Last evening Diane fixed a cracker of a meal for me; it was a delayed birthday gift. She asked me what I would like and I said I would like an old-fashioned Sixtie’s meal. She made: a Wild Turkey Old Fashion to begin, a Cesar Salad, a Prawn Cocktail with her own sauce, Steak Diane with Scalloped Potatoes and Peach Cobbler for dessert!
Every dish was superb and together they took me back to those halcyon days. The only modification was the scalloped Potatoes: they were French Potatoes Dauphinoise which is the French version of the dish and as anybody can imagine they were delicious.
As is the American way, where we were in the 6os, Diane served the salad first. She made a Cesar Salad with her own dressing and her own croutons and it was superb.
The Prawn Cocktail made with those large succulent Western Australian prawns fresh from our local fishmonger with her sauce were outstanding.
The Steak Diane, as with Prawn Cocktail, has disappeared from restaurant menus and we, as patrons, are the poorer for it. Steak Diane is a simple (in the hands of someone as good as Di) meat dish with simple flavours but the result because it is flattened becomes fork tender (if you start with a tender cut) and a special main course. The scalloped potato’s are a special treat because, as with the entire meal, it is pretty caloric but the potato’s specifically were caloric.
For the wine on this special occasion, Di served an ’09 Laurelwood Cabernet Sauvignon from california’s Napa Valley: a wine that she bought on a previous trip to visit her family and brought back with her. California wines are rare here in the West so this one tasted particularly good: it was a memorable wine.
The dessert was something special: a Peach Cobbler the likes of which I had not eaten in many decades. It was as delicious as you can imagine but the same could be said about the entire meal. All praise to the chef; she carried it off with aplomb and made a particularly great “gift that money can’t buy” for my birthday!