Comforting Lettuce Packages

November 7th, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

These are tense days for HG/BSK. There is the distinct possibility American democracy may end with the Presidential election of a racist, misogynist demagogue. In HG’s memory, Der Trumperer is the first Presidential candidate in modern times to receive the endorsement of the Ku Klux Klan. HG/BSK battle anxiety by long pre-dinner swims in the lap pool. A gaze at the colorful autumn landscape of New Mexico. Then, pre-diiner drinks (Tito’s Vodka for HG and white wine with a dash of Aperol for BSK) before the flames of piƱon logs in the fireplace. Mozart on the Bose. Spirits lift. Dinner emphasizes comfort. Tonight, BSK served a long time favorite: Lettuce Packages. BSK cooked a pound of lean ground pork in a sauce pan with loads of chopped garlic, shallots and ginger. Added soy sauce and Vietnamese fish sauce plus pureed cilantro. Brought the pan to the table. HG/BSK folded spoonfuls into crisp leaves of iceberg lettuce. Flavored the “packages” with Hoisin Sauce or Sriracha. Drank cold Vouvray. Living well is the best revenge.

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The Tasty Trio

November 6th, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

Garlic, capers and anchovies. BSK uses this tasty trio in a variety of dishes. All savory. Last night, BSK put them to good use in a panful of crisp-skinned, golden brown chicken thighs highly flavored with the noble trio and enhanced with much lemon juice. BSK consulted Melissa Clark’s recipe for garlic and lemon chicken from The New York Times. BSK made some changes in ingredients and techniques. BSK added white wine. BSK also cooked the sauce in a separate pan before adding it to the browned chicken. Didn’t want the garlic to burn. Once more, BSK’s attention to details insures dining joy.

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Cragg Heaven

November 3rd, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

The best antidote to election malaise is a visit from the Craggs. Very English (but American citizens, HG believes), Antony and Claudia live high in the foothills near Denver. Since Antony drives a Bentley and an Aston-Martin (among other fine collected vehicles) and has a very heavy foot on the accelerator, the delightful couple motor to New Mexico in record time. Antony directs a successful mutual fund and Claudia, an author and former journalist specializing in Asian finance, is an incisive interviewer for a Boulder radio news program. Antony is an aristocrat (he is HG/BSK’s only link to royalty) and Claudia, of theatrical lineage, is super exuberant with an abundance of insight. On this visit, the Craggs brought their dogs: Genghis, a lively little mini-poodle mix with black and white coloring and Boodles, a larger brown poodle mix. HG/BSK’s Toby, The Wonder Dog, was in canine heaven. Joyous frolics as Toby fell in love with Boodles. As usual, the Craggs brought generous gifts of wine (not to be shared, the Craggs insisted the wines be drunk when HG/BSK dined alone). Dinner was an extravaganza, Icy Martinis (made with PEI Strait View Gin). Moderate BSK drank white wine. Nibbles of garlicky fried shishito peppers. Then on to pappardelle with ragu bolognese (from Marcella Hazan’s recipe). Then ripe brie with salad. Much, much red wine. Desserts of carrot cake with ice cream plus home made flan from the ladies at Pojoaque Super Market. Finale of brandy laced with Peychaud Bitters. After the Craggs left the next morning, heartbroken Toby, The Wonder Dog, lay in front of HG/BSK’s casita, mournfully hoping that his love, Boodles, would appear. Toby is still in mourning.

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