Dave got the cooking bug yesterday. I love when that happens. 🙂
Since he rarely has time to cook during the week (he usually works 12-16 hour days), he had an ambitious menu: roasted duck, French onion soup in homemade bread bowls, and potato chips fried in duck fat.
The duck took a four hour long trip in the oven at 300 degrees. Dave crosshatched it and turned it every hour to ensure even cooking.
He covered the duck with a glaze made from honey, molasses, soy sauce, and Sriracha.
Before he cooked the duck to its finality, the bread bowls got a turn in the oven.
I distinctly remember the first bread bowl I ever ate. I was 20 and had driven down to Illinois to meet Dave’s parents for the first time. For dinner, Dave’s dad Barry served homemade split pea soup in breadbowls, and I knew this was the vehicle meant to deliver all soups. Ohsogood.
We portioned each breadbowl out to 8 oz which turned out to be the perfect size.
Meanwhile, the onions were caramelizing away on the stove, half sweet, half yellow.
I could never get sick of French Onion soup. It is definitely one of my favorites. The aroma of caramelized onions almost makes up for the burn my eyes must endure.
At long last, dinner time rolled around at 9:00 pm, and (luckily) many of our friends showed up to help us indulge.
The duck was so tender, it practically melted with each bite. Such a perfect dinner to enjoy on the eve of Dave’s birth!
Dave and I were lame hosts–both of us fell asleep before our friends even left! Fortunately, they were nice enough to close up shop so we could get some rest to prepare for Dave’s parents visit today.
We had a lovely long visit with them, and Dave was elated at the gifts his parents brought.
Poor old soles.
He second gift was a Playstation 2. Dave has been a computer gamer as long as I’ve known him, but lately he’s been craving a bit of console gaming. I’m sure I will see my brother over here a lot more often now, as well…
At about 4:00pm, we headed out to one of our favorite restaurants for Dave’s birthday dinner: St. Brendan’s.
Since we’d each had a couple drinks at our apartment, we stuck to water at the restaurant and started off with Cabbage Rolls and Guinness Chicken. Dinner took quite awhile to come out due to a printer mishap, but it was worth the wait.
I ordered the walleye fillet served over potato cakes with vegetables on the side. The dish remained true to form with almost every St. Brendan’s main dish I have ever ordered: while the main entree (in this case, walleye) is cooked to perfection, the vegetables are always an afterthought and usually lacking flavor.
For a veggie lover like me, this makes me a bit sad. But everything else is usually so good that I forgive them/ The waiter offered us free desserts in return for the long wait, but we had birthday cake waiting at home, so he put the appetizers on the house instead.
We headed back to our apartment for a Dowe specialty cake–two layers of banana cake with a bottom layer of brownie covered in frosting.
Happy, Happy Birthday, Baby!