or two of simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl isn't in the water.

Sorta like this...

image.thumb.png.c8e7a84a7cdefe9b5c1ee1007d2d0787.png

 

2 hours ago, Evelyn said:

I do the same. But use a metal bowl instead.

 

32 minutes ago, Anthony Bonner said:

you know what's kind of a bitch? heating egg whites in the stand mixer bows over a pot of water.

Just be careful that the bowl doesn't fit too perfectly into the pot or you (or at least I) will have a bowl sucked onto the pot.    May come loose when temperature of the water drops or you submerse entire "unit" in cold water.    Same with a lid onto a frying pan.    Been there, done that.    

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Pan roasted wood pigeon over ventrèche (the pigeon was cooked in a mixture of ventrèche grease and butter) (doesn't that sound appetizing?) on a bed of beans/hominy/rice.

The last time I cooked a game bird, I learned it's impossible to oversalt them.  This time, I learned it's impossible to undercook them.  I'm usually so afraid of undercooking game birds that I overcook them instead, the breasts drying right out.  This time, I fought my impulses -- and this was SO by far the best game bird I've ever cooked.  The breast meat was rosy, almost like a salmi.  In other words, the way it should be.  It was moist, it was flavorful, it was -- the best word for it -- savory.

Sautéed red chard being its attractive self on the side.

A classic pairing for roast wood pigeon is a mature Rioja Gran Reserva.  Since I had so much fun drinking a Beronia 2001 Gran Reserva  a couple of days ago, I decided to dig deeper.

1982 Beronia Rioja Gran Reserva

For one thing, their label was much nicer in 1982 than in 2001.  (I think this was actually a fairly new bodega in 1982.)

Oddly, this 40-year-old wine tastes younger than the 2001.  It lacks the vegetal undertones that wine had.  And the fruit (cherry, no plums) is a little livelier.

Which is not to say it tastes young.  This is very clearly a very mature wine, with the primary, secondary, and tertiary flavors all having melded into one very long continuum (rather than a succession).  It's mellow.  But not 1970s Laurel Canyon singer-songwriter mellow,* where you wonder whose face is going to hit the table first, yours or the performer's.  While this has no tension left, it still has vibrancy.

Oh, and there's a reason a wine like this is a classic pairing for roast wood pigeon.

_______________________________________________________________

* Tonio K., "Life in the Foodchain":  "Sometimes I was that I was mellow/Like for instance Jackson Browne/But 'Fountain of Sorrow' my ass motherfucker/I hope you wind up in the ground".

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As I sit here finishing my delicious mellow old wine, I'm going to reminisce about the first time I had a salmi.  It was, I believe, at Montrachet, in its $25-for-a-David-Bouley-dinner days.  At near the time tonight's wine was released.

Anyway, I was astonished you could eat poultry that rare.  Moreover, I was astonished at how delicious poultry that rare could be.  It was almost . . . beefy.

(Years later, when I spent a summer at the Vier Jahreteszeiten in Hamburg on business, the junior members of my team thought they were accidentally served roast beef in the dining room when they had ordered duck.  It was a teaching moment.)

This is not the same thing as current NYC restaurants habitually undercooking farmed duck breasts, so that they're tough and springy.  It's a higher grade of bird -- even when that bird is duck -- and a different kind of preparation.

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