Monday, February 14, 2011

Having other people cook for me makes me happy. Especially when there's chocolate involved.

I think I've mentioned before that I have a standing weekend dinner with a friend.  Usually he cooks and I sit there and look pretty.  It turns out that he (R) had won a free whole chicken and mashed potatoes from Earth Fare, so we had a pretty much ready made dinner.

Nothing goes with good cheese & bread quite like good wine.
First things first: bread and cheese to munch on.  Earth Fare makes great breads.  This one was Italian with big chunks of garlic throughout.  We spread citrus butter (butter with lime, lemon, pineapple, and orange juice and zest) on the bread.  Citrus butter is one of our favorite things, as we discovered last year when we made it to serve over sea bass.  It's magnificent.  We also had a couple different cheeses - gouda with mustard seeds and a kind that I don't remember, which is sad because we have it almost every week because it's my favorite.  I know it has chives in it.  Anyway, we also had Spanish flatbread crackers that were rosemary flavored.  Delicious. 

Oh.  And there was wine.  Lots of wine.  I'm not a huge Merlot fan, and not just because I've seen Sideways too many times.  I've just never had a Merlot that I've really enjoyed.  It's like Miller Lite - it'll do in a pinch, but I wouldn't buy it regularly.  I much prefer Cabernets, and so that's what we usually drink.  The first bottle we had was FABULOUS.  I wish that we had more of it.  It was a 2007 Napa Valley Cabernet by Titus Vineyards. Then we opened a bottle of The Pessimist, a 2009 Cabernet from DAOU Vineyards, which is equally delicious.  We opened our fourth bottle (Menage a Trois) only after we tried the third bottle (Paripaso) and it was so bad it was almost undrinkable.  It might not have been so bad if we hadn't had two really good bottles before it, but it just didn't measure up.  It actually kind of tasted like cardboard.

The three we drank, and the one we poured out (on the left).

In the crockpot.  Look at all of those oranges!
After we pulled it out of the crockpot.  It totally fell apart.
Moving on. Chicken Time!  It was cooked in a crockpot for about seven hours.  It was rubbed down with coarse black pepper and lime juice (by the way, black pepper & lime is one of my favorite flavor combinations ever).  It was cooked in broth made from lemons, limes, and oranges with some onion and garlic.  When we went to take it out of the crockpot, it fell apart because it was so tender.  All of the meat just fell off the bones.  Just wow.  I was exceptionally impressed with R's cooking ability.  The mashed potatoes were also delicious, although they definitely needed a healthy infusion of pepper.  We had a salad to round out the meal (and also because I insist on vegetables every time we cook).  It was delicious and I was so full after we finished.  Thankfully, we decided to wait for dessert until we got to the intermission in Lord of the Rings: Return of the King.'s true.  We're big nerds in addition to being food lovers.

Yum.  Mashed potatoes, chicken, and salad?  DELICIOUS.

So dessert.  I was a little concerned about this, mostly because R told me I had to help him cook.  I think I actually laughed at him and asked him if was sure he wanted my help because I assumed he wanted dessert to be edible.  And so I was forced into the kitchen to help make chocolate lava cakes.  Despite my involvement, these cakes were probably the best part of the evening.  Chocolate cakes with a dark chocolate gooey filling, topped with fresh raspberries and strawberries, vanilla ice cream, and homemade whipped cream.  Is there anything wrong with that sentence?  I think not.  They were so rich and so delectable, I wanted to eat about six of them.  Fortunately, I was still relatively full from dinner, so I barely finished the one I had.
Coming out of the oven.  I can almost smell them.....
And the finished product.  Notice the lovely sprinkling of powdered sugar on the plate.

The only drawback to all of this delicious food was that it made me super sleepy, and I had to drive home.  So we cut our movie viewing short, and I went home, a very full and happy camper.  All I'm saying is that R is going to have a hard time topping this meal next weekend.

1 comment:

  1. dinner looks great but those plates are UGLY! lol :)