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Friday, September 2, 2011

A Devilish Dinner

champagne jelly avec champagne
TONIGHT, I decided to break open my Fauchon "gelée au champagne" which boasts "41 grams of champagne for 100 grams of final product." Seeing it at The Plaza Food Hall ($24.95) I knew I had to try some...

For several days it sat in my cupboard, untouched, until I could figure out what to do with it. I finally came up with the idea of (plain) mini bagels topped with cream cheese and champagne jelly. Of course, with the elevation of Fauchon gelée, I knew I couldn't use just any old bagels; I made a trip to Absolute Bagels for the best bagels (I know of) in N. Y. C. (David once made a trip home with a dozen Absolute bagels in his carry-on; by the time he arrived at the airport, he smelled of garlic)

Fauchon, Paris, "gelée au champagne"
On my way uptown, I also stopped at Heights Wine & Spirits for some choice bubbly. I did notice, per my repeated requests, that they stocked a full row of "The Old Man's Sparkle," currently, my favorite non-champagne sparkler. However, I decided

real champagne
instead that I must pair the champagne jelly with real champagne! I selected: Heidsieck & Co. Monopole "Blue Top" brut champagne. It was a nice brut with good flavor--worth its $32 price tag. 

I decided to top my mini bagels with some greens as well, in effort to balance the texture and flavor. At Westside Market, I was hoping to find some chervil, but could only find a small bunch of slightly-bruised watercress--it would have 

'haute comfort'
to do. Once home, I sliced three mini bagels in half; topped them with cream cheese, gelée and watercress; and popped open the bottle of Heidsieck & Co. "Monopole." 

I was surprised to find the champagne jelly didn't taste that much different than ordinary jelly and the watercress went by nearly unnoticed. I decided to grind some black peppercorns atop the minis as well...

this was my original plan, but I was afraid the black pepper might be a bit too much...

Disappointingly, as with the watercress, the freshly-ground pepper was lost among the other flavors as well... perhaps this was not my best culinary creation. (I never did say I was a cook!) But one thing that was not lost on this dinner, was the three tasty macarons I'd picked up at Silver Moon Bakery!

apricot, vanilla and pistachio macarons

The pistachio macaron was the first to be tasted and I never knew macarons paired so wonderfully with champagne! Next, I moved onto the apricot macaron which had a thin, jelly layer followed by the black vanilla macaron...

"black-and-white" macaron

When I bit into the vanilla macaron, I was surprised to find that it had a white center. It instantly reminded me of a black-and-white cookie, my favorite kind of cookie (the best ones in the city are at The Donut Pub, on 14th Street)... A satisfying end to this "devilish" dinner indeed!
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