Saturday, May 28, 2016

May 27, 2016 Lunch – Boiled Lunch with Sautéed Italian Sausages, Fresh Corn and Asparagus Dinner – Duck Confit Ravioli with a Champagne Brown Butter Sauce with onions, Mushrooms, garlic, and Sugar Snap and Snow peas

May 27, 2016 Lunch – Boiled Lunch with Sautéed Italian Sausages, Fresh Corn and Asparagus  Dinner – Duck Confit Ravioli with a Champagne Brown Butter Sauce with onions, Mushrooms, garlic, and Sugar Snap and Snow peas

I went to Trader Joe’s after my podiatry appointment and bought two bottles of Cherry Blossom California Pinot Noir ( $3.99), three bottles of La Granja Spanish Rioja 50/50 Tempranillo/Grenache blend ($4.99, my favorite red wine for the money), a bottle of Valreas Cuvée Prestige 2013 Cotes du Rhone ($6.99) and a bottle of 2014 Chateau Haut Sorillon Bordeaux Superior ($7.99), plus a 4 ounce package of Prosciutto and a container of mini fresh Mozzarella balls.  Trader Joe’s is my favorite store for our every day wines. 

I then drove to Nantucket Shoals and bought a dozen frozen snails in the shells in a small plastic dish ready to microwave for $10.99 and 1 lb. of frozen crawfish tails for $14.95.

I then drove next door to Sprouts and bought Rainier cherries, apricots, and blueberries for the clafoutis, vine ripe tomatoes, three Sweet Italian Sausages, olive oil, and a container of grape tomatoes and a Tuscan melon for appetizers.

I then drove to Lowe’s to buy fresh ears of gourmet corn for 6 ears for $1.00 and two two liter bottles of tonic water and drove home, arriving at about 11:30.  I was hungry and asked Willy if he wanted me to make lunch.  He said okay.  I boiled a pot of water and first cooked two Italian Sausages, then I split the sausages and we sautéed the sausages in a large skillet with slices of yellow onion.  I the shucked the husk from two ears of corn and put them in the boiling water to cook with six stalks of asparagus.  When the sausages and slices of onion were cooked and brown, we served lunch with horseradish and German Deli mustard.  I drank a Negra Modelo with my lunch.

Melissa was coming to dinner at 6:00 at 5:30 Suzette picked some chard leaves and de-stemmed them.  Then she skewered a mozzarella ball, a grape tomato, and a piece of fresh chard on a toothpick for appetizers.  I peeled and cubed ½ of the Tuscan melon into about twenty pieces and then wrapped pieces of prosciutto around each piece of melon and secured them with toothpicks.  Suzette arranged the apps on our large new Portuguese appetizer plate.  I had chilled two bottles of Gruet brut champagne, so when Melissa arrived we poured glasses of champagne and took the bocce balls and appetizers to the bocce court and drank and ate and played bocce for an hour as the sun was setting.

We then went back inside and Suzette heated a pot of water and cooked the PPI Duck Confit Raviolis we made for our Valentine’s Day dinner and made a Champagne Brown Butter Sauce with onions, Mushrooms, garlic, and Sugar Snap and Snow peas.  We grew the snow peas and sugar snap peas in our garden and everyone helped strip the threads from them before Suzette put them into the sauce.

We discussed a wine and Melissa and Suzette both said Rose so I went to the fridge in the garage and fetched a bottle of Clavijo Rioja Rose that was 60% Grenache and 40% Tempranillo.  It was lovely with the duck confit in brown butter sauce (Total Wine for about $7.00 less 20%).  Everyone loved it.  A good inexpensive wine well  matched to good food makes a strong combination.  

We were still a little hungry after dinner so I fetched the Iberico cheese, butter, and fresh goose foie gras and toasted some Fano baguette and Bosque Bakery whole wheat sourdough and we had a cheese course with the rest of the Rose’.

Melissa had brought vanilla bean and caramel salt gelato and cookies from Flying Star, so for dessert Suzette and Melissa made parfaits of gelato and cookies.  

It was a lovely simple, but elegant, meal in the cool late evening air and light in the gazebo by the pond in the garden.

Melissa said goodnight at around 9:30 and we went to bed pleasantly full.  

Bon Appetit




Friday, May 27, 2016

May 26, 2016 Lunch – Que Huong, Dinner – Book Club

May 26, 2016  Lunch – Que Huong,  Dinner – Book Club

Robert Mueller called me at 10:30 to invite me to go to lunch, so I ate a piece of bread with butter and slices of Iberico cheese at 11:00 and then rode to Montano and back.  

