Monday, April 30, 2018

April 30, 2018 Lunch – Padilla’s Dinner – PPI Chicken Mole and stewed Chayote

April 30, 2018 Lunch – Padilla’s  Dinner – PPI Chicken Mole and stewed Chayote

I ate a large bowl f tropical fruit salad with yogurt and granola for breakfast.  My very favorite biodynamic breakfast.  No milk, just fruit juice to moisten the granola.

Then I rode to Montano and then showered.

 Mike and I met a bit after noon at Padilla’s.  I ordered a Relleno plate with two chili Rellenos and double pinto beans for $8.75.  Mike ordered one chili Relleno and one meat filled enchilada a la carte for $8.20.

We both really liked our lunches.  The chili Relleno were much larger than the ones served at La Salita and I enjoyed the flour and egg batter Padilla’s used to coat the chilis.  For a moment I thought the same mix used for the sopapillas was used as the Relleno batter.




When we were brought a basket of four sopapillas, I was still not finished with my rellenos, so I asked for a box and enjoyed my two steaming hot sopapillas.  Padilla’s sopapillas have been rated the best in Albuquerque and I see no reason to contradict that assessment.  Padilla’s makes their own mix from a secret recipe.  Viola.

After lunch I went to the law library to do some research and then home.

I was tired and rested until 5:00 when I ate a snack of Jarlsberg cheese slices laid on rye crackers smeared with cod fish roe, a very Swedish snack.

Willy came by around 7:00 to do his laundry.  We watched the news, a bit of hockey, and some Antique Roadshow with me until almost 10:00.  Around 8:00 I heated the PPI Chicken Mole and stewed Chayote and tomatoes and put a couple of handfuls of spinach into the Chayote stew to add some green vegetable to the dish.  After dinner we drank a beer to help wash down the spicy mole.

It is hard to get excited to cook a big meal with Suzette out of town.

Bon Appetit

April 29, 2018 Lunch – Vichyssoise and Salad. Dinner – Grilled Lamb Chops and Eggplant slices and sautéed Zucchini and onion.

April 29, 2018 Lunch – Vichyssoise and Salad. Dinner – Grilled Lamb Chops and Eggplant slices and sautéed Zucchini and onion.

I ate a bagel with goat cheese, sliced red onion and Lax garnished with capers for breakfast.

I rode to Rio Bravo at 11:30

When I returned I ate two bowls of Vichyssoise and a large salad garnished with four anchovies.

I watched some TV and then showered at 3:00 and went to replenish the propane and then walked across the street to Sandy’s house where there was a fundraiser for a politician running to fill Steve Pearce’s seat in the U.S. House.

Tzatziki – I then made tzatziki with about ¼ cup each of fresh picked and chopped mint and dill and garlic greens, ¾ of a cucumber diced and salted lightly, 1 cup yogurt, and the juice of ½ lemon.  The result had an unusually creamy texture.

When Willy arrived around 6:30 we decided to grill eggplant slices with the lamb chops, so I sliced and brushed them with olive oil and salted and Willy peppered the eggplant slices. Unfortunately I over salted the eggplant slices and they were cooked properly but too salty to be edible.  Willy did a great job grilling the lamb and eggplant.

Lemon flavored sautéed zucchini and onion – this is an easy and tasty dish.  I quartered zucchini’s lengthwise and then sliced them. I then sliced about ¼ cup of onion and three cloves of garlic.  I heated olive oil and grape seed oil in a skillet and sautéed the ingredients.  Willy went to the garden and picked a small handful of oregano stalks.  I removed the leaves and chopped them and added them to the skillet and turned the zucchini slices occasionally until they began to brown.  Then I added the juice of ½ lemon and turned the heat down to await the grilled meat.

I opened a bottle of 2015 Valreas Cotes Du Rhone ($5.99 at Trader Joe’s).  Not a very complex or elegant Southern Rhone but very reliable and a super price.

When Willy brought in the meat and vegetables we plated and poured glasses of wine and took them to the table in the garden beside the pond and had a pleasant meal in the twilight.  When it became dark Willy fetched his kerosene lantern and we ate and talked until. A bit after 9:00.





A pleasant meal to end a relaxing day.o

Bob Appetit

Saturday, April 28, 2018

April 28, 2018 Lunch – PPI Vichyssoise. Dinner – Lynn’s Party

April 28, 2018 Lunch – PPI Vichyssoise.  Dinner – Lynn’s Party

Today I made tropical fruit salad in the morning with papaya, pineapple, mangos, oranges, and a bit of lime juice.  I ate a
bowl of it with granola for breakfast.

For lunch I went to the garden and picked five stalks of chives and sliced them into thin rounds that I used to garnish bowls of Vichyssoise.

Then I drove to the new location on Albuquerque Water Gardens and bought five small gold fish and three bundles of oxygenating plants.

At 4:00 I went to Park Plaza for Lynn’s birthday party.  The food was prepared by Ed (gazpacho with chopped cucumbers, green onions and halved grape tomatoes that was very delicious).  Michel made deviled eggs with fresh eggs laid by her Bantam chickens.  There were trays of charcuterie  and Petit Basque and Manchego.  They bought a house in Santa Fe. And are fixing it up.

I came home at 7:40, watched some PBS and hockey and then went to bed.

Bon Appetit


Friday, April 27, 2018

April 27, 2018 Lunch – Salmon Salad Dinner – Chicken Mole with Stewed Chayote


April 27, 2018 Lunch – Salmon Salad  Dinner – Chicken Mole with Stewed Chayote

I went to the garden and picked a large basket of lettuce. Which I rinsed and spun and put in the fridge to chill.

I diced a tomato, ½ cucumber, 1 avocado, ¼ red onion sliced, 2 radishes, and ¼ lb. of poached salmon.  We each filled a pasta bowl with chilled lettuce and ½ of the other ingredients.  I added juice of ½ lemon and ¼ cup of olive oil to the continuous salad dressing and shuck it to mix and dressed the salads.

We poured glasses of Sauvignon Blanc and carried them with the salads to the gazebo in the garden where we enjoyed a lovely quiet lunch.

I then drove Suzette to the airport to catch a plane to visit her family.

I then went home and took a nap until 2:15, when I rode to Montano and back.

I had bought eight chicken thighs at El Super for $.97/lb. on Wednesday that I wanted to cook.  Since I bought several beautiful Chayote also on Wednesday, I decided to stew several Chayote as a vegetable to go with the mole.  I had a container of prepared mole that I had also bought at El Super.  The mole directions suggested diluting the prepared mole sauce with chicken stock.  To create some stock I de-skinned the thighs and boiled them for ½ hour.  I sautéed ½ onion in a few dashes of sesame oil with a dash of ground cinnamon and achiote and ¼ cup of chopped almonds.

I de-boned the meat from the chicken thighs.

I then added about 1 cup of prepared mole to the skillet in which I had  softened the onions and then 2 to three cups of chicken stock.  I used a whisk to mix the mole sauce until it became smooth and creamy and then simmered it on its lowest heat level.

