Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Happy Birthday To Me!

I know, I know.... How long am I going to milk this birthday thing, right? Well, I promise that this will be the last post about it this year, and I'm only doing it for a special reason.

I now have a regular crew that come in every Wednesday night to have my weekly special after reading about it on this blog, and as if having such a loyal following of people just as excited about the food that I create as I am isn't enough of a gift, last Wednesday Chie, Mark and Derek brought me a birthday present. And not just some random thing either, but a pasta cutter attachment for my Kitchenaid because I have ranted about not having one in several past blog posts.

I was blown away.

Not only do they give me and my business their continued support, but a gift from them is above and beyond anything that I have received in my career to date. So, again, thank you guys. It really means a lot.

To honor my prominent fan club I put the new tool in my arsenal to good use by creating this summery pasta dish that I dedicate to my faithful admirers.

Right away I began thinking about the flavor combinations I could do and the first thing that popped into my mind was crab, and since I have yet to use it I decided to go with Dungeness for this one. It's rich and succulent but delicate enough to allow for a lighter preparation. I knew lemon would be a good way to brighten up the dish, but instead of putting it in the sauce I added it directly to the pasta dough, which I made with three parts bread flour to one part semolina flour and whole eggs that made a vibrant pasta that, to be honest, may be a little chewy for some people's expectation of Fettuccine, but with all of the other soft ingredients it's an important textural component.

Now that we have heirloom tomatoes available I thought that this would be a great time to introduce them before the local varieties are ripe enough for a standalone dish. I sliced a few different colors and removed the seeds before chopping to eliminate the bitterness that they can have. To create a sauce, I warmed the tomatoes chunks with Walla Walla onions that had been softened in a combination of extra virgin olive oil and oil leftover from roasting garlic and a little butter along with the picked crab meat, to warm it through. Once the pasta is cooked I add it to the pan with a little of the cooking water to help thicken it before I toss in diced avocado for added richness and creaminess. To finish the dish I added freshly chopped tarragon for it's anise notes and Italian parsley for more brightness.

Since I had promised that this will be my last post in reference to my birthday I had to scramble to get this one done in time for this week.

For my birthday dinner my wife and I chose an unusual place for voracious foodies like us. Those who know us expected to hear that we were going to a place like Spur, Tilth or maybe even The Herbfarm for a celebratory occasion, but since we don't need a special occasion to go to those places, I simply wanted a HUGE STEAK!! So we went to The Metropolitan Grill for my favorite cut - Prime Rib. In the end, even after protests from my stomach, we ordered the Cherries Jubilee dessert that they flambe table-side, and even before the flames subsided I knew that I wanted to try and turn it into a cocktail.

Just like last week's drink I started with three scoops of my own handmade vanilla bean ice cream, to which I added a couple of splashes of brandy that I quickly infused with cherries by blending the liquor with dried, tart cherries just enough to break them down a bit. Then I poured a good amount of "Just Cherries" juice from Trader Joe's (the name says it all) and topped it off with Cherry Lambic for sparkle and fresh Rainier cherries!!!

Enjoy these tasty treats!!

With Love,


1 comment:

  1. Yay! I can't wait to try this lemon fettuccine! I've never had avocado in pasta before :)

    Oh, we forgot to mention ... Mark also contributed to our gift, and the selection is thanks to Derek's wondrous selective memory ;)