Ten points for whomever can identify the title quote.
I went to Carroll Gardens last night to have someone cook for me, a nice change of pace. I had plans to hit up Spicy and Tasty in Flushing but they fell through. Getting people to commit to Flushing is really hard, let me tell you.
First, I ended up at the apartment of a friend of a friend of a friend. Apartment resident baked fresh chocolate chip cookies. I am a complete and total sucker for chocolate chip cookies. Baker in question said the reason his cookies were so good was because he dissolved his baking soda in hot water beforehand. Maybe that's true, or maybe it was the butter and sugar and chocolate chips. Either way, I don't care. I had two before dinner. Growing up, that would have scored me a night without television.
Next, I allowed my friend to cook for me while I drank Gigondas with his wife. He made French onion soup topped with stale bread and Gruyere in ramekins browned under the broiler, the ultimate comfort food. I guess he had wasted an afternoon making a homemade veal stock, which he swore to me he would never do again; too much time for too little reward. The soup was rich and meaty but I'm not sure I wouldn't have been just as satisfied with a store-bought beef stock base. I'm just saying.
After the soup, ricotta meatballs braised in milk. I'm not sure what meat he used. Probably veal. He also chopped up some cornichon and threw it in there for some texture. Meatballs were silky, not at all overdone. Very delicious.
And finally, a heaping portion of Alsacian choucroute: sausage, sauerkraut, ham hock. It came served with a whole grain mustard and a spicy yellow mustard. Also very delicious, but nothing to scoff at after the soup and meatballs. I'm sure I left Brooklyn a little heavier. You can't win them all.
We skipped dessert. The cookies had done the trick. Maybe next week he'll make me something else. It's nice having friends who cook.