Sunday, March 14, 2010

My Sous Chef

Tonight, Ian and I made Bifteck Saute Bercy (pan-broiled steak with shallot and white wine sauce), Champignons Farcis (stuffed mushrooms), and a blue cheese iceberg wedge salad. Two out of three French dishes ain't bad.

I let Ian take a good amount of control on this one. He made the salads (with a homemade dressing, courtesy of Giada DeLaurentiis) and the steaks (medium-rare, lovely). I made the shallot and white wine sauce (though to a certain extent I screwed it up) and the stuffed mushrooms. For once, Ian's batting average came out higher than mine. I don't know how to feel about that.

It isn't that the sauce I made wasn't delicious. It's just that I didn't quite follow instructions. I was in a bit of a hurry, and instead of creaming the flavor elements from the pan into softened butter, I melted the butter into the pan drippings. It was great; it just wasn't what Julia ordered (this was a recipe from my new favorite book: Mastering the Art of French Cooking). The stuffed mushrooms were amazing. I'd stuffed mushrooms before, but Julia's stuffing was more complicated than any I'd ever tried. And the salad (which we ate last, in an attempt to be French and also because the steaks and mushrooms were hot and ready to eat) was amazing--a salad course and a cheese course in one.

Now, I'm not saying that Ian is a master chef (and don't get me wrong--neither am I), but we are starting to find which dishes he can master and which should be given to me. He's the meat man--there's no doubt about that. I'm the baker. He can chop; I can fine dice. We're learning a balance. But it's taking a while.

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