I then peeled and sliced two Chayote and simmered them in the remaining chicken broth that also contained three dried quajillo chili’s and ¼ cup of onion with enough water added to cover the Chayote slices to which I added a diced Roma tomato, a ¼ cup of diced fresh epazote for 45 minutes.

Here is the recipe I followed for stewing the Chayote:

Stewed Chayote with Tomato and Epazote 

Get this all-star, easy-to-follow Stewed Chayote with Tomato and Epazote recipe from Food Network
Directions Peel the chayotes and cut them into 1/4inch julienne, including the core and seeds. Set aside. In a blender jar, combine the tomatoes and garlic and blend for a few seconds, until...


Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds chayote (about 2 medium)
  • 2 small tomatoes, roasted (see Note)
  • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped white onion
  • 3 Arbol chiles
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons roughly chopped epazote leaves
While the Chayote slices were boiling, I tasted the mole and found it a little too picante.  So, after looking at a recipe for mole I added two handfuls of raisins and a handful of semi-sweet chocolate chips.  That made the mole perfectly flavored for me.


I cooked the mole for about ½ hour and then ate two pasta bowls of chicken mole and stewed Chayote.  Both dishes were very delicious and very simple to prepare.





Bon Appetit  

Thursday, April 26, 2018

April 26, 2018 Lunch - Japanese Kitchen ChirashiTd



  • April 26, 2018 Lunch - Japanese Kitchen Chirashi


I ate yogurt, milk, blueberries, diced mango, and granola for breakfast.

I met Robert at Japanese Kitchen for lunch.  He chose Japanese Kitchen because his favorite waitress is Korean and we wanted to celebrate what may be the first step on the path to Reunification of North and South Korea, as Kim Jung Ung is the first North Korean leader to visit South Korea.

We both ordered Deluxe Chirashi for $28.00 each. It included lots of different slices of raw fish and seafood.  I could not eat everything and filled a box of sushi rice fish and octopus that I ate before book club at 5:30.

Here is a picture of the two bowls of delicacies stacked one on the other.



Bon Appetit

April 25, 2018 Lunch – Salad with Melted Cheese sandwich Dinner – Shrimp Primavera served over Voodles


April 25, 2018 Lunch – Salad with Melted Cheese sandwich  Dinner – Shrimp Primavera served over Voodles

The usual breakfast! Granola, yogurt, milk and diced banana, apple, and blueberries.

Aaron came over and we worked for a while and then made lunch.  I suggested salad, so we picked a basket of lettuce and three or four stalks of tarragon and three stalks of green garlic chives in the garden.   I rinsed and spun the lettuce to dry and I placed it in the fridge to rejuvenate while I made the rest of the salad.

I sliced two Roma tomatoes, two radishes, ½ cucumber, two green onion, the garlic chives, and an avocado.  Aaron plucked the leaves from the tarragon stalks.  I diced about three oz. of PPI grilled ribeye steak for my salad.  I then toasted slices of nine grain bread and lay slices of Jarlsberg cheese on the toast and melted it in the microwave.

We drank glasses of Gruet Still Rose of Pinot Noir and ate at the patio table.

I finally had a decent day in the market.  Hopefully President Trump will stop talking about tariff wars and bombing Iran long enough for the market to stabilize.

After I worked for a while I took a nap until 4:15.  At 4:30 I drove to El Super for the Wednesday produce specials.  I bought an eggplant for $.67/lb., white onions 4 lb. for $.99, mangos and avocados for 3 for $.99, carrots were 3 lb. for $.99, chayote were 4 for $.99 and limes were $.99/lb. I also bought a lb. of small heads off shrimp for $4.49/lb. and chicken thighs for $.97/lb.

When I returned home, I ate a toasted piece of bread smeared with basil mayo and garnished with slices of a Roma tomato.

At 5:45 I  went to meditate.  I returned with Etienne at 7:00 to pick up his pie plate and we invited him to stay for dinner.

We decided to cook the 1.18 lb. of small shrimp I had bought at El Super In a Primavera style.

I diced 1/8 red bell pepper, 1/16 pasilla chili, five cloves of garlic, I small white onion, the handful of chive blossoms, two Roma tomatoes.  Suzette and Etienne decided to flavor the dish with oregano and fennel, so she went to the garden and picked several fennel fronds and some oregano.  I chopped the delicate feathery ends off the fronds and Etienne carried the small pile to a Suzette to put into the dish with the oregano leaves.

Suzette fetched the newly purchased wedge of Pecorino-Romano cheese from the garage fridge and opened it and I shaved a pile of slices of cheese off the wedge with a cheese slicer.

Suzette also fetched the four zucchini from the garage fridge.  I shaved slices of squash from ½ of a zucchini and Suzette shaved the other half.  She then placed the slices of zucchini in a Pyrex baking dish with a bit of water, covered the dish with Saran and cooked the squash slices in the microwave.  The resulting cooked strips of zucchini were what we call  voodles because they look like noodles, but are made from squash.

Suzette quickly sautéed the ingredients in butter and olive oil and added white wine to make a light
sauce and we were ready to eat.  I was interested in trying the King’s Estate Pinot Gris I had bought at Costco for $12.95, so I fetched it from the garage fridge and opened it and poured three glasses.
Suzette plated three plates by laying a pile of voodles on each plate and then ladling the shrimp primavera mixture on the pile of voodles.  We each lay slices of cheese on our primavera to finish the dish. We each carried our plate of food and glass of wine to the table under the gazebo by the pond in the garden and had a lovely dinner. The temperature was about 72 and it was still twilight.  We talked until long after dark.  Etienne was  a winemaker for years, having worked many years for Wilson Winery in Temecula and Kendall Jackson in California.






He tasted the King Estates Pinot Gris and said the slight bitterness at the end of the palate that I had noted had been adjusted for by the addition of sugar.  I tasted the steely taste of sugar.  I like the Elk Cove Pinot Gris better because it does not seem to have that defect.  Both are enjoyable wines.  I buy Elk Cove at Total Wine for $17.99 and King Estate at Costco for $12.95. Both have a good balance of acidity and fruity sweetness.

We said goodnight to Etienne at 9:30 and went to bed.

Bon Appetit



Wednesday, April 25, 2018

April 24, 2018 Lunch – PPI Beef Chicken Noodle Soup with chicken wontons. Dinner – Poached Salmon served on a pile of fresh Spinach with a Sorrel Cream Sauce and Vichyssoise


April 24, 2018 Lunch – PPI Beef Chicken Noodle Soup with chicken wontons. Dinner – Poached Salmon served on a pile of fresh Spinach with a Sorrel Cream Sauce and Vichyssoise

I had granola, yogurt, milk, blueberries, sliced banana, and apple for breakfast.

I rode 10 miles to Montano and back at 10:00.  When I returned I showered and heated the PPI Beef Noodle Soup from yesterday and added six chicken wontons and 1 tsp. of  chicken stock and a bit of water.  It was delicious with Shiracha, fresh cilantro, and hoisin sauce.

