Wednesday, November 14, 2018

November 13, 2018 Lunch – Salad. Dinner – Broiled Fresh Halibut, Rice, asparagus, and Butternut Squash

November 13, 2018 Lunch – Salad. Dinner – Broiled Fresh Halibut, Rice, asparagus, and Butternut Squash

I ate granola, tropical fruit, and yogurt for breakfast.  Then I went to Eye Associates to have my eyes checked.

When I finished at 11:00 I drove to Lowe’s and bought a head f red leaf lettuce and six bananas and drove home.

I made a salad with a tomato, thinly sliced red onion, green cracked olives, cucumber slices, smoked salmon and dressed it with a Cesar dressing.  I also made a cheese sandwich by melting slices of Jarlsberg cheese on a piece of toasted whole wheat bread in the microwave.

After lunch I went with a Suzette to Costco and we shopped for food.  We bought bottles of Mohua Sauvignon Blanc, Dry Creek Sauvignon Blanc, and a Kirkland California Pinot Grigio, plus a piece of fresh Halibut, a bag of spinach, white mushrooms, romaine lettuce hearts, sugar, butter, and eggs.

We went home and cooked dinner.  I snapped about 25 stalks of asparagus.  At 6:30 Suzette cut the 1.3 lb. Halibut filet into two pieces and Broiled the Halibut in the oven.  She steamed the asparagus stalks and heated a freezer bag of rice in the microwave.  I opened a new bottle to me that I think I bought at Trader Joe’s for around $5.00, a 2017 Croix Livignac Blanc Moelleux produced in the Comte Tolosan Indication Geographique Protégée in Southwestern France.

The label tells you a lot if you know how to read it. Livignac is the region in Southwest France where the wine was produced.  It is located along the Atlantic coast and inland south of Bordeaux stretching to the Spanish Border.  The wine region is designated Comte Tolosan by the EU.  That is its iGP.  Within that IGP are many sub-regions and localities that raise many indigenous varieties of grapes that had unique flavor profiles.

Here is more information.

Comte Tolosan is an IGP title that covers wines made in a large area of South West France. The catchment area of the IGP encompasses 12 administrative departments, and is home to a wide range of AOC-level appellations such as Jurancon, Cahors and Armagnac. The IGP exists to cover wines that are made in the areas outside of these appellations, or with different grape varieties and winemaking styles.
The region is a part of the Aquitaine Basin – the plains that fall between the Pyrenees, the Massif Central and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. Spain lies to the south, and the vineyards of Languedoc-Roussillon can be found in the east. The Gironde estuary and the famous vineyards of Bordeaux are in the north.

The Capitole of Toulouse
© Wikimedia/Benh Lieu Song
Most IGP-related viticulture takes place in the center of the basin, along the course of the Garonne river. Here, old alluvial terraces provide well-drained, rocky environments for the vines, allowing for good flavor concentration in the grapes and deep, healthy root systems. In general, red wine grape varieties are found in the vineyards north of the river, while white wine varieties are found in the southern parts of the area.
The region enjoys a mostly maritime climate, although the sheer size of the area means that this is felt to varying degrees. Most of the viticultural areas are influenced climatically by the Atlantic Ocean in the west, which provides moderated summer and winter temperatures and high rainfall. Further inland, the climate is far more Mediterranean, however, with hotter, dryer conditions during the growing season.
The grape varieties permitted in Comte Tolosan IGP wines are indicative of the region’s location: local grape varieties such as Petit Manseng, Colombard, Tannat and Cot (Malbec) are all a part of the various AOC appellations as well as the IGP level wines. This list is also populated by better-known grape varieties such as Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Along with the AOC appellations here, Comte Tolosan IGP shares land with a selection of other IGP titles as well, including Cotes de Gascogne, Lavilledieu and Aveyron. Comte Tolosan also has five sub-appellations of its own: Bigorre, Coteaux et Terrasses de Montauban, Pyrenees Atlantiques, Tarn et Garonne, Haute-Garonne and Cantal.
The Aquitaine Basin was previously covered by the Vin de Pays du Comte Tolosan designation. However, as the Vin de Pays category has been phased out of French wine law since 2009, it now falls under the Indication Géographique Protégée (IGP) category of French wines.

Willy and Luke joined us and we had a lively conversation regarding Luke’s proposed house purchase.

