Lesley here, with a report on the same dinner Susan made on the same night but with a different husband. Welcome to Valentine’s Day 2011, PART 2.
As I’ve previously mentioned, the Bruno household prides itself on going no extra miles. We didn’t have ramekins of the correct size, for example, so we made one giant pot pie instead of individual ones. We forgot to thaw the puff pastry (who saw that one coming?) and so devised a 100% ineffective method of sticking it in a freezer bag and running warm water over it. While this technically “thaws” the pastry, it ends up as one big brick of dough that doesn’t unfold, necessitating a heavy-handed roll out and an extra large glass of wine.
We skipped the salad and clementines because, frankly, three courses at 9:00 p.m. on a Monday is pushing it. (I don’t care if it was Valentine’s Day; if I’ve learned anything over the last seven years it’s don’t “create more dirty dishes than is necessary.” IF YOU CATCH MY DRIFT.) Our final flaw was to trim the pastry too liberally so that it sort of caved sadly into the filling rather than puffing prettily atop it, producing the worst looking thing ever. Shield your eyes!
But looks aren’t everything, people! We dug into this monstrosity with complete confidence in our ability to produce something vaguely edible, and it was delicious. A little salty, but Susan’s idea to just throw the mushroom/fontina side dish into the pie is a good one. Peas might have been good too, but when are peas not good? Never.
So, what is there to learn from this Valentine’s Day debacle?
- Pretty sure that thawing ahead is something we’ll all remember to do from now on.
- Also, don’t trim too much off the edges or else things that are supposed to puff simply will not.
- And MOST importantly: don’t be afraid to skip a few courses. Cooking, like love, is all about realizing one’s limits.