I then showered and met Robert at Que Huong at 1:00.  I like Que Huong for two reasons, it has some of the best Vietnamese food in town and it has a great dining room with large picture windows with a wonderful view of the Sandias.  I selected a table with a marvelous view today.  When Robert came he repaid me the 100 € I had lent him for his trip to Paris.  He said, as he often does, that he will let me order for him.  Since it was a warm day, I ordered Grilled Pork and Egg rolls on Rice Vermicelli noodles.  The bowl of noodles resting on chopped lettuce and bean sprouts and topped with grilled glazed pork and fried egg rolls was excellent, although a little smaller than the bowl used by Vietnam 2000.  

We talked a bit about politics.  Robert is a Trump supporter, so there is disagreement on almost everything, especially the sources of data.

After lunch I drove to Ranch Market to buy onions at 5 lb. for $.99, plus 18 large eggs for $1.39, and Russet potatoes for 3 lb. for $.99.

I went to book club at Tom’s house.  He served Muflatto sandwiche with chips and for dessert, ice cream mixed with lemon curd and fresh blueberries and raspberries.  A lovely light dinner.

Bon Appetit


Robert Mueller called me at 10:30 to invite me to go to lunch, so I ate a piece of bread with butter and slices of Iberico cheese at 11:00 and then rode to Montano and back.  

I then showered and met Robert at Que Huong at 1:00.  I like Que Huong for two reasons, it has some of the best Vietnamese food in town and it has a great dining room with large picture windows with a wonderful view of the Sandias.  I selected a table with a marvelous view today.  When Robert came he repaid me the 100 € I had lent him for his trip to Paris.  He said, as he often does, that he will let me order for him.  Since it was a warm day, I ordered Grilled Pork and Egg rolls on Rice Vermicelli noodles.  The bowl of noodles resting on chopped lettuce and bean sprouts and topped with grilled glazed pork and fried egg rolls was excellent, although a little smaller than the bowl used by Vietnam 2000.  

We talked a bit about politics.  Robert is a Trump supporter, so there is disagreement on almost everything, especially the sources of data.

After lunch I drove to Ranch Market to buy onions at 5 lb. for $.99, plus 18 large eggs for $1.39, and Russet potatoes for 3 lb. for $.99.

I went to book club at Tom’s house.  He served Muflatto sandwiche with chips and for dessert, ice cream mixed with lemon curd and fresh blueberries and raspberries.  A lovely light dinner.

Bon Appetit

Thursday, May 26, 2016

May 25, 2015 Lunch – Azuma Dinner – Cassarecce Pasta tossed with Pesto and Sautéed Zucchini, onion, Oyster mushrooms, garlic, and Oregano with hamburgers

May 25, 2015  Lunch – Azuma  Dinner – Cassarecce Pasta tossed with Pesto and Sautéed Zucchini, onion, Oyster mushrooms, garlic, and Oregano with hamburgers

I tried to walk with Suzette and got weak, so I decided to get some serious protein.  I suggested sushi to Willy and he was happy to go to Azuma.  I ordered my usual, Chirashi Donburi lunch for $14.99 with 2 salmon slices, 2 octopus slices, 4 Yellowtail, 2 Ultra white, and 2 tuna.

Here is a picture:


Willy ordered a Bento Box with grilled Teriyaki salmon, tempura, a California Roll, and rice.

We enjoyed lunch.  I took half of my lunch home.  On the way home we stopped at Fano and I bought two baguettes for $3.00 each.  Fano is my current favorite French bread bakery.

For dinner I had thawed out two large hamburgers and two small sliders.  We talked about the rest of dinner.  Willy wanted to do something with pesto.  We finally agreed to make Cassarecce pasta tossed in pesto.  I sliced up two zucchini squashes, an onion, about three ounces of fresh oyster mushrooms grown by Suzette’s people at the Center, two cloves of garlic, and the leaves stripped from six or seven sprigs of oregano.  The oregano in our garden is at its best now, almost fully grown but still young and tender.  

I sautéed the onions and squash first for about ten minutes and then added the mushrooms, garlic, and oregano, and tossed all the ingredients together and covered them with a wok cover to sweat them.  Suzette drained the pasta and added the pesto to it while she was also grilling the hamburgers. We turned off the heat to the pasta and Sauted vegetables and let them sit covered.

