Best Quicky

November 20th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

No, no. HG is not being naughty. The Greedy Old Guy is referring to the best cook-at-home quick meal. HG’s favorite is the long standing Tex-Mex treat: the Quesadilla. Simple. Place a few slices of swiss, cheddar or pepper jack on a flour (or corn) tortilla. Pop it in the toaster oven until the cheese melts. Fold it. Cut it in half. Eat. HG often enhances the Quesadilla with pico de gallo or fiery salsa. You can build on the basics. Add some sliced tomato or ham slices or cooked bacon to the cheese before toasting. Best of all, HG slips a few smoky, fiery chipotle peppers into the folded treat. A tasty quicky.

Sardine Dinner

November 17th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

During HG’s New York days, HG would often order a sardine platter at delicatessens (when not in the mood for pastrami) and dairy restaurants (when not in the mood for kasha varnishkes). Did a reprise of that meal for dinner last night. Sardines. Sliced tomatoes. Sliced sweet onions. BSK gave the vegetables a hit of good olive oil and a bit of wine vinegar. The sardines got a shower of capers and a squeeze of lemon. What lifted the dish to higher realms were the sardines. Matiz Gallego sardines. These are Spanish sardines harvested off the coast of Galicia. Thick, meaty sardines bursting with flavor. HG drank Bass Ale with the meal and sopped up the juices with Whole Foods ciabatta (Cadiz sardines also came from WF). In New York, HG would accompany the sardines with Jewish rye bread, pumpernickel or bialys and pletzels (onion rolls). Drank Dr. Brown’s Cel-Ray Tonic (a Noo Yawk perversion).

New Mexico Magic

November 15th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

A glorious New Mexico night. Crisp. Cool. Air fragrant with wood smoke. David F. and Karen K. hosted a prolonged cocktail hour at David F.’s home (five minutes from HG/BSK’s residence). A group of eight friends and neighbors gathered around David F.’s outdoor fire pit. Constantly fed with logs, the fire pit was a visual beauty and warm enough for comfort. The sky kept changing. A mini sunset. Then, waves of grey resembling the brush strokes of antique Chinese paintings. Lively conversation plus plenty of vodka and wine. Snacks of tortilla chips with melted cheese (queso), guacamole and refritos (refried beans). All wonderful. Dinner at home was prepared by BSK in record time. Spaghetti with olive oil, sliced garlic,vanchovies, chopped parsley, red pepper flakes and bottarga (dried tuna roe). This is the kind of dish Romans eat after a night of carousing. HG/BSK followed their example. Dinner ended with red wine and two cheeses–French morbier and Italian truffle. A night to recall with pleasure.

Radish

November 12th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

Food writer Alex Lobrano met the late, great Julia Child at a Paris bistro. She was eating sliced radishes with butter and sea salt flakes. JC remarked to Lobrano that a radish always reminded her how wonderful a very simple thing can be. HG agrees. HG also loves sliced red radishes from Santa Fe’s Farmer Market. Stronger black radishes from the Farmers Market are another HG fave. The red radishes are good with butter but HG prefers to smear the black guys with some duck fat. Icy vodka with the blacks. Red or white wine with the reds. BSK delights HG with a special salad of sliced red radishes, sliced baby white turnips, chopped fennel and chopped red onions. A savory accompaniment to fish dishes.

Eight Eight

November 10th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

88. That’s not “getting old.” It is old age. Yes, HG has arrived. Eighty Eight on November 9. Many warm greetings and wishes from family and friends. Birthday dinner at home with beloved BSK (and Toby, The wonder Dog, at HG’s feet.) Roaring flames in the fireplace. Heifetz and cellos on the Bose. Candle light. Dinner mixed French and Florentine elements. HG had a starter of buttered Santa Fe Farmers Market radishes (a Julia Child favorite) with cold Provencal rose wine. Then, on to a rib steak cooked very rare (“saignant”). Topped with grated garlic and a dash of olive oil. White cannelloni beans with sliced garlic and olive oil. (Yes, HG ate enough garlic to keep Dracula and his nefarious vampire cohorts away for years). Salad of juicy little tomatoes and chopped sweet onion. BSK cooked a New York strip to a pink juiciness. (BSK doesn’t share HG’s love for bloody meat). And, no massive amounts of garlic for BSK. Drank a BSK discovery, Cabernet Sauvignon from California’s Josh vineyards. Big, mouth filling wine. Perfect with steak and cheese (the cheese course was French soft and runny cheese that was a cross between Camembert and Pont L’Eveque). Jameson’s Irish Whiskey after dinner. Vanilla bean ice cream later in the evening. Can’t blame greedy HG for wanting many more birthdays like #88. Stay away from the window sill, Moloch Hamoves.

