good wine....good food

I should have posted this a couple of days ago...but you know how it is.
This Friday last was a celebration of a good friends birthday. My wife and I and he and his wife all decided to just stay in, take it easy and enjoy some good food and wine. Jerad called me up and proceeded to let me in on a little news. He had decided, it being his birthday and all, to finally open one of his prized wines that he had carried back from our studies in Italy. When he told me that we would be drinking a 1997 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Reserva Speciale I decided this was no ordinary dinner night. So we hopped in the car and went down the street to my grocer of choice Hen House. I knew exactly what I wanted and headed straight for the filet mignons. To my disappointment the only ones they had left looked a little meager and less than worthy to sit on a plate next to a glass of that glorious vino. I asked the butcher if they any more in the walk in cooler. Let me go check, he said. Next thing, he is walking out of the cooler with an entire tenderloin. He slowly started carving the fat away and carved the tenderloin into its respective pieces leaving the chateaubriand, from which he carved 3 beautiful filet mignon. I prepared the steaks the way I like them best, with fresh ground sea salt, fresh ground black pepper, and butter...nothing else. Prepared with grilled corn, fresh green beans with garlic, and a portabella for my wifey, these guys sat on the grill for 7 minutes a side (they were real thick) and came out perfectly pink. I must say the wine was perfect, balanced, and ready to drink. It turned out to be a fantastic night relaxing with friends, good wine, and good food. What else could you ask for?


'English Coffee Culture'

An interesting blog entry from one of my favorite blogs to read. Enjoy.

Click Here.


Top Chef?

Well, Richard was my vote up until last night. I still think he may have been the best chef on the show as far as creativity and potential goes, but man did he flop. I appreciate the way he conceptualizes his meals before he begins to prepare the individual dishes; however, this time he didn't pull it off. Under seasoned pork belly, bland scallops...at least all of these things can be fixed before they find there way onto a menu. At least he took chances. That is more than I can say for Lisa, who didn't deserve to be there in the first place. I felt like I could have picked up any one of her dishes at my local Vietnamese or Thai restaurant. I will not waste anymore time typing about her. Stephanie was the right person to walk away with the title I think. Richard is inventive and daring but Stephanie was consistently great. She took chances as well, the braised pistachios for instance. Who would have thought. Overall I am happy with the outcome, although I am still a little baffled at how Lisa made it as far as she did. Oh well, I am already looking forward to next season.


Dinner & Top Chef

Two of my favorite things to do during the week are prepare dinner and watch Top Chef. Once a week (which was last night) I get to make dinner and watch Top Chef in the same evening, it was bliss. Last night I served a grilled pork tenderloin, served with grilled asparagus, and sweet potatoes prepared with sea salt and fresh rosemary. It turned out pretty decent (see photo below); however, I cannot say the same for Top Chef. All I want to know is why is Lisa still there??? She has been on the chopping block at least 217 times. There is no reason she should be in the final three. When it came down to her and Antonia I thought for sure this was the week, the week for that crazy, sailor mouthed, depressing kitchen downer of a chef to go home. Richard said it best when he described her as a gray cloud in the kitchen. I am especially bothered by the fact that Antonia was sent home for a poor plating decision and slightly undercooked pigeon peas while Lisa is allowed to stay when every aspect of her dish was executed poorly. I don't understand how she keeps dodging the axe. All I know is if she walks away with the Top Chef title...I will be forced to question the integrity of the judges.