Wednesday, July 30, 2014

July 24, 2014 BBQ Shrimp and Rice with Purslane

July 24, 2014 BBQ Shrimp and Rice with Purslane

I had bought a pound of large fresh shrimp on Tuesday when I went to Ta Lin ($8.95/lb.) that we saved for this dinner.

This is one of Suzette’s favorite recipes.  She uses Paul Prudhomme’s Cajun Kitchen recipe with his unique blend of seasonings and lot of butter (you can find the recipe elsewhere in my blogs).

We also made coleslaw and added the PPI Mango Salsa to it for an interesting coleslaw.  We picked a cucumber from the garden and made cucumber spears and stuck them into the coleslaw to garnish the coleslaw.

The result is a spicy sauce and the perfect accompaniment to dirty rice.  Since we did not have a lot of giblets, Suzette picked some of the purslane growing wild outside our kitchen door, which seems somehow appropriate for a Cajun dish and put into the boiling rice water when she put in the rice.

Rice is easy to cook, but for some reason Suzette is scared to cook it. 

For ordinary white rice the radio is two parts water to one part rice.

I usually season the water with something.  My old standby is about ½ teaspoon of Knorr’s dehydrated to 2 cups of water and then when the water boils, add 1 cup of dry rice.

Then reduce the heat to its lowest level under the pot of rice and cook for 30 minutes.

For brown rice the ratio of water I usually use 2 ½ parts water and cook it for 45 minute,

Wild rice is beef stock as the liquid, ratio of 3 parts liquid to rice and a cooking time of 1¼ hours.

Suzette’s rice turned out fine, although she thought it was still a tiny bit hard.

We scooped a pile of rice into pasta bowls and ladled shrimp and sauce on top of it and had a good old fashion Cajun dinner with a bottle of beer.

Bon Appétit

July 27, 2014 Brunch Lambert’s in Taos Dinner Fried Rice with Pork

July 27, 2014 Brunch Lambert’s in Taos   Dinner  Fried Rice with Pork

We got up and drove into Taos and had brunch at the new Lamberts’ Restaurant located in the old Apple Tree location on Bent Street.   We shared a fresh spinach salad with strawberries and a Buffalo pastrami Reuben Sandwich with French fries coated with truffle oil.  Suzette drank a mimosa and I drank lemonade.  

We liked the buffalo pastrami, which we had never eaten before.

We then drove back to Albuquerque.

After a nap, we decided to make a simple meal of Fried Rice.

We combined the PPI apples and onions from the pork tapa dish and Suzette fried an egg in the wok while I chopped up two baby bok choy and a bit of garlic and the PPI pork.

Suzette then fried the pork, some PPI rice from the BBQ shrimp dinner, bok choy and onions and apples in the wok with the chopped up fried egg for a quick meal.

Bon Appétit

July 29, 2014 Lunch Hot Dog at Costco Dinner Talas rack of lamb with purslane couscous and tzatziki sauce

July 29, 2014  Lunch  Hot Dog at Costco   Dinner   Talas rack of lamb with purslane couscous and tzatziki sauce

I went by Costco after my meeting this morning and got my favorite inexpensive lunch, a Nathans all beef Polish hot dog with a drink for $1.60.  I put everything on it, including fresh chopped onions, deli mustard relish and catsup.   It is a great light lunch.

Then I drove to Trader Joe’s and bought a 32 oz. container of European style yogurt ($3.19) and several bottles of wine.

At 6:00 I went out to the driveway and picked a basket of purslane.  With all the rain this year the purslane is larger and more prolific than ever. 

Here is some information on purslane.

Common in our yards but little known in the North American kitchen, purslane is both delicious and exceptionally nutritious. Common purslane (Portulaca oleracea) — also known as duckweed, fatweed, pursley, pussley, verdolagas and wild portulaca — is the most frequently reported “weed” species in the world. It can grow anywhere that has at least a two-month growing season.
Until recently, most research on purslane has focused on its eradication. A frequently overlooked approach to controlling this weed is to eat it! Purslane is so surprisingly tasty, North Carolina market gardener Patryk Battle says, “I have rarely had anybody not buy purslane after they’ve tried it.”
Purslane is somewhat crunchy and has a slight lemony taste. Some people liken it to watercress or spinach, and it can substitute for spinach in many recipes. Young, raw leaves and stems are tender and are good in salads and sandwiches. They can also be lightly steamed or stir-fried. Purslane’s high level of pectin (known to lower cholesterol) thickens soups and stews.
Battle also uses purslane in pesto. He throws basil and purslane (upper stems and all) into a blender or food processor, adds a small amount of olive oil, garlic, pine nuts and enough hot water to get a good consistency. Because it’s so juicy, purslane helps create a low-fat pesto without too much oil.