When the hamburgers were cooked to medium, she took brought them in and Suzette mixed the Sautéed vegetables with the pasta and pesto. Suzette then plated the pasta in a pile and put the hamburgers on the pasta.  I sliced and toasted two frozen dinner rolls for Willy’s sliders and a piece of freshly baked baguette from Fano that approximated the size of my hamburger and toasted the pieces and used two of them as a bun for my hamburgers.  I spread some of the basil mayo Willy had made yesterday on one piece of bread and catsup on the other for a heavenly delicious hamburger sandwich.  

I opened the bottle of 2015 of El Prado Spanish red wine I bought at Total wine for $8.99 less 20% on Saturday.  It was a 70% Temranillo 30% Cabernet Sauvignon blend fro The Valencia Denominacion de Origen.  We found it a bit heavy and bitter compared to our favorite la Granja 50% Tempranillo 50% Grenache blend from Rioja that we buy at Trader Joe’s for $4.99.  This illuminates a difference between Total Wine and Trader Joe’s worth noting.  Trader joe’s excels at finding the $4.00 to $7.00 bottles of wine.  Total wine has very few of these wines, which leads me to conclude that Total Wine marks up their cheaper wines to $8.00 to $10.00 per bottle.  These wines should be avoided.



What Total Wine excels at is the middle range of wines, those that retail at $12.00 to $18.00 per bottle.  Their middle priced wines are superior to any I have found anywhere else in New Mexico and a really good value when purchased at a 20% discount, which Total often offers.

I had the distinct feeling that the El Prado was a wine intended to compete against the super Tuscans that are Sagiovese/Cabernet Sauvignon blends.  In my opinion the better blend would have been Grenache/Cabernet Sauvignon, but for my money I would still choose a Tempranillo/Grenache blend.  I just like the softer less acidic wines that are more pleasant to drink with food, like La Granja,especially at $4.99 /bottle.

Bon Appetit

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

May 22 and 23, 2016 Sunday Brunch – Shrimp and Swiss Cheese Omelet, Monday Lunch – Gravad Lax Salad, Dinner – Roasted Spanish Pork Tenderloin with Apples and Onions and Grilled Asparagus

May 22 and 23, 2016 Sunday Brunch – Shrimp and Swiss Cheese Omelet, Monday Lunch – Gravad Lax Salad,  Dinner – Roasted Spanish Pork Tenderloin with Apples and Onions and Grilled Asparagus 

Sunday morning we made a shrimp omelet with the PPI BBQ'd shrimp, a couple of sliced mushrooms, a sliced Mexican Green onion, and grated Swiss Gruyere cheese.  

For dinner I had a bowl of consommé and then at around 8:00 began preparing myself for my colonoscopy by drinking the liquid that forces you to clean your bowels until about 11;00 p.m.

Monday morning at around 9:30 Willy drove me to my colonoscopy.  I was groggy after having a general anesthesia, so Willy drove me home.  I decided to have a simple salad for lunch using the greens from the garden to keep the stomach clean for a while, so I went to the garden and picked a basket of lettuces, red giant, cress and tatsoi and cleaned them.  I sliced a tomato, peeled, seeded, and sliced a 3 inch section of cucumber, a radish, and sliced a Mexican Green Onion.  I then sliced and chopped two slices of Gravad Lax and added that to the salad.  I then made a simple, clean fresh Dijonnaise dressing with Praegers’ white Port vinegar, Sprouts Spanish Olive Oil, 1 tsp. of Grey Poupon mustard, chopped leaves from three sprigs of tarragon and ½ bulb of fresh garlic from the garden and a bit of salt and pepper.  Since I had not eaten for over 24 hours, I was in the mood for something special that was creamy and protein rich and settled on a slice of Bosque Bakery whole wheat sourdough bread smeared with the goose foie gras we bought in Montreal.  When we were in Monteeal we went to the Atwater Market, which is one of Montreal’s main markets.  We found a purveyor that made and sold whole goose livers and a variety of goose liver pate’.  After the butcher acclaimed the differences between the various preparations, we went a little crazy and decided to buy a slice of pure goose liver pate without any preservatives.  The price for pure goose liver pate’ was Can. $255.00/kilo.  The cryovac sealed slice of pate’ we selected was Can. $30.00, so it must have been about 200 grams or just over two oz.


To say the pure goose liver pate’ melted in your mouth is an understatement.  I have never had such a delicious pate’.

After my re-introduction to food I rested,but did remember to thaw out a package of Pork tenderloins.
I had forgotten to buy milk, so I asked Willy to go to Sprouts and buy milk and large asparagus. My dinner menu was to make the Spanish tapa from Jose Andreas’ tapa cookbook and grill fresh asparagus for a wonderful early summer meal.  

