Monday, June 20, 2011

Day 167: Praise the Braise

Obviously, this picture is not of anything braised. It's my pistachio creme brulee, which I had after I had my very first braised lamb shank. By the time I remembered to photograph the lamb, it was pretty much demolished, and I was more concerned with eating than with taking pictures.

I had this braised lamb shank at Tony's, a restaurant in the Magic Kingdom. It was not one of the dishes the waiter recommended, but I've learned over time that waiters often recommend things simply because they have been told by the chef to do so--maybe they have a lot more steaks than lamb shanks or something. Also, the waiter doesn't necessarily have the same preferences that I do. Also, I usually have my heart set on something long before the waiter comes over to give us his spiel.

I definitely think I made the right choice with my order. Ian ordered the steak, which the waiter recommended, and was underwhelmed. I ordered the lamb shank and was in meat and polenta heaven. Braising really is just a wonderful cooking method. I've seen so many cooking shows where the main dish is braised, but I've rarely attempted a braise myself, and when I did, I chose too lean a meat and let it cook too long, thus creating a little pork knot instead of a lovely braised pork chop. But having tasted the potential brilliance of the braise, I'm not going to give up on it.

For dessert, I had another flavor revelation, and again my husband was disappointed. He ordered his standard tiramisu, which he said was okay but not great. I ordered the pistachio creme brulee (I am a creme brulee addict). To be honest, the brulee itself was good but not super amazing. What was super amazing was the candied pistachios that came on the side (they're kind of hidden in that little tuile cup in the photo. I'm going to have to try this at home. Pistachios have quickly become my favorite nut, and I'm excited to try them as many ways as possible.

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