I thawed three salmon filets after lunch and invited Willy to join us for dinner.

I ate a peanut butter and honey on toast with a cup of tea at 4:30.  Suzette came home at 5:30 and ate the PPI spaetzle and some almonds.  We went to the garden where I picked some thyme, some chive blossoms and stalks, some dill, and a handful of Sorrel.  When we went back in I de-stemmed the Sorrel and dill and put them in a colander.

I then chopped the chives into thin rounds.  Then I fetched the bag of spinach from the garage fridge and de-stemmed a colander full of it.

We waited until Willy arrived at 8:00 to begin cooking.  Suzette made a poaching medium in a large skillet with white wine, butter, water, the dill and thyme, and four small cloves of garlic finely minced to which she added the Sorrel and dill and cooked it for a minute and then added the salmon filets and covered the skillet with a wok cover to seal in the steam and poach the salmon filets and Sorrel.

When the salmon was fully cooked Suzette removed the salmon filets to a side dish and puréed the Sorrel and poaching medium in a blender.  While Suzette was poaching and blending I melted 2 T. of butter in a sauce pan and added 2 ½ T. of flour and mixed and cooked those two ingredients together into a roux for four or five minutes on low heat.  Then we added the poaching medium to the roux and stirred it to mix it.  It became very thick so we added some milk and then added some wine to thin the sauce into a creamy consistency.

Suzette then returned the salmon filets to the skillet to re-heat them and added some Sorrel cream sauce to the salmon.  She the; filled a pasta bowl with fresh spinach leave# and laid a salmon filet on top of the spinach and garnished it with more cream sauce.

Willy brought in the Vichyssoise and Suzette filled three soup bowls and garnished then with some of the chives I had picked and finely sliced.




                                                         See the chive blossoms


                                                         The Vichyssoise

I poured glasses of 2016 Pichon Bay Sauvignon Blanc from the Marlborough Region of New Zealand ($6.99 at Trader Joe’s).  The wine was a classic New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, slight citrus notes and well balanced acidity and fruitiness, a very nice wine.

We loved our healthy mostly green dinner.

Bon Appetit

Monday, April 23, 2018

April 23, 2018 Two New Recipes. Lunch – Beef Noodle Soup. Dinner Grilled Eggplant Cubes and Pork Steaks tossed in Stir fried Chive Blossoms


April 23, 2018 Two New Recipes. Lunch – Beef Noodle Soup. Dinner Grilled Eggplant Cubes and Pork Steaks tossed in Stir fried Chive Blossoms

Some of the complexity and exoticism of modern cooking comes from multiple stages of cooking and preparation of ingredients using sauces and combining with different ingredients at those different stages in the creation of a dish.  The dinner tonight is a small example of that trend.  I thawed out two pork steaks in the afternoon.

Stir Fried  Chive Blossoms with Grilled Pork

When Suzette arrived we decided to grill an eggplant and the pork steaks.  I had recalled seeing a recipe for stir fried chive blossoms.  Suzette worked all weekend long with the assistance of Mario cleaning and weeding the gardens.  Today it was a joy to walk into the garden, especially when I saw so many plants blooming.  I was particularly attracted to the two chive clusters because they were putting out blossoms.  I recalled a recipe for chive blossoms and when I researched it on line I found several.  I settled on a simple stir fry recipe and decided to slice and add some of the white mushrooms Suzette brought home from Costco today.  When Suzette saw the recipe she said, “I would like to glaze the pork with that sauce.”.  It would be easier to do that after you grill the pork.

Here is the recipe.

I harvested about 1/3 lb. of chive blossoms and stalks and cut them into bite sized lengths. I then sliced five mushrooms and the top ¼ cup of the eggplant left after a Suzette sliced wedges of it to grill.

Grilled Eggplant wedges tossed with Goat cheese and Pork Steaks


Suzette cut the eggplant into irregular wedges and tossed them in a freezer bag with 2 T. of olive oil and 1 T. of sea salt.  She then grilled the two pork chops and eggplant wedges.  The gas ran out after she  finished grilling the eggplant but before the pork steaks were completely cooked, so she cut each steak into four slices and put them into the wok with the  Stir fried chive blossoms, eggplant and mushrooms.

She tossed the grilled eggplant with dabs of fig goat cheese bought at Costco.  The effect was wedges of chewy grilled eggplant combined with soft creamy fig flavored goat cheese.  Suzette had mentioned tossing the grilled eggplant wit feta, but we did not have any feta.

Back to the Chive Blossoms.  I heated 2 T. of peanut oil and first stir fried the small wedges of eggplant and then the mushroom slices.  After a minute I added the chive blossoms and cooked them for a minute.  Then we added the pork slices and cooked them a minute.  I had made a seasoning sauce using the recipe ingredients to which I added 1 T. of Chinese Cooking wine, a couple dashes of sesame oil and 1 T. of white soy.and another tsp. of cornstarch to create extra glaze to coat the pork chops. I added the seasoning sauce to the wok and a Suzette stirred the wok to mix and coat the ingredients with sauce.  The sauce thickened to a paste, so I added another T. or two T. of water to loosen the paste into a thick glaze.  We served the Pork in Chive Blossoms and the eggplant tossed with fig goat cheese and poured glasses of the newly released Gruet rose of Pinot Noir we bought on Saturday..

We carried our plates and glasses of wine to the table under the gazebo in the garden and enjoyed an exciting meal in our lovely garden.  Here is a picture of the table and pond.

After dinner we went back inside to watch some news and the antique Roadshow and went to bed at 9:00 after the Roadshow.

The interesting thing about this meal was that we made two different dishes, one Chinese using grilled pork with a Chinese sauce and the other dish more Mediterranean combining salty, slightly oily grilled eggplant and goat cheese. The pork was twice cooked (grilled and then stir fried).  The eggplant was grilled and then made into a warm salad with crumbled goat cheese. We find cooked ingredients used as ingredients quite exciting and chefs seem to be doing it more often these days.

For example, dinner was perfectly delicious last night, slices of grilled rib eye steak served with a mushroom sauce and dabs of sauce Béarnaise, a classic French dish.  But it did not excite my palate the way the dishes we made tonight did, even though made from similarly grilled meat and eggplant.

Bon Appetit

April 22, 2018 Lunch – Ming Dynasty. Dinner – Grilled Ribeye Steak and ears of corn with steamed broccoli and sautéed Mushrooms

April 22, 2018 Lunch – Ming Dynasty. Dinner – Grilled Ribeye Steak and ears of corn with steamed broccoli and sautéed Mushrooms.

I watched the news until 10:00 and then while Suzette and Mario worked in the yard I rode the 15 mile southern loop.

