Not to mention an awesome set of plates!
So yeah. We went to Michigan for holidays, and spent several days alternately playing with tiny children, trying desperately to do work at coffeeshops (the one at which I wanted to work is closed! no!), having wine with relatives, and eating copious delicious food. We managed to get to Travelers Club, El Az, Frank's, and Jerusalem Garden, although once again China Gate thwarted our endeavors to eat sesame tofu and dryfried green beans by being closed for the entirety of the holiday season.
But on the last night of the base 10 number system decade, I really want to talk about christmas eve dinner: venison roulade.
Look at that beet-red meat! This is what happens when you have a brother-in-law who hunts. The chest freezer in their basement is full of hand-butchered local game: mostly deer and fish. On christmas eve we had a venison tenderloin, and not for the fifty bucks it would have cost in NYC, but free. You heard me.
This was optimal dinner.
Ok. John wanted to try the roulade he made me for birthday with a whole tenderloin; we were just lucky the tenderloin in question turned out to be so awesome.
According to Kevin, hunter of the deer, venison cooks faster than other meat since it's much leaner. It also smells very gamy while cooking, being game and all. So we changed things very slightly to accommodate said leanness, only searing the meat on all sides in the pan and not finishing in the oven. We used kale for the greens and gruyere for the cheese and white wine to deglaze, and it was perfect: seared on the outside, rare on the inside.
I had only just had venison for the first time the day before, in leftover stew, and while it was awesome there, it was exponentially more awesome in the roulade.
It was even better with the massive amounts of wine-deglazed grape tomatoes.
Meanwhile, for last dinner of the decade I'm having black bean and kale soup out of the freezer with penne, parsley, and hot sauce.