A Nutrient-Rich Weed

Purslane may be a common plant, but it is uncommonly good for you. It tops the list of plants high in vitamin E and an essential omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Purslane provides six times more vitamin E than spinach and seven times more beta carotene than carrots. It’s also rich in vitamin C, magnesium, riboflavin, potassium and phosphorus.
Omega-3s are a class of polyunsaturated essential fatty acids. Your body cannot manufacture essential fatty acids, so you must get them from food. Unfortunately, the typical American diet contains too few omega-3s, a shortage that is linked to a barrage of illnesses including heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
ALA is most commonly found in plants and grass-fed meat and eggs. Artemis Simopoulos, co-author of The Omega Diet, says purslane is one of the richest known plant sources of ALA: It contains 15 times the amount found in most iceberg lettuce.
In addition to ALA, other omega-3s include eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA) acids mostly found in aquatic plants and animals, especially oily fish. Nutritionists now think all forms of omega-3s need to be plentiful in our diets p lants such as purslane may be part of the missing link to better nutrition. Ethnobiologists — scientists who study the relation between primitive human societies and the plants in their environment — believe that the plants humans ate long ago provided a greater proportion of nutrients than the plants we consume today. They estimate, for instance, that humans 40,000 to 10,000 years ago consumed an average of 390 milligrams per day of vitamin C from wild plants and fruits. In contrast, the average American today consumes just 88 milligrams of vitamin C per day. One cup of cooked purslane has 25 milligrams (20 percent of the recommended daily intake) of vitamin C.

Suzette arrived a little after 6:00 as I was still picking a few leaves of chard in the garden, a cucumber and mint for the tzatziki sauce.

It turned out the package of lamb contained two racks, so we decided to grill both racks and make couscous with purslane and Tzatziki Sauce.   Suzette took on the prep responsibilities for the couscous and the grilling and I looked up a recipe for tzatziki and prepared it.

Suzette chopped a tomato into cubes and sliced the large leaves of purslane into ¼ inch wide strips and then made the couscous by melting 2 Tbsp. of butter in a sauce pan and then sautéing the purslane and tomatoes for a minute and then added 1 ½ cups of water and when that started boiling she added 1 cup of couscous and turned down the heat to low for a minute and then turned off the heat to allow the couscous to absorb the liquid.

The Tzatziki Sauce Recipe
1 cucumber
1 cup of Greek style yogurt
2 cloves of garlic
1 Tbsp. of dill
Zest of 1 lemon and 1 Tbsp. of lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste

I also added 1 Tbsp. of fresh chopped mint and 1 Tbsp. of olive oil.

Actually I doubled the recipe.

When the lamb was grilled I tried to slice it into riblets and we discovered that it contained a tough cartilage membrane covering the riblets.  This was a surprise to us and we are not sure if it is because the lamb is churro lamb or if the Australians remove the cartilage covering the riblets.  Anyway I cut the cartilage away and then was able to easily slice the riblets between each rib.  We opened a bottle of the 2012 Pontificis red Southern Rhone blend I bought today at Trader Joe’s ($6.99, a blend of 40% Grenache, 40% Syrah and 20% mourvedre from the Languedoc-Roussillon region).  The wine label indicated that it was from an Indication Geographique Protegée.  

Here is what Indication Geographique Protegée means:

Vin de pays is a French term meaning "country wine". Vins de pays are a step in the French wine classification that is above the table wine (Vin de table) classification, but below Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) and formerly below VDQS classifications. Legislation on the Vin de pays terminology was created in 1973 and passed in 1979,[1] allowing producers to distinguish wines that were made using grape varieties or procedures other than those required by the AOC rules, without having to use the simple and commercially non-viable table wine classification. Unlike table wines, which are only indicated as being from France, Vin de pays carries a geographic designation of origin, the producers have to submit the wine for analysis and tasting, and the wines have to be made from certain varieties or blends. Regulations regarding varieties and labelling practices are typically more lenient than the regulations for AOC wines. In 2009, the Vin de pays classification was replaced by the new IGP - Indication Géographique Protégée, or Protected Geographical Region - designation.[2]

There are three tiers of Vin de Pays: regional, departmental and local.[1]
There are six regional Vins de Pays, which cover large areas of France. The most voluminous contributor to this category of wines is Vin de Pays d'Oc, from the Languedoc-Roussillon area in Mediterranean France.