When I returned at 12:45, we were both hungry and I had made an appointment to pick up two art pieces at the art conservator’s house near Menaul and Wyoming.  I decided to stop at Ming Dynasty on the way because Ming serves dim sum until 2:00 on the weekend.  Two carts converged on our table a moment after we sat down.  One held mostly fried filled dessert dumplings, so we waved that one away.  The other one served us shrimp filled dumplings, Su Mai (pork filled dumplings), an interesting beef roll wrapped in sheets of tofu in a thick beef broth, and steamed buns.  Suzette drank a Heineken beer and I drank hot tea.

After lunch we picked up the art and returned home and took naps.

At 4:30 I woke and made Potato soup using Julia Child’s recipe in Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

Willy joined us for dinner. I was tired from my ride, so Suzette prepped most of it, de-flowering and  steaming the broccoli and grilling three ears of fresh corn on the Cobb with the two ribeye steaks, although I made garlic bread with 1/3 of the baguette I was given at Los Poblanos last night and sautéed the mushrooms Suzette had sliced in the remaining garlic and olive oil I made to butter slices of baguette after adding 2 T. of butter to the skillet.  I also added 2 T. of Amontillado sherry to flavor the mushrooms and create a light sauce and fetched and warmed the PPI Béarnaise sauce that we dabbed on the steak and broccoli.

Suzette wanted to drink a Pinot Noir with dinner, so I opened a bottle of Cherry Blossom California red wine, my favorite Pinot Noir for under $5.00 that is sold by Trader Joe’s.

It was a simple but elegant dinner.  After dinner I ate a slice of French Brie from Isney Ste. Mere in Normandy on a piece of baguette with sips of Pinot Noir.

Bon Appetit




April 21, 2018 Breakfast – Lax, Spinach, and cheese Omelet, Lunch – Artichoke, Pea, Red Bell Pepper, Paprika, and Blood Sausage Tapa. Dinner – Los Poblanos Restaurant


April 21, 2018 Breakfast – Lax, Spinach, and cheese Omelet, Lunch – Artichoke, Pea, Red Bell Pepper, Paprika, and Blood Sausage Tapa. Dinner – Los Poblanos Restaurant

A very pleasant day of creative food.  We started with a simple Lax, Spinach, and cheese Omelet that Suzette cooked beautifully so the crust was crisp while the inside was tender and cheesy.


We went to Goodwill after breakfast where I found a lovely Armani casual shirt.  We then drove to Gruet at 11:45 and tasted some wines.  We settled on three bottles of the newly released Still rose that is a blend of the pinot Noir from Gruet’s Pinot vineyards at Tamara and Truth or Consequences.  It is a little darker, heavier in fruitiness than the Tamaya of last year, but still richly Pinot flavored. The sales person who helped us stated, “there was a smaller harvest of Tamaya, so to make a commercial amount the two grape batches were combined..”

We also took 2 bottles of 2012 Vintage Blanc de Blanc, my favorite.

When we returned home we worked in the garden.  Suzette worked on the pond and birdbath and weeded the old garden and I weeded the new garden.

At 2:30 I picked a basket of lettuce and Suzette made a lovely version of the tapa we discovered in northern Spain several years ago.  The original version had the advantage of being made with always available ingredients; artichoke hearts canned in water, canned pimiento peppers, frozen peas, saffron and Serrano ham (which s probably found in every kitchen in Spain) sautéed together.

In Today’s  version Suzette substituted red bell pepper for the canned pimiento pepper and blood sausage (El Super for $4.99/lb.) for the more expensive and difficult to find Serrano ham and used Sprouts olive oil, which is Spanish olive oil.

We cleaned the lettuce and laid a pile of it in a pasta bowl and then added the sautéed tapa from the skillet for a lovely warm salad.

 



I opened a bottle of 2016 Gruet still rose’, which was great with the heavier oily warm tapa salad.

I then napped for an hour and then at 4:30 showered and got dressed for the symphony at 6:00.

The program was just okay.  The violinist was wonderful, as was the Ravel piece he played but I did not care for Holst’s The Planets except for the last one Neptune, with the low non-verbal female chorus that was truly otherworldly.

After the concert we drove to the newly opened Los Poblanos restaurant.  It is designed to look like a barn and fits into the design elements of the existing structures but it is all new on the inside with a state of the art open kitchen and separate baking area where bread is baked fresh daily.

This is farm to table meets gourmet at its best in Albuquerque.

We met Nancy and Cliff for dinner.  Suzette and I decided to split a duck Rillettes and an apple cider vinegar brined pork chop with nettle spaetzle. Nancy ordered sautéed trout and Cliff ordered what was probably the most interesting dish of the night, Lamb Agnolotti (pasta wrapped around lamb Marquez sausage meatballs with pinons, radishes, and a sumac yogurt sauce), a very spicy Middle Eastern dish but super interesting.


The duck Rilletes were traditionally correct, wedges cut from the terrine with a mound of French seeded mustard, a few lovely slices of pickled carrots, cucumbers and pickles served on a platter with six or seven thin slices of grilled olive oil brushed fresh baguette. My favorite part of the dish were the thin wedges of fresh farm raised white turnip.

We tried three white wines and settled on a 2016 Martinsancho Verdejo from Rueda, a wine region
located on the upper end of the Duero River south of but near the Rioja wine district in Spain.

Here is some information from wine.com on Martinsancho and Rueda and Verdejo.

Martínsancho is Angel Rodríguez' 17th-century vineyard responsible for the preservation of Rueda's indigenous Verdejo grape. Cuttings from here were used in 1976 to establish a 25-acre vineyard planted in the traditional head-pruned fashion and dry-farmed. Low-yield Verdejo apports viscosity and a long finish while retaining a delicate floral nose.

Rueda is located along the banks of the Duero River in Spain’s Castilla y León region, just a 2-hour drive north of Madrid. While winemaking in this area goes back to the 12th century, it was in the 1980s that the region was granted Denominación de Origen (D.O.) status. Today, more than 70 wineries call Rueda home. This national favorite is the top-selling white wine in Spain.
Notable facts Rueda’s main grape variety, Verdejo, gets it distinct complexity from stressful growing conditions and mineral-rich soil. Think of Verdejo as a fuller-bodied and more aromatic Sauvignon Blanc. A lush and smooth character with perfectly balanced acidity means

The waiter kept pouring the wine without asking us if we wanted it poured, as if trying to force us to buy another bottle for the entrees.  I did not care for this, especially since the wines were very expensive. The bottle of Martinsancho Verdejo cost $50.00, which is a pricy bottle of Rueda white, even when its suggested retail is $19.00.  So the wine list appears to feature better quality wines at about 2 ½ times retail prices.  I saw few bottles for under $50.00.


Nancy’s trout and our Apple cider Vinegar Pork Chop were more mundane cuts of meat but each of the dishes was dressed up with lots of interesting treatments and accompaniments.  Nancy’s trout was stuffed with  charred spinach and charred lemon and served with testy beans and locally grown asparagus and garnished with sesame and green garlic.  Our pork dish was served with a very interesting spaetzle combining fresh stinging nettle tossed with fresh spring beans and lardons and
topped with a sunny side up fried farm egg with a swatch of fresh chimichurri sauce on the side.  It was a very interesting dish.  I liked the idea of adding a volatile accompaniment to the otherwise bland but comforting Spaetzle. I also was impressed with the brightness and spiciness of spices in the merguez sausage stuffing for the Agnolotti pasta dish.




