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Another case of taking an appetizer and making enough of it so that it's a main dish.*

Lazyboy monkfish liver torchon (meaning there was no curing going on here) (OK:  it was ankimo seasoned differently, and fashioned to have a bigger diameter).  On cornmeal griddlecakes.  With rhubarb/tomato/RAAAAAAAAAAMMMMMMMMMMPPPPPPPPPPP relish.

This was inspired by the monkfish liver torchon appetizer at Noreeta (which I adore).  But for better or (obviously) worse, it wasn't anything like identical.  Still, if this were made by someone who knew (or cared) about plating (and maybe also about not burning the griddlecakes), it could be served at any restaurant with pride.  It tasted just great.

On the side, Willow Wisp had some of the reddest radishes I've ever seen this week.  With the radish greens:  don't tell ME they aren't green vegetables.  In a vinaigrette seasoned with La Boite Lula (there was also a good deal of La Boite Cancale in the "torchon") (and let's give a shout-out to Keepwell Bitter Lemon vinegar, a truly superb product if you ask me, which I go through pretty much like water).

I knew just what to drink with this.

2019 Bloomer Creek Vineyard Riesling Skin-Fermented Pétillant

A friend had some of this Finger Lakes Riesling Pet Nat and raved about it.  So I had to try it.

My friend was right.

This is another wine that just radiates fun.  I don't think I've ever had a Natural off-dry Riesling before:  the interplay between the funk and the mild sweetness is ever so piquant.  What with the Pet Nat bubbles, this is a wine that dances on your tongue.  (Since this is a tasting note, I'll specify that it's doing the rhumba.)

For many, I think this is going to be The Wine Of The Summer.  Over here, it's going to have to duke it out with Nathan K.'s Cab Franc.


* After last night's dinner at Korzo, I was unsure I'd wake up in the morning.  Now, I feel the same -- but in a totally different way.


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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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I went long on this (that's how enthusiastic my friend was), and I'm happy I did.

I also got a bunch of Bloomer Creek's other stuff (my friend was REALLY enthusiastic), and I really can't wait.

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The last of my Matambre.  It's always bittersweet when I reach the end of a dish I really liked but that's been hanging around like forever.

With beans.  And lambs quarters.

The good news about lambs quarters is that it's one of the two or three most nutritious known leafy greens.  It makes spinach look like lettuce.

The bad news is that it has an acid in it that causes kidney stones.  So, tasty as it is raw, it's best to eat it cooked.  I had these lightly steamed.  (With lots and lots of chives.)

The other bad news is that, useful as it is as a food plant, in North America lambs quarters is essentially a weed.  Yet I paid Greenmarket organic produce prices for it.  I couldn't help thinking the vendor was laughing at me as I walked away with my purchase.  I do like it, though.

For my final portion of the Matambre, I reverted to the absolute down-the-middle trad pairing.

2018 Catena Malbec

As usual, my first thought as I drink this is, this isn't the kind of wine I like.  But my second or third thought is, this isn't half bad.

Sure, I'd prefer a more reticent Patagonian Malbec instead of a classic (and borderline gross) Mendoza like this.  But at least in my corner of Brooklyn, Patagonian Malbec still isn't that easy to come by.  So you just have to gear up for a BIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIG, somewhat flabby, wine, and make the best of it.

And really, there's a lot to like here.   Oodles of brambly fruit, as Robert Parker used to say.  Some fairly interesting, if not particularly differentiated, secondary flavors (maybe they'd develop with age -- but while I'm fully capable of losing a wine like this in my storage units so I age it accidentally, I'm not going to allocate valuable storage space to a Patagonian Malbec to age on purpose).

I mean, sure, it's good with Matambre:  Argentinians aren't idiots.

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Some people might have had better dinners than I did tonight.  But nobody had an easier one.

