Saturday, April 21, 2007
Dinner at home (and da Paolo Gastronomia)
I'll say that they do have an impressive range of Italian wines. But drinking wine in this country is a real luxury when the taxes bring it to around three times the cost in UK and Australia. They do have a good range of continental hard cheeses and fly in their Parma ham. Their coffee sucks, but their baristas just push a button and use sachets of pre-ground coffee beans.
Then we had the buffalo mozzarella and beef tomato salad - which was filling enough, but we moved onto the chicken saltimbocca. I'd used tarragon as I'm still exploring the nuances of this herb since discovering how it tastes about six months ago. I'd originally planned to use the snowpeas as the green garnish to provide interest to the plate; but snowpeas and fish go very well, so I moved them to the next dish. I used chopped remnants of the beef tomatoes (near the stem and round part) to make a crushed tomato jus from the frying pan.
We finished with some strawberries macerated in balsamic vinegar and raw sugar.
I wished Leon were here to eat this with me. I kept thinking of how this is the sort of treat I'd make for us after we hadn't seen each other for a while; or something I'd do to try to make up for periods when I was taking him for granted.
I thought that this is the sort of thing one might do to try to impress someone; but my dining companion seemed non-plussed - he enjoyed it well enough. Maybe he was trying not to be impressed at something I seemed to carry off so 'effortlessly' (I wish). Mind you, I didn't set out to try to impress - just to cook a nice meal at home.