Here is the recipe:




I sliced a apple and an onion and Sautéed them in butter and Spanish olive oil.  I went to the garden and picked five or six stalks of oregano, which is growing beautifully now.  After I had sautéed the apples and onion and laid the oregano sprigs on top of the and sliced a pork tender into two inch long slices and placed them on top of the oregano, Suzette rallied and took over the cooking.  She added butter to the pan to create more cooking grease and put the Sauté pan into a 225 degree oven while I snapped 15 stalks of asparagus and brushed them with olive oil and salted and peppered them.  Suzette then grilled the asparagus over low heat on the propane grill while I went to the basement and fetched a bottle of La Granja red wine (Trader Joe’s $4.99 50/50% Tempranillo and Grenache), my favorite under $5.00 Spanish Rioja.

The meat was cooked to light grey at the same time Suzette removed  the asparagus from the grill so I dispensed with the final two steps of the pork recipe of making a simple sauce of Spanish Brandy and chicken stock.  Suzette’s addition of extra butter had made an enriched apple and onion sauce of sorts that satisfied my taste, which met my plan for this meal, Which was to reintroduce myself to food by eating simpler food.

Suzette grilled the asparagus beautifully.  They were grilled but firm in the middle so you could taste the fresh crunch of the asparagus.  It takes an asparagus that is at least ½ thick in order to grill properly.  I had salted and peppered the asparagus slightly heavily and I could taste the tangy flavor of the salt and pepper with the asparagus that I enjoyed also.  I had a déjà vu memory of the first time we ate grilled asparagus at about this time of the year in Segovia four or five years ago.

The Rioja La Granja was a little heavy for the meal according to Suzette, but I liked its smooth almost buttery texture.

After dinner we ate bowls of ice cream and I had a bit of bittersweet chocolate with almonds and later a White Russian.

The joy of being back on food.

Bon Appetit

Monday, May 23, 2016

May 21, 2016 farmers’ Market, Almond Croissants, BLT Sandwiches! Dinner – Aluminum Foil Wrapped Cod and Cauliflower Couscous with Garbanzos and Preserved Lemon and Clafoutis

QMay 21, 2016 farmers’ Market, Almond Croissants, BLT Sandwiches!  Dinner – Aluminum Foil Wrapped Cod and Cauliflower Couscous with Garbanzos and Preserved Lemon and Clafoutis 

We went to the Farmers’ Market Downtown at 8:45 and it was mobbed.  Suzette bought a locally grown tomato, four bunches of radishes, and 6 tomato plants.  I bought two almond croissants for Willy and me.

When we returned home I was hungry and Willy and I had tea and an almond croissant.  The reason I like these almond croissants the best is because our local French baker mixes almond milk into the dough, which produces a moist almond flavor infused into the puff pastry of the croissant.  Others I have had that either roll marzipan into layers of pastry dough or put bake a layer of marzipan on top of the croissants are all inferior to this method.

After my discourse on the wonderful almond croissants, Suzette said she was hungry and was going to make a BLT sandwich and asked if  Willy and I wanted one. Willy and I decided to split a sandwich, so Suzette fried six slices of thick cut bacon,  I sliced the tomato she had bought that morning, and she sliced four slices of the Bosque Bakery whole wheat Sourdough loaf.

I finished cooking the bacon to crisp and we toasted the bread and fetched Willy’s Basil mayo and regular mayo and lettuce from the garden and made wonderful sandwiches.

For dinner we had decided to bake the cod Willy had bought on Thursday at Sprouts in aluminum foil wrapped in the Hoja Santa leaves I had bought last week at Ranchos Market.  I had wrapped the bundle of leaves in wet paper towels and put it in a sandwich bag and sealed it.  It held the moisture beautifully and was as fresh as the day I bought the leaves.

Suzette put pieces of cod on the leaves and I cut slices of poblano chili , fresh sprigs of cilantro, and tomato on them and Suzette put slices of butter on and then doused them with white wine and crimped the two pieces of foil separately.







She then grilled the fish packets on a medium heat for about twenty minutes.  

Suzette the made her famous Cauliflower Couscous with the fresh purple tinted cauliflower she bought attack the Farmers's Market, garbanzos, and preserved lemon, garlic and grape seed oil and we added about 1 cup of chard.


We opened the packets and aded couscous and I drank a Negra Modelo beer with mine and Suzette drank the last of the Nessa Albariño.

For dessert, we finished the Clafoutis.


