Foodbuzz 24, 24, 24: just another Tuesday night chez nous

Wineoncounters Every month, Foodbuzz hosts a special dinner series Foodbuzz 24, 24, 24, featuring twenty-four Foodbuzz Featured Publisher bloggers, creating, eating, partaking in twenty-four unique meals occurring around the world during a 24-hour period.  What a fascinating idea, isn't it?  A glimpse into dining rooms and kitchens of home cooks just like us the world over.  Look at this sweet cooking party to stock the pantry for a mom-to-be friend, or this fun make-your-own-Mac&Cheese party.  How awesome are they? 

Jeff I've been wanting the play along for a while, the only problem for me has been timing.  The 24 meals are all supposed to happen during the same 24-hr period, and on the most convivial night of the week for most people, a Saturday night.  Well, suffice to say we are not "most people" around here.  David spends his Saturday nights creating convivial meals for his guests at Manresa.  I spend my Saturday nights watching Syfy.  (No, really.)  Around here, the night we let loose and have a little fun is on a Tuesday – Monday and Tuesday being the two days a week Manresa is closed, and after spending Monday night catching up on sleep, Tuesday night is the one in which we get to play.  How, you asked?  Usually with a gathering of also-non-Saturday-night-people that is to say restaurant-industry friends,
eating simple food and drinking not-so-simple wines.  Once informed of this, the power-that-be at Foodbuzz graciously agreed to stretch out the 24-hr period a little,  just enough to cover our usual Tuesday night chez nous.  How sweet of them, yeah?

Cheers

The usual suspects at our Tuesday night dinners are the two of us (of course), our neighbor Katy (who's also the event mistress for most of the lovely Outstanding in the Field dinners that we all know and love), and our good friend and the wine director of Manresa Jeff.  Adding to this are a roving group of restaurant friends, this time includes Dade Thieriot, the purveyor of fine wines at Dee Vine Wines, who came with his  fresh-off-the-boatplane darling Petra, and the inimitable Seigo Takei (previously of El Paseo in Mill Valley) and his lovely partner Keiko Takahashi (who was El Paseo's chef when it earned the Michelin star.) 

Flowers
At our usual Tuesday night dinners, things are pretty simple.  Olives or charcuterie to begin.  Roast a chicken or two, or braise a big hunk of protein of some sort for a main course.  Someone throws together a simple green salad.  A few bits of cheese.  A tart or even a piece of fruit to finish.  Everything's served family style, everyone helping themselves to what they want.  The key is for it to be a dinner I don't have the spend the day slaving over – something simple enough that a pair or two of skilled hands could do pretty quickly.  We compensate for the simple meal by the wine we drink.  Around our house, we think life's too short – and free time in too short supply – to drink crappy wine.

1stcourse

This time, the food was perhaps a bit more involved than our usual Tuesday night dinners.  Our friends Seigo and Keiko love my Thai food, and Dade's Dee Vine Wines specializes in fantastic German Rieslings on top of that, so Thai food it was.  Even so, in the spirit of our Tuesday nights, I kept the menu very simple.  I made the starter in advance, Khao Tung Na Tung, Thai rice cakes with pork and shrimp in coconut milk topping.  The recipe is here.  It only needed to be heated right before serving.  With a bottle of champagne and a Riesling or two between bites of crunchy, savory Khao Tung, my guests were pretty happy while I put together the rest of the dinner.

Pomelosalad

The next course was a salad: pomelo, cucumbers, shrimp, in a light dressing made with a little lime juice, rice vinegar, fish sauce, and a pinch of sugar, topped with crunchy bits of roast coconut flakes and fried shallots.  It might sound a little odd collection of ingredients to you, but it was a hit on my dinner table that night – a slight bitterness from the pomelo, a hint of sweetness in the dressing, a toasty note from the coconut, and the lovely crunchy bits of fried shallots.  Try it and you'll love it.  I didn't really make this from a recipe, but it's basically the same as this cucumber salad I made this summer, substituting about 2/3 of the cucumber slices with segments of pomelo, and changing the acidity in the dressing just a bit to accommodate the citrus in the salad.

Khaosoi

The main course was my famous Khao Soi, a chicken curry noodle dish from the North of Thailand. I said famous because I've made it for so many parties, and it's become a favorite of so many friends.  It's easy to make, delicious, and super fun, requiring a participatory eating experience, with each guest composing their own meal from the prepared ingredients.  I made a big pot of curry, this time only with chicken thighs – those often are the ones we fight over so I thought I'd preëmpt the war.  I set out the composed parts, cooked egg noodles, crispy fried noodles, pickled lettuce, sliced shallots, wedges of lime, a few pieces of dried chillis for the intrepid souls among us. 

Petra

A guest grabbed a bowl, put some cooked egg noodles at the bottom, a ladle or two of the chicken curry bubbling in the giant pot on the stove went in, then a bit of pickled lettuce and shallots, finally, garnished with crisp, fried egg noodles on top, a squeeze of lime, and then they could go to town on it.

Somchoon
The first dessert was a favorite of mine from childhood, a chilled dessert soup Som Choon – lychees and oranges with crispy bits of peanuts, coconut flakes, and fried shallots (yes, really), floating in a gingery, slightly salty syrup.  It's a refreshing end to the spicy Thai meal.  I'll post the recipe for this shortly. 

Desserts

The final dessert, a sort of mignardises to go with green tea requested by Keiko, were the Grayasat (aka crack bars) I posted for the Chinese New Year celebration.  You might still remember them?  Quite healthy caramel peanuts, sesame, and puffed rice bars made with honey and palm sugar – half of which were made a little less healthy but a little more oh-so-good with a dip and a roll in Valrhona chocolate and cocoa powder. 

