Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Edible Research

I apologize for the terrible photo that is out of focus. It was meant to just give my wife halfway across the state an idea about the size of the sausage while we were frantically searching for sausages to fit our needs. But let me take a step back first.

As you may recall, my wife and I are part of a gourmet group that hosts one meal a year for four other couples. Our next turn wouldn't occur until late spring or early summer of next year, but the wife of one of the couples of our group is having some medical issues and wasn't up for hosting the next gourmet dinner. My wife, volunteered to swap with her about a week and a half before the event. Last time we spent months getting ready and we only had ten days this time around.

After our last time hosting, we were tossing around themes and came across having a British or UK themed party. The problem was coming up with UK themed foods that were identifiable to our guests that we could serve in a gourmet style. Somehow for the main dish, probably due to lack of time, we settled on trying to elevate bangers and mash as the main course. This past week, we have experimented with the mash (i.e. mashed potates) and have a great recipe worked out but we've been struggling with the bangers (i.e. sausages). Most of the sausages here in America are what I would call link sized and normally served with breakfasts, too small for the star of a entree. The bigger cased sausages like what is shown above, thus far have been more the consistency and taste of a hotdog and not a proper sausage. So with two days left before we serve it, my wife headed to the urban jungle to see what she could find while I exhausted local possibilities and we reviewed and sent pictures of our finds via our smart phones 100+ miles apart. The sausage above was a cooked one from a BBQ joint but was also disappointingly hotdog like in taste and consistency though the sauce (which we can't use for our meal) was tasty. As I write this, a favorite sandwich deli shop in the urban jungle that I used to pick up awesome subs time to time while my wife was in residency has something that will work according to my wife. I certainly hope so because the clock is really ticking.

This time around, we are just providing the house and the entree which is bangers and mash with peas and a lattice tower made out of puff pastry to elevate the plating. The other four couples will provide the rest of the meal. Tentatively they are planning for the arrival appetizers to be some smoked salmon and crackers. The first course will be a Scotch eggs. Next will be a light version of tikka massala severed with naan. Dessert will be spotted dick, which I have never had before. Starter drinks are going to be a selection of UK beer and vodka martinis, shaken not stirred of course. I couldn't find in UK based wines so I just got some American versions for the main meal. It should be fun but right now after eating perhaps my 12th sausage in about five days, including three times with mash and onion gravy, I'm sausaged out.


Kelly said...

I can think of worse things to be than "sausaged out". Nothing like good sausage, especially if it involves pork (my favorite meat).

Your meal sounds terrific and I hope we'll get some photos of the food this time. Scotch eggs always look tricky to make, but then I'm not terribly skilled in the kitchen. I've never tasted one, either. (nor spotted dick, though I've heard of it)

Ed said...

Kelly - I was able to get some pictures but not of everything. More of that in my next post. At the end of the day, we ended up buying Johnsonville mild italian sausages in their shrink wrapped yellow styrofoam packages because they had the best flavor. All the others we bought and ruled out are now frozen for a winter day when we feel more like eating sausage again!

The person making the scotch eggs overcooked them but they tasted good anyway. The spotted dick was excellent but I didn't get a picture of that since it was served by the couple that brought it.

Bob said...

We always do an international Christmas Eve and last year was U.K.! If I had had a little notice I could have sent you some recipes. I'm going blank on what we had other than the British ales we started with and a dessert called "Eaton Mess." You can tell my favorite parts! I know it will be great and I look forward to photos!