Friday, November 03, 2017

pics from before and after the meal

What follows are my own pics from when I was prepping the meal, and later, when we had cleaned our plates and begun to loll about in our respective food comas.

Lasagnas, fresh out of the oven:

A shot of the baguettes that would serve as "Italian" bread during the luncheon. That large bowl contains the garlic butter. The butter included a simple mixture of garlic powder, dried oregano, and dried parsley.

Below: panna cotta after a few hours in the fridge. I was deathly worried, at first, that I had put in too little gelatine because the panna cotta didn't seem to be setting: the middles of all the dessert cups were way too jiggly. I needn't have worried: by the time I packed the cups for transport, the custard had set fairly solidly. I should hope so: I used nine damn sheets of gelatine in 2.3 liters of liquid (2 liters of heavy cream plus 300 cc of whole milk). I'll have you know that I was anal retentive enough to measure out the liquid panna cotta into each cup by using my kitchen scale: 2.3 liters of liquid rendered exactly ten cups at 220 g each.

Panna cotta:

Some components for the caprese: tomatoes, balsamic, mozzarella, and pesto:

Below is our first aftermath picture: all the lasagnas were either eaten or packed up and taken home to feed girlfriends as a way to spread the gospel of my cooking.

Leftover salad, which I ended up eating as a sort of mercy killing:

For the dessert, I gave people the choice of smooth and chunky-style blueberry sauce. A surprising number of people chose chunky, as you see here:

A closeup of my own panna cotta, with nothing but smooth blueberry sauce (made with white wine and the Korean version of turbinado sugar; to achieve smoothness, I passed the sauce through a strainer):

Lastly, a hit of caprese:

The staffers all sang their praises of my food. Our one sweary Canadian staffer once again declared the meal "so fucking good," then said she had "no words" while she was nibbling daintily on her panna cotta. J, cited in an earlier post, called my food "expletive-worthy" again, although her heart seems to be set more on the green sauce I had made for the Tex-Mex meal we had done back in September. (All the same, she took the rest of my pesto home with her today.) Other staffers pretty much stopped doing any work because they had to concentrate on digesting. One coworker showed me his now-bulging belly, straining the buttons of his shirt; another coworker sagged in his chair and stared stupidly at the ceiling, utterly defeated by his meal but in a state of apophatic, post-prandial bliss.

I made this meal because I had wanted to get rid of the ton of spaghetti sauce I had cooked. I managed to distribute all of the sauce into the six lasagnas, but now, my problem is that I have too much damn cheese at home. Ah, well. Our office now has to think about celebrating two November birthdays plus American Thanksgiving, so I'm already looking ahead to the challenge of feeding ten or eleven people a decent, rib-sticking Thanksgiving repast.

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