Monday, February 20, 2017

February 20, 2017. Brunch – Granola, yogurt, milk, and blueberries. Lunch – Polish Dog at Costco, Dinner – New Recipe, Cream of Roasted Vegetable soup garnished with Pasilla Sorrel Sauce and Crema and a garden salad

February 20, 2017. Brunch – Granola, yogurt, milk, and blueberries.  Lunch – Polish Dog at Costco,  Dinner – New Recipe, Cream of Roasted Vegetable soup garnished with Pasilla Sorrel Sauce and Crema and a garden salad

Dinner was a new recipe. Suzette converted the PPI Roasted vegetables into a cream soup by cooking the vegetables with chicken stock and then emulsifying them into a purée and then adding 1/3 cup of Crema (we had no cream).

While the soup was cooking Suzette sautéed 3 T. of chopped pasilla chili and one scallion in butter and olive oil and blanched 1 ½ cups of fresh sorrel leaves from the garden in salted water and then drained  the sorrel and put the drained sorrel and the sautéed pasilla into a blender and puréed it into a sauce.

I cut rounds of fresh Fano baguette and toasted them.  We also made a simple green salad with the lettuce we picked from our garden yesterday to which I added slices of cucumber and diced red onion that we garnished with the Cesar salad dressing I reconstituted yesterday with anchovies, lemon juice, olive oil and a whipped egg.

Suzette filled soup bowls with the soup garnished with dollops of pasilla sorrel sauce and Crema and shaved Pecorino Romano cheese.

We opened a bottle of Romanian red wine produced by Recas Vineyard, the largest in Romania.

We enjoyed the light and delicious dinner with slices of toast.

Later I ate toasted whole wheat baguette from Pastian’s with Irish butter and Brie cheese to finish my glass of red wine.

Later still I ate a few forkfuls of fruit cake with Hibiscus tea.

We loved this meatless meal.

Bon Appetit

February 19, 2017 Brunch – BLT Sandwiches. Lunch – PPI Pork Goulash, Dinner – Grilled Ribeye steaks and Artichokes with Roasted vegetables and steamed string beans

February 19, 2017 Brunch – BLT Sandwiches. Lunch – PPI Pork Goulash,  Dinner – Grilled Ribeye steaks and Artichokes with Roasted vegetables and steamed string beans

After watching the news shows at 10:15 we went to the garden and uncovered the two vegetable raised beds  and picked dill, lettuce and sorrel.  I then fried five slices of thick Applewood smoked bacon from Costco and we made BLT sandwiches with the fresh lettuce.

We then gathered up the Von Hassler print and the frame we had bought yesterday and went to Michael’s with our coupon for reduced cost framing.  The cost for framing the print in our $12.94 frame  was $60.00.  We decided to take the Von Hassler on artist board on Monday.  Suzette bought six frames on ½ price sale to frame the folk art paintings she bought in China for $136.00, which was a remarkable $23.00 each.

On our way to Michael’s we stopped atTrader Joe’s where we bought fresh artichokes, herbed olives, camembert and Iberico cheese and five or six bottles of wine including a sweet Marsala and anAmontillado sherry.  They were out of our favorite cognac and Armagnac.  We then went to TOTAL WINE and bought 12 bottles of different and new wines, including two Recas Romanian wines plus a bottle of Carbennau VSOP cognac and two bottles of scotch for Suzette.

It was 2:00 by this time and we were tired of shopping, so we drove home and ate a late lunch of the PPI Pasta and Pork Goulash and I cooked the artichokes in a pot of simmering water for an hour and we decided to grills steaks for dinner, so we thawed out two steaks.

I slept after lunch until 4:30  and then went to the kitchen.  I called Willy and invited him to eat dinner with us.  I then chopped five small potatoes, the last bit of sweet potato, three carrots, the last golden beet and several turnips from our garden.  We then went back out to cover the two raised beds and I picked a handful of Rosemary's the roasted vegetables.  Suzette took over and added cloves of garlic and tossed the vegetables in olive oil and salt and cooked the vegetables covered with aluminum foil for 30 minutes at 350 degrees and then added the chunks of Kabocha squash we had in the fridge and cooked the vegetables for an additional 30 minutes uncovered.  While Suzette was cooking I refreshed the Cesar salad dressing with lemon juice, olive oil, a bit of salt and a whipped egg.

