Thursday, February 11, 2016

365 Days Of Food And Wine: Week #31

TV things with a week to go until pitchers and catchers report:

I feel the internet failed us. How nobody told me that every freaking season of Channel 4's Come Dine With Me is on YouTube is a big disappointment and I blame all of you people. This show has everything: bad food, strangers forced to try to get along, weird human ticks, conversational dynamics, and judgment...loads of judgment. Everyone on the show is also Trying: trying to cook well, trying to understand another human being, trying to have some fun, trying to be understood. Loads of Trying.

There are hundreds of episodes. If I didn't like sports, that cord would have been cut years ago.

Total food and wine cost for the week: $85 for food and $72 for wine = $157

Sunday: Orecchiette with Sausage and Rapini with 2014 Rosa dell'Olmo Gavi Piedmont

Food Details: Orecchiette with sausage, rapini, onion, red pepper flakes, parsley, bread crumbs and evoo.

Did We Like It? Solid batch here. Loved the sausage-rapini back and forth.

How Was The Wine? Trader Joe's Gavi done well. Dry, crisp, lightly floral, peaches, medium-bodied. I drank this, like it muchly, and now I want picpoul. Something about these two grapes that make me want buckets of them.

And The Pairing? Classic. They like each other.

Cost: $6 for food, $8 for wine = $14

Saturday: Leek-Onion-Tomato Tart with 2014 Charles Smith VINO Pinot Grigio Columbia Valley

Food Details: Leek, onion, shallot, charred scallion, garlic, basil tart with parmesan and grape tomato slices; herb salad.

Did We Like It? A fine tart, even with me making the wrong dough for it in the morning. Tart and salad. It's simple, honest bistro food done right.

How Was The Wine? The Charles Smith VINO is consistent, with teeny-tiny vacillations with each drinking and depending on the food. But knowing that we're drinking it with a weeknight dinner always ups the anticipation of dinner, particularly after waiting on Valentine's weekend couples (rubs temples). Loved the acid with this drinking.

And The Pairing? Nice tart, solid wine, very happy.

Cost: $8 for food, $11 for wine = $19

Friday: "Sandwich" with 2015 Viñas Chilenas Reserva Rosé Valle Central

Food Details: Smoked turkey, mortadella, muenster, roasted red peppers, onion, tomato, leaf lettuce and mayo on the more "fancy" batch. Ham, mortadella, American cheesed onion on the street sandwich batch. D'amato's bread for both. More than six feet of Sandwich! Olive oil chips.

Did We Like It? So much sandwich that it blew past the plural back into the singular. So much sandwich to last us through the weekend for snacky-lunchy needs. And good sandwich at that; the kind of basic sandwich that tastes like the rolling history of sandwich.

How Was The Wine? This is $4, fresh, fruity, round, bouncy and delicious. Cabernet-syrah blend done up rosé style.

And The Pairing? Not as delicious here, at least for me. A bit coarse.

Cost: $20 for food, $4 for wine = $24

Thursday: Mexican Green Rice with 2014 La Granja Blanco Rioja

Food Details: Jalapeño chicken sausages, sauteed onions and Bayless' "Mexican Red Rice" made with freezer roasted tomatillo salsa.

Did We Like It? Easy weeknight food when you simply want a big, hot bowl of Mexican flavors. And a vehicle to eat sour cream without simply opening up the tub of sour cream and eating it with a spoon.

How Was The Wine? $5 Trader Joe's verdejo-viura blend. Big tropical fruit notes this time, with a fine snappy finish.

And The Pairing? Good. Enough.

Cost: $6 for food, $5 for wine = $11

Wednesday: French Pizzas and Walnut Oil-ed Arugula with NV La Granja Brut Cava

Food Details: A Trader Joe's feast. TJ's French pizzas with ham and gruyère. Arugula salad dressed with walnut oil, roasted garlic, grainy mustard, evoo and white balsamic. Slice of pizza, top with salad, eat.

Did We Like It? What the hell? After a lazy day and Five Guys for lunch, easy food was in order. This was easy food and oddly great food. Something about the walnut oil jazzed this up to something delicious with flavors jumping everywhere.

How Was The Wine? Cheap Cava (70% xarel·lo, 30% parellada) and usually cheap lunch bubbles that tastes like cheap wine from vacation. Nothing special, ever, but here...

And The Pairing? Best it's ever tasted in this house. The sweetness of its fruit bloomed - bright and clean and Spanishy - with a very nice nut-pit note on its finish with every bite and sip. This was a cheap, easy, whipped together dinner and it turned into something so much more.

Cost: $10 for food, $8 for wine = $18      

Tuesday: Sumac Poussins and Braised Endive with 2014 Alloy Wine Works Grenache Rosé Central Coast

Food Details: Ottolenghi sumac-ed baby chickens (sumac, garlic, allspice, salt marinade), stuffed with Carolina Gold rice and barley (instead of bulgur), ground lamb, allspice, cinnamon, pine nuts, almonds, etc. Birds then roasted. Endive braised and roasted under the baby chickens. Yogurt to dip and dunk.

Did We Like It? We did, well enough. It had all the Ottolenghi flavors we like. Great bird meat and stuffing, and with a dip of yogurt, it reached all the basic heights of what makes Ottolenghi food our first food love. Felt like something was...half-missing here, though.

How Was The Wine? Grenache in the can from Field Recordings. We've been over this. It's nothing serious or thought-provoking, just VERY sunny strawberry and guava notes with buckets of happy acid. It's ever-so slightly starting to fade from its former fresh-fresh deliciousness, but it's still more than adequate. And was here.

And The Pairing? Fine and good. At times, even delicious. In hindsight, this might have been a food opportunity for something sherry-like.

Cost: $25 for food, $16 for wine = $41  

Monday: Beef Cheek Sugo over Pappardelle with 2007 Quinta do Vallado Tinto Douro

Food Details: Beef cheeks from a couple of Tuesdays ago, mixed with soffritto, a glop of tomato paste, a spoon of cocoa powder and rosemary sprigs; deglazed with Muscadet; added San Marzano tomatoes, brick of congealed braised beef cheeks dumped in, simmered for as long as Mrs. Ney had the patience. Parsley, pecorino, pappardelle.

Did We Like It? Had a depth similar to Bolognese and a darker, winter forest, mountain food-like warmth. Great use of leftover beef cheeks here. We liked it muchly.

How Was The Wine? Our last 2007 Vallado tinto, a great vintage in the Douro. Nine years old and still drinking well. A bit sanguine, with some cocoa, burning brush and blackberries. Typical Douro flavors with a three-act play. Everything needed was present.

And The Pairing? Linked up beautifully. The cocoa in both served as the bridge, and the rest of the flavors giddily played with each other. A fine pairing.

Cost: $10 for food extras, $20 for wine = $30

No comments:

Post a Comment