Saturday, 8 September 2012

57 kilometres

Saturday is a day for challenges and rewards. T will play golf with his friend, H. This leads H's girlfriend, A to challenge K to ride from Copenhagen to Elsinore on mountainbike (even if there are no mountains in Denmark). K will normally accept any challenge and this is no exception. And so it is. While the boys play golf, the girls ride from Copenhagen. For such an occasion we will look for wine that is a little out of the ordinary. As a reward, of course. However, the day begins somewhat chaotically for T who doesn't get all the sleep that he would have wanted. In fact it is not until hole 15 on the golf course that he starts to relax. Before that he has driven to Copenhagen and picked up K for shopping at Torvehallerne without being able to find a parking spot. K in the meantime has found some entrecôte steaks, a handsome filet of monkfish and various root crop. And so T drives back to Elsinore while K prepares for her bicycle ride.
When H & T finish another useless round of golf the girls are still 5 km away. That gives H&T 20 minutes to prepare some toasts of Il Fornaio's whole grain bread, open a bottle of 2008 Puligny-Montrachet from Joseph Drouhin and then arrange some pata negra on top of the toasted bread.
The girls arrive in high spirits and the starter and the first bottle of wine is soon consumed. After this, bathing starts. First K, then T and finally A. H doesn't want to, so that's too bad for A.

The first dish is baked monkfish and trumpet mushrooms on fried spinach and pine nuts.
The monkfisk is cut in portion sizes and baked in the oven at 200° C for about 10 min.
The carefully rinsed spinach is fried shortly in olive oil with a bit of shaved garlic and a squeeze of lemon
The trumpet mushrooms are given a similar treatment en another frying pan
Arranged on plates and finished with a few roasted pine nuts.

With a bottle of 2007 Corton-Charlemagne we’re off to a good start.....

Next are the beautifully marbled Entrecôtes. Just salted and fried 3 minutes on each side. They were selected as a companion to the next wines. Many rich wines with lots of body would do, but in this company we lean towards neuf du neuf. We find a bottle of Chateau Beaucastel 2009 and a bottle of Vieux Donjon 2009 both from Chateauneuf-du-Pape of course.
With the steaks we prepare a dish of roots crop that will be baked in the oven. In the dish we put beetroots (regular and candy), turnips and onions. We also have to add uncounted cloves of garlic with the skin on and herbs (the latter are massaged down into the bottom of the dish so they are not burned in the oven.) All baked for about 30-40 minutes.

It all come out very well and the wine is thus accompanied excellently. About the wine: The Vieux Donjon is delicious and already very drinkable. The Beaucastel (as some of you may recall) is not the first time we do away with a 2009. Once again, it is also excellent, a little more tight, and will keep well, if only we'll let it.

As you can imagine the 57 kilometers instills some appetite in the girls (and the boys know how to follow suit), so we need to have some cheese. We have some Danish dry cheeses (Høost and some others that we have forgotten about). It may just be an excuse to open another bottle of wine, which we do. This time a lovely/lowly Cote de Nuits Village, but from the excellent year 2005 and it tastes wonderful. K, who you you may recall has Beaucastel as one of her top-10 wines, seem to recall this latter one better the next day, whereas T does not recall much of anything.

In the end we have to eat some dessert. At this point it is kind of like a sprint. We have already put a bottle of Rayne-Vigneau Sauternes 2005 Premier Cru in the fridge and it cannot stay. But it is a race against time. H has dropped to the bed and is napping and anyone who knows T will be wondering how he is still up.

The dessert is baked plums with caramelized almonds and vanilla ice cream.
A couple of plums per person (Reine Claude) are cut in halves, stone removed and put in a baking pan with a bit of muscovado sugar and baked for about 10 minutes.
Sugar and butter are melted in a pan and when brown and bubbly almond splinters are put in.
Finally the (bought) vanilla ice cream is arranged on the side.
(Reminder: we need an ice cream machine) (and a bigger kitchen)

And it is another success, but it is also the end of the line for this evening and we are happy to send our guests to bed and hitting our own the moment their door closes.
In case you were wondering about the challenge and award thing... K was of course rewarded with some extraordinary wine (as were the entire company) this evening. T, who played some terrible golf was rewarded with an extraordinary hang-over. Both were equally just.

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