This Week’s Menu: Two at the Table_Menu_Week of February 8 2015
We have lots of fun stuff on tap this week, with a lovely Valentine’s Day dinner built around a very special bottle of wine.
Tony’s obsession with kale continues unabated, so on Sunday night, he’ll be making The Smitten Kitchen’s Wild Rice Gratin with Kale, Caramelized Onions, and Baby Swiss. We haven’t made anything from The Smitten Kitchen in quite a while and we thought this sounded perfect for a Sunday night in winter. What’s more, it will make enough to let us bring it for lunch too. We’ll pair this up with a Lagunitas IPA.
Kim has a Junior League meeting on Monday, so Tony will be on his own.
We made a monkfish stew back in September (Emeril Lagasse’s Escolar Stew with Saffron Broth and Wild Mushrooms). We liked it so much we wanted to make it again and decided to do that on Tuesday, but this time will try Food + Wine’s Monkfish Stew with Saffron Broth. This version is very different from Emeril’s version, as it uses carrots instead of mushrooms and also has some shallots and thyme in it (but no tomatoes, spinach, or basil, like Emeril’s recipe), so we’re excited to give it a try. Our friends at Wines by the Flask recommended a 2011 De Ladoucette Pouilly-Fume, which is a wine we’ve never tried before, so we’re excited to taste it.
We felt like having chicken on Wednesday night, but wanted to try something new, so we’re making Food + Wine’s Chicken Alambre. This dish is a little like fajitas in that it has peppers and onions, but also has some great additions unique to this dish: bacon and fresh chorizo. Plus, it’s made with chicken thighs, which we think are richer and more flavorful than chicken breasts. We usually don’t pair wine with dishes like this, so we thought we would offer this as a challenge to Wines by the Flask. They recommended a 2013 Statti Lamezia from Calabria, which is where Tony’s Very Italian Father (VIF) is from. We doubt we could convince Tony’s dad to try the Chicken Alambre, as he’s more of a pasta-and-red-meat kind of guy, but the wine would be an easier sell!
Kim made the Savory Cake for a work party last week, so we have a little goat cheese left over (not to mention a little cake too!). Kim decided to make Rachel Khoo’s Puy Lentil Salad with Goats’ Cheese, Beetroot and Dill Vinaigrette on Thursday. This will probably use up the last of the lentils we brought back from Paris a while ago, so it will also be a nice reminder of that fantastic trip. Wines by the Flask thought this would pair up well with a 2013 Louis Metaireau Muscadet.
Kim will be at the Junior League again Friday night, when our dear friend Sharon is honored as an Outstanding Volunteer (OV) for 2014. Tony will be there too, in his capacity as the event’s unofficial photographer. We’ll probably grab dinner with friends after the event, so no cooking for us on Friday.
We decided to stay home for Valentine’s Day this year, mostly because we have a fantastic bottle of wine we’re dying to try: a 2012 Albert Boxler Riesling. The wine is kind of special to us, because it was one of Tony’s 5th anniversary gifts to Kim. (An aside on the gift: The traditional 5th anniversary gift is wood. After Tony had exhausted the obvious jokes, he had the bright idea that we should exchange gifts that were not made of wood, but aged in wood. Hence Tony’s gift to Kim of two bottles of very nice Riesling and Kim’s gift to Tony of a very special Linkwood single malt Speyside scotch.) Since pork pairs so well with Riesling, we decided to make Ina Garten’s Herb-Marinated Pork Tenderloin. We’ll also have Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Mushrooms, which we’ll make using a recipe from The New York Times.