By Iron Chef Leftovers
Well, the Mayans were wrong and what a better way to celebrate the fact than throwing a hedonistic feast in their honor. I will do this post in a couple of parts – this one with the menu, descriptions and any links to existing recipes that I used to make them (along with any tweaks) and a second set of posts with the remaining recipes (some of these are a pain to write out, so it will take a bit to get them out there). I really wanted to have fun with the meal, so I opted for simple preparations with fun plating and names. So, without further delay, I present to you “Meal of the Apocalypse”!
Cocktail: Heart of Darkness
I am pretty sure that I didn’t make this one up, but I have absolutely no idea where I would have come across it either. It is a champagne based cocktail, which are always delicious and refreshing and this takes about 1 minute to make.
Here is what I wrote about the drink on my menu:
The story Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad is the inspiration for one of my favorite movies, Apocalypse Now. It seemed appropriate to make a drink based on that, given the theme of the night.
Since I like you, I will give you the recipe here.
The drink is 1.5 oz. blood orange juice or soda, 4 oz. sparkling wine, 3 drops Scrappy’s Chocolate Bitters and a frozen strawberry, served in a wine glass.
I would recommend using a drier sparkling wine for this so that you don’t get overloaded with sweetness. I personally used Washington produced Treveri Pinot Gris sparkling wine in this version.
First Course: My Last Meal
Being Italian, it seemed logical to start off the meal with pasta. I did a meat ravioli with a taleggio, shallot and sous vide egg cream sauce and topped it with a sprinkle of guanciale, just because I could. It was decadent and over the top, but it pared nicely with the 2010 Wilridge Pinot Grigio, which has a bit of sharpness to it that cut the richness of the dish.
My notes on the dish:
One of the components of my last meal on earth, if I got to choose it, would be something that my dad made for me when I was growing up. This is my adult version of the meal that I enjoyed as a kid.
Second Course: The Mayan Slaughter
I wanted to make mole without making mole, so I basically took a bunch of the spices that are used in mole and made a spice rub for some pork tenderloins. Then to get the chocolate component of the dish, I made a chocolate gastrique as a side sauce that was meant to be eaten with the pork. I really felt like I nailed this one as the combination of the spices and the chocolate really reminded me of a mole, although a more complex one than you might expect since the fruit notes in the chocolate really came out. I served it with a toasted quinoa hash (quinoa, black beans, queso fresco) that I got the basic idea from Modernist Cuisine at Home. I pared this with a completely killer Argentinian Malbec from my cellar that a friend brought me back from Argentina – 2006 LaGarde Riserva Malbec.
There was one problem with calling this dish the Mayan Slaughter:
The Spanish brought pigs to the new world and they became a main protein of Mexican cooking well after the Mayans. A deconstructed mole sauce is a tribute to the Mayans, although the Mayans didn’t really invent it and quinoa is actually from South America. We will just ignore those little details.
Third Course: Side of the Road Salad
Just a simple salad of wild arugula, dandelion greens, truffle oil, 30 year old balsamic vinegar and alder smoked sea salt. I wanted to add some sun chokes to this, but my attempt at making a sun choke crouton didn’t work. I served this with a 2009 NHV Rose which wasn’t a fan favorite by itself, but worked well with the salad.
No picture of this since: A) salads are boring and B) I forgot to take a picture of it before I started eating.
My story about the salad:
You could, in theory, survive in Seattle eating nothing but foraged food (there are people who do this willingly), if you know where to look. This just proves that you can do it and still eat well.
Fourth Course: Raid the Emergency Supplies
This was one that I went really creative with the presentation. What better to celebrate the world not ending then with eating your stockpiles of emergency supplies? I made my Belgian Beef Carbonnade recipe, topped it with a potato slice and served it in a tin can. Of course, since I went with the really classy presentation in a can, I had to serve a great bottle of wine, in this case the 2001 Conti Sertoli Sforsato in a mason jar.
Here are my thoughts on this:
You should have a stockpile of emergency supplies including canned goods in the event of a natural disaster. If Dinty Moore beef stew tasted this good, I probably would be eating it every night. When serving stellar food in a can, it is only appropriate to serve a killer wine in a mason jar, just to keep it classy.
Dessert: Last in Line for the Human Sacrifice
I really needed to have a human sacrifice as part of this meal; it just seemed fitting and, after much debate, decided that it would be at the end of the meal. So how do you have a human sacrifice without killing an actual human? Well, you first take an altar made out of chocolate pudding. You then take a human made of a sugar cookie and place him on the altar. Then you take some raspberry blood and dot that on the plate. Then you take a spoon and kill your cookie man and enjoy. Just for the hell of it, you pair this with a Maison de Pagett Pillow Talk Vanilla Port. Human sacrifice has never been as fun or delicious as this one.
The gory details:
A line from a George Carlin bit about being lost. No proper post-apocalyptic meal would be complete without a sacrifice at the end. There was also much debate among my friends about where in the meal the sacrifice belonged. We will try it here.
In case you were wondering, here is the actual Carlin bit.