Every now and then when I've made a particularly nice plate of food I like to share it (metaphorically speaking) with all of you. A couple of nights ago I had for supper steak in a port sauce accompanied by new red potatoes fried with red bell peppers and Ceasar Salad (Alton Brown's homemade ceasar dressing and croutons, natch). While the main course was not necessarily spectacular, for dessert I had pears poached in port with the liquid caramelized and poured over them as they cooled (with a scoop of vanilla ice cream dusted with cinnamon). My pictures didn't do it justice; this dessert was (and I say this, to quote George "with an unblemished record of staunch heterosexuality"*) fabulous.
The sauce for the steak is based on a sauce recipe the madvbdog gave me that he got from a local chef. It's actually really simple, your basic "reduce the liquid and add fat till it is slightly thick" type of sauce. The fat in this case is a bit of butter. Caramelizing the port was slightly more interesting: I had some nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and lemon in the port as the pears poached (tastes like fall!) and once I removed the pears I turned the heat to high, reduced by a third or so and added sugar and brought it to a boil. As it began to thicken I added the fat (cream this time) and pulled it off the heat. The caramel was perfect (you could use it to candy coat apples or something) and just perfect with the pears...
Why yes, as a matter of a fact I did have an opened bottle of port I was trying to get rid of. Why do you ask?
*Seinfeld of course. The Jacket