Wine

True to our Tuesday night tradition,we stayed at the table long after the food was gone.  More wines were broken out, with liberty now, no longer needing to consider the food: two aged Bordeaux, and old Burgundy.  The night was young yet. 

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  • http://profile.typepad.com/oakleyboren Oakley Boren

    I’m hating you right now, sitting at the office on a Monday morning with my breakfast of hard boiled egg, tomato, and crackers.
    However, you’ve also inspired me to make my own Kao Soi. I’ve missed it so much! Back home, they’re almost always too spicy for me except the ones at S&P restaurants, strangely enough.

  • http://zencancook.com zenchef

    Oh.. is that a Chambertin Clos de Beze on the table? I surely recognized the bottle of Lynche-Bages (one of my favorites). You certainly give a new meaning to tuesday night dinners. Looks like a lot of fun. Thanks for sharing!

  • http://www.eatlivetravelwrite.com Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite

    Wow – what a wonderful “regular old” Tuesday evening. I would be happy to come over any Tuesday night for a feast like this! Way to go to brighten up the start of the work week! I also wish I had known that Foodbuzz were a bit flexible with the timing since once my proposal was accepted, I realised I was double booked for the Sat night and ended up squeezing my event into a lunch. Oh well, good to know for next time!!
    Well done on such a lovely dinner – but then again, I wouldn’t expect anything less ;-) Love the big bottle of wine (or is that beer?)

  • http://www.carlastastytreats.blogspot.com Carla’s Tasty Treats

    your food buzz looks great! I love that it was a tuesday night….its good to know that we aren’t the only ones with a crazy schedule at times
    thanks so much for checking out my post (the mac& cheese party) I was wondering where all the visits to my page came from!
    also thank you for the tom yum goong soup recipe you posted a while back….still one of my absolute favorites! I’ll have to get it up on my site some time

  • http://profile.typepad.com/pim Pim

    You’re welcome. Your party really looked like fun. Let me know when you post your Tom Yum Goong, I’d love to see it.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/pim Pim

    Thanks for trying so many times to post this comment! I asked them, and they said yes, so there it is. It’s in the spirit of all the saturday night meals though, don’t you think? Just our Saturday is off by a couple.
    That was a bottle of old Bordeaux, 1969 to be exact. Alas it was shot, so no 40 yr-old wine for us that night. We had a 1975 Bordeaux that was beautiful though. You can see the bottle in one of the pictures.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/pim Pim

    Good eyes! It was a ’90 Jadot – performed exactly as expected.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/pim Pim

    Hey, I just got back on hard food not that long ago myself, so there. lol Make it yourself and you can control how much spice is in it, especially if you make the paste yourself too.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/oredagan Ore

    Pim – you need to share the wine info… I am begging you, please!!?!?!?!?!?! Awesome post ;-)

  • http://www.whiskthepantry.blogspot.com whiskthepantry

    Oh my goodness, you made Khao Tung Na Tung! I love those. Can I come over?? Your Khao Soi looks like the one back home! Yumm!

  • http://profile.typepad.com/pim Pim

    It’s so simple to make. You should totally try it. A little tedious perhaps, but not difficult at all. :-)

  • http://profile.typepad.com/pim Pim

    Sometimes sharing wine info just sounds like bragging. These two friends, Seigo and Dade, are both serious wine geeks, and we do drink excessively well even by our standards when they’re around.

  • http://ourprivatekitchen.wordpress.com Sara @ OurPrivateKitchen

    I’m so in love with this post! Everything thing looked so amazing. I really liked the Khao Soi. I’m going to take you at your word and try to make it. I love meals that bring everyone together; there’s nothing better.

  • http://chezlafleurinmanhattan.blogspot.com/ Suzee

    I want an invite to Tuesday night *so bad*!!!!
    What a great post!

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p0120a577a962970c Rebecca

    Can anyone suggest a good place to buy curry? Online or in store?

  • http://www.agoodic.com/instr.asp?/big_cellphone.htm dual sim cell phones

    It’s so simple to make. You should totally try it. A little tedious perhaps, but not difficult at all. :-)

  • http://orlando-bankruptcy-attorney.net seodofollow@gmail.com

    I love this type of food

  • http://www.frenchpressmemos.blogspot.com Andra @ FrenchPressMemos

    I discovered foodbuzz recently and LOVE it! What a fun resource. Foodbuzz aside- your “regular” Tuesday night makes me very jealous although our “regular” dinners are pretty spectacular- we just don’t go all out on wine as much as we should. Very fun post!

  • http://lifeandlarder.blogspot.com louise

    I’ve noticed that the greatest food challenges for so many people seem to be the cross cultural ones. I wouldn’t dare cook a meal based on Asian ingredients for anyone outside the family (family = experimentation), but will tackle roast for many, and enormous Italian feasts for dozens. I have a boring cultural heritage, but somehow gravitate towards cooking non-Asian food. LOVE Asian; Too scared to cook it. Perhaps I’ll have to tackle that and some of your recipes will certainly do the trick.
    Check out my blog at http://lifeandlarder.blogspot.com

  • http://www.ghdsstraighteners.com/ GHD

    Thank you for sharing, O (∩ _ ∩) O ~,This is Amy. Message from:http://www.ghdsstraighteners.com/

  • http://www.toobling.com/ Tiffany

    Thanks for share,great article!^^
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  • http://www.farango.com/farango-catagories/dstt-cards DSTT

    Such a beautiful mosaic of pictures and such a lovely idea as a reminder of photographs you have taken. your pictures are beautiful as always.

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    Foodbuzz hosts is a worldwide event. I was considering joining this Foodbuzz program. Foodbuzz and Barilla pasta are partnering up to host a trip to Italy contest.