Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Bison Hanger and Shishito Pepper-Watercress Salad with 2014 Broc Cellars Cabernet Franc

There's nothing better in life than 'free.'

Free food is nice. Even when food isn't anything spectacular, it's free, so who cares.

But free money is better.

We move in a month, and 13 years living in the same apartment, with the same things, located in the same place for years because our current apartment is so damn small that moving things around always felt like a futile effort, has made us look around at the stuff we have and say, "Hell no. That's not coming with us."

So new sofa and dining room table was...needed. Hours on the internet. Hours thinking about them off the internet. Then trips to stores yesterday. Blu Dot is nice, but committing to a $4000 sofa seemed (nearly) the opposite of wise. DWR was a fanciful adventure, but thanks for the water. And Restoration Hardware was something out of Black Mirror. Truly a dystopian shopping excursion. "Here's six floors of sameness to lure you into a decision based on the tiniest of differences and based solely on wanting to get the f@*k out of there."

Then we stepped into Roy's, found a sofa AND a table that landed at the perfect intersection of style, cut, and value; and we bought both for probably $3-4000 less than we might have spent just to be done with shopping. money. Free money is best.

Bison hanger, potato pancakes and feta-shishito pepper-celery-watercress salad with 2014 Broc Cellars Cabernet Franc Santa Barbara

David Began recipe from Food & Wine. Bison hanger from D'Artagnan, marinated, seared medium rare. Potato pancakes from Trader Joe's, because there's no easier and delicious starch that compliments a meal like this, dipped in Kewpie. Charred shishitos mixed with watercress, feta, pomegranate seeds, celery and celery leaves. We like a lot of salads. This one's in the top 10% for me, as it has bite coming at you from eight different angles. This entire meal has bite and presence and joy. Better with blue cheese instead of feta, but when 48,000 thoughts regarding the logistics of moving are in your brain, an extra errand to get one ingredient isn't happening. This wasn't even the best version of this meal, but it was entirely welcome.

Not the best pairing either. Malbec is the play here. This food likes malbec's robustness and fruit to soften the edges just a wee bit, but we didn't care. Lighter, fresh cab franc-y notes with the Broc. as per usual, with a touch of smoke backing up the freshness, and very delicate earth finishing things up.

Mostly, we have to move all our wine. Bringing wine INTO the house? Nope. So jamming some wines into food for the next month is what's going to occur. But on the scale of "FINE," where a "fine" of 10 is an annoying, get-out-of-my-face fine, and a "fine" of one is "hey, that was just fine, I have no beef with that." This pairing was about a two.

A Couple of Notes: Spanish-style garlic shrimp, roasted feta with honey and pink peppercorns, baguette and salad; served with 2004 López de Heredia Viña Gravonia Rioja. I wanted viura, but the 2004 is NOT READY! Don't do that. Still a lot of Heredia deliciousness, but this one is tight and doesn't want you in there (giggity). A supplemental bottle of TJ's La Granja Viura brought the Spanish Patio Happy in more evocative, Spanish Patio ways.

Scaccia and salad with 2015 Broc Cellars Nero d'Avola Ukiah. I love Broc. We don't love the nero d'Avola. Grape juice to start. Added some black pepper to the scaccia and more of a plummy, spicy, wine impression showed up to the party, but this is our third or fourth go with Broc's nero d'Avola and while it seems to be shooting for "utterly gulpable and drinkable," it doesn't hit that place for us. It's the wine-club throw-in that sits on the shelf, waiting to get picked last for dodgeball.                

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