 I then made a mayonnaise sauce with lemon juice, a bit of olive oil, the dill we had picked in the garden, a bit of salt, and the last cup of mayonnaise.  I went to the cellar and moved the new wine rack into position and opened two cases of wine that needed to be moved to make room for the wine.  I found two bottles of Riscal 2006 Tempranillo and decided to drink one of them for dinner, so took it upstairs.

I decided rather than salad we should eat the string beans I bought at El Super last Wednesday, so cleaned about ½ lb. of those and put them in the steamer basket.

At 7:00 Suzette started the grill and at 7:30 grilled the steaks and artichokes.  The artichokes were done perfectly but The steaks were carried, probably due to fire from burning olive oil from the artichokes that dripped onto the steaks and caught fire.  The steaks were cooked to medium, which was Willy and my preference, so no one complained.  I had taken a container of Béarnaise sauce out of the fridge, so much of the charred flavor was alleviated by the application of sauce.  The vegetables were tender and delicious with their slight hint of rosemary.
The string beans were pleasantly soft and tender and benefited from a dab of Béarnaise sauce also.

The wine was the real surprise.  It had a clarity that was amazing.  We drank mostly young Rioja Tempranillo and I had forgotten how good aged Tempranillo can taste.  This was a bottle of regular Tempranillo and simply aging it allowed the musty organic material to settle out of the wine to result in a wine of intense clarity but with a slight tannic bite and some fruitiness.  Suzette thought it had a slight Zinfandel acidity and spiciness.

I recommend aging your Tempranillo.

I finished my wine with a few bites of the Camembert cheese I had bought at Trader Joe’s.

A wonderful meal.

Bon Appetit

Saturday, February 18, 2017

February 18, 2017 Lunch – PPI Posole. Dinner – Steamed Monkfish marinated in Soy Sauce, Chinese rice wine and sugar, julienned green onion spears and served with Spinach fried rice

February 18, 2017  Lunch – PPI Posole. Dinner – Steamed Monkfish marinated in Soy Sauce, Chinese rice wine and sugar, julienned green onion spears and served with Spinach fried rice

I made two eggs on a raft for breakfast.

Then we went looking for frames at garage sales and consignment shops.  Suzette bought 11 dozen champagne flutes and four frames at the first garage sale and two elegantly decorated pillows at the second.

We then went to Talin where we bought a pound of fresh monkfish for $9.99/ lb., beech mushrooms, Spanish canned pimientos, five spice seasoning, shallots, and canned sliced water chestnuts.

Then we found two nice frames at the consignment store At the north west corner of San Pedro and Central.

It was after noon so we went home and ate bowls of posole with sour cream and drank a beer.

It was 2:00 and I took a long nap until 5:00, when we showered and dressed for the evening.  I found a recipe for steamed fish in a soy, ginger, green onion, five spice seasoning, and oil sauce.  Suzette made the sauce and marinated the monkfish in it and then steamed the fish in the steamer oven.

Spinach Fried rice

While the fish was cooking Suzette chopped up some red bell pepper, ginger, garlic, and onion.  She also cleaned and sliced about 1/2 cup of mushrooms and fetched the fresh spinach and PPI rice from the fridge.

She started by stir frying the onion, bell, pepper, garlic and ginger.  After five or six minutes she added the mushrooms and cooked everything together for an additional three or four minutes.  The she added the spinach and rice and cooked everything for another four or five minutes until everything was integrated and heated.

We then piled spoonfuls of rice into pasta bowls and lay the fish on the pile and drizzled the fish with sauce and  garnished the fish with the julienned ginger and green onion.

Suzette drank Anjou Chenin Blanc and I drank green tea.

