My Yummy Local Life











{February 23, 2014}   Bread and Wine 8

Galentine’s Dinner 2014: Southern Classics (with smoked whiskey sours and smoked lemonade)

This post will be a little different.  We hosted a Galentine’s day dinner for some of our lovely girlfriends; Gary did most of the cooking with some help from Dave and Cody. Part of the challenge was a meal that was gluten, dairy and soy free (also without avocado), but Gary did not want things with substituted ingredients.  So the following is what we came up with (Lisa will detail a bit more on each dish below the pictures; Gary’s overall impressions are at the end)

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Galentine’s Day Dinner Menu: Barbecue Smoked pork shoulders, Homemade coleslaw, Collard greens, Baked fries, Okra, Sweet Tea, Smoked Whiskey sours, Smoked Lemonade, Pumpkin Pie

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Smoked Pork Shoulders: Gary got 2 large pork shoulders to smoke; he took the day off from work to make sure there was enough time time smoke them properly; they were brined overnight before smoking, smoked and then finished in the oven and shredded; our 4 quart crockpot only held about half of the meat!

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Collard greens: Cooked in pretty much the only acceptable way, with a ham hock.  Without the pork-y-ness here, collard greens are not yummy.  Proof that pork makes all things better.

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Cornmeal breaded okra: Baked in the oven. Simple. Yummy.

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Homemade Coleslaw: Some kind of mayo concoction of yumminess plus shredded cabbage and carrot.  I am not usually a coleslaw fan, but I want to keep eating this stuff. Forever.

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Baked Fries: Fries, oil, salt. Baked until crispy.  Enough said.

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Smoked whiskey sours (in the pitcher), Smoked lemonade (in the mason jar), and iced tea (with simple syrup for sweetening to taste); In addition to smoking the pork, Gary also smoked a couple dozen lemons, and then used that juice to make the whiskey sours and lemonade.  The smoke flavor was subtle and distinct and delicious.

Pumpkin pie: gluten and dairy free with cold coconut milk instead of whipped cream (sorry I didn’t even get a picture of a single slice!); I used this recipe, but used full fat coconut milk instead of the light stuff, and ginger cookies instead of graham crackers.

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Flowers for the girls to take with them.  After reading A Year of Biblical Womanhood by Rachel Held Evans, I am trying to do some subtle things to take back the Proverbs 31 woman as Eshet Chayil (A Woman of Valor), instead of the unattainable to do list that Christians have warped it into.  Jewish men sing the Eshet Chayil to their wives as part of every Shabbat meal- to praise her for what she does for the household (not to point out all she could be and isn’t doing).  I took this excerpt and made it into the cards the girls got with their flowers:

Eshet Chayil (Proverbs 31: 10, 29-31)

A woman of valor, who can find? For her worth is far above rubies.

Many women have done worthily, but you surpass them all.

Charm is deceptive and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears God shall be praised.

Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.

Happy Galentine’s Day 2014! You are Loved!

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Our kitchen in the aftermath of the dinner (took 3 full loads in the dishwasher and some hand washing).

Gary’s notes: This was my favorite meal so far. Not so much for the food, which was delicious, but for the evening as a whole. There’s absolutely nothing more rewarding than seeing and hearing eight of your closest friends conversing loudly around the dinner table, punctuated by roaring laughter.

1: Jamaican Mushroom Curry over Quinoa (paired with Domaine Chandon Blanc de Noirs)

2: Sweet Potato Hash with Eggs (paired with The Mamani Gin and Tonic)

3: Caprese Mac and Cheese (paired with Page Springs 2011 Chenin Blanc)

4: Pulled Pork & Collar Green Egg Rolls (paired with Vermouth Cocktail)

5: Sweet potato, parsnip latkes (paired with Page Springs 2012 GSPm)

6: Bowl o’ Noodles (pair with 2012 PSC Grenache- Or your favorite bottle of white wine)

7: Homemade pepperoni and mozzarella pizza (paired with a mystery shiner of wine that was quite good)

8: Galentine’s Dinner 2014: Southern Classics (with smoked whiskey sours and smoked lemonade)