We loved the slightly gamey flavor of the lamb.  The Couscous was moist and saturated with subtle flavor of tomatoes (the purslane has no flavor, just nutrients) and the wine had a slightly unpleasant finish to it that went away as it opened up or after we had had a glass or two of it.  

I liked the tzatziki sauce also, but the garlic tasted raw.  Hopefully it will mellow overnight in the fridge.  We will eat this same meal tomorrow evening since we have an equal amount of all the dishes left.

Suzette and I were both impressed by the large quantity of ingredients we had grown in our garden; the cucumbers, mint, dill, garlic, and purslane.  And the lamb was New Mexico raised churro lamb.  So this was a very fresh, local dinner.

For dessert I ate a bowl of  spumoni ice cream and Suzette ate a bowl of poached figs and vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce.

Bon Appétit

July 26, 2014 A Day in Taos Brunch El Gamal Dinner Martyrs Steakhouse

July 26, 2014   A Day in Taos   Brunch El Gamal   Dinner Martyrs Steakhouse

We slept in a bit but were up and at the Farmer’s Market by 9:00.  The Farmer’s Market has grown in size and now is located on the Plaza.

We parked at the Taos High School parking lot and walked through the John Dunn commercial development, where we bought large cups of Chai for me and coffee for Suzette on the way to the Plaza.

When we arrived at the Plaza it was filled with vendors of all kinds, both fruits and vegetables and prepared foods and baked goods and food vendors.

Suzette at the Farmer's Market
 Suzette bought a bundle of Rhubarb ($5.00/lb.) and we bought a pound of lovely large sugar snap peas ($5.00/lb.)  Then we started looking at the Taos Library’s book sale tables and found five or six books we liked and others we have been intending to read, like David McCollum’s Henry Adams biography.  After looking at and buying books for about ½ hour we were hungry, so we walked to the little plaza one block to the west of the Large Plaza to the El Gamal restaurant.  The name is new and the menu and ownership had changed, but the chef seems to be the same as the space’s last two incarnations as a diner and bakery. 

I ordered a daily special of Eggs Florentine on Challah.  Suzette ordered a chicken curry dish.  When the food was served we discovered that the bakery had baked Challah rolls and everything was served on or with the freshly baked challah rolls, which was okay because they were delicious.  The Hollandaise Sauce on my eggs Florentine was perfect, buttery, creamy and thick.  The eggs were beautifully poached tight bundles of white around a pocket of creamy golden yellow yolk and lots of freshly steamed spinach.  Suzette’s dish was equally good and served with toasted slices of Challah roll with homemade fresh peach preserves, which also delicious.  Regardless of its name, this restaurant in this location is my favorite brunch place in Taos, so long as the chef who always seems to be there is cooking.   I hope he lives a long time.    

Eggs Florentine

Suzette's curry
We then fetched the car, and drove to the Harwood Art Museum and saw the Gus Foster art collection that he is giving to the Harwood, the great Ron Davis resin piece 6 9ths and the John Connell Show with its lovely spray paint on rice paper scroll of a Buddhist monk.  I even saw a great photo of Robert Ray, who painted a picture hanging in the collection. 

Photo of Robert Ray
Ron Davis' 6 9ths
John Connell's monk
Then we drove to the parking lot beside the Taos Inn and visited some of the art galleries on Kit Carson and Pueblo Sur and Bent Street.  By 1:30 we were tired again and still feeling full from our bid brunch so we went inside the Adobe Bar at the Taos Inn and had a pint of honey beer and rested.  Then we returned to the room for a nap.

At 4:00 we were up and going again with a full itinerary for the evening.  We started by going to the Apricot festival at Taos Mesa Brewing, where we discussed the growing of apricots trees and bought an apricot tree from a very nice and knowledgeable young man ($20.00) and drank a apricot beer, which did not taste very much of apricots.  Then we drove toward town but I stopped at Taos Clay to see their ceramics show, which we had passed on the way north last night.  There were still lots of lovely items and I bought a nicely decorated pitcher for $20.00.

