Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Lost Weekend

Sorry for the lack of posting. I've been too busy digesting. I don't know if I'm the luckiest SOB around, or just have this always hungry/thirsty look on my face that compels people to offer me incredible food and beverage, but instead of thinking too deeply about it, I just sit back and let the goodness flow.
This last weekends debauchery started Saturday night after yet another grueling day enabling peoples alcohol consumption at the wine shack. As soon as the work day ended, I set up for a private dinner/tasting that my friends Paul and Karen organized for a group of their friends. The wines were all Italian, presented by Tom Kelly of Small Vineyards, a company who goes to Italy to seek out tiny, artisinal Italian winemaking families to export into the U.S. The wines were great, with especially amazing bottles of 2001 Poderi Elia "Serracapelli" Barbaresco and 2001 Tre Donne Barolo. Pair those and more bottles of vino rosso with a six course dinner of Piedmontese small plates and you have a pretty tasty Monforte d'Alba trattoria right here in Sellwood.
The food was all made by Paul and Karen or their coterie of culinary cohorts. Especially impressive to me was the homemade salumi made by Paul and his friend Uel. Hung to cure in Uel's home wine cellar these were really well made treats that Armando Batali would be proud of.
So why stop there? Why not get up the next morning to make our way to our friend's J&K who were having a southern brunch featuring a gigantic Virginia ham that K brought home on the plane in her suitcase! Talk about dedication!! And there's nothing like walking into someone's house and having an icy Bloody Mary thrust in your hands....Sunday morning refreshment par excellence! Plus a pitcher of blood orange juice for mimosas from fruit they hand squeezed. The blood orange juice was incredible, and the most beautiful shade of red. And what else could be better with the most attractive piece of porcine goodness that J lovingly sliced by hand than some cheesy grits, wonderfully fluffy homemade biscuits, wilted mustard greens, and a stunning crab soufflé. Oh, and an oozingly rich chess pie. Even writing it down two days later, I am absolutely salivating. Great food, great conversation that went on for hours.....did I mention how fortunate I am? Here's some pics of the proceedings....

clockwise from top left: J at the carving station with K in the background; le menu; the spread; a plate of deliciousness

So last night, to make up for our overindulgence and to eat "lighter", w and I made broiled trout (the trout was from Fubon market...more on that tomorrow) with a bacon and golden raisin relish and a roast fingerling potato and arugula salad. Both were superb recipes from this months Gourmet magazine, and we especially loved the salad which satisfied w's love of arugula and my fetish for roasted fingerling potatoes. Check back in the next couple of days and I'll have links to both recipes up. By the way, this month's Gourmet has a slew of delicious looking recipes that I'll be delving into. It just gets better and better, doesn't it?!

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