We all loved the fish cooked in the oven except the broiler toughened the top edge of the fish because there were no lemon slices on top.  Next time Suzette says she will put lemon slices on top when the heat source is above the fish.

The asparagus were tender and I loved the rice cooked in duck stock.

The wine went well with the fish.  It reminded me of our family favorite wine of my youth. Barsac.

A great meal.

Bon Appetit

Monday, November 12, 2018

November 12, 2018 Lunch – PPI Vietnamese Miso Noodle Soup. Dinner – Sautéed Smoked Pork Chop on medley of Sautéed Squash, asparagus, and potato garnished with sauerkraut and apple

November 12, 2018 Lunch – PPI Vietnamese Miso Noodle Soup. Dinner – Sautéed Smoked Pork Chop on medley of Sautéed Squash, asparagus, and potato garnished with sauerkraut and apple

No heat in the house and the temperature dropped below freezing last night.  Thank goodness we have the fireplace in the TV room that heats the brick column that forms the core of the house.

Today was the worst day of the year in the market. I am officially a loser for the year, for the first time.

I paid bills, discussed tax filings with Rahim, did a demand letter for Zul.

I heated the PPI Vietnamese Miso Noodle Soup for lunch and reconstituted it with wheat noodles, mung bean noodles, red miso, tofu, a dash of sesame oil, a T. of Chinese cooking wine, and six chicken mini wontons.

At 4:30 I got cold and lay in bed to stray warm.  When Suzette arrived at 5:30 she turned on two of the heaters the plumbers brought us and she warmed the bedroom a bit and the TV room.  I arose and went back to the TV room, which was comfortably warm and sliced a yellow squash, two PPI baked potatoes and about ten stalks of asparagus.

Willy called and said he would join us for dinner so a bit after 6:30 Suzette started sautéing the vegetables in a large skillet and three smoked pork chops in another large skillet. She also shredded an apple and added it to a container of PPI sauerkraut and heated it in the microwave.

I selected a bottle of 2017 Gruet Rose’ of Pinot Noir and put it in the fridge to chill.  A couple of minutes before 7:00 Suzette plated the vegetables, lay a pork chop on the pile of vegetables and spooned some sauerkraut on top of the pork chop fo4 a vertical presentation.  At exactly the moment we sat down to eat Willy arrived and joined us.  We discussed the candy store zoning and design.

After dinner Willy left and I ate some vanilla ice cream with Kahlua, rum, chocolate sauce, whipped cream and two maraschino cherries.

Suzette went to bed but I waited up until 11:00 to pick Luke up at the airport upon his return from NYC.

Bon Appetit

November 11, 2018 Lunch – Modern General. Dinner – Steak Quesadillas with Guacamole and Squash Casserole

November 11, 2018 Lunch – Modern General. Dinner – Steak Quesadillas with Guacamole and Squash Casserole

I drank a cup of hot chocolate with coffee for breakfast with a piece of buttered pumpkin bread smeared with orange and elderberry marmalade and made a bucket of tropical fruit salad by dicing a papaya, a pineapple, 4 mangos, and four oranges and the juice of 2 limes as I watched the news program while Suzette packed a box of wine to send to her family for Thanksgiving.

At 10:30 after the news programs we drove to Staples and mailed the package and then drove to the newly opened Modern General at 11:30 to meet Cynthia for brunch.  The restaurant was crowded so we were lucky that Cynthia had arrived early and was waiting for us at a table of white birch with white benches.  The entire restaurant is modern and of good design as is the menu.

The menu contains a large selection of smaller dishes with fresh ingredients prepared very cleanly.  Cynthia ordered a soy flavored rice and vegetable stir fry, Suzette ordered a small skillet filled with fried sweet potatoes topped with an egg and I ordered a bowl of Posole cooked in shredded chicken white meat served with rows of sliced radish, jalapeños, chopped cilantro, and chopped green onion, with sriracha on a spoon and a wedge of lime; a nicely presented dish that was very tasty for $8.00.  Both Cynthia and Suzette’s dishes were $11.00.  We all drank water.  After brunch we drove the four blocks to our house and had cups of lavender Earl Grey tea with warmed pieces of pumpkin bread with butter and marmalade for dessert.

Then at 1:30 we took the bowl of fruit salad and a bottle of Crayon 2017 French Rose (Trader Joe’s for $5.99) to Glen and Bev’s house for the house concert by Robin Cage. Ronin has a lovely and powerful voice with good range whose career is just beginning to nibble at National recognition. She is touring with a drummer named Zach and a bass player named Cali.