Taos Mesa Brewing's patio with view of Mt.Wheeler and apricot trees under awning
We still had some time before the 6:30 reception at Taos Community Auditorium in Kit Carson Park, so we went to the Exchange Store which has lots of interesting things. I looked at a lovely Netsuke carved in the shape of a deer.
Then around 6:30 we drove to the Taos Community Auditorium in Kit Carson Park.
When we walked into the foyer of the auditorium, we saw two long tables filled with appetizers and desserts.  There was a concession stand on one side of the foyer next to which was a small bar with wine and beer.   We walked over to the bar and bought a glass of pinot grigio.   

We had made a reservation at Martyrs Steakhouse for 8:30 so we were happy when the auditorium opened a few minutes before 7:00 for the 7:00 showing of the new documentary film about the life of Frank Morgan named "Sound of Redemption", which was introduced by the director N. Hiekin.

As soon as the movie ended at around 8:25, we left and walked across the street to Martyrs Steakhouse ( and were able to be seated on the patio.  Martyr’s Steakhouse is a beautifully restored house with a lovely bar area, lots of inside seating and a large attractive patio area dominated by several gas torches that one can buy at Costco that shoot flames up about six feet within a self-contained steel frame.  The patio is located next to  Martyr’s Lane and pueblo Norte, so it is subject to all the street noise which can be terrible when the motorcyclists drive through gunning their engines, but we put all of that at the back of our minds because the service and restaurant were so pleasant.  We had looked at the menu in the afternoon when we made our reservation, so it did not take long to decide to split an order of steak tartare ($15.00), a bowl of fish soup ($7.00) and a tournedos ($33.00), which was two 4 oz. petit filet mignons. 

The wine list was a little pricey but we both immediately decided on the first and least expensive choice, a Joel Gott Sonoma and Monterrey County Pinot Noir for $46.00.
Steak Tartare  with Aioli Sauce

Fish Soup

The soup turned out to be over spiced with chili, so we did not eat it, but the steak tartare was delicious with lots of olive oil and capers served with toast points.  We ordered bread and butter and the bread was a soft Italian style of bread that was also delicious slathered with the steak tartare and aioli sauce.  Soon our steaks came with garnished with a delicious cabernet sauvignon demi-glace sauce and a béarnaise sauce on the side.  Both sauces were delicious although the béarnaise was a little more vinegary than I usually make it.

Steak, mashed potatoes, vegetables and bearnaise sauce
The steaks were served with crisp flash blanched and sautéed vegetables that seemed to be fresh from the Farmer’s Market., a mound of not very appealing garlic mashed potatoes that tasted a lot like regular mashed potatoes without much butter, cream or garlic, and a ramekin of bearnaise sauce that was overly vinegary.  

chocolate mousse
For dessert we ordered a chocolate mousse that was overly creamy with the addition of a scoop of whipped cream on the top of a parfait glass and whipped cream stirred into the mousse also.  

Generally my impression was that all things related to the meat and its preparation were superb, but there was a little weakness in the sous elements, the soup, the béarnaise sauce and the chocolate mousse all could have been prepared better.

By 10:00 we had finished our meal and a great day of activities in Taos and went back to the B&B.

Bon Appétit  

Sunday, July 27, 2014

July 25, 2014 Lunch Lan’s Restaurant Dinner Appetizers at the Millicent Rogers Museum

July 25, 2014 Lunch  Lan’s Restaurant    Dinner  Appetizers at the Millicent Rogers Museum

July 25, 2014 Lunch  Lan’s Restaurant, Santa Fe     Dinner  Appetizers at the Millicent Rogers Museum, Taos

We got a late start for Taos today because Suzette had a client leave her facility and there was a search that ended when someone called the APD  as he was having trouble trying to cross Bridge Street, 25 miles away from the Center, but only ten to fifteen blocks from our house near the Sonic at Bridge and 8th.  Suzette went and picked him up and I went to sign my new line of credit and we left at around 1:30.

Suzette wanted to stop in Santa Fe and go to a couple of stores to check out tables for the laundry room.   

When we arrived in Santa Fe at 2:40 we were hungry, but were too late to eat at the shed, which closes at 2:30. When Suzette suggested that We go to Santa Fe Habitat for Humanity ReStore and Stephens, I suggested that we eat at Lan’s Restaurant , which is located in the same strip center as ReStore.
I let Suzette off at ReStore and drove to the end of the shopping center and was happy to see that Lan’s was still open for lunch until 3:00.   