Fried Eggs and Ramps.  Believe it or not, I had a recipe for this (David Tanis in The Times).  I was looking for a ramp omelette recipe (just to make sure that my native way of making them doesn't include some basic mistake).  And I came across this, which is much easier -- and seemed to me to be much more satisfying.  (I mean, not that I had to consult the recipe once I saw it.  Fried eggs and ramps, you know?)

The funny thing is, I usually find it takes me like MUCH MUCH longer to cook things than recipes state.  But this recipe -- which consists of nothing more than trimming some ramps, seasoning them, frying/sautéing them, pushing them to the side of the pan, and frying some eggs and then seasoning them (I crumbled a dried Szegedi Paprika pepper on top) -- says that it takes a half hour to prepare.  A half hour!  Ten minutes was more like it.

I was so excited about how easy this was that I forgot to make some toast to go with it, which would have completed the meal.  (NO QUESTION that the ramp greens constituted tonight's green vegetable.)

Perfect perfect perfect pairing.

2014 Domaine Belluard Gringet Vin de Savoie "Le Feu"

There is very little Gringet -- a rare Savoyard white grape -- in the world.  And I sometimes think I have most of it in my storage units.

I love this wine.  And the 2014 is actually still improving:  this has to be the best bottle from this vintage I've had yet.

It's like a Chablis, but (a) a tiny bit oilier, with (b) somewhat darker fruit, (c) somewhat more herby/savory follow-ups, and (d) even wetter minerals, if you can believe it.

I can't tell you how well this went with the RAAAAAAMMMMMMMMPPPPPPPPPSSSSSSSS and eggs.  (Too bad about the toast, though.)

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Larder considerations compelled me to do what I almost never do:  prepare a coursed dinner like civilized people eat.

First course, Scialatelli with a lightly creamy tomato duck/mushroom sauce.  I want to be clear that this is nothing like my beloved Bigoli con l'Anantra.  It was, frankly, conceived to use up some leftover duck breast with a soppressata jam that I took home from a restaurant last week.  I know that there are people here who think it's kind of gross to actually cook with restaurant leftovers, rather than merely reheating them.  But I find eating reheated restaurant leftovers kind of boring, even depressing.  Moreover, I had some other larder items that needed to be used ASAP that could go into a dish like this -- most particularly the last of this year's RAAAAAAAAAMMMMMMMMPPPPPPPPSSSSSSSSS (but some aging carrots and celery and other stuff as well).

Second course:  well, when I saw the GAP Greenmarket fishmonger selling tuna belly, visions of my Gin Donabe immediately began dancing in my head.  Brined/cured overnight in a solution that I was afraid might have been too highly flavored (and then dried out all day on a baking rack in my fridge).  I needn't have worried about the brining solution:  this tasted wonderful.  Some I Can't Believe It's Not Sauce Gribiche and some wasabi as condiments.  What a great way to cook a fatty fish like this!

Asparagus on the side.

Speaking of larder items, I stumbled upon a wine that I misplaced in my storage units that seemed a perfect fit for these various dishes, but should have been drunk years ago.

2010 Nusserhof (Heinrich Mayr) Elda

This is a Schiava/field blend from the Südtirol that could be a St. Magdalener, but winemaker Heinrich Mayr is too cantankerous to follow the D.O.C. rules.

Schiava is known as Vernatsch in the German dialect of the Südtirol -- but is mainly known these days as Trollinger, its German name in Swabia, where it is now the predominant grape.  That name, Trollinger, suggests where it originated, though.

In St. Magdalen, where this wine is from, it's blended with Lagrein, the main Südtirolian grape.  In this wine, it's blended with a whole bunch of local stuff.

Schiava should never be left to age more than 10 years.  In Swabia, Trollingers are practically rosés.  The saving grace here is that Nusserhof's Elda has to be one of the heaviest Schiava-based wines anywhere.

The fruit has mainly blown off.  So you're mainly left with herbs and spices, and some flowers.  It isn't actively unpleasant (except for the vaguely sour finish that's developed) -- but it isn't a patch on what it must have been in its prime.

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