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crunchy, creamy, sour, sweet, bitter, smooth, gritty, peppery, syrupy, salty, pungent, fragrant, warm, cool

February 7, 2010

Recently I tested some recipes from Mache Bistro in Maine, which is the restaurant owned and run by dear friends Marie and Kyle. They are putting some recipes into a book and needed a few friends to try them out in their home kitchen.

The first recipe was for hangar steaks. It was my first time cooking hangar steak. In short, it’s: rub with oil, then chopped garlic, and a rub made from pepper, rosemary, garlic, and salt. Cook briefly on a hot hot hot cast iron pan, then dress with some blue (bleu!) cheese and herb compound butter. Holy easy and DELIGHTFUL.

My favorite, though, was a recipe for a Cabernet poached pear. Now, a recipe for poached pear doesn’t sound up my alley, for a number of reasons.

1. If I can afford a Cabernet, chances are good that I won’t like it: I find it too tannic.

2. I overloaded on Balsamic in the 90’s.

3. I somehow ended up as a person who does not like honey, because it tastes too floral in a sickly way to me.

4. This may or may not make sense, but pears seem to take themselves a bit too seriously. If they were able to eat, they would be gourmets rather than gourmands. In other words, they leave me somewhat cold and once, in high school, I gave them up as my New Year’s resolution.

5. The filling is blue cheese, which I never go out of my way to eat.

However: this recipe, while it did not challenge my cooking skills, challenged my perceptions. I guess that Cab is different if you cook with it: tannens are tamer. As for balsamic, I’m done with the backlash, and I could drink the stuff. Honey is good when you cook with it. And the pear thing, that was a lame New Year’s resolution I make up as a teenager. Blue cheese is a super ingredient for contrasting with different textures and tastes, which this recipe does delightfully.

Let’s catalog the flavors and textures here. It has: crunchy, creamy, sour, sweet, bitter, smooth, gritty, peppery, syrupy, salty, pungent, fragrant, warm and cool. And a mix like that is RIGHT up my alley.

It was amazing and once I figure out how to effectively travel to Maine from Brooklyn with a one year old, I’m going straight to Mache because I’m sure they do it even better than I could.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 14, 2010 10:51 pm

    The pears thing sounds amazing! I have to try it. I've always questioned poached pear recipes for the reasons you listed, but now I want to try!

  2. May 15, 2013 2:16 pm

    Good post. I’m going through a few of these issues as well..

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