Every year, I try to treat Rob to the birthday dinner of his dreams. Last year's was pretty good, but I think I beat it this year!
We started with the ubiquitous oyster, four of them actually, on a bed of coarse salt and red salt. This was paired with a Champagne (a real one), seen in the picture below.
I just have to say that I went to Liberty Wines on Granville Island and the woman who helped me was wonderful.
The oysters were followed by a wild mushroom and winter vegetable soup, modeled after one that I made last year; recipe found here. I paired this course with the Champagne as well.
Every year, Rob requests foie gras. This year, I poached pear in honey and balsamic, fanned and then broiled some of the pear and pureed the rest with the balsamic liquid. The foie itself went into a scary hot pan, 30 seconds a side. The smoke was incredible; I was coughing and choking as I tried to fan it away from the building smoke detector. I placed the seared foie on a piece of toasted brioche and served with rest of the sauce. Rob said it was the highlight of the meal.
With this course, I paired a Sauternes, a luscious sweet apricot/peachy wine. It worked so well with the richness of the meat and the sweet acidity of the sauce.
After all that decadence, I had to go for a light refreshing salad; shaved fennel, arugula and pine nuts. This worked with the Sauternes as well, accentuating the apricot side more.
The final savoury course was a lamb osso buco with polenta and glazed winter vegetables. It will be repeated in this house!
The most expensive wine of the night was the one paired with the lamb. But it was so perfect! It is called Brunello Di Montalcino. I suggest reading this interesting little tidbit about it. A wine I would not hesitate to recommend to anyone looking for something a little more special.
I cheated on desert and got a chocolate mousse cake from Urban Fare; I was too exhausted to cook anything alse.