When we finished dinner at 10:30 restaurant was nearly empty and kitchen staff was beginning to clean.  We wandered back to the kitchen and talked to Executive chef Jonathan Perno, who was standing a5 the front of the kitchen.  He freely shared his recipe for the merguez sausage and when I seemed interested that the baguettes were baked fresh daily, had one of the chefs wrap up one of the two or three remaining baguettes to take and gave me one of the baguettes.

It was a lovely finish to a lovely dinner.  I feel like we have a new dining institution springing up in our midst and I love it.  Again the Rembe’s show us how to do things right with the proper balance of money, tasteful design and a commitment to tradition.

The grand opening will be on June 20, 2018 with a special five course meal for $175.00.

Bon Appetit

Saturday, April 21, 2018

April 20, 2018 Breakfast – Sautéed Smoked Pork cutlet with two eggs over easy. Lunch – bagel with lax. Dinner – Rockfish cooked in aluminum


April 20, 2018 Breakfast – Sautéed Smoked Pork cutlet with two eggs over easy.  Lunch – bagel with lax. Dinner – Rockfish cooked in aluminum

I cooked a hot  breakfast of two eggs over easy and a smoked pork chop.

I became hungry at 11:00, so I ate the PPI Lax, cream cheese, and onion on bagel I had carried to Santa Fe and back yesterday.  It was cold from refrigeration at first but still pleasant.

Aaron came at 1:30 and we tasted the new 2017  Sauvignon Blanc produced by Bogdan that won a silver medal in Paris.  We were a little unimpressed.  It had good acidity but lacked the strong citrus notes I associate with Sauvignon Blanc.

When Aaron left at 3:15 I drove to Sprouts and purchased 6 ears of fresh white corn on sale for $1.00, 1 lb. of fresh Rockfish filets for $7.99/lb., a gallon of milk, two liters of Sprouts’ excellent Spanish olive oil for $6.99 each, a red bell pepper for $.98, and a handful of string beans.

I had invited Mike for dinner at 6:00 so when Suzette came home at 5:00 we started cooking.  We decided to bake the fish filets in aluminum foil envelopes with some fresh corn kernels, carrot slices, tomato slices, and diced red onion and Mexican Squash with some white wine and a pat of butter.  I prepped the vegetables while Suzette made the envelopes and pre-heated the oven.

Mango Salsa

We like mango salsa with the Mexican fish, so after the pockets were put in the oven, I turned my attention to making mango salsa.

I peeled and diced two small avocados and two alfauldo mangos, and about 2 T. each of red onion and Pasilla chili.  I then added the juice of 1 large lime, some salt, three cloves of garlic finely minced, a dash of Cholula hot sauce, and 1/3 cup of chopped cilantro leaves.

Mike arrived shortly after with a bottle of Amarone, a box of Nabisco round rice crackers, a wedge of French Brie and a wedge of German Cambazola.

The fish had cooked 30 minutes and Suzette thought it was ready, so we plated each foil envelope in a pasta dish and she opened them with a knife cut to expose the fish and vegetables.





We loved the dish where the cooking juices of all the ingredients combine. We added spoonfuls of mango salsa to the envelope and bites combining fish cooked vegetables, and salsa for an interesting Mexican dining experience.

Suzette told the story of how she found the recipe in PV when she lived there with Harold in the 80’s,  A restaurant called Roberto’s featured the dish although they added chili and mushrooms to the envelope and usually used the local red snapper (huachinango) .  So the ingredients in the dish are quite variable. I ate the dish at Roberto’s in the late 90’s when I used to visit them.

We drank the rest of the 2017 Sauvignon Blanc with the meal.  Suzette thinks Bogdan wines often have notes of bubble gum, which I am beginning to think may be from the terroir.




After dinner Mike opened the Amarone and I added a loaf of fig flavored goat cheese and a block of Dubliner to the Cambazola and Brie on the cheese board and we ate cheese on rice crackers and sipped the Amarone red wine and the last of the Creation Grosset and continued to talk while we watched the evening news and Rachel Maddow, etc.  The big news today was the lawsuit filed by the Democratic Party against members of the Trump election team and others, such as the FSB.

At 9:30, long after a Suzette had fallen asleep in her favorite chair in front of the TV, I said goodnight to Mike, awakened Suzette, and we went to bed.

Bon Appetit




Friday, April 20, 2018

April 19, 2018 Lunch – Cowgirls in Santa Fe, Dinner – PPI BBQ. Twice Cooked Roasted Vegetables, and Steamed Asparagus


April 19, 2018 Lunch – Cowgirls in Santa Fe, Dinner – PPI BBQ. Twice Cooked Roasted Vegetables, and Steamed Asparagus

Today I made two ½ of a toasted whole wheat bagel smeared with cream cheese, and garnished with slices of onion and Lax and capers.

I ate one for breakfast and put the other one in a bag and put in my suit pocket and took it to Santa Fe with me to my 11:00 hearing in case the hearing went longer than I thought and I became hungry.  The hearing ended at 1:00 and we went to lunch at Cowgirls, so I brought the bagel back and will eat it tomorrow.

Cowgirls features BBQ and hamburgers.  Scott and Sammie got hamburgers and Sig and I got BBQ.  Sig ordered a rack of ribs.  I ordered a Sampler Latter with 4 or 5 slices of moist brisket, a mini rack of baby back ribs with 4 or 5 ribs that were slightly dried out, and an amazingly tender fall apart at the touch hind quarter of BBQ’d chicken.  The platter was served with a bowl of green chili, a small cup of rather sweet BBQ sauce, a bowl of beans, and side orders of coleslaw and potato salad; a serious amount of food.  I could only eat ½ of the meat , so I boxed the other 1/2. And took it home after lunch.

I had worked from 2:00 to 5:45 am, so I was too tired to cook and was happy to see Suzette had arrived home when I returned a bit after 4:00.

She created the dinner menu around the BBQ, the PPI Roasted Vegetables from last night and two PPI grilled lamb chops from an earlier meal.  Suzette added an additional potato to the PPI Roasted Vegetables and sautéed them in a large skillet with butter and olive oil to make cottage fries and vegetables.  She steamed the last 14 or 15 stalks of asparagus and heated the PPI BBQ and lamb chop in the microwave to create a simple, satisfying hot meal.  I love this sort of German cooking skill she seems to have in her DNA.  Sautéed potatoes added to any meat and a vegetable equals a meal.  I keep potatoes and several vegetable selections on hand all the time for just such occasions.

Sautéing the Roasted Vegetables gave them a different and more pleasing texture and accentuated the sweetness of the carrots and onions by caramelizing them.


