27 August 2007

Homecoming Feast

On the Saturday following my return from Denver, I ran by the grocery store, grabbed a few odds and ends and settled in for a pleasant dinner with a couple of young ladies. Everyone had different cravings and dietary requirements, so I just kept the dishes simple, served them family style, and at the end of the night I was satiated. In the great words of Jerry Clower, nobody went home with a holler belly.

Why not start off with some seafood? A couple of soft-shell crabs, tempura-battered and crisped up under the broiler. Then a pair of tilapia fillets, grilled and topped with yellow tomatoes and oregano from the garden, all atop a bed of arugula. I've recently seen these pre-fried soft-shell crabs show up in the seafood counter of some local grocery stores, and while not perfect they're tasty enough at $3 a piece. If you're on good terms with your fishmonger (or the minimum wage equivalent at the local Stop-n-Shop), try to get those that don't have major portions of the shell regrowing.

For the iron-rich portion of the meal, I roasted a 2 lb. porterhouse until rare, and then I applied a knob of homemade sage butter to the top while it rested. (Not pictured: some steamed broccoli to go along with the meat.) Using a sharp knife, I carved the roast in three ounce portions but kept everything in place. The bone improves the taste of the meat, and afterwards you can save it for stock.

The wine served was the 2005 Ridge Sonoma County Three Valleys. 74% Zinfandel, 13% Petite Sirah, 8% Carignane, 3% Grenache, 2% Mataro. Deep cherry flavors, medium tannins, and a smooth finish. An elegant, complex wine that will definitely improve with age. Granted, a white would have worked better with the seafood side, but I had some San Pellegrino sparkling water on the table and that was a nice counterpoint.

1 comment:

Fredric Koeppel said...

dinner w/ a "couple of young ladies"? you ARE a hellion!