There was one other dish made for the concert, a home made chickpea spread with cooked red pepper, a sort of hummus without the tahini, garlic, parsley, and lemon juice but very nice and smoothly puréed served with pita chips.

As it turned out the band had driven from Ruidoso and had not eaten since breakfast, so they each ate a bowl of fruit salad at the break, as did a few others.

After the concert ended around 4:00 we drove home and watched the end of an exciting Seattle v. LA Rams game.

I made guacamole with the two avocados I bought at Sprouts on Friday with some red onion, two cloves of garlic, a bit of salt, about 1 oz. of finely diced poblano chili and about 2 T. of chopped cilantro.

Since we had guacamole we decided to make steak quesadillas for dinner. I sliced steak and 1 half PPI baked potato and chopped some onion and grated Mexican Swiss cheese, which Suzette the cooked and lay between two whole wheat tortillas each to make us each a quesadilla that she served with a scoop of guacamole and a heated square of PPI squash casserole.  I drank a beer with mine and Suzette finished her scotch with hers.

We watched 60 Minutes and then our favorite Sunday evening line up of PBS Masterpiece Theater episodes, “The Durrell’s in Corfu”, “Poldark”, and “Woman in White” while switching back and forth to the Cowboy v. Eagles game, which the Cowboys won.  Jim Cramer must be pissed, he is a huge Eagles fan, being from Philadelphia.

I ate a few pieces of the chocolate truffles I bought at Trader Joe’s on Thursday with a cup of tea and the last of the Trimbach Plum Brandy.

At 9:00 we were tired and cold, so we got in bed to watch the episode of “Woman in White” and then went to bed.

As Suzette said, “A very pleasant day.”

Bon Appetit

Sunday, November 11, 2018

November 10, 2018 Lunch – PPI Vietnamese Miso Noodle Soup. Dinner – PPI Chicken Curry with rice

November 10, 2018 Lunch – PPI Vietnamese Miso Noodle Soup. Dinner – PPI Chicken Curry with rice

I made sandwiches for breakfast. On a slice of Jewish rye I put cream cheese, slices of red onion and Lax and garnished it with capers. On the other  slice of dark whole wheat, I put butter, mayo, slices of red onion and liverwurst and garnished it with cornichon slices.

While I watched TV Suzette went shopping for baby clothes at craft shows and found some lovely knitted booties and a sweater.

I watched TCU lose to WV.  When Suzette returned at 12:15 I heated the PPI Vietnamese Miso
Noodle Soup and ate two bowls and then we left for the performance of Promenade, which was an interesting performance of urban theatre in which the audience rides a bus around the city and the performers act out tableau and scenes that we on the bus observe.

When the performance ended at 3:30 we drove to Total Wine so Suzette could buy two bottles of her favorite scotch.

When we returned home I rode two miles on my bike and a Suzette walked two miles around the Tingley Beach ponds.

We then watched the finish of a very exciting OSU v. OU game and when the Texas v. Texas Tech game started we heated the PPI Chicken Curry and rice and each ate a bowl of it.

Suzette got into a cooking mood and made cranberry sauce with cranberries, Swedish Lingon sylt and sugar and two loaves of pumpkin bread with some of the pumpkin she processed last week.

I had a cup of chai and we shared slices of the lovely light warm pumpkin bread Suzette made while we watched Texas finally pulled out a victory with 21 seconds to go.

We then got in bed.  Suzette went to sleep, while I watched An old episode of Grantchester and then went to bed.

Bon Appetit

We then drove home

Saturday, November 10, 2018

November 9, 2018 Lunch – Vietnamese Miso Noodle Soup with Salmon and mixed Vegetables. Dinner – Fish Baked in Foil with Spaghetti

November 9, 2018 Lunch – Vietnamese Miso Noodle Soup with Salmon and mixed Vegetables. Dinner – Fish Baked in Foil with Spaghetti

Today’s dishes illustrate another interesting aspect of our menu selection process.  As we accumulate ingredients, we often combine PPI ingredients with fresh ingredients to create new dishes.

Lunch and dinner dishes are both examples of this sort of combination.

I also realize I have been cooking this way for much of my adult life. When I lived alone in Fort Worth I cooked a pot of rice and stir fried meat and vegetables daily and added new meats and vegetables or egg to make a rice and egg gongee/egg foo young or revised stir fry dish successively almost every day.

