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Two oh oh nine - Cooking with Sean
January 31st, 2010
06:19 pm
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Two oh oh nine

A belated best-of list:

Braised lamb shank wrapped in puff pastry at Txori: It's hard to fault rich, flavorful lamb packaged in a way to emphasize both of those traits.

Rillettes at Cafe Presse: I don't know why it took me so long. It's spreadable meat like paté, but with a much more interesting texture. Given that spreadable meat is already a culinary wonder, anything that improves upon that should be held in even higher esteem (the funny part is that I think rillettes actually predates smoother paté.

Ham steak at Spring Hill: The most decadent pork chop there ever was. To make a good thing even better, it was served with the ideal sides: polenta and braised greens.

Goat cheese and caramelized onion sandwich at Olive & Gourmando in Montreal: This was an excellent sandwich in its own right, and it became an all-time highlight thanks to the homemade ketchup served with it.

Tapas at Masa in Boston: My last meal in Boston was a plate with ten different Southwestern tapas. The best were a bacon-wrapped date and an arepa with chicharron.

Baguette with blue brie, prosciutto, and sliced pear at Finch's in Vancouver: Everything I ate in Vancouver was great, but this meal was probably my favorite. It's like somebody said, "what are the three best things to put on a baguette?" and proceeded to figure out the correct answer.

Lechon at Va de Vi in Walnut Creek: Perhaps the best pork belly dish I've ever eaten - crispy pork belly served atop rice like nigiri and dressed with a sweet chile sauce.

Lamb: First I roasted a lamb shank. Then I braised a lamb shoulder in white wine for Easter supper. Then I started buying shoulder arm chops and covering them in chimichurri. At one point, I even made lamb neck stew. My new favorite meat.

Parsnip puree: If Hegel is right, parsnip puree is the synthesis of mashed potatoes and candy. In a good way.

Cider and ESB: A pub in Halifax really did this, and it was even better than it sounds. The best part is that they gave me a whole imperial pint of the stuff. People in Halifax really know how to drink.

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