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{February 16, 2014}   Bread and Wine 7

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Homemade pepperoni and mozzarella pizza (paired with a mystery shiner of red wine that was quite good)

Ingredients:

mozzarella cheese, 2 balls (ours was homemade from raw milk using a kit)

pepperonis

1/2 batch ofpizza dough*

For the Pizza Dough:

white flour, 3 cups (you can sub some wheat but it makes a different texture crust)

salt, 2 tsp

yeast, 2 tsp

EVOO, 2 Tbsp

water, 1 cup (ish)

How to:

Mix all ingredients for the dough together until it is a smooth ball.  Coat in a little more oil. Allow to set for 1 hour (or longer). The dough will make 2 pizzas for sharing and 3-4 “personal pan” size pizzas. Once the dough is ready, stretch it and roll it out.  Set the oven “as hot as it will go” (we usually go between 450 and 500F). Top as desired. Bake on a stone for 10-15 minutes, until the crust is golden brown.  Remove from oven and wait a few minutes so the cheese will set.  Enjoy with red wine.

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Tasting Notes:

Lisa: One of the joys of having a spouse that works in the wine industry is all the free wine.  This bottle was obtained from the cellar at page springs while we were working an event.  No one seemed to know how long it had been there, who made it, or what it was.  A mystery.  So we made pizza, because pizza and red wine are made for each other.  If you ask most of our friends, we make awesome pizzas- the pepperoni being the simplest form of what can become quite different and unusual. The wine was a little spicy which went well with the pepperoni.  I tried to guess the type, but I have no real educated guess 🙂 I know what it’s not, but not what it is 🙂

Gary: Pizza was tasty, could have used some sauce, but still tasty. It was a good red wine, still have no clue what it is. Spicy, rich but mild.

1: Jamaican Mushroom Curry over Quinoa (paired with Domaine Chandon Blanc de Noirs)

2: Sweet Potato Hash with Eggs (paired with The Mamani Gin and Tonic)

3: Caprese Mac and Cheese (paired with Page Springs 2011 Chenin Blanc)

4: Pulled Pork & Collar Green Egg Rolls (paired with Vermouth Cocktail)

5: Sweet potato, parsnip latkes (paired with Page Springs 2012 GSPm)

6: Bowl o’ Noodles (pair with 2012 PSC Grenache- Or your favorite bottle of white wine)

7: Homemade pepperoni and mozzarella pizza (paired with a mystery shiner of wine that was quite good)



{February 9, 2014}   Bread and Wine 6

Bowl o’ Noodles (pair with 2012 PSC Grenache- Or your favorite bottle of white wine)

Inspired by the third picture in this NY Times article; and reverse engineered based on the ingredients listed on this menu.

Ingredients:

mushrooms, one package, sliced

vinegar, sugar, peppercorns, mustard seeds, red onion, garlic cloves (for pickling the mushrooms)

lo mein noodles

pork shoulder, 1 lb

carolina treat (or bbq sauce), salt and pepper (for seasoning the pork)

beet tops

soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil (for cooking the greens)

eggs, 1 per person

How to (Disclaimer- read this whole recipe before beginning- this is what happens when Gary writes his own recipes):