Today was a continuation of that tradition.  For lunch I started by heating ¾ of a Two quart pot of water to which I added a pho seasoning cube, a teaspoon of dehydrated dashi, and three types of dried noodles (mung bean thread, wheat, and rice sticks.  I then diced and added to the pot 3 oz. of red onion, 3 sliced baby portobello mushrooms, a heaping T. of red miso, 1 T. of Chinese cooking wine, and 1 tsp. of sesame oil.

I then added about 2 cups of PPI stir fried salmon and mixed vegetables, mainly sliced water chestnuts and bok Choy.  I then sliced the remaining fresh stalk of bok Choy, separating the heavier white stalk sections from the green leaf sections and added the white sections.  After about 20 minutes of simmering I added the green bok Choy leaf sections.  I did not find any green onions, so could not add any sliced green onion, as usual, but the absence of green onion slices did not diminish the flavor of the broth.  The secret is to add enough flavoring components to hide any flavor of water.

The new boiler expert came at 3:00 to check the boiler and I left him to attend a mandatory one hour seminar on trust fund accounting at the Bar Center until 4:30.

After the seminar I drove to Sprouts at San Mateo at Academy and bought avocados (2 for $.99), Brussels Sprouts for $.99/lb., two ½ lb. fresh Rockfish filets for $7.99/lb., a gallon of milk, and a ½ lb. chunk of Boarshead liverwurst.

Suzette was home when I arrived.  When I suggested making fish wrapped in foil, she suggested, I will make an Italian version using the PPI spaghetti meat and mushroom sauce and we can serve it over PPI spaghetti. And that is what she did.  She cut each filet in half and stacked both halves and added the PPI spaghetti sauce and some Chianti wine and sealed each mound of food within two pieces of aluminum foil crimped at the edges to form a package and grilled the two packages on the grill.  I diced about six or seven cooked stalks of asparagus and threw them into the freezer bag with the stored spaghetti.

We watched the news and in about twenty minutes after Brooks and Shields’ discourse on the events of the week, she fetched the packets from the grill,  heated the PPI spaghetti and divided it into two pasta bowls.  She then opened each packet and placed it on the spaghetti and grated fresh Romano-Pecorino cheese on top.


It turned out that the two filets with the addition of the spaghetti sauce and spaghetti created larger portions than we could eat, so we now have a bowl of PPI baked fish in spaghetti sauce and spaghetti.  So it goes.

I brought in the three loaves of bread I had bought at Pastian’s Bakery earlier in the week for $.54
each, a whole wheat baguette, a loaf of of dark whole wheat and a light Jewish rye.

After dinner a sliced and toasted slices of the baguette and lay slices of old Brie cheese on them and ate a cheese course with the last sips of chianti.  We drank one of the three bottles of Gaetano d’ Aquino Chianti Riserva I bought for $5.99 each at Trader Joe’s this week for dinner.  It is a lovely bottle of wine for the price that went well with this fishy spaghetti dinner and even better with the Brie.

After dinner I indulged myself and drank the last sip of grappa of Brunello, with a cup of chai, and several pieces of Halloween candy.  By 9:00 I was tired of watching the news and crawled into bed and went to sleep beside Suzette, who was watching a movie called “New Year’s Eve”.

It appears that as I increase my level of exercise, my appetite increases.

I must be on the mend.

Bon Salud and Appetit

Friday, November 9, 2018

November 8, 2018 Lunch – East Ocean. Dinner – Teriyaki Salmon and Squash Casserole

November 8, 2018 Lunch – East Ocean. Dinner – Teriyaki Salmon and Squash Casserole

I ate ½ of a whole wheat bagel sliced in half smeared with cream cheese with layers of Gravad Lax and sliced red onion garnished with capers.  This is one of my favorite breakfasts.  I am really happy with the Gravad Lax I made this week.  It is soft with a delicate balance between salt and sugar.  I drank a hot chai tea with it.

I called Peter Eller and he came by at 11:30.  He was craving Chinese so I drove us to a East Ocean.  I suggested we order Manila Clams in Szechuan sauce ($9.95) and Deep Fried Tofu with Mixed Vegetables ($7.95).  Since these are the regular menu prices they apply equally to dinner and lunch, which makes this the best under $20.00 meal in Albuquerque in my opinion.  The portions are huge so there is enough food to satisfy two people and have enough left to take home for another meal, which is what we did.  Here is a photo of the Mixed Vegetables Peter took home.

