As you know, I like me some pork. So I was super excited when the poker people agreed to get together for a special pig feast at Daniel Boulud's DBGB Kitchen and Bar.
Here's how it works. The restaurant serves one pig a day, and it takes them three days to apple smoke and roast the pig just right, so you have to make a reservation in advance AND you have to have at least eight people in your party. We did both.
Here comes dinner!
This was no ordinary pig. It was basically a pig stuffed with homemade sausage...made out of pig parts. This came with swiss-chard gruyere potato gratin (my fave), red and white sauerkraut, truffled corn-on-the-cob. Oh, and did I mention that the meal started with head cheese and ended with a giant baked Alaska? It was good stuff. So good that Dan ate three servings (approximately 26 ounces of PORK PRODUCT), which entertained the entire table (and our waiter) for the whole evening. It was even more entertaining than having Daniel Boulud, the famous chef himself, stop by to say hello. Dan ate so much, he wasn't hungry for the rest of the weekend. Shoulder pain? Let's talk body pain.
To recuperate, we shopped for two days straight. We went to the malls of New Jersey and the famous designer outlets at Woodbury Commons. Due to unemployment, it feels like I haven't bought myself winter clothes in years, and so I bought a bunch of cute stuff. Dan got some things too including a new stylish skinny suit! He wore it on Monday to work, and he looked so handsome.
Dan celebrated his 31st birthday on Tuesday, so I made him a yummy dinner of lasagna with turkey sausage, garlic bread, salad and of course, a birthday cake. Dan had the following requests: He wanted chocolate and he didn't want it to be too big like last year. I decided to make a chocolate cake with praline topping.
Let me tell you, it's kind of hard to pour the batter with one hand and take a crisp, well-composed picture with the other. One day I will get a tripod.
After the cake baked and cooled, I spread it with a thick layer of chocolate ganache.
I made fresh pralines on the stove top and poured it over the cake. For some reason the cake did not rise very well. Dan wanted a little cake, so that's what he got. It was big on flavor, natch.
Birthday dinner's on the table!
Happy Birthday Dan! My wish to you is a year of happiness (AKA you win the baseball fantasy tournament next year).
Dan ate three servings of dinner and cake.
P.S. This was just an appetizer. We're celebrating Dan's birthday on Saturday with a full-day of secret surprises! What's happening? Not telling!