There were no cold beers, so we opened a bottle of 2015 Creation Grosset Cairanne produced by Brotte, an Appellation Côtes Du Rhone Villages Protégé that I bought for $9.99 at Costco.  Let’s take a deep dive into this wine to examine why Costco is a good place to buy this type of wine.  First the wine:  it was rated by Robert Parker, perhaps the most prestigious wine rating service at 91 points.  Anything above 89 points is excellent on Parker’s rating scale, so the experts at Parker found this wine to taste a bit better than just excellent.  Here are the rating notes:

91
91 pts.Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate: 30th Dec 2016
The 2015 Cairanne Creation Grosset is a kirsch, strawberry and floral-dominated beauty that has plenty of texture, medium to full-bodied richness and no hard edges. I’m sure it’s smoking value.

Cost:  why I buy wine at Costco.  Since I am now in the wine importing business, I have become familiar with how wine is priced.  Without boring you and being very generic, the normal mark up for landed wine is 30% for the distributor and 30% to 100% for the retailer.  Costco only marks up its wine approximately 18% and because it is one of the largest sellers of wine in the US it can drive the distributors to reduce their price, probably because it probably takes direct delivery of wines from the ship, which saves distributors warehousing and handling costs, so they pass that savings on to Costco.  This wine is offered on several wine on line websites for 12.99 to $14.99/bottle.  So Costco is selling the same wine that garnered a 91 Parker rating for 23% to 33% less tan the lowest available retail price.  The reason I buy highly rated wines at Costco is because they are bargains, entirely due to the pricing structure.

The wine – now the tricky part.  How do you chose which wines to buy?

I look for well made wines by producers of quality wine.  Costco has done much of that work for us.  Here is the information on Brotte, the producer of this wine.

 Maison BROTTE is a family independant winery built in 1931 in Châteauneuf-du-Pape by M. Charles Brotte, one of the pioneer of bottling in the Southern Rhône Valley. Famous inventor of "La Fiole du Pape"


Our modest winery has been propulsed to the front of the scene with the creation in 1952 of our now emblematic Châteauneuf-du-Pape « La Fiole du Pape », originaly shaped bottle with a unique winemaking style. It is today the leading cuvée of its appellation, unriivaled by any other French producer.

Our activity of winemaker was largely developed thanks to exportations in the 50s, always animated with this pioneer spirit and firmly orientated towards the worlfd. The company is today present in 95 countries on the five continents.

Since 1970, thanks to the BROTTE Wine Museum in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, we also welcomes 35,000 visitors a year on our estate.

For the last 20 years, in a concern of getting closer to the production and secure even a better quality control of its cuvees; we integrated the activity of winemaker for various Rhône Valley A.O.C’s in our cellar in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. This evolution started on the white wines and then developed on all the wines. This mean of supply, by selecting and buying the grapes, represents now more than half of the total production.

In 1991, in buying the Château de Bord, in Laudun, we also became Propriétaire-Récoltant in Côtes du Rhône Villages and Côtes du Rhône A.O.C.s. This activity has been developed with the addition of three new family estates: Domaine Barville in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Domaine Grosset in Côtes du Rhône Villages Cairanne and Domaine de l’Aube.

Furthermore, we have recently developed a new kind of agreement with local vintners, in which everyone brings its know-how and both parts are jointly and irremediably associated in the very long term on the name of the Estate. For example, we have been working for many years with “Versant Doré” in Condrieu, or “Marandy” in Saint-Joseph, “Bouvencourt” in Vacqueyras and “La Doucejoie” in Muscat de Beaumes de Venise.

Today managed by Laurent Brotte, grandson of the founder, you will be able to find Brotte wines through the traditional network such as restaurants, wine stores and private customers.

"BROTTE" is the family signature for our wines, our Domaines and Châteaux, our crus of the Southern and Northern Rhône Valley region

As stated above this wine is produced at Domaine Grosset in Côtes du Rhône Villages Cairanne.

Here is Brotte’s info on Domaine Grosset:
Situated at the bottom of the olf Cairanne, the domaine Grosset belongs to Alain Grosset, father in-law of Laurent Brotte. The Grosset family has always been very active in the cultural and associative life of the village, especially in the development of its appellation.

The domaine Grosset, spread over 10ha of land typicaly recognisable by its centenary old grenache vines and its highly qualitative sandy soil. These typicities linked to our family know-how makes Cairanne - Domaine Grosset one of our most popular cuvée.

The Mediterranean climate, dry and warm is also ideal for the perfect maturity of our parcels.

Cairanne is a small village on the eastern side of the Rhone River in the Rhone River Valley on the outskirts of Châteauneuf de Pape and 13 miles northeast of Orange.  The Brotte vineyard and Wine Museum is located in Châteauneuf de Pape.  So this is a local business that through fortunate location in one of the best wine regions in France and smart multigenerational management has grown into a wine making empire with affiliations with other significant producers in its region.  Domaine Grosset in Cairanne is one of those affiliated estates.

The wine was highly tannic when first opened but opened up into a floral fruity delicious wine after about twenty to thirty minutes.  If you want a wonderful representation of  a Côtes Du Rhone red wine for under $10.00 this would be a good choice.  I drink a lot of Cotes Du Rhone wines and I will be buying this wine again.  It is a bargain, as Parker stated.

Bon Appetit


Thursday, April 19, 2018

April 18, 2018 Lunch – Nicoiseish Salad, Dinner – Bobby Flay Chicken Thighs, Roasted Potatoes, carrots, and Onions, and Spinach


April 18, 2018 Lunch – Nicoiseish Salad,  Dinner – Bobby Flay Chicken Thighs, Roasted Potatoes, carrots, and Onions, and Spinach

I started with a bowl of granola, milk, yogurt, and blueberries.

At lunch I decided to make a salad.  I picked a basket of lettuce from the garden and garnished it with two pieces of PPI crisp fried bacon, the small PPI pieces of Aji tuna from dinner, a small handful of PPI haricot vert, ¼ cucumber peeled and sliced,1 sprig of tarragon chopped, and ½ small avocado diced.  I dressed the salad with the usual Caesar dressing to which I added olive oil and tarragon to to refresh it.  The inclusion of steamed string beans and grilled tuna made me think of a Nicoise Salad, but because I was missing the potatoes and eggs, I decided on naming it a Nicoiseish Salad.

It was a lovely day, sunny with light winds so at 1:45 I rode to Montano and back.

When I returned I decided to go shopping at El Super for the Wednesday produce specials.   Soon after I arrived I met Barry and Kylene, freshly tanned and back from their week in San Pancho in Mexico.  They had a great time and recounted some great meals. Coincidentally, we stayed at their house in Taos this last weekend.

It must be the height of the growing season in Mexico.  I recommend you shop at your local Mexican Supermarket.  In Albuquerque, my current favorite is El Super at the corner of Atrisco and  Central.  It seemed like everything except limes was priced very reasonably.  Broccoli, cauliflower, papaya, pineapples, Granny Smith apples, Roma tomatoes, and oranges were $.50/lb. avocados, and mangos were three for $.99.  Radishes, green onions, and cilantro were 4 bunches for $.97.

