Thursday 19 July 2007


Especially for Sylvia P. I've included the image on the left of an egg dish (see comments after the Chocolate Souffle post...). Although I did find the idea of a souffle made in an egg-cup rather charming, in a sort of Lorna Wing or Alison Price kind of way......
In retrieving the image, I became slightly intrigued about the 'why' of an egg-dish, and made the foolish mistake of looking it up on Wikipedia. Bad idea! Forty minutes later I was absolutely none the wiser on the evolution of the egg-dish, but had collected loads of useless trivia on how to cook hundred-year-old eggs, as well - I'm not sure why - as a list of contemporary English words which were originally derived from Persian! What a waste of time! In fact, I suspect the origin of egg-dishes is nothing more complicated than the fact that they are the right shape and size for gently baking eggs over a slice of ham or a layer of tomatoes......Personally, I use them most often for making individual clafoutis. Definitely French in origin, and most often viewed in use in books by Raymond Blanc.

On an entirely different subject, in the plane yesterday I was reading a column in the paper by somebody called Xanthe Clay - not somebody I'd come across before, but I may be revealing my appalling ignorance in confessing as much. Ms Clay was revisiting that old chestnut of the appropriate wine to be used in cooking - with the basic approach being 'don't cook with anything you wouldn't be happy to drink yourself' - and unless you're planning on serving premier cru, then there's no more promising combination than to use the same wine in the food that you intend subsequently to serve with it. Thus far I was with her. We parted company at the point where she talked about using an entire bottle of Pinot Grigio in preparing some Ossobucci (far too much liquid, unless cooking for an entire regiment in one go), and at her statement that one should always serve the wine at dinner that has been brought along by the guests, I gave up on her entirely. Since (a) I don't broadcast the menu in advance, and so the choice of dinner-gift wine has been made entirely independently of the food to be served, and (b) unless doing something carefully planned like a vertical tasting of different wines which are specifically related in some way, then the idea of serving different bottles within the space of one course seems clumsy at best and certainly ill-advised. Maybe - unlike mine - Xanthe Clay's guests arrive each clutching no less then three bottles of the same vintage which case, I entirely understand - and they would be welcome here at any time!!

Tonight's dinner:

Sauteed Chicken Livers with a Lambs Lettuce Salad.

Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding (Welcome back to Blighty!)

Apricot and Marsala Posset


The Passionate Palate said...

Thank you for the much-needed post on the wine. I am glad I am not the only one that tries to educate people on the importance of food and wine pairing. I could not agree more about not serving wine brought by a guest if it does not go with the food. In our house we give as much thought to the wine we will serve as the food; it is a serious matter, even if it is dinner for one. The opposite is also true - when I bring wine to someone's house I over-emphasize that it is a gift for them to enjoy later so that they don't feel obligated to open it with dinner. (It doesn't always work!)

Pomiane said...

Well, just make sure you don't do what a dear friend of mine did the mistaken belief that the wine her hostess was serving was the bottle that she herself had brought, she began to apologise to the assembled party for the fact that it was so poor.....until frostily corrected that in fact HER bottle remained unopened and that the wine in question had actually been carefully selected by her hostess beforehand!