Thursday, September 21, 2006

My Birthday Trip

Kelly and I are leaving for California on Sunday!!!!! We are staying in San Francisco Sunday night, and driving up to Sonoma on Monday. I'll be posting after the trip.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Lyrical Cuisine Pt. 2

As I said before, I love putting on some great music to cook to. But sometimes there is nothing more I need than the beautiful sound of a meal. It is a soundtrack unto itself. The slice of the knife through garlic and onion, the crunch of fresh celery, the sizzle of a piece of fish in olive oil.

The most beautiful noise in the world is my kitchen.

Friday, September 15, 2006

5 Things to Eat Before You Die

I've recently been tagged (by Colin over at and, check 'em out) to list my top 5 Things To Eat Before You Die.

Here's mine:

1. Blowfish (isn't that the fish that could kill you if not prepared properly?0
2. My grandmother's Saltenas. Ta (that's what we called her growing up) would make these South American beef and vegetable pies about a day or two in advance. She made the dough from scratch and marinated the beef for a day. You haven't lived until you tasted these. My mom does an excellent job preparing these as well.
3. Tapas in a Barcelona bar. When I was over there we would pop into a bar around 6 and they would usually have plates of snacks on the bar to munch on. Usually, the snacks would be octopus, various jamons, olives, etc. The perfect accompaniment to the lovely carafes of Spanish wine we would indulge in.
4. Fresh grapes picked right off the vine.
5. Fresh scallops harvested right out of the ocean.

Save the leftovers

I've found that it always helps to evaluate what can be saved from a meal. Case in point, I braised some lovely beef short ribs (purchased at the farmer's market!) in red wine, beef stock, onion, garlic, dried thyme and rosemary. After about 8 hours of braising, I pulled the short ribs out and let them cool. After cooling, I pulled the meat off the bone. I sliced some potatoes very thinly and fried them, and topped the chips with the beef, and topped that with a fresh horseradish-garlic marscapone cream. Yum. In the pot I had a LOT of leftover braising liquid. I strained the liquid and reduced that down to about 1 1/2 cups. The short ribs on fresh chips was delicious and paired perfectly with a bottle of Baron Phillipe de Rothschild Escudo Rojo from Argentina. Awesome.

The week after, Kelly and I got together with our friends Max and Marlinee for dinner. I prepared a spice crusted pork loin and served it over the reduced wine sauce. I'm so glad I saved that sauce, it went well with the pork. And it went perfectly with a bottle of 2001 Coturri Jewell Vineyards Sonoma Mountain Pinot Noir. The high acidity and bold cherry fruit of the wine complemented the spice crust on the pork.

P.S. Sorry I haven't blogged lately. I'm working on my birthday trip to the Russian River!