At 6:40 we left for concert at the NHCC celebrating The 65th Anniversary of the Pimentel family’s guitar business.  There were at least a dozen groups performing until 11:00 every type of music and every performer was a virtuoso performer.  The evening started with a guitar professor from UNM performing “come Together” by John Lennon and the Beatles acoustically and ended with the Watermelon Mountain Jug Band with lots of Classical, Flameco, mariachi, Gaelic, Cuban, and rock music in between.  One of my favorites was Dan Lambert from El Paso who played White Rabbit by the Jefferson Airplane with a drummer and Angela Roybal, who channeled Gracie Slick perfectly.

It was a fun evening of music.  At intermission we drank margaritas from the bar.

Bon Appetit

February 17, 2017. Lunch - Salad and cheesy toast. Dinner - Steamed Cod filet stuffed with spinach, steamed asparagus and PPI baked potato

February 17, 2017 Lunch – Salad. Dinner – Steamed Cod with Spinach and Asparagus and PPI Baked Potato

I ate granola, milk, blueberries, dried cranberries, and yogurt fot breakfast.  I feel like I am communing with Jim Cramer every time I do because he eats granola for breakfast.  Usually, as today I eat my granola as I watch him on Squawk on the Street on MSNBC.

Today by the way was an interesting day on the market.  The Trump rally is loosing steam and only special things seem to lift the market.  Well one of my/mother’s stocks was the. Focus of investor interest today.  Kraft-Heinz announced it had made a tender offer for Unilever, the large English/Dutch food and cosmetics legacy brands Company that owns such brands as Pond’s soap and Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream.

The market stayed mostly negative until the end of the day, when it went positive and my portfolio went positive by almost exactly the amount of the gain I realized on KHC of $9.01 per share.  It is always better to have a gain than a lost, no matter how unlikely or
 unexpected the source.

I was just starting to feel better by lunch after I started taking a cycle of antibiotics Thursday evening to get ride of the sinus infection and the weather turned balmy, so I decided to make a salad for lunch.  I made a super salad with a head of romaine, a diced Roma tomato 1/3 of a peeled and sliced cucumber, the last 3 oz. of Mexican Fresca cheese ($2.99/lb. at El Super) and a sliced ripe avocado dressed with Cesar Salad Dressing.

I also toasted a piece of multigrain baguette from Sprouts and added slices of Petit Basque cheese to the slices of toast and melted the slices in the microwave ove for 23 seconds at a power level of 7 to melt the cheese for lovel open face cheese sandwiches.
 I got busy after lunch with a new transaction for Rahim until 4:45 and the new business I am helping organize and was not able to ride.

Suzette had a root canal operation at 2:00 so she came home shot up with Novocain and rested while I worked with Rahim.

Suzette was feeling better by 5:30 to 6:00 and went to the kitchen to cook.  She decided to cook the fresh cod filet I bought at Sprouts Farm Market yesterday for $7.99/lb. in our new steamer oven stuffed with fresh spinach on a bed of  slices of fresh lemon and doused with sherry and dabbed with slices of butter.  Following the cooking instructions, Suzette cooked the approximately 1 pound fish filet for 21 minutes.

 She also steamed with the fish about 10 stalks of fresh asparagus.  To complete the meal Suzette heated two small PPI baked potatoes in the microwave.  I fetched a bottle of Chenin Blanc from Anjou that I bought at Trader Joe’s for $7.99 and chilled it a bit and fetched the sour cream for the potatoes.

While Suzette plated dinner I twisted the aluminum metal top and poured glasses of wine.  The cool but not cold chenin Blanc had that buttery floral flavor that we love about Chenin Blanc and was a pleasant complement to the fish.

The steamed fish had an absence of flavor very much as if it had been cooked by the soup vide method.  I could taste the delicate texture and flavor of the pure white cod as it broke apart into flakes.  Suzette captured the sherry and butter broth yielded by the steaming oven, which we used to douse the fish to give it a little more flavor.  The best bites were those from the parts of the filet that touched the lemon slices or were eaten with bits of spinach.  The fish was almost a textural experience; tender fluffy cod flakes with a very mild flavor.  I found it very interesting.  I can hardly wait to try steaming fish with slices of ginger, lemon, and green onion with a soy sauce.