I had become drowsy on the drive up to Santa Fe, so as soon as I was seated I ordered a drip coffee with condensed milk on ice.  The waitress was very Vietnamese, so it turned out I had to communicate with a lot of sign language and the curt language I have developed for oriental restaurants, like holding up two spread fingers and saying condensed milk to indicate the amount of condensed milk I wanted.  She made my coffee and then Suzette arrived.  Lan came out from the kitchen and took our order.  I first tried to order a dish from the menu and Lan said, “That is winter dish, too hot, available in September.”   I then asked Lan about the lamb wontons (5 for $8.00).

Lan replied, “You have never eaten the Lamb Wontons?”

I replied, “We will have an order of them.”

So we looked at the blackboard list of three items.   I ordered Banh Oug, which turned out to be cooked marinated homemade chicken sausage, cucumber, sweet onion, sweet + sour org. carrots + cabbage, papaya , shallots, and bean sprouts wrapped in a fresh sheet of rice noodle and served with a delicious brown sauce made with lime juice and Lan’s special mixture of Vietnamese spices. 

Suzette ordered one of the other three dishes; Vietnamese BBQ pork spareribs with noodles and a salad. 

Soon the lamb wontons came.  They were a beautiful dish; steamed flat wontons pressed around a small mound of flavored ground lamb on a plate and drizzled with green basil infused lime juice and olive oil.  A very fresh salad-like appetizer with a garnish of pickled carrots and fresh cilantro leaves and lots of other interesting stuff, like toasted black sesame seeds and fried garlic.  Ln put small fried rounds of garlic in most dishes, which was wonderful.  It illustrates her technique of enhancing the flavors in every dish with simple flavorful ingredients to push the flavors just a bit beyond ordinary. 

Suz, sipping iced coffee at Lan's

Lamb Wontons

Lamb  Wontons 

BBQ Sapreribs

Namh Oug
After we finished the wontons, the waitress soon brought us the Namh Oug, a plate with three large rolls of ingredients wrapped with a flat sheet of homemade rice noodle garnished with a light brown sauce. The rolls were large and the sauce looked messy and I had no idea how to eat the thing.   So, I asked the waitress how to eat the dish.  She handed us a sharp steak knife and made a cutting motion above the middle of the rolled stuffed noodles and said, “No fork, eat with spoon.”  She then brought us bowls of sauce and bathed the noodle rolls with more sauce so that when we cut the rolls into pieces they were bathed in sauce and could only be efficiently eaten by scooping them up with a spoon.  We loved the dish. The sauce had a sweet and sour flavor with the flavor of pho sauce.  When I was at Ta Lin the other day I bought a bottle of Pho flavoring paste and saw bottles of other Vietnamese flavorings.  So I need to go back and try some of them.
Suzette’s dish came next.  It was rather conventional, with three three inch long sets of BBQ spare ribs on a plate with a mound of vermicelli sauced rice noodles and a small salad.  Suzette’s dish was delicious also, but we could not finish both of them so we boxed about ½ of the spare ribs with vermicelli noodles and salad and drove on to Taos.   After my coffee hit my brain I was no longer sleepy. 

We arrived at around 4:30 and made our way north to the B&B.  It was located just off Blueberry Hill Rd, which I  thought was the road that went beside the Millicent Roger Museum, but I was wrong.  But I drove to the Millicent Rogers Museum by mistake and when we arrived at a bit after 5:00 the parking lot was full of cars and so we walked in.  We had stumbled into a preview for the Best of Taos, which was an art auction.  Wine was being poured by Black Mesa and the owner of the Trading Post had laid out platters of appetizers.  We immediately blended into the crowd, by grabbing a glass of wine and wandering into the galleries in which the auction items were hung.  We said hello to Robert Parsons who had given a couple of pieces to be auctioned and was deep in discussion with a lady and looked at the art, which appeared to be priced at double its market value. We looked at the art and decided we liked an anonymous set of colchas the best but were not interested in paying the listed price of $5,000 for them.

Colcha Embroidery
A unique style of embroidery evolved in colonial New Mexico. Colcha is done in handspun, hand-dyed wool on a plain-woven wool ground cloth called sabanilla. Sometimes the entire ground is covered with embroidery. The subject matter included ornate and fanciful flowers or birds. Colcha is used for decorative wall pieces and altar cloths as well as household items.

So we went back to the foyer to the table filled with appetizers that had been prepared by the Trading Post Restaurant and had a lovely light meal of appetizers and wine.

