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1 hour ago, mitchells said:

Where do you get your Alheira? Sounds excellent. 

I won't attempt to answer for Sneakeater, but Fall River, Massachusetts is likely the center (along with Newark/Elizabeth?) of Portuguese grocery shopping in the United States.


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I read all these threads about these fabulous dinners people have at home, with photogenic, obviously labor-intensive food, and legendary bottles.   I can't speak for anybody else on this board, bu

If I'm not enjoying wine when I'm seventy, then my nieces and nephews are going to be stuck with a shitload of wine they won't know what to do with.   Or my next wife, who by then should be almost

Whaddya mean? That's more than half the meals I serve. Tossed with great care, I might add.

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3 hours ago, mitchells said:

Another delivery day. Grilled Oro Salmon sprinkled with my new La Boite seasoning (I used Isphahan) and doused with a grilled lemon. Topped with grilled scallion and a few left over garlic scapes. Sauteed Broccoli de ciccio on the side. Assorted lettuces with just lemon and olive oil and a few sliced radishes to start. 

I put in a La Boite order in early May and I'm almost done with the Dvora blend. I've been using it in everything.

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Previously, there were two things I'd do with leftovers:  eat them cold for lunch, or reheat them and have them again for dinner.

Now that I'm A Cook, though, I look for things to um do with leftovers.  So when I had some leftover flounder poached in tomato/dill broth with smaller-than-orzo, I looked around at things I could do with it and decided to make croquettes.  They were good, too.  Really good, actually.  I made a sweet pepper sauce/mayonnaise to go with them (meaning I mixed some sweet pepper sauce with some Duke's).  Harticots verts on the side.

I didn't have time today to think about a smart substitution for Sauvignon Blanc.

2015 Domaine Roger Sancerre "Cuvée la Jouline"

This does what a good Sancerre does.  Sharp, fruit but not too much, minerals, acid.


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Concert ended late, so the kind of late-night dinner preparation I used to do back in the days when I commuted home from shows.

SO, that famous late-night dish, spaghetti carbonara (I'm not gonna tell you what subbed in for guanciale).  Steamed haricots verts on the side.

For the pairing, a sort of oddity:  a wine I don't like at all -- except with carbonara.

2017 Giovanni Almondo Bricco Ciliege

Roero Arneis has that unctuousness that people who hate Chardonnay hate about Chardonnay -- without the exotic fruit and bracing minerals that makes Chardonnay, notwithstanding the ABC crowd, one of the great wine grapes in the world.  Roero Arneis, to the contrary, otherwise tastes like apples.

BUT pair it with a carbonara, and they both start to sing.  I guess the unctuousness stands up the rich cream -- and there is a shot of acid at the end to undercut it.

Tonight, I was glad to have this bottle around.

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Fried bluefish (with more of that sweet pepper mayonnaise).  Corn on the cob.  Curried okra/eggplant/tomato.

One of those cases where the pairing just seemed kind of obvious.

2019 Alzinger Grüner Veltliner Dürnstein Federspiel

A very lively Grüner from the Wachau.

Grüners are different from other wines in that they're very vegetal -- and this is one vegetal Grüner.  But that's far from a bug -- it's a very unique and appealing feature, which makes them pair with foods that other wines can't (think of asparagus).  Tonight, the acid and the stone fruit liked the fried fishy fish (also a feature not a bug).  The vegetal aspect liked the curry.  The corn didn't really care what was being drunk with it.

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The other traditional way to serve Alheira is deep-fried, with a fried egg on top, with fried potatoes.  I like to think that the Inquisition invented this dish to punish the Jews when they figured out what the Jews were trying to pull of with Alheira.

I don't see any mention of anyone's eating any green vegetables with this.  But come ON guys:  surely a little kale would be OK?

For the wine, I chose something from the Beaujolais region of Portugal.

2014 G. Descombes Chiroubles

Maybe it was my mood, maybe it was how it interacted with this delicious food, but this struck me (and continues to strike me as I drink it down) as one of the best Beaujolais I have ever drunk.  And I have drunk A LOT of Beaujolais over the last 50 or so years.  So much that I like to say that my body is probably 65% Beaujolais by this point.

Even with the bit of age this bottle has, the fruit is bright and direct.  VERY grapey, in that marvelous Beaujolais way.  It's overlaid with some funk (so you know that Descombes hung with the Gang of Four) -- but it's only an accent.  There isn't much else -- but the fruit goes on and on, popping in your mouth like a Pop Rock.

So it's exuberant, but not overexuberant.  It's casual -- but there's not a hair out of place.

This is so good that in a way I wish I were sharing it with someone.

But only in a way.

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Lamb chop served on a bed of raw mustard greens with a sort of chanterelle/sorrel sauce.  This sounds very fancy, but it took almost no work at all.

Reheated leftover curried okra/eggplant/tomato on the side.

This all seemed to cry out for a Cab Franc.

2015 Domaine Fabrice Gasnier Chinon "L'Ancienne"

Maybe something has happened to energize my grape receptors (that isn't a symptom of COVID, is it?), but this wine, like last night's, tasted exceptionally grapey to me -- and that is not part of the usual Chinon flavor profile.

Beyond that, though, we got the usual Chinon stuff:  red berries, vegetables, herbs.

This was (is) a very pleasing bottle.  I don't think it cost very much, either.

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Delivered Pakistani, including a beef curry.

I was pretty confident I'd hit on an ace pairing.

2017 Proprietà Sperino Rosa del Rosa

As I'm sure you know, an Alta Piemonte Rosato, made from the Alta Piemonte Nebbiolo blend.

Heavy enough for beef (which just loves Nebbiolo).  Light enough for spice.


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Several pints of Guinness at the Morden.

Slight porter bitterness, with a sweetish cafe au lait aftertaste.

Inadvertent glasses of Dom de perdiguier 2013 cab/Syrah lowish rent southern version of a bordelais with personality. One too many buttons undone, but not the full medallion.

Admittedly little recollection of fit to bavette  frites.

Kindertotenlieder Christa Ludwig supplanted Richter/Rachmaninov 59 as party music. 

Have committed to read an Iris Murdoch novel, breaking a resolution I made at 12 (Updike resolution unchanged).  

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