Instant Pot

November 9th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

If you don’t have one, get one. Instant Pot is a splendid convenience that shortens the time for braising, roasting, stewing, etc. And, it helps to keep meat juicy while cooking to sublime tenderness. Last week, BSK browned a pork roast (saute setting) and then added apple cider vinegar,onions, garlic and rosemary. A roast with a crusty exterior and a moist, flavorful interior was the result. BSK reduced the juices and little brown bits of meat with white wine to create a lush sauce. On another evening, BSK used the Instant Pot to make congee (jook), the Chinese rice porridge. BSK added garlic, sea scallops and shiitake mushrooms to left over cooked basmati rice. The result wasn’t congee but rather a soupy risotto. Nevertheless, it was deluxe comfort food. BSK said next time there will be an adjustment in water proportions to make a more conventional congee.

Burger A La BSK

November 7th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

HG is not a hamburger fan. The burgers at Mickey Dee’s and its emulators are vile crapola. HG isn’t fond of burgers at upscale restaurants. The green chile burger at Santa Fe Bite (formerly Bobcat Bite) is nationally famous. Some food mags have called it best burger in USA. HG is unmoved. Finds it pedestrian. BSK breaks through HG’s burger bias with half pound burgers pan broiled in a cast iron pan (BSK uses 20% fat ground chuck because fat is flavor and an essential ingredient for a juicy burger.) BSK sizzles the burger until it’s pink in the middle. Melts a round of Mexican quesadilla cheese on top. The burger is the centerpiece of a hearty New Mexican dinner. BSK drenches the burgers in lush 505 Green Chile Sauce. Accompanies them with Goya black beans topped with chopped sweet onions and Mexican sour cream, On the table are sliced avocados plus pico de gallo (from Poaque Supermarket) and warmed flour tortillas. IPA ale for HG and Spanish Rioja for BSK. Joyous eating on chilly autumn evenings in New Mexico.

Prayers?!?!?!?!?!?!

November 7th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

And, so it goes on. Another slaughter by a deranged Caucasian American male. Armed with an army assault rifle Guess what? Der Trumperer offers prayers. We’ve had a slaughter of children in Connecticut. A slaughter at a church in Charleston. A slaughter at a Las Vegas concert. And, today, a slaughter at a little church in Texas. The number of dead continues to grow. The Republican response: Prayers. Hey, why not? Doesn’t cost a dime. Prayers, Mother, apple pie are good things. But, in the land of The Free, Brave and Armed nothing is more worshipped than guns and their apologist, the NRA, is a generous dispenser of campaign funds and possibly more important, a voter bloc that will follow anyone they endorse. So, let the murder continue. Be lucky, my friends.

Catalonia

November 2nd, 2017 § 1 comment § permalink

Catalonia (Catalunya) is in the news. HG hopes the issue of Catalonian independence can be settled peacefully. HG/BSK have had joyous times in Barcelona, the wondrous Catalan city. Renowned architecture (Gaudi, etc.). Colorful walks (Las Ramblas). The best public food market. Beaches. Tapas and every type of good food. BSK paid an homage to Barcelona last night with a rousing cod dish. BSK stewed cod with last of season tomatoes, potatoes, onions, garlic (lots), oregano, parsley, blazing pimenton, tomato paste, olive oil, white wine. HG/BSK raised glasses of red wine and toasted Picasso, Miro and other Catalans. May peace prevail.

New Mexico Bliss

October 31st, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

HG/BSK are experiencing a wonderful autumn in New Mexico. Brilliant sun. Cloudless skies. Cool nights. Lots of color in the trees. (Alas. A big cottonwood is beginning to tilt dangerously and will have to be cut down). Yesterday, HG walked over to the fence of neighbor Mister G’s organic vegetable farm and received a gracious gift. A magnificent, fresh-from-the-earth head of escarole. BSK used the vegetable to make a big pot of escarole, beans and bacon soup. The basis was the Frankie’s Spuntino recipe. Topped with lots of grated Romano and sprinkles of hot pepper, this was a lusty dish. Fortunately, there’s enough left over for another meal. HG will add some penne or ziti to create New York’s beloved, late Mayor Laguardia’s favorite dish: “Pastafazoole.”