07.07.2001 (Saturday), 01:32 AM

Butter = Love

My feet hurt and there's some Sobe in the fridge. maybe I'll put on that Groundhogs CD...nah, the silence is golden...

Another successful Summer party has come and gone. Since Jan was away, I was worried about Albert and Gypsy having enough play and potty time. My father watered them about 2 pm so I was not so manic about it.

I arrived at Tom's at around 10 am and John was already there. The great thing about cooking with Tom is that I never feel out of place even when relegated to pitting olives. The Greek salad they went into became my project after John did most of the chopping so that was pretty neat. I suck at making vinaigrettes by sight but make out ok with the olive oil/lemon juice/sumac dressing Tom wanted. Sumac adds a ton of lemon-like flavor so I added a bunch.

We also did Buffalo Wings deep-fried style (the correct way to do them) and so since I have a bunch of experience with them, I assisted in every aspect. Tom coats them lightly in flour (I don't) and adds a touch of barbecue sauce to the sauce (I add Tapatio hot sauce) so it was a little different. We heated a ton of oil in his 5 gallon stock pot and started the grisly task of deep frying. We both have a fear of frying as it's supposed to be bad for you but if you took two potatoes and cut and fried one at a proper temperature (325°) it would have less calories if you baked the other and put a teaspoon of butter on it. Go figure.

Tom does his sauce in a beurre blanc style in that he heats the sauce ingredients first, kills the heat then stirs in butter. We heated, went off heat then added a small handful from a one pound block of butter. And then another handful. Then another. Ok, we only had a handful left so we added that too. There was a lot of love in that sauce. I added Tapatio when Tom said, "hmmm, not tangy enough". Tapatio took care of that. The wings turned out good but we spent the better part of two hours cooking three batches.

We also served smoked ribs, brisket and lamb. Tom spilled very hot basting sauce on his hand and down his leg. He wasn't burned badly but there was sauce all over. It must have been a weird tableau seeing me on my knees wiping sauce off his bare legs--kind of a kinky cook's ritual I guess. Once the ribs and brisket were done resting, I manned the knives and plated nearly four racks and two moderately huge brisket pieces on one of his new long white ceramic serving plates. To add insult to injury, as Howard, Tom and I were trying to decide which was the grain went on the brisket pieces, Tom and I got tangled up gesturing with hands and knives. I had the knife so guess who won? As Tom gestured with his hand, I moved the knife and the blade and his finger met. Ouch. It was a tiny bit more than a paper cut as I met him with the blade on an upstroke so it wasn't that bad. We both took blame but I felt pretty bad.

Dessert was amazing as well with a seven layer cake, chocolate mint tarts and zabaglione with berries.

I took a dip in Tom's pool with Kasumi, Carol and Meriko and the kids and then blasted home to feed the dogs then returned for more food and to hang out a while. Tom's parties are the best and I am honored to be a sous-chef for him. I had better stop before I get too maudlin...

Tom and Carol are two of our best friends and we don't hang out quite enough although we have been spending Saturday night dinners every month or so. The next party is in December and that is my absolute favorite. My chef whites should be broken in by then...some day I'll have to write about the December 2000 party but right now, I'm ready to collapse.

Posted by wjc