Birth of Another Food Baby

The boy and I hopped in the car early on Saturday morning to make our way to Charlottesville to visit with some friends, K and L. K and L are great people who live in a very cute house in a gorgeous neighborhood along the mountains in Virginia. The best part of their house, for me, was the kitchen. That is, after all, where all the magic happens (outside of the bedroom). K has been around the proverbial block and has learned a thing or two about being a kitchen magician. Because of this, the boy and I ate very, very well. Perhaps I ate a little too well, as I noticed the growth of a new food baby shortly after I returned home. We had a great time over food, wine and laughs. Sadly, I forgot to put my memory card back into my camera before we left home so I have no pictures to share. 

We sat around on the back porch having some drinks while talking and sharing stories. Besides my trusty water bottle, I was sipping on some Rex Goliath Giant 47 Pound Rooster Pinot Noir. What a tasty, cheap wine! I picked it up because of the picture on the bottle. I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled for the big cock in the future. It was smooth and light which was just perfect for sitting out on a deck in the sunshine. It tasted young but it was very enjoyable and nicely balanced. This is the part where I would usually qualify these statements with “for a budget wine” but I can say I would happily pay a few more bucks than the $8 I spent on the bottle. I feel like this wine would also lend itself well to summery sangria as well as to any dinner. 

Dinner on Saturday consisted of four dishes following homemade bread and hummus made from scratch. The bread was seriously out of this world. It was an Italian style bread with the consistency of a dense, white homemade loaf. It was infused with a perfect mix of herbs and spices. I’m still hopeful to get the recipe. The best part about the bread was that K packaged up a loaf for me and the boy to take home. YUM! 

K placed some hummus on the table at one point that the boy and I hungrily gobbled up. I’m not even sure if we were hungry but, boy, did we put a dent in that hummus! K made it from scratch with dried beans and it really showed. Even the texture was less mushy than mass-produced hummus. When I got home, I looked up some hummus recipes (light style) and plan to try my hand at making my own from scratch as well. I love to take little whole wheat pita pieces or Wheat Thins with me to work along with a scoop of hummus because it makes such a great afternoon snack. 

Clockwise from the top: Flank Steak, Grilled Asparagus with Manchego, Wild Mushroom Risotto and Pan-Roasted Corn Salad. Photo by K.

Clockwise from the top: Flank Steak, Grilled Asparagus with Manchego, Wild Mushroom Risotto and Pan-Roasted Corn Salad. Photo by K.

Dinner was amazing. The pièce de résistance was most definitely K’s flank steak. He told me some of the ingredients in the marinade and green sauce served with it but it’s not something I could recreate without a recipe even after tasting it on different parts of my tongue to identify different ingredients. I gave up after awhile and just enjoyed how delicious it was. Served with the steak was a shitake mushroom risotto, grilled asparagus with Manchego cheese and L’s famous pan-roasted corn salad. I especially liked the corn salad and the asparagus, being such a vegetable fan. The Manchego was a great addition to grilled asparagus, which held some smoke flavor due to being on the same grill as the flank steak. Manchego is such a distinctive cheese and perfect for cooking. I find it tastes similar to feta without being as salty. Feta is one of the key ingredients in L’s corn salad which consists of corn, tomatoes, feta, thyme, garlic and green onions. I thought the salad was perfect and it’s definitely going to make it into my meal rotation, especially since corn is one of the boy’s top 5 favorite veggies. 

As a token of my appreciation to K and L for their hospitality, I brought along the one bottle of wine I took home from Paris with me. I poured over the wine selection while I was in Paris and brought home only one bottle, hoping it would be great and something I could break out for a nice dinner or special occasion. Thinking of K and L as red wine fans and good friends, I decided this would be the perfect time. The bottle I had selected was from Chateau Preuillac in the Bordeaux region of France. I selected the Cru Bourgeois Medoc from 2002. This turned out to be a very powerful red. It was almost black with a tight tannic structure that attacked my tongue when I took the first sip. It had a very long finish and just wasn’t for me. I prefer a more light-hearted red wine and this was anything but. I was really let down by this as I was hoping it would end up being great since it was the only one I took back from Paris with me. C’est la vie. 

The next day we were treated to brunch before leaving K and L’s place to head back to Philly. K made some pretty delicious omelets with mushrooms, roasted peppers and cheese tucked inside some fresh-tasting eggs. L then