Friday, December 28, 2007

Food Ideas

Coming up with food ideas is never a problem for me - the problem is finding time to cook them all. Reading The United States of Arugula, I came across a mention of Veau Prince Orloff, an excessively heavy dish that "required you to bone and tie a five-pound roast of veal, prepare a soubise of rice and onions, a duxelles of mushrooms, and a veloute from a roux enriched with heavy cream and a pinch of nutmeg. You pureed the soubise and the duxelles together to spread on each slice of the roasted meat, then covered the entire roast with thick sauce and grated Swiss cheese so that it would brown when you reheated it." I don't even know what the French words mean, but it sounds way too much. On the other hand... I like the idea of slicing a roast and layering it with pureed onions and mushrooms. I think I will try it with a lean beef roast. I could slice the roast the wrong way, then spread the slices with a puree made from onions and mushrooms sauteed together in butter, wrap the whole thing in tin foil, and cook it. The wrong-way slices will mean that the filling shows up in every (thin) slice. Or I could do a beef roll-up with the onions and mushrooms as the filling, so that they would make an elegant spiral when sliced (if I can get the roll right).

Now I just need to think of some way to cut the richness so it isn't overwhelming. Maybe a pickled vegetable, or something with lemon, or a green salad with vinegar and oil. Another way would be to do some kind of a red-wine sauce on the meat (although my favorite one has butter in it, which isn't exactly light, either). Probably the red-wine sauce on the meat and a green salad with oil and red-wine vinegar would be best.

It needs a basic starch, like sourdough bread, or just rice to serve under the slices of meat; the rice would be best with a sauce. That gives me something rich, something acidic, and something calm, my preferred balance for a meal. For dessert, I would probably serve one chocolate truffle per person, to go with the big red wine this deserves.

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