it's been a good long while since we have had an official dinner for people. sure, there's been plenty of informal noshing, some drop-in-for-teaing, and even the occasional come-have-some-cakeing, but very little actual sit-down-dinnering. and you know what? it was fun! not only was the company delightful (the way to my heart is to have seconds!) but i had forgotten how much i love feeding people. that polish part of my soul that had been lying dormant for a good long time has burst forth and is ready for more.
one of the glorious little byproducts was my re-discovery of brown butter. brown butter, you ask? isn't it just butter...that has been browned? why yes, yes it is, but "just" is not the word i would use to describe it. browning butter, takes an already glorious thing (oh butter, how i adore thee!), and raises it to olympian heights. it has a nutty, rich, beautiful, mellow flavour, a symphony of goodness. oh yes.
what did i do with the brown butter, you ask? well, i thinly sliced up a bunch of brussels sprouts, very quickly steamed them until they were bright bright green, tossed them into the pan of browned butter and sauteed them until they were tender crisp, just a few minutes. i suspect you could skip the pre-steaming entirely but mr. monkey was not convinced. so you say you aren't that fond of brussels sprouts? i dare you to try them this way and not want more. i tossed in some locally grown toasted hazelnuts into the mix as well, but they just seemed unnecessary. far more glamorous in theory than in practice, so save yer nuts!
we also had a garlic roast pork that had been cooking for nearly 4 hours until all the bad bits disappeared, the good bits got all fall-aparty and the onions surrounding it turned into a jammy gravy, with mashed potatoes, and maple-glazed carrots.
i was going to make this for dessert, because it is so damn good, but was defeated by the 5 cabbages and several kilograms of beets that have taken over the counter in preparation for some heavy duty pickling and sauerkraut production that will take place later today. i swear they sit there and snarl at me. so no baking. however our guests brought a trifle comprising cake, chocolate pudding, whipped cream and bits of skor bar. we poured irish cream over the delicious mess and all was well with the world, at least for a wee while.
so, drop by next time you're in the neighbourhood. i'll cook you something!