I filled my basket and then picked up a32 oz. container of yogurt in the Dairy Section for $2.69. My final stop was in the Meat Department where I bought 5 chicken thighs for $.99/lb.

I returned home at 4:50, just in time to unload a few items and turn on the business news at 5:00.  It was an extremely quiet day in the market with the Dow slipping fractionally and yeh other indices gaining fractionally.  I was pleasantly surprised that my portfolio out performed the indices fractionally.  Better a winner than a loser.

I chilled a bottle of 2016 Nobles Rives Marsanne produced by Cave de Tain in the Northern Rhône Valley.  Here is some info and a rating.  I do not recall where I bought it but suspect Costco.  Here is a rating and tasting notes on the 2015.

Cave de Tain 2015 Nobles Rives Marsanne (Crozes-Hermitage)
89
POINTS
 
Reasonably full bodied but otherwise somewhat neutral, this does show hints of marshmallow and meringue, adding just a bit of citrus zest on the finish. Drink now.

PRICE $22,  Buy Now
DESIGNATION Nobles Rives
VARIETY Marsanne
APPELLATION Crozes-Hermitage, Rhône Valley, France
WINERY Cave de Tain








ALCOHOL 13%
BOTTLE SIZE 750 ml
CATEGORY White
IMPORTER Deutsch Family Wine and Spirits

Roasted Vegetables

I started cooking as I watched the news.  I filled a 9 X 13” Pyrex baking dish with peeled and loosely diced potatoes, carrots, yellow and red onions, and cloves of garlic from the garden.  I tossed the vegetables with olive oil and baked them covered for 40 minutes at 350, then uncovered them, tossed them with salt and pepper and cooked them an additional 30 minutes uncovered.  They were a little scorched but tasty.

Bobby Flay Chicken

I cleaned and removed the excess fat from the chicken thighs, placed them in a medium all steel skillet, and dusted them with ground smoked paprika, mustard and cumin. I then placed a skillet of the same size filled with water on top of the chicken.  Suzette arrived at this point and sautéed the thighs until browned and flipped them and sautéed the other side and then put them in the oven to cook with the roasting vegetables.

Mint Sauce

There is a spicy mint sauce that is part of the recipe. When Suzette said, “Let’s make the sauce,” I was thrilled and went to the garden and picked a handful of fresh mint.  I de-stemmed the mint leaves from their stalks and gave them to Suzette.  The only sauce ingredient we did not have was parsley.  We decided to substitute fresh cilantro.  Also instead of Serrano Chile we used Padilla chili, because we are not hard core chili heads.  Suzette puréed all the ingredients in the Cuisinart.

Here is the recipe.







Willy arrived a little after 7:00 and set the table on the patio for our al fresco dinner.

I always like a green vegetable and had brought in a fresh bag of spinach.  Suzette plated three plates first with a small pile of spinach and then lay the hot baked chicken thighs and vegetables on top of the spinach to cook the spinach a bit.

We enjoyed dinner and a lively conversation about what we had been doing the last week.  The Marsanne was delicious, a little acidic with defused fruit and fresh baked bread flavors like a fruit tart.  We all liked it and drank the entire bottle.






Dinner at the table lit with light from Willy’s new camping lantern 
After dinner we cleared the table and went back inside as the sun set and the temperature dropped.

Dessert

We decided to drink the last of the 1990 Rheinhessen  Sheurebe Spatlese Etienne gave me with the last piece of apple pie Etienne made for dessert. Suzette poured the wine into an elegant dessert wine glass and cut the last wedge of pie into three pieces, placed each on a small plate and heated them in the microwave..  She melted slices of cheddar cheese on her piece in the German manner and Willy and I squirted Reddi-Whip whipped cream on our slices in the American manner.

Willy and I made and drank cups of Earl Grey tea while Suzette drank the dessert wine, although Willy and I had a sip of the wine.  It still had its honey flavor and amazing balance of staggeringly
high acidity and sweetness.



                                   Suzette’s pie a la cheddar cheese and glass of dessert wine

I said goodnight at 9:15 after what seemed like a long day, especially after an hour in the bike saddle.

Bon Appetit

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

April 17, 2018 Breakfast – Two eggs, two slices of bacon, and a piece of toast, Lunch – East Ocean. Dinner – Sautéed Aji Tuna Steak and Fried Tofu with Mixed Vegetables

April 17, 2018 Breakfast – Two eggs, two slices of bacon, and a piece of  toast,  Lunch – East Ocean. Dinner – Sautéed Aji Tuna Steak and Fried Tofu with Mixed Vegetables

For breakfast I made a standard American breakfast, two eggs, two slices of bacon, and a piece of  toast with peanut butter and honey.

I also thawed out a 1 lb. tuna steak.

I met with a new client in the morning and received a call from another who wanted to see me at 1:30.  I also handled a matter for VinDacia during the day.  So today I handled matters for as many clients as Michael Cohen has in his entire practice.

I stopped at East Ocean at 12:15 for lunch and ordered Fried Tofu and Mixed Vegetables, my new favorite dish priced at $7.95 and served with hot tea and steamed rice.  I ate two plates and packed the remaining half to go in styrofoam boxes and drove to my 1:30.

When I finished at 3:45 I drove home and rested until 5:45, when I went to meditate until 6:45.

When I returned home at 7:00 I fetched the Chinese food left from lunch.  Suzette sautéed the tuna steak in sesame and peanut oil and heated the rice and vegetables from lunch in the microwave.  We ate a pleasant meal.  I drank Chinese green tea.

After dinner I ate a piece of Etienne’s apple pie that I had warmed in the microwave.

Bon Appetit


April 16, 2018 Lunch – Amerasia, Tea – coffee, tea, and Apple pie. Dinner – Charbroiled Hamburger Steak and corn, and Steamed string beans


April 16, 2018 Lunch – Amerasia, Tea – coffee, tea, and Apple pie.  Dinner – Charbroiled Hamburger Steak and corn, and Steamed string beans

The usual breakfast of yogurt, granola, milk, and blueberries.

At 8:15 I rode toward Rio Bravo four miles out and returned home after an eight mile ride.

I then showered and went to a 10:00 appointment at the Moses Firm at 2nd and Roma.  When the appointment ended at 11:15 I made a call and then at 11:30 drove the three blocks to Amerasia, where I had one of the most wonderful food experiences in a long time.  I ordered my two favorite dim sum dishes; a bowl of fried tofu stuffed with stewed finely diced shitake and wood ear strips and served half submerged in the stewing broth and steamed buns stuffed with sweet bean paste and BBQ Pork (Char Siu Bao)..