I picked up some pork shoulder in 2inch cubes, seasoned with salt and pepper, coated in Carolina Treat, wrapped it in foil and threw that bundle of joy into the slow cooker overnight on low. In the morning (when the smell wakes you up), turn slow cooker to “Keep Warm” and go about your business. When it’s time to assemble, boil a pot of salted water, chop your beet greens, and drain the pork liquid into a bowl. Cut the pork drippings with 50% water, 1Tbsp soy sauce, 1Tbsp cider vinegar and keep warm. Heat sesame oil in cast iron over medium heat. Add 1 clove garlic and 1tsp  sesame seeds. Add greens next. Toss to coat, squeeze in the juice of 1/2 a lemon and a dash of soy. Turn heat to low until greens are well wilted. Set aside. Pull/shred the pork and set aside. Soft boil 1 egg/person in that pot of boiling water you’ve got going. After the eggs are out, boil the lo mein/chow mein noodles and peel the eggs. Curse half way through peeling the first egg when you break it and need to cook another. Curse halfway through peeling the next egg when the pot starts to boil over. Curse again when typing the recipe and realizing you forgot to mention the pickled mushrooms. (Do this first:) Pickle some mushrooms in 2/1/1 vinegar/water/sugar with 1Tbsp salt, 1tsp peppercorns & mustard seeds, grated small red onion, and 3 cloves garlic brought to a boil. Let them sit for 30-45 minutes. Put noodles in a bowl, add an egg, a bit of greens, bit of pork, bit of pickled mushrooms, and about 1/4 of those pork drippings you’ve got set aside somewhere. Enjoy with a crisp white wine. Unless your us and you don’t have any on hand that you are ready to open. Then enjoy with whatever you want to open with this dish. Today, it was PSC Grenache from Carriage Vineyards in Paso Robles.

Tasting Notes:

Lisa:

I had no expectations going into this meal- it was my first time ever consuming a soft boiled egg (which is apparently much harder to peel in one piece than a hard boiled egg)- and I quite enjoyed it.  I personally would have skipped the pork dripping in the bowl as the whole thing was a little too moist for my taste.  But that said, the flavors melded together nicely- I would say to definitely NOT skip the pickled mushrooms- they really made this dish dynamite.  Also this is a prime example of why Gary cooks and I write about it- he can look at a picture from a restaurant clear across the country and create a beautiful dinner.  I need recipes. The Grenache was lovely- light, and fruity- and went nicely with the slight spice of the dinner.

Gary:


1: Jamaican Mushroom Curry over Quinoa (paired with Domaine Chandon Blanc de Noirs)

2: Sweet Potato Hash with Eggs (paired with The Mamani Gin and Tonic)

3: Caprese Mac and Cheese (paired with Page Springs 2011 Chenin Blanc)

4: Pulled Pork & Collar Green Egg Rolls (paired with Vermouth Cocktail)

5: Sweet potato, parsnip latkes (paired with Page Springs 2012 GSPm)

6: Bowl o’ Noodles (pair with 2012 PSC Grenache- Or your favorite bottle of white wine)



{February 2, 2014}   Bread and Wine – 5

Sweet potato, parsnip latkes (paired with Page Springs 2012 GSPm)

Inspired by: Sweet Potato, Parsnip and Beet Latkes

Ingredients:

Russet potato, shredded

Sweet potato, shredded

Parsnips, 2, shredded

Cilantro, 1/4 cup, chopped

Eggs, 2

Flour, 2 Tbsp

salt and pepper, to taste

How to:

Combine all ingredients- stir to mix well. Heat a skillet with oil over medium high heat. Cooking about 3 latkes at a time, cook the latkes for about 5 minutes per side, until brown.  Remove from heat and let cool over paper towels to remove some of the oil.

Dipping sauce: Combine half mayonnaise, half sour cream, some garlic and salt and pepper to taste; (or applesauce- if you’re Lisa…). Enjoy with whatever wine you’ve got opened.

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Tasting Notes:

Lisa: These were a good change up to straight potato latkes. The sweet potato and parsnips added a bit of sweetness, which was countered by the cilantro. A little too oily for me. The dipping sauce and applesauce went nicely to balance out some of the oil. GSPm is one of the go to red wines in our house when we have it- and sometimes, you just drink what you’ve got.

Gary: Not bad, but I’m still partial to regular latkes. The GSPm is good- lighter than I was expecting, drinking well right now- a very approachable wine.

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1: Jamaican Mushroom Curry over Quinoa (paired with Domaine Chandon Blanc de Noirs)

2: Sweet Potato Hash with Eggs (paired with The Mamani Gin and Tonic)

3: Caprese Mac and Cheese (paired with Page Springs 2011 Chenin Blanc)

4: Pulled Pork & Collar Green Egg Rolls (paired with Vermouth Cocktail)

5: Sweet potato, parsnip latkes (paired with Page Springs 2012 GSPm)



et cetera