Bon Appetit 

Sunday, May 22, 2016

May 19, 2016 Lunch – Lan’s Dinner – Bobby Flay Chicken with Mint Sauce, grilled Asparagus and Rousted Red New Potatoes

May 19, 2016 Lunch – Lan’s  Dinner – Bobby Flay Chicken with Mint Sauce, grilled Asparagus and Rousted Red New Potatoes

I had to attend a mediation in Santa Fe today and had not slept well, so I asked Willy to drive me and I suggested that he hang out with his Mom. We decided to leave at 11:00 so we could eat lunch and 
I could attend my mediation at 1:30,  We called Amy to see if she was available for and she was, so Willy asked her where she wanted to eat and she picked her favorite, which is Lan’s.

We met Amy at Lan’s at 12:00.  I ordered a daily Special of duck stew.  Willy ordered No. 4. BO NUONG (ROOM TEMP, PORK)$12 with pork, , marinated in lemongrass, limeleaf, shallots, org. carrots, cucumber sweet and sour papaya, sweet onion, lettuce, cilantro, fresh herbs, roasted peanuts, and homemade sauce, w/ vermicelli noodles.  Amy wanted something different and ordered a Vietnamese Crepe made like we make an omelet but filled with meat and mung bean sprouts and herbs.

Amy and Willy also split a pot of jasmine tea and I had a Vietnamese drip coffee with condensed milk.

Amy’s crepe was overcooked and hard and my duck stew was unusually greasy.  Willy’s Bo Nuong was its usual wonderful.  Amy would not eat her crepe and requested a Bo Nuong with chicken.  Lan came by and gave a lame explanation about how the crepe was meant to be eaten with the sauce, as if we had never eaten Vietnamese food or at her restaurant before and surely did not ask or acknowledge that we had eaten much better crepes before.

I had the sinking feeling that I was witnessing the beginning of the end of a long run of great Vietnamese food at Lan’s and was saddened.

Last year Lan told us that she was tired and looking to sell or just quit.  Perhaps we are closer to that occurrence.

After lunch I attended my mediation hearing and Willy and Amy saw the newly released “Money Monster”.  I finished at 4:15 and spoke to Amy and met her and Willy at Kaune’s at 4:45 and we drove back to Albuquerque because we had made plans to eat dinner with Charlie and Susan Palmer.  

We had planned to cook Bobby Flay chicken which seems to be gaining credence as a generic name for chicken dry rubbed with paprika and cumin, then weighted and pan sautéed and then baked in the oven.

Suzette cooked the chicken and I went to the garden and picked 1 cup of fresh mint and ½ cup of parsley for the sauce.  Suzette added garlic,  ½ Serrano chile, and olive oil to make the mint sauce.

 I talked to Susan and she preferred asparagus, so we decided to take our bag of large asparagus (Costco $6.49 for 2.25 lb.) and Charlie and Suzette grilled them after I brushed them with olive oil and sprinkled black pepper and salt on them.

I also took the clafoutis.

Charlie and Susan served us a bottle of St. Michelle Riesling from Washington state.

Susan had also roasted red potatoes and heated bread. 

I sat and talked with Charlie and Susan and ate the appetizers they put out including Bousin, brie, Comte, and cheddar on bread and crackers before dinner.

We had so many appetizers that no one could eat any clafoutis but we left some for them to eat later.

After a pleasant evening of food, wine, and conversation we al got sleepy a little after 9:00 and called a night.

Bon Appetit 
 

Friday, May 20, 2016

May 18, 2016 Lunch - Vietnamese Pho Soup. Dinner – Groundbreaking for SODA Campus in Los Lunas

May 18, 2016 Lunch - Pho Soup,  Dinner – Groundbreaking for SODA Campus in Los Lunas

At 11:00 I became hungry and decided to make Pho a Soup with bits of the fresh hamburger and frozen beef meatballs, plus zucchini, mushrooms, green onion, chard, rice stick noodles, and a can Of special beef broth made especially for Pho.  The result was terrific.  The broth was rich and flavorful.  Willy and Jose had bowls of it and liked it also.

At 5:30 Rich and Ioana picked up Willy and me and drove us to the big groundbreaking celebration and dinner at SOSA’s new campus on the site developed by Railway Land Company just south of the Railrunner station.

There were probably 300 to 350 people.  Marty had done a wonderful job inviting politicians to the event.  There were about twenty speeches from all the local, state, and federal representatives and senators. 

The most interesting part of the celebration was the food.  There was green chile stew and pork and green chili burritos.  It was the best green chili stew I have ever had; spicy but not too spicy.  

After the dinner I had my picture taken by Rich with Aaron, Marty, and Christina, the Village planner responsible for the project.

Bon Project