It's 10pm July 22 2009, where am I? Trying to find a kidney that's where I am! That sounds awfully creepy right? Well rest assured, this is cow kidney I'm talking about here. And where do you suppose I should find this item at such and hour? Walmart of course!
I awoke the next morning (today) to "D" standing over me with a plate of french toast with maple, strawberries, and a nice big glass of OJ, I do so like him very much sometimes! As he was walking out the bedroom door I sat up and promptly inquired: "How brave are you?", to which he replied, "Not very, why?". A coy smile spread across my face as I announced, "I'm cooking tonight!". His only response to this revelation was an "Oh no", and he left for work.
It's 4:30 in the afternoon, "D" should be home around six, time to begin peeling potatoes for the Gratin de Pommes de Terre a la Dauphinoise (basically potatoes with cheese, or scalloped potatoes as "D" pointed out). I loathe peeling potatoes, they always trigger my eczema, why is this??? Now, the recipe tells me that I'm to thinly slice the potatoes, I'm awful at anything that requires me to handle a knife (or any sharp pointy object really, I don't see me sword fighting anytime soon). It, of course, has to be done, MUST be done, so , I do it. Guess that wasn't too bad and the good news is, that was the worse part! The oven is warm, I butter a dish, rub it with the cut side of a garlic clove, and add the "thinly sliced" potatoes with some half and half, salt, pepper, and nutmeg, top with gruyere. I even manage to succeed in NOT over-cheesing (a very difficult task for this cheesehead)! In the oven for 40 minutes. And it was pretty darn good in the end. Definately doing that again!
On to the dish I've been both dreading and anticipating all day: Rognons de Veau en Casserole (sauted beef kidney's in a butter/mustard sauce). The slicing and dicing of the kidney's was very stressful for me. I've not had experience in this before, and it makes me very uneasy. But I'm committed. As I take it out of it's package I soon realize that in the center of the organ there's all this white matter with what looks to me like valves. I don't know why I wasn't, but I was certainly not prepared for THAT! I don't know how I'm supposed to cut around that, or if I am. I choose to do my best, who cares if I mangle it (as I'm sure I did), it's a $3 cut! Like the potatoes, the slicing was the worse part and I'm quite adept at going into auto-pilot for uncomfortable situations. I place half a stick of butter into my copper bottomed pan and let that melt. Too hot! Butter should not brown, well, it's brown folks! Carry on then. Add kidney's and let brown "till stiff but not hard" (I'm sure there's a dirty joke in there somewhere!). This takes about 8 minutes. Then remove from pan, and saute shallots in the butter/kidney juices and add lemon juice and vermouth. After the liquid has boiled off for a while remove from heat. Stir in the already prepared butter with mustard, add kidney's and toss. Voila! Dinner is served . . . and "D" is home.
The results? The potato dish, as already mentioned, was AWE~some! "D" very cautiously tried one piece of kidney, and then another, and then served himself a portion. He insisted I had a courtesy nibble of my own dish. All things considering, I was not repulsed! "D" thought is was, "OK, different, but tasted OK, kinda weird . . . ". Shortly after the table was cleared, I caught "D" making himself a PB sammy, my guess is that he was not entirely satisfied. LOL D'ah well!