Wai-Tung Gao: I don’t know, we should have moved you out.
Simon: I’ll survive.
Wai-Tung Gao: Not if Wei Wei keeps cooking
– from The Wedding Banquet
Buenos Aires – My computer is acting up, so apologies if my posts are a bit scattered over the next few days… we shall see where I get with Dell this time…
I was contacted a couple of months ago by a young bride-to-be. She and her fiancé had decided, kind of almost on a whim, to fly to Buenos Aires to have their wedding. They wanted something different, somewhere different, and in the process of researching places to eat while they were here, stumbled across my blog and then the restaurant… and asked if they could hold their family reception dinner after the ceremony here. It sounded like great fun to us, so we said yes. She’d also been enamored of the menu that we’d done for our “Louis II de Bourbon” dinner and wondered if we could repeat the meal. With minor exceptions, we did, so I’m not going to do a lot with recipes in this particular post as they’re all provided in the link above.
The one main exception was the first course, the soup. Finding pheasant at this time of year turned out to be difficult, so we talked and settled on a Garbure, a vegetable and bean soup from Gascony in the southwest. I lightened it up slightly from a traditional version, leaving out the potatoes and adding more vegetables in relation to the beans. It still comes out pretty hearty, and quite delicious! Step one was to soak some red beans, the only ones I found were adzukis, so I used those, overnight in water. These were then cooked with a mix of finely diced carrots, chopped leeks, and shredded white cabbage, along with fresh thyme and marjoram, and a nice dose of mild paprika. Simply cook until the beans and vegetables are nice and soft, season to taste, and serve.
The only other real change was to the Lamb Vatel – I used nice “hunks” of leg of lamb rather than the lamb’s tail in the braise, and, I removed them and coarsely pureed the braising liquid and reduced it to make more of a sauce. Pluses – more meat and easier to eat than the lamb’s tails, prettier with a sauce. Minuses – the tails give a somewhat richer, more unctuous consistency to the braise. Decisions, decisions…
And, we had one guest at the table who was vegetarian. So, for her Sole Marguery I used a couple of squares of very firm tofu, cooked exactly as the fish, and for the lamb I used some lightly seasoned tempeh and cooked a separate small batch of the lamb braise without the lamb of course, and then simmered the tempeh in the sauce when it was time to serve. And, of course, we left the lardons off her salad…
A good time had by all, lots of photos in the garden of the happy couple and the family – or, as Elliott Erwitt, a famous journalistic photographer, put it “Now very often events are set up for photographers… The weddings are orchestrated about the photographers taking the picture, because if it hasn’t been photographed it doesn’t really exist.”