As for the clams, I know of no other way to obtain this many clams at any price.  Here is a picture of the midden and Peter’s take out box.

After lunch I had a meeting with a client and then at 3:30 rode my bike 4 miles.

I had a bad day in the market as tech stocks got hammered, although I am still positive for the year.

I did not know what to do for dinner, so I called Suzette for a suggestion.  She mentioned smoked pork chops.  I decided to make a Southern dish, Squash Casserole.  Suzette came home while I was making it and fired up the steamer oven in which to cook it.

Squash Casserole

2 yellow squash diced
1 ½ red onion diced
¾ cup of half and half
3 eggs
2 T. Butter
1 T. Olive oil
¾ cup Swiss Cheese
2 cloves garlic
1 cup of crushed crackers

I sautéed the diced squash, onion, and garlic until it softened a bit.
I whisked the eggs in a separate bowl to which I added the half and half and cheese.

I transferred the vegetable mixture to a 9 x 9 Pyrex baking dish and covered them with the custard mixture and Suzette sprinkled the cracker crumbs on top and I sprinkle the top with smoked paprika for color.

Suzette baked the dish in the steam oven for 25 minutes until it congealed.

She then heated the PPI teriyaki salmon in the microwave and plated the salmon and squash casserole in pasta bowls.

I opened the 2017 Grigio Luna produced by Villa Borghetti in the DOC of Venezia I purchased at Trader Joe’s for $5.99 on Tuesday.  The white wine was crisp yet with good acidity.  We liked it and will buy more..

After dinner Suzette ate ice cream and I ate the key lime pie with a cup of tea.

Bon Appetit

Thursday, November 8, 2018

November 7, 2018 Lunch – Vinaigrette. Dinner – Chicken Curry and Rice

November 7, 2018 Lunch – Vinaigrette. Dinner – Chicken Curry and Rice

I started with granola, milk, yogurt, and grapes.  The plumbers came today and fixed the boiler, so we finally have heat.

I called Willy at 12:30 to ask him if he had eaten lunch.  He said, “I am just leaving now.”  We agreed to meet at Vinaigrette.  I was detained by instructions from the plumbers, so Willy called me and I asked him to place my order for a French Frisee Salad. When I arrived Willy was seated at a table and had ordered.  Soon the waitress brought his ginger carrot juice soda and then our salads.  Willy ordered  THE NUTTY PEAR-FESSOR
Grilled Bosc pears, bacon crumbles, toasted pecan halves and tangy Maytag blue cheese served with tender greens and ruby port vinaigrette.

 I ordered the FRENCH FRISÉE
French bistro staple with frisée greens, poached egg, bacon lardons and a warm shallot vinaigrette

The French Frisee is my favorite salad especially with extra crispy lardons.

I also ordered bread and olive oil. Vinaigrette serves bread only on request and it is deliciously warm focaccia, so should be ordered.

A piece of focaccia on a puddle of olive oil
We enjoyed lunch.

After lunch I returned home and discovered the market had one of its best days in a long time. It
appears to be reacting positively to the election results, which is more than I can say for the President
based upon his behavior at his news conference today.

I walked around the block and then worked for a bit.  At 4:30 I started making curry.  I diced and sautéed three onions, two small heads of garlic, three sweet potatoes, two apples, the meat from 7 boiled chicken thighs, and ½ cup of raisins.  I then transferred the ingredients to a pot and added the approximately three cups of chicken broth resulting from the boiling of the chicken thighs and simmered the pot on a low temperature until 8:30.  I also made two cups of rice, utilizing the four cups of duck stock Suzette had made from the duck carcass last week.

Todd arrived at 7:20 and we meditated for 1/2 hour.  I then made a thickening seasoning sauce with 1 heaping T. of cornstarch mixed into 2/3 cup of heavy cream.  Todd took a bowl of curry and rice home.  Then Suzette and I ate curry on rice with Mango chutney, five vegetable pickle, and sweet lime pickle.  Pickle adds sourness to the dish while chutney usually adds sweetness.

The rice

At 9:00 Willy arrived and enjoyed two plates.  I loved the flavor of both the rice and the curry.  The rice was dense with duck flavor and the curry was light and fruity from the cream and raisins, apples, and sweet potato.

I ate a piece of key lime pie for dessert with a cup of chai.

Bon Appetit