I finely sliced two green onions to garnish the potato and fish and we slathered the potato with butter and sour cream and green onions.

I took another antibiotic and became drowsy and went to bed at 8:30.

So much for my exciting Friday night.

Bon Appetit

Ffebruary 16, 2017. Lunch - PPI salad and Chirashi. Dinner - Eggplant in Garlic Sauce and rice

February 16, 2017 Lunch – PPI salad and Chirashi. Dinner – Stir Fried Garlic flavored eggplant and rice

I made a man on a raft for breakfast by toasting a piece of integral sandwich loaf in butter with an egg on top.

I then attended a meeting and afterward went to Costco to buy Kleenex and spinach, a bottle of probiotic gummie bears, and dish soap capsules.  Then I went to Sprouts where I bought Greek yogurt, tofu, a large filet of fresh Cod, two red bell peppers for $1.00, two bunches of asparagus for $1.88/lb., a handful of green beans for $.88/lb., and a 6 oz. container of blueberries for $2.50.

It was a bit after noon when I arrived home.  I put PPI salad and Chirashi on a plate, made a cup of green tea day filled a dipping bowl half full of soy.  I then added some wasabi from the takeout box and enjoyed salad and Chirashi for lunch.

Suzette came home early to finish painting cabinets and we discussed dinner.  She said, we need to eat the eggplants I had bought last Wednesday and I agreed.  At 3:30 I rode to just north of the Wildlife Center and back.

After eating a snack of salmon terrine on toasted whole wheat baguette I sliced the two eggplants into 2 inch by 1/3 inch strips, finely minced about 2 tsp.  garlic, and cubed the approximately ½ lb. of pork tenderloin that I had thawed for the dish.

When Suzette finished painting at 6:00 she had a glass of Sauvignon Blanc and watched the news until 7:00 and then began to cook dinner

I heated 2 cups of water with 1 tsp. Of dehydrated chicken stock, 1 tsp of dried wakame seaweed.  When it began to boil I added a cup of basmati rice to the  boiling water, turned down the heat to its lowest setting, covered the pot, and cooked the rice for30 minutes.

Eggplant with Garlic Sauce

Suzette first deep fried the eggplant strips in about ½ cup of medium hot peanut oil in a wok and made a seasoning sauce of

1 T. double dark soy sauce

2 tsp. Oyster sauce

½ tsp.  Shaoxing  wine

1 tsp. White rice vinegar

½ tsp. Hot pepper fakes from hot pepper oil

2 tsp. Sugar

½ tsp. Cornstarch

¼ tsp salt

After all the eggplant strips had been softened and started to brown she removed them from the oil to drain in a bowl lined with a paper towel.

Suzette then poured off all but 1 ½ T. of the oil and increased the heat of the oil so that when the pork and garlic the oil gave off a wisp of  smoke.

She cooked the garlic and pork until it changed color and returned the eggplant to the wok and cooked it for about 2 minutes until the eggplant and garlic and pork flavors mixed.

Suzette then made a well in the mixture, stirred the seasoning sauce and poured it into the well in the mixture.

She then stir fried the mixture for about 2 minutes until the sauce thickened.

Suzette fetched bottles of beer from the garage and she plated our plates with rice and scoops of the eggplant mixture.  It was a simple but immensely delicious dish thanks to Eileen Lo’s wonderful cookbook, Mastering the Art of Chinese Cooking.

Bon Appetit

Thursday, February 16, 2017

February 15, 2017 Lunch - East Asia. Dinner - Brats Braised in Beer with Sauerkraut and mashed potatoes and asparagus

February 15, 2017 Lunch – East Ocean. Dinner – Bratwurst poached in beer, sauerkraut, mashed potatoes and steamed asparagus

I was prepared to eat posole when I called Aaron and found out he was free fir lunch.  We drove to East Ocean, because I had a hankering for Chinese food.  Aaron ordered Kung Pao scallops and I ordered my favorite, Scallops in Lobster Sauce.  We both liked our lunch. The toasted peanuts on Aaron’s Kung Pao scallops looked wonderful.

