FOOD AND ENTERTAINING
Living in Dallas, I have the opportunity to take advantage of the fabulous restaurant at the Ritz Carlton Hotel named Fearings. It is named for the one and only celebrity chef Dean Fearing.
I am quoting from an article about Dean that says it better than I ever could.
Not one for glorified or complicated menus, Dean is inspired by tastes that show off the flavorful best of every ingredient. Whether a dish blends sweet with savory ( a Fearing's specialty), the sizzling aroma of molasses-mopped Texas rib-eye cooked over live mesquite, the juciness of newly plucked Texas produce, or the ice cold zing of a Dean's Margarita, he delivers what he promises.
He is well known for his tortilla soup and I encourage you to check it out as you can find a video of him preparing it. It is the best tortilla soup ever.
The last time I ate there I had the tortilla soup and the Spicy Vegetable Jambalaya. Leave room for dessert, it is special. All in all it was a fabulous meal.
Try the restaurant, but if you cannot get there, here is his cookbook where you will find so many marvelous recipes.
Here is a recipe for ALIGOT... or we would call it French mashed potatoes with cheese. I make this often for my French dinner parties.
This dish is from the Aveyron region of France and is a common sight in their restaurants, not terribly far from Toulouse. It is very popular
Aligot was frequently prepared for the pilgrims on the way to Santiago de Compostela who stopped for a night in that region.
1 pound russet potatoes peeled and quaratered
1/4 pound cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 cup cream, heated
1/2 pound Gruyere cheese grated ( or other Swiss cheese)
Salt to taste
1. Simmer the potatoes in water until very tender, about 15-20 minutes Drain potatoes, and tip out any remaining water from the pot. Push the hot potatoes through a ricer back into the pot. Over low hear, use a heatproof spatula to move the potatoes around the pot for a minute so that any excess water can evaporate.
2. Add butter to the potates, half at a time, stirring until completely incorporated. Add hot cream, half at a time, stirring until incorporated. Add cheese a little bit at a time, stirring vigorously until all the cheese is evenly melted and the spoon makes cheesy strings as you pull it away from the potatoes. Taste and season with salt.