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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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You could just cut a tip off the lemon, squeeze out a teaspoon, put the lemon, cut side down in a small dish and  keep for another use.   It keeps a week on countertop before molding.    Of course, I reach for a lemon frequently so this is a convenience for me.

But whisky sours are nice...

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I knew the Scouse would get better with age, but YEOW!  (No mold yet, though.)

On the side, the end of my current batch of Marcella Hazan's smothered cabbage.  This time, for the first time, I got up the guts to reheat it to crisp, as people say you should.  It's good that way.

But recent discussion here on MFF drove home that, much as I'd like to pretend otherwise, Marcella Hazan's smothered cabbage isn't pickled cabbage, the traditional accompaniment for Scouse.  And I just don't have any pickled cabbage.  I do, however, have some Gari.  You know what?  It wasn't nearly as bad as you might think.

2019 Aaron Burr Cidery Summitville

This is one of Burr's signature single-locality foraged ciders.

I think an Englishperson would find it kind of pale.  But in this case, it's subtle.  There are layers of flavor here.  Lots of apple, obvs -- and the non-apple flavors aren't readily nameable.  But it's all there:  this is one of those drinks that changes as it moves over your tongue.

Very good with food.

Believe the hype.

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The end of the stall-bought duck barbacoa.  Once again over a corn pancake.  If I may pat myself on the back, I think that was a really good idea -- although it would have been even better, I now realize, if I had made the pancake Joy of Cooking "sauvage" style.  (I know, I know:  it probably isn't that hard to learn to make an actual tortilla.  But, baby steps, you know?)  Topped with some radish and onion I had soaked long ago in vinegar and oil.

The end of my current batch of black-eyed peas on the side.  And some raw Bok Choy, dressed with Milu chili crisps (cuz that's how we roll around here).

And the wine pairing:  I am really proud of this one.

2018 Weingut Beurer Trollinger Tröcken

Trollinger.   Served not a degree above cellar temp.  I mean, what could be better?

Mainly because Trollinger is spicy.  So here, you get a shot of brambly berry and sour cherry fruit, and then:  pepper.  Perfect!

Minerals at the end, almost more like a white than a red.  But then, this is one extremely light red.  Not just glou-glou, but glou-glou-glou-glou-glou-glou-glou.  I could probably have drunk five bottles of this -- if I could have gotten it up to walk over to my wine storage unit to retrieve them.

My fealty to Swabia remains unwavering.


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A real pantry/refrigerator pasta.  Even the pasta was chosen cuz I had a bag that needed to be finished.  So, casarecce with mushrooms, leeks, garlic, parsley, and the oldest chili in Brooklyn.

Sautéed Bok Choy -- the only green to be had from a reliable source at the GAP Greenmarket last Saturday -- on the side.

A sort of pantry wine, too.

2012 Le Roc des Anges "Les Vignes Métisées"

How do I come to have a rosé from 2012?  Damned if I know.  (Actually, I know very well:  negligence.)

But this is, in a sense, serendipity.  This Côtes Catalanes producer makes wines that I always find a little too big and a little too serious.  Time tamps them down.

You know what this tasted like to me?  (Actually, when you remember where the Côtes Catalanes are, it isn't completely crazy -- although they are on the wrong coast.)  A Txokoli rosé.  At least now, in its dotage, it has that same sour fruit leading to a chalky finish.  I love that in Txokolis -- and I liked it here.

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9 hours ago, Sneakeater said:

Sautéed Bok Choy -- the only green to be had from a reliable source at the GAP Greenmarket last Saturday -- on the side.

I was able to get very nice raab and turnips (with gorgeous greens) on Monday at Union Square. Surprised me.

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Reheated leftover Scouse.  This time, though, I remembered what should be an unswerving cardinal rule:  reheat it in a cazuela, so there's one less thing to wash.

Tonight's stand-in for the traditional pickled cabbage accompaniment:  kohlrabi slaw (with black Spanish radish, too!).  Pretty good.  This was just strictly vinegar-and-oil, though; I think that when I eat the remaining batch I'll mix in some mayo.

I was thinking of a Southern Rhone.  But then I remembered I had something similar -- albeit bigger -- that needed to be drunk up.

2007 Viñedos de Ithaca "Akyles"

No question about it, this Priorat is a little bit past it.

That has its good points, to be sure:  the fruit is no longer jammy, at all.

But it has its bad points:  the fruit is faded.  And the fruit is mainly what there is here.

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Fregua Sarda cun Arrizzonisi e Cori di Tonnu (Sardinian fregola with sea urchin and cured tuna heart).

It's probably pretty stupid to try to reverse-engineer a dish you've not only never eaten, but never even seen in person.  But when it comes to cooking, "Stupid" is my middle name.

So:  La Ciccia's (SF) famous sea urchin/tuna heart pasta dish.  They've used various pastas in this over the years, but I decided to recur to what I believe was their original presentation, using the Sardinian couscous equivalent fregola (yeah yeah I'm aware it isn't technically a "pasta").

Obviously, I have nothing to compare this with.  But man it was good.

On the side, some sautéed Bok Choy (I don't think they eat that in Sardinia).  In keeping with my theory that even the most boring when-is-Spring-going-to-come crucifer can be livened up with some chili, I put some Calabrian Hot Chili Spread on top (I don't think they eat chili in Sardinia, either).

Absolutely no thought whatsoever went into the wine pairing.

2019 Argiolas Vermentino di Sardegna "Costamolino 30 Vendemmie"

I'm sure I've said before that I don't understand why Sardinian Vermentino isn't a World Famous White, like Alto Adige Pinot Grigio or Galician Albariño.  (It's also MUCH better -- sharper, not plodding -- than any Vermentino I've ever had from any other region.)

Argiolas is far from the sexiest Sardinian Vermentino.  But it and Sello e Mosca are where many of us learned Sardinian wine from.

This is the very model of a seafood-friendly white.  Crisp, fragrant, with a sharp but pronounced fruit flavor.

You'd think it was made for that pasta (I know) dish.

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OK cuz I know you're all dying to know the cooking method:

Put some water up to boil, toss in the fregola, gradually add some salt.

Sweat a shallot in olive oil in a pan.  Add some garlic.  Then, once the garlic has become fragrant, grate in some cured tuna heart.  Add some of the starch scum the fregola generates (and boy does it generate scum) and mix it till you get a nice velvety sauce.  Put in some chopped San Marzano tomatoes and their can juice.  Let it reduce till it's REALLY thick.  Turn the heat down low.  Throw in a LOT of sea urchin.  Swirl around.  Now put in the fregola.  Stir it and let it sit over (very low) heat for a minute or three.

Transfer to plate.  Season with black pepper.  Grate on a good deal more tuna heart than you think would be bearable (that stuff smells STRONG).

Man this is good.

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