Saturday, October 25, 2008

Revisiting Louis'

This is what 35 minutes in a 200F toaster oven will do to rejuvenate day-old Louis' Lunch Cheese Works burger with grilled onion. Not bad looking. The toast crisped back up, added a sprinkling of sea salt and the burger was just fantastic. A lunch for a day at home recovering from the road trip.

The Morning After

After deciding that I was bored and didn't want to spend any more time (or money) on the road anymore, I drove home and slept in my own bed. Today, I'm feeling a bit under the weather because of some poor choices made yesterday that exposed me to a friend with a cold (dumb) and now I'm paying for it.

Being home means that it's also time to enjoy some of the bounty of my travels. Sleeping nicely in the refrigerator are my smoked pork loin, duck confit, duck fat and assorted cheeses from Montreal, a selection of baked goodies from Gesine in Vermont, and a selection of pizza slices and cheese works from Modern, Pepe's and Louis' in New Haven.

Just before I left New Haven, I stopped at Libby's next to Frank Pepe's for a pound of assorted Italian cookies. Add them to some of Gesine's macaroons and I've got a feast fit for coffee.

So this is all about the bounty and it's time to get to work. I pull out the leftover mac n cheese with shrimp and bacon from Hattie's and pile them into one of the mini gratin pans I picked up yesterday at the Le Creuset outlet, season with salt and pepper, cover with shredded sharp cheddar cheese and toss it under the broiler for ten minutes.

Meanwhile, I've got the French press out making me a pot of Caffe Artigiano's Ethiopia Biloya Natural, roasted by Vancouver's 49th Parallel Roasters and a gift from newly re-crowned Canadian Barista Champion Sammy Piccolo.

Bringing it all together is a freshly baked French roll with unsalted butter from Trickling Springs Creamery and the aforementioned selection of Italian cookies and macaroons. The Biloya is beautiful. It's light. It's sweet. It's absolutely a dream to drink. I love this coffee and I wish I had more. In fact, it's one of the few coffees that I can drink a full 16z - and that's saying a lot.

The cookies and macaroons pair brilliantly with the Biloya and I fear the day that I will run out (probably tomorrow). And I'm happy to report that after five days in a cooler, the mac n cheese is just lovely. With the extra seasoning, it's perfect. Just the way mac n cheese ought to be in my world: a pop then an explosion of flavor just dancing in the mouth.

In fact, that's how this whole meal has been: dancing in my mouth. A veritable mouth party of flavors. It's what I hope for in a meal and it's the way I hope that all people experience their meals. It's what makes life worth living.

And a good morning to you all.