Monday, May 23, 2011

Dinner party at Peter's

Last Wednesday evening was a dinner party at Peter and Hiroko's apartment in Menlo Park; Peter had kindly invited two of his chamber music partners - me and William - over for a post-recital celebration of sorts.  Being already familiar with Peter's culinary prowess, I knew we were in for another wonderful meal, and wonderful it was.

We started off with bread, cheese (mushroom brie, i.e. "Champignon," and a harder cheese whose name I forgot to ask), and Robert Mondavi Riesling, before moving on to a salad of lettuce, green apple, avocado, green onion, blue cheese, and candied pecans.  Soon after, the main course was served: steaks perfectly cooked via sous vide and then a brief sear.  As far as I can recall, this was the first time I'd ever been exposed to sous vide cooking, and it was quite impressive that Peter was using this method at home.  To accompany, we had mushrooms cooked in red wine, baked tomato slices with herbs, baked potatoes, and a Castle Rock cabernet sauvignon.

Dessert was just as delightful and involved plenty of audience participation.  Peter and Hiroko pulled out their takoyaki machine and mixed up some pancake batter, and then showed us how to make bite-sized, spherical apple pancakes that we ate with whipped cream, fresh fruit, and moscato.

After round one of these pancakes, we decided to sprinkle the second batch with sugar, which we then caramelized using Peter's blowtorch.  Thus, the evening ended with some gleeful pyrotechnics.  Many thanks to Peter and Hiroko for a delicious and entertaining evening!