Wanted to make a special dinner for a very special friend, so I drew upon all the wisdom gleaned from five seasons of "Top Chef" and went for it. Though some of it did not pull together the way I had planned, I rolled with the punches. Make it work! (Wait, wrong show. Sorry.)
We started out with a grilled watermelon salad drizzled with basil oil and served with arugula, tomato, quick-pickled kohlrabi (Quick pickling, my homage to Kevin from TC) and pepitas.
|Doesn't the watermelon look like salmon?|
Kohlrabi is my new favorite vegetable—crunchy and fresh-tasting, zesty without being overpowering. The salad was good and certainly pretty, but I don't know if grilled watermelon is really my thing. Turned out to be more savory than I thought it would be; should have salted it, I think. Didn't add the cheese (my friend is allergic to dairy) but maybe a sharp feta would have enlivened it.
Main course: Lamb shanks with lentils.
The crowning glory, however, was the dessert. Fan favorite of the evening. It was one I had made before, but for some reason it turned out especially balanced. It was a lemon meringue cake, a lemon chiffon cake with layers of lemon curd and caramel.
|From such humble beginnings...|
|The great thing about cakes—no one has to see the cracks|
& the plugs in the layers—frosting to the rescue!
It takes one day to make the cake, the curd and the caramel, another day to assemble the cake and let it set, and the third day to add the meringue and torch away!
|What a difference a little scorching makes...|
|This is about as butch as I get, folks...|
|Yes, four and a half of us ate that much cake. Don't judge.|
Now, back to our regularly scheduled pushup and abs program...