Wednesday, June 2, 2010

tres leches

This post has very little to do with tres leches, but it kinda all stems from a really hysterical story that I feel I really need to share with you.

We went to dinner on Saturday night at Animal restaurant in Los Angeles.  This was one of those restaurants that was featured on Food Network because some celebrity chef (Duff Goldman, Ace of Cakes) decided that something at the restaurant (bacon chocolate crunch bar) was the "best thing he ever ate (with bacon).  Of course, we had to try this bacon chocolate crunchy's the best!  So off we went to animal for dinner and dessert. 

Dinners out these days usually involves sharing lots of small plates.  We had grilled spanick mackerel with fava bean salad and bagna cauda (really yummy); rabbit loin with country ham, hericot vert, and spetzel (holy cow amazing yum...spetzel is my new favorite food); duck confit with apricot, marcona almonds (which are seriously far superior to any other almond), dates, and arugula (also yummy), lamb meatballs (super moist but not spectacular) with gold rice, green garbanzos, and creme fraiche (also holy cow amazing yum...hold the meatballs); foie gras (cause we don't go anywhere without trying the foie) with biscuit, maple sausage gravy (pretty good, quite heavy); and quail fry with grits, chard, slab bacon, and maple jus (fantastically yummy, especially the grits which are my other favorite food and had an amazingly delicious smoky flavor that was certainly artificial but made me jump and squeal a bit with joy when I tasted it).  All of it was delicious and I apologize for not having any photographs.  I left my camera at home since I'm still too shy to take pictures at restaurants.  I did notice at least 3 other people at the restaurant photographing their food, though.  Oh well. Use your imagination.  We lack imagination these days.

Anyways, dessert obviously needed to involve the chocolate bacon crunchy thingy, but gosh I'd just had bacon and wanted something sweet in between so as not to overwhelm my mouth with bacon.  The chef-wanna-be boy suggested that we get the tres leches with dulce de leche.  I was slightly surprised when he suggested that because he's never mentioned a liking for tres leches cake.  When we got our tres leches, we took a few bites, went to heaven (it was that good), and then he said "I was kinda expecting cheese, but this is amazing."  Baaaahahaha! He apparently did not know, when he ordered, that tres leches cake is a hugely famous and delicious cake, not to be confused with triple cream cheese that we are also obsessed with quite fond of.  I tease him because he's not that great with culinary vocabulary and he often mixes up his words.  I wish I could think of another example right now, but maybe another time.  Oh and by the way, the chocolate bacon crunchy thing was not the best thing I ever ate with bacon....DUFF. 

Anyway...what sparked his interest in the tres leches dessert was actually the dulce de leche part.  If you recall, we ate at his restaurant awhile ago, and they served us cheese with dulce de leche.  He has apparently since developed a bit of a fascination/obsession with dulce de leche.  Following our trip to Animal, he proclaimed that he will be making some dulce de leche, but savory, and serving it with scallops.  I did tell him that dulce means sweet, but he didn't care.  He made it happen.

Just to experiment, he took a can of sweetened condensed milk (typically used do make dulce de leche), and a can of evaporated milk (not really used to make dulce de leche...he thinks outside the box), put them unopened in a giant pot of boiling water, and let them sit there while he waxed his car and did some other stuff (3ish hours). 

The sweetened condensed milk did exactly what we expected, and gave us a most delicious dulce de leche.  The evaporated milk was really interesting, though.  It had a deep caramel flavor, but it wasn't sweet at all.  And it really didn't thicken as we expected it would, so it was pretty runny.  He tried to reduce it down to thicken it, but the pot boiled over.  Then he tried to whip it thicker, and he ended up with a foam.  "Oh my gosh you made a foam!"  I proclaimed, and reminded him that we always get foam on our food at fancy restaurants.

So now that we have dulce de leche and not-so-dulche de leche, the obvious thing to do is cook up some scallops. And wild mushrooms.  Right?  Right.

And here we have it:

Seared Scallops with Wild Mushrooms and Dulce de Leche

PS.  We don't really recipe here...unless I'm baking, but even then I make stuff up.  SO I don't have a recipe for this, but that's kinda the point.  Experimenting in the kitchen is super fun and you get crazy weird delicious things that you never thought you'd dulce de leche and scallops!  But IF you leave me a comment requesting a recipe, I would be happy to write one up for you.  But it's going to cost you a comment.

1 comment:

  1. I've already forgotten how to pronounce "remoulade" ... come back to MD and bring the bf so he can cook while you teach me now to say all the wonderful things you ate in this post!