This was a stellar Christmas, in that regard. I stayed home, hung out with two of my best freinds, and saw my father. It was like I was the Christ-child and they were the Three Kings, bringing me gifts of humor, wisdom, and books. Marisa, who, no offense, is always good for a laugh, came by and we watched some older episodes of Top Chef. I made her an omelette, showcasing the absurdly fast and delicious technique that Julia demonstrates below (thanks Ruby for telling me about this!). Marisa had left some fakin' bacon in my freezer, which finally got used, relinquishing space that will be better used taken up by real meat. I think I've gotten her hooked on Top Chef.
Nearly right after she split, the Professor came by, and we watched more Top Chef! We also drank some beers. As always, a visit from the Professor is full of great discussion. My father came by as I was making dinner for myself, and hung out with the Professor a bit. We switched gears, and watched some Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares -- the British version with all the f-bombs! -- as the Professor drifted away into the ether, in search of neck-bearded Kiwi's and former roommates. Pops brought me two books, a massive tome of the works of Gibran, and a cookbook from Jamie Oliver, whom I'd never heard of, as well as this tiny camera tri-pod that I've been trying to hustle off of him since June. The book, Jamie at Home: Cook Your Way to the Good Life, is actually pretty informative, and the recipes are broken up into seasons, based on what each yields in his home garden. After a stretch of recipes, on say, tomatoes, he describes how he grows his tomatoes, which varieties, and where to order them. I like that.
For dinner, I had a Niman Lamb Shank, that was braised for most of the day, and was finished with a glaze made from a reduction of the braising liquid and honey. I'm not much of a chard eater, but I figured I should give it a chance (Hey, it was Christmas!). I picked some chard, and kale, which got blanched and sauteèd lightly in duck fat. I did the same thing to the fingerlings. Duck fat and potatoes are friends. I hope we continue to carry these lamb shanks, because they are delicious, and I'd like to do more with them. I wasn't the only one eating these shanks that night, although, maybe the only one alone. This was a pretty nice meal to eat in front of people who had already eaten, as well. Lamb shanks just look primal, and have that handy bone grip.
So, this is Christmas, and a happy New Year.