Bookies Become Foodies: Nowhere But Home by Liza Palmer
May 11, 2015
I am so excited to be with you all today for Bookies Become Foodies Week on A Flurry of Ponderings! What is better than talking books? What is better than talking food? Talking food and books together! I had a great time getting ready for this post – reading food-related fiction, contemplating recipes for this post, deciding what would be the most interesting for you, the reader. It wasn’t until I read Nowhere But Home by Liza Palmer that inspiration struck. In the novel, the main character Queenie lands a job making last meals for prisoners about to be executed. As I read the book, I began to contemplate what I would want for a last meal if I knew it was going to be my last meal. I pushed that idea to the side initially thinking it was a little grim, but then Palmer herself selected a last meal in an author interview at the end of the book. Idea for post – check!
For those of you who don’t know me, I LOVE eating out and trying new restaurants. For my birthday, I always like to pick some place new and special. As much as I love some of the meals my mom or dad made while I was growing up, I think my last meal would have to be a combination of some of my favorite meals from restaurants over the years (and lo and behold I was able to find recipes online for most of my favorite things). Without further ado, here is my ultimate meal:
THE MAIN COURSE
Coffee and Cocoa Rubbed Filet from Smith and Wollensky
Smith and Wollensky was my new and special restaurant for my birthday last year. Fortunately, I have an August birthday, which means good weather, and we were lucky enough to sit outside on their patio overlooking the Chicago River. I often order a good steak on my birthday, and last year I went with a filet trio. When I tried my first bite of the coffee and cocoa filet, I was in foodie heaven. OMG the ancho chile butter is amazing! I personally ordered it without the angry onions, but I’m sure it would be good with them as well if that is your preference. Now you can make this delight in your own home following the recipe below taken directly from the Smith and Wollensky website:
1. Combine all ingredients & store in a sealed container.
Ancho Chile Butter
2 lb. Butter, softened
3 oz. Ancho Pepper; hydrated, seeded, stems removed
3 oz. Roasted garlic cloves
½ oz. Cilantro, chopped
1 oz. Scallion, chopped
¼ cup Lime zest
1 Tbsp Lime juice
1 oz. Kosher salt
1. Purée the garlic and ancho chiles.
2. Add all ingredients to softened butter, mix well.
3. Roll in plastic wrap and freeze.
4. Slice in 1 oz. rounds.
1 cup Wondra® flour
1 cup All purpose flour
2 tsp Cayenne pepper
2 Tbsp Chili powder
2 Tbsp Kosher salt
1 lb. White Spanish onions, sliced very thin
1. Combine all of the dry ingredients, mix well.
2. Toss the onions in the dry mix until well coated, shake off excess mix.
3. Fry in hot oil in small batches, drain on paper towels.
Coffee & Cocoa Filet
1 ea 14 oz. Filet
1 oz. Coffee rub sauce
2 oz. Ancho chile butter
1 oz. Angry onions
1. Season the filet on all sides generously with the coffee rub and broil to desired temperature.
2. Top the filet with 2 (1-oz.) rounds of the ancho chile butter and flash under the broiler to melt.
3. Garnish with 1 oz. of angry onions and chopped parsley.
Mac and Cheese from Weber Grill
I couldn’t track down the exact recipe for you guys on this one, but oh how I love mac and cheese, and this is the best I have had at any restaurant in recent years. Maybe you can take out this part of your meal since you will be so busy cooking other parts :).
Legendary Hot Chocolate Cake from Morton’s Steak House
Although Morton’s isn’t my favorite steak place, and I haven’t been there in quite a while, they have one of my favorite desserts of all time. It may be tricky to make this recipe from food.com, but you can thank me later once you taste it :).
1 1⁄2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature (plus more for the souffle cups)
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate or 12 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
8 large egg yolks, plus
7 large eggs
1 1⁄2 cups confectioners’ sugar
3⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
18 fresh raspberries
6 scoops vanilla ice cream
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Generously butter the six 6-inch souffle cups and sprinkle each with granulated sugar.
- Tap out the excess sugar.
- In the top of a double boiler set over barely simmering water, melt the butter and chocolate together.
- Remove the top of the double boiler pan from the heat.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and set on low speed, beat the egg yolks and eggs for about 2 minutes, or until light and smooth.
- With the mixer running, pour the melted chocolate into the bowl and mix for about 2 minutes longer.
- Put the confectioner’s sugar and flour in a fine-mesh sieve and sprinkle it into the chocolate mixture.
- With the mixer on medium speed, beat for 30 seconds, or until well mixed.
- Pour the batter into the prepared souffle cups, leaving about 1/4 inch of space below the rim.
- Set the souffle cups on a baking sheet and back for 18 to 20 minutes, or until puffed and about 1 inch higher than the rim.
- The centers will be soft but not sticky.
- Remove the cakes from the oven and immediately invert each onto a serving plate.
- Remove the cup and garnish each plate with three raspberries and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
If you haven’t treated yourself to the decadence of this red wine yet, then you must. Yes, it is on the pricier side for wine, but you will not regret it! It is perfect with the steak above.
What would your last meal include? What do you think of the items chosen above?
Thanks for having me on your blog today, Missie! It’s been fun seeing what other people have posted all week long!