Monday, March 05, 2012

Sat Date Night: The Big Easy (on a Sunday)

A fine fish dish from the Commander's Kitchen
It's only appropriate that I would be behind to catch up on some blog posts that I wanted to complete, from back over the last 3 weeks.  It starts with our Saturday date night end of February, which got pushed to a Sunday afternoon due to our general laziness over the weekend.  It just so happened that my wife returned home from New Orleans for the last time (perhaps not, I find out later?) this year, and we decided to celebrate by breaking out a book that I acquired along the way from my ever-constant moving in the early 2000's.  It was a book of recipes from the Commander's Palace restaurant, a veritable NOLA institution that is well-regarded for sumptuous service and cuisine, arguably some of the best of both in the US today.  Lofty statements, to be sure, but it turned out to be fairly true from our first-hand encounter with the place when I joined Wendy down to NOLA a few weeks back.

So here we were on a Sunday afternoon, a work colleague over grinding on proposals, and myself manning the kitchen to turn out the sorts of decadent dishes that Commander's Palace is known for.  It started with a tomato and onion salad, inspired by the unseasonably warm weather that was reminding us that summer was just around the corner.  It finished with the chardonnay-soaked monkfish, smothered with crabmeat and spinach; needless to say, it was as good as pictured, especially accompanied with the decent Grgich Hills Chardonnay that made up some of the base of cooking wine that drew out the flavors of the dish.

As I catch up and run along for today, I look back and smile, a little piece of NOLA to remind us that Carnival was not so long ago and the good cheer and relaxation of summer was not too far off.


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