There were three appetizers and they were all delicious:  a baked spoon will with a slice of gravad lax and garnished with a dab of seaweed salad, a crab and vegetable filling rolled in phyllo and baked with a dab of flavored mayonnaise sauce, and a wonderful cream puff filled with duck confit and sherry mousse with a slit on the top into which a slice of fresh radish was placed.

Each appetizer was well conceived and executed with unique flavor profiles.  These appetizer were just as creative and appealing as Lan's food had been.  By a series of accidents and mistakes, we had scored a 100% wonderful food day. 

Salmon and Seaweed Spoons

Duck confit mousse filled cream puffs

Salmon and seaweed spoon close up

crab filled phyllo rolls
We sat in comfortable chairs in the inner patio of the Museum and sipped Black Mesa merlot and nibbled appetizers for about a ½ hour before we felt compelled to go to the B&B to meet our hostess at our appointed arrival time of 7:00.. 

When we arrived at the B&B, Marianna, the owner of the house located out on the mesa near the Gorge Road and Blueberry Hill Road, showed us to our room, which originally had been the house's large garage that had been converted into a guest accommodations.  The room was decorated in a Moroccan motif, which meant several posters with a Moroccan motif and a picture of the water lilly pond at Yves St. Laurent’s villa in Marrakesh.  

Our hostess, Marianna, taught art to children and worked at the Harwood Museum.

We were tired and did not want to go out, so I ate the PPI BBQ pork ribs from lunch and Suzette went to bed while I worked on a water law project.

Bon Appétit   


July 23, 2014 Shrimp Cakes

July 23, 2014 Shrimp Cakes

I usually meditate on Wednesday evenings so we do not cook much.  We had a large amount of the seafood stuffing left over from last night’s stuffed flounder meal so Suzette suggested that we make it into shrimp cakes and eat it with some of the PPI coleslaw.

When I returned home at around 8:20 Suzette had already mixed the stuffing with eggs and fried them and the shrimp cakes were in the oven.  Suzette had also fetched Negra Modelo beers that were chilling in the freezer.

We had quick and delicious dinner although we though the shrimp cakes were a little mushy and wet.  This often occurs when things like egg foo young and crab cakes that have a lot liquid in them from the combination of the egg and the wetness of the ingredients are not sautéed long enough to solidify or cook off the liquid.

 Bon Appétit  

July 20, 2014 Pork Tenderloin with Pasta and Pesto with fresh Roasted Garden Vegetables

July 20, 2014 Pork Tenderloin with Pasta and Pesto with fresh Roasted Garden Vegetables

We ate fresh thawed Dungeness crab with coleslaw and Zia Champagne in the garden.   I made my favorite sauce; a mayonnaise sauce with shallots, a little white dry vermouth, a dash of white wine vinegar and a dash of olive oil.  Suzette made her favorite sauce; a cocktail sauce with catsup, lemon, horseradish, and a dash of Tabasco.  We opened the Blanc de blanc Zia champagne we had bought at the Vine and Wine Festival at Las Golondriñas last Saturday.   It was a lovely morning and we loved eating the fresh crab while we watched the fish play in the pond and the water lilies in bloom.   The wine was pleasant, but not world shaking, as you would expect of a non-vintage brut.  

Then Suzette worked in the Garden, picking lots of turnips, carrots and beets.  She also thawed out a couple of small bottles of the pesto she had made last summer. 
We wanted an easy meal for dinner so we decided to make a pasta dish with the pesto and some of the PPI Pork tenderloin.

Suzette cleaned, tossed in olive oil and then roasted carrots, beets, turnips, and fresh garlic in a 350˚ oven for 46 minutes.

She then boiled penne pasta, drained it and tossed it with pesto and the roasted vegetables.

Then in a separate skillet Suzette seared the PPI pork tenderloin. 

When the pork was warm, she plated pasta and vegetables and chunks of warm pork tenderloin onto each plate.

We decided on a light red wine for the dinner and I went to the basement and fetched a bottle of Wellington 2009 Estate Vineyard Sonoma Valley Grenache.

This was the first bottle of Wellington Grenache we have drunk and as it turned out that the Grenache was rather heavy with lots of body and less fruitiness than I thought it would have; quite different than the lighter and cheaper Beaujolais or Spanish Grenaches usually drink.

Some of the vegetables were a bit tough with fibers in them.  I realized in a flash how peasants who rely on a garden must eat at the end of a growing season; simply, but at the tough end of nature’s bounty.  Perhaps that is what is meant by the prayer, “Thank you, our Lord, for this life sustaining food.” 

Bon Appétit