What does one do on a cold weekend night? Eat.
This past Friday, I gathered together with my good friends Chloe and Bauer for dinner. Before our dinner, we sat down to a bit of wine and cheese. I managed to get my hands on a bit of the Persillé du Beaujolais blue cheese that Whole Foods is selling to pair with the new Beaujolais Nouveau. I had one more bottle of the dreaded stuff, so we opened it to see how the cheese might enhance this wine. I also happen to have found a bottle of the 2005 Beaujolais Nouveau. So, we opened that up too.
First, the 2006 Beaujolais was every bit as distasteful to me as the first time I tried it (posted here two weeks ago). The 2005, however, really stunned us. I really liked it – it had a more mature flavor and was a lot more round and balanced than I had expected. I personally loved the way the wine paired with the cheese; the creaminess of the blue cheese helped pull down some of the high notes of the wine.
Chloe made a most excellent composed salad of mixed greens sprinkled with pine nuts and topped with a Port reduction dressing with dried cherries and sauteed shallot and a nugget of warmed Montrachet goat cheese.
Bauer made some excellent lump crab cakes. These beauties, unlike the mushy mayonnaise-y meatless rounds you find in restaurants these days for $20+, were all meat. Bauer added just bit of mayonnaise and chopped onions and a touch of cayenne that helped put a nice kick at the back-end of flavor. Lightly breaded, these cakes were pan-fried to golden perfection. Bauer served a nice Berringer Pinot Noir that paired very well. The Pinot Noir was a far cry from the astringent and immature Beaujolais that we had before dinner.
Dessert: I whisked together Christopher Elbow Chocolate’s “Spiced Hot Cocoa,” a mix of cocoa, sugar, cinnamon, ancho chile and vanilla. This is how chocolate should be consumed – spicy and warm – and velvety. We sipped demi-tasses of this creamy hot goodness into the wee hours of the night.
What a wonderful way to end a week. Thanks Chloe and Bauer! We’ll have to get together again soon!