Monday, June 23, 2008

Meat & Vegetables

This weekend I had two excellent meals that really stood out not only for their excellent quality but also for their polar opposition in the same genre. The first was at our friends Justin & Amy's house. Justin is an amaaaaazing cook who just so happens to be a vegetarian. As we walked in the door, Amy poured us a cherry-basil mojito (she is a master mixologist!) that was perfectly minty, sweet & refreshing with just an undertone of basil. Justin had prepared a mexican spread like no other: grilled corn with vegan mayonnaise, parmiggiano, chile & lime; quesadillas with cheese & vegan chorizo; black bean tamales & a spread of different salsas. The meal was outstandingly delicious, full of a variety of different bright flavors & just that right amount of heat which paired well with a 2006 Chateau Marouine Cotes de Provence rose & 2006 River Aerie Malbec, Columbia Valley. Justin just amazes me every time he prepares a meal for us. I am a without a doubt a meat lover, even though I don't eat it often, but I never...ever leave his dining room feeling unsatisfied in anyway. Hell, after this meal I was so stuffed I couldn't finish dessert!

The second meal was also Mexican in style & theme. Our friend Kristy's birthday was Saturday, in honor of the special day she & her husband Jeff had a mexican fiesta. Nice sombrero Jeff! First of all, the margaritas were fabulous. There is just nothing like a fresh margarita, it was obvious that they had gone through the trouble of juicing fresh limes instead of using a mix. Outstanding!! The dish that stood out to me the most was the goat. I have never had goat before so I was extremely curious. Kristy gets the meat from a farm in Iowa (I'm pretty sure she said Iowa) that humanely raises its livestock & uses no chemicals, hormones, etc. Jeff prepared the goat in a dark sauce laced with chilis, cumin & I'm not sure what else. The goat was succulent & tender & just melted on my tongue. The sauce had a smoky heat as opposed to a spicy heat that savory-sweet at the same time. I must say that I would definitely try goat long as Jeff is preparing it! HAPPY BIRTHDAY KRISTY!!!!!


jeff said...

Michael - we had a great time too even if I drank too much! The flavors in the goat come from achiote paste made from anatto seeds. The orange-red seed has a hard-to-describe (which you did pretty well) earthy flavor and is a primary spice in the Yucatan section of Mexico, especially for pork and chicken, but in many other savory dishes as well - such as goat! It was cooked very slowly (all day) wrapped in banana leaves with other spices I added (oregano, cumin, bay) plus some onion, garlic, and lime juice. I'm glad you enjoyed it. What did you think of the mole rojo the chicken was cooked in?
Ashley and Stacey gave Kristi a bottle of Corzo tequilla which we need to open sometime, and let's not forget that bottle of 25 yr old scotch!
See you soon - Jeff

Michael Hughes said...

Achiote! Yes, I knew that seemed familiar! Whatever you did to it is was outstanding. The chicken mole was also delicious, nice & smoky-savory. Perfect with that Crios Malbec that was open. Count us in for the Corzo & Scotch!