For dinner I had a menu.  It is one of Suzette’s favorite German dishes; Bratwursts and Sauerkraut Sautéed in beer, mashed potatoes, and steamed asparagus.

Yesterday I went Sprouts and bought a jar of Bubbie’s Sauerkraut, plus a package of duck foie gras and a multigrain baguette and two bottles of Tisdale Pinot Noir for $7.00.

Suzette has a special recipe for bratwursts and Sauerkraut that I bet is a traditional Pennsylvania Deutsch recipe.  She did a lower cal variation this time by punching holes in the brats to release fat and because they had sat in the fridge for a week and had dried out a bit.

Braised bratwurst in beer

Suzette covered and poached three brats in a skillet filled with one 12 oz. can of beer for 5 to 10 minutes.

Then she uncovered the skillet and let all the liquid evaporate leaving a residual of beer caramel on the brats coating the brats.

She then added a small amount of olive oil to prevent burning and then braised the brats until brown.  She then added sauerkraut to the skillet cooked the Sauerkraut with the brats.  This achieves a sauce combining the beer caramelization with the pickling liquid with the Sauerkraut.

Taste the sauce and adjust seasonings.  In this case Suzette added about 1 ½ T. of sugar because the Bubbie’s Sauerkraut was very sour.

She then made whipped mashed potatoes and we steamed asparagus.

The plating of the dish was to lay scoops of brat and Sauerkraut with some sauce on a pile of mashed potatoes and serve with the asparagus.  We each made our own favorite condiment combination with German mustard, mayonnaise, and horseradish.

This is a delicious dish of ancient origin, I am sure.  Suzette simply says, “This is the way we have always made this dish.”

One of the things that I love about food is how it permits you look deeply into cultures and history.

We drank Belgium beers with dinner and Willy joined us for dinner, as we watched the Trump White House respond to the multiple issues it is now facing, including the withdrawal of Putzner’s nomination for Secretary of Labor, the firing of Lynch as National Security Advisor, the potential charges of ethics violations of W.H. Counsel Kellyanne Conway, and investigations of contacts with the Russians during the campaign and transition.

Now it appears there are domestic violence allegations against Bannon also.

What a mess!

Bon Appetit

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

February 13, 2017 Lunch – Posole and salad, Dinner – Pasta with Goulash and Roasted Kabocha Squash and Salad

February 13, 2017 Lunch – Posole and salad,  Dinner – Pasta with Goulash and Roasted Kabocha Squash and Salad

After lunch yesterday I diced the rest of the pork strips and two onions and sautéed them and added seven cloves of garlic and about one fourth cup of dried and fresh oregano and some cumin and then added the can of drained hominy and simmered it until I went to bed.  Then today I simmered it from breakfast until lunch.  I invited Peter Eller over for lunch and made a salad of lime juice marinated jicama, Mexican fresco cheese, a tomato diced, a couple ounces or diced red onion, two avocados diced,  1 ½ heads of romaine lettuce dressed with Cesar salad dressing freshened with Spanish olive oil and lemon juice and salt.

We heated corn tortillas in the microwave and served bowls of posole.

We looked at the Carl Von Hassler paintings I bought from Robert Parsons and discussed restoration and framing.

For dinner we had no plan except we had the Kabocha squash Suzette had baked with the baked potatoes the other day.

We discussed a pasta dish with squash and decided to combine the
PPI goulash with chunks of squash.

I peeled and cubed the squash and Suzette heated the PPI goulash and pasta into an enameled casserole, added some water to emulsify the sauce, added two cups fresh de-stemmed chard from the garden and covered and steamed the ingredients for five to ten minutes.  She then added 1 ½ cups of Kabocha squash and covered and simmered the mixture for fifteen to twenty minutes, adjusted the seasonings by adding salt.  Voila, a new dish was created.

We ate the pasta dish with the PPI salad from lunch and drank a 2013 Famille Perrin Cotes du Rhone Reserve.

Bon Appetit