When the Char Siu Bao  arrived and I fingered them and then bit into them I immediately realized that the skin was tough.  After I had eaten one and ½ of the Char Siu Bao  and most of the tofu, the proprietor Hyangmi Yi walked by and asked “Is everything all right?” I mentioned that the Char Siu Bao  were tough and Hyangmi Yi immediately responded, “New cook, left the Char Siu Bao  in the steamer too long and the skin got tough.  Shall I bring you a fresh one?  I said, “Yes, please.”  I have been eating at Amerasia for over forty years, sInce the restaurant was located at 301 Cornell SE and Hyangmi Yi was the server and Mickey owned the restaurant.

It is now joined with Sumo Sushi in the same space at 800 3rd and owned by Hyangmi Yi.

So after a few minutes Hyangmi Yi appeared with a huge piping hot steamed bun that almost filled the small plate on which two are usually served.  It was the best Bao Su I have ever tasted steaming hot, fresh, and tender.  In that moment when I tasted the replacement Char Siu Bao  Hyangmi Yi placed before me several thoughts raced through my brain; we shared forty year of food history (her affiliation with Amerasia and my forty years as a food writer), the shared recognition of how a really great Char Siu Bao  tastes, and her desire to show me that she can make a great Char Siu Bao because she respects my opinion and she is a complete food professional who wants to give me as good a food experience as she is capable of producing; no excuses, just a superlative second effort to erase any possible memory of a less than wonderful food experience.  It was a great Char Siu Bao, accompanied by the great feeling that we had just shared a special food moment.  I felt as though Hyangmi Yi was initiating me into a very select Amerasia Dim Sum club, those who know what real



Char Siu Bao really taste like and can demand the real thing because of that knowledge.  It was a very small thing, but for some reason, I can not explain, an experience that was very satisfying.

Perhaps to confirm that I was an initiate, she brought me a plate with several lovely twisted fried noodles dusted with powdered sugar for dessert.  Here is a picture of one.


After lunch I went home.  Shortly after I arrived home Etienne called and came by and we worked on his case until 3:00 when we drove to Peter’s house to share a bottle of wine that Etienne thought we would like and an apple pie he made.  Peter was asleep but woke up and made us tea and then lovely cups of Sumatra coffee.  Etienne poured us glasses of the a 1990 Scheurebe Spatlese Rheinhassen from Mainz-Ebersheimer Huttberg.  To say this was a wonderful bottle would be an understatement.  The acidity and sweetness were in perfect balance yet pushed to their limit.  It had citrus notes yet a honey flavor that rolled across your palate.  The apple pie and Sumatran coffee were wonderful also.  We heated the apple pie until its filling ceased to be congealed and added whipped cream.  The coffee was so good I drank two cups.  A second wonderful food experience.

I left at 5:00 with the last of the bottle of wine and pie for Suzette to try, thanks to my gracious hosts.

When I returned home I checked the results of the market activity for the day and was pleasantly surprised to see that the market and my portfolio were up about .8%, a very good day.

Suzette arrived around 6:00 and we discussed dinner.  We settled on grilling the last lb. of angus ground beef we had purchased at Smith’s in Taos for $3.99/lb. on Saturday with ears of fresh corn, and steaming the haricot verts I had bought at El Super last Wednesday.


Suzette sprinkled the two ½ lb. hamburgers she made with the ground beef with truffle salt and black pepper and melted a slice of Provolone cheese on each one after she flipped them. She removed all the husks from each ear of corn except for the last layer and soaked the three ears of corn in water before placing them on the grill.  The resulting cooked corn was tender yet had a slightly smoky flavor.  Suzette plated our plates with an ear of corn, a hamburger steak, and a handful of steamed

haricot verts with slices of tomato smeared with mayonnaise and a small bed of lettuce from our garden.  Here is a photo.



  I poured glasses of California Cherry Blossom Pinot Noir, my new favorite under $5.00 bottle of Pinot that I buy at Trader Joe’s.  I like the price and the fact that it shows the light elegance of a good Pinot. I dipped pieces of hamburger into catsup, as I have for most of my life, and we enjoyed a great dinner.

But that was not the end of the wonderful stuff that happened today.

After we watched the MSNBC news about the hearing in New York today in which a federal judge denied Trump’s lawyers’ attempt to preview and object to the evidence seized by the FBI in their search of Michael Cohen’s office and apartment and the disclosure that Sean Hannity is a client of Michael Cohen and two interesting Antique Roadshow programs, Suzette soaked in the hot tub and I began watching a movie titled “Lucy” starring Scarlett Johansson and Morgan Freeman.  Lucy is about a woman who is forced by a gang of Oriental mobsters into becoming a mule to transport a bag of a new hallucinogen sewn into her body that breaks open and stimulates her brain to utilize 100% of her mental capacity.  She becomes a super smart superhero.  I loved “Lucy” and stimulated by the coffee and movie felt great as though I was using more than my normal amount of brain power.

We went to bed at 11:00 when the movie ended but I got up to write this blog entry powered by the great food and wine experiences, Sumatran coffee, and Lucy.  I recommend all of the above.

Bon Appetit

Sunday, April 15, 2018

April 15, 2018 Breakfast – PPI Hamburger with fried egg, Lunch - Chicken Salad Sandwich, dinner – Beef meatballs with Rice and Tzatziki

April 15, 2018 Breakfast – PPI Hamburger with fried egg,  Lunch - Chicken Salad Sandwich,  dinner – Beef meatballs with Rice and Tzatziki

We watched the news shows and then heated the PPI 1/3 of each of our hamburgers from lunch on Saturday and Suzette fried eggs and we ate eggs on hamburger for breakfast. I also toasted a piece of whole wheat bread and smeared it with orange marmalade.

We then drove home stopping at Casa Avril to taste their new wines.  We were lucky enough to see them bottling the 2017 Tempranillo and Suzette bought a case of it.

Here is a video of the bottling process.






When we arrived home a little after 3:00 I toasted two pieces of whole wheat bread and spread mayo on then and then chicken salad on one side and fresh lettuce on the other side.  I ate it with green cracked olives and a dill pickle.

Then I made tzatziki with 1 cucumber sliced that I sprinkled 1 tsp. of salt on, 1 cup of yogurt, juice of 2/3 of a lemon, three small cloves of garlic, ¼ cup chopped fresh mint, and ¼ cup of fresh dill.

We got dressed and drove to Willy’s apartment a bit after 5:00.  He went next door to the Silver St. Market and bought some hamburger meat and parsley.   Willy started a cup of rice cooking.  I Chopped a medium onion and 1/3 cup of parsley.  Suzette read the recipe to Willy as he added turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, parsley, onion, meat, two eggs, a handful of piñon nuts and a handful of currants.  He mixed everything and then made balls and sautéed them in olive oil.  In 30 minutes of working together we made the meal.  The meatballs made with beef were quite good.  We added a squirt of Shiracha to the tzatziki to give the dish a little zip.




After dinner we drove to Popejoy Theater and saw the live road show production of “Book of Morman” at 6:30.  I liked the show a lot.  It seemed to strike a balance between humorous affirmation of the human condition and ridicule of the Morman faith.

When the show ended at 9:00 Willy drove us back to his apartment where we had parked our car and we drove home.

Bon Appetit