Last Saturday, I went to yet another Randy Rucker dinner. As I have said, these are the most exciting food events going on in Houston.
Randy is serving dinners at his house near the Heights, at least once a week. The dinners are BYOB, and the suggested donation is about $60 - which is remarkable for 6+ course meals of the highest quality and creativity. Announcements of upcoming dinners are here.
The reason I keep talking about these dinners is that each one consists a new batch of dishes that blow me away. I am consistently amazed at Rucker's creative techniques. But more importantly, I am delighted by the intensity of flavors, play of textures, and artistry of presentation. These dishes may look or sound unusual, but they are seriously delicious.
Among the surprises at the last dinner were:
·A candied watermelon rind - crispy, sweet, only slightly sour
·The most uniformly cooked soft-boiled eggs I have ever tried, cracked on top of a salad of hijiki and crispy bits of potatoes
·garlic scapes (the green shoots of green garlic) preserved like kimchee
·the Southern flavors of cornbread gnocchi
·balsamic vinegar broken down into whey and curd, like cheese
This is what it looked like:
These are the dishes pictured in the photos:
1: calafornia abalone, pickled watermelon rind, marigold mint, & caramelized miso
2: chilled geoduck clam, sudachi, corn juice & tiny basil leaves
4-6: egg(s) salad, hijiki & crispy potatoes
7: pacific sea urchin roe, bread & butter pudding & preserved garlic scapes
8: cornbread gnocchi, baby onions, compressed pea shoots & espresso
9: long island duck, spaghetti squash & ancho chili
10: balsamic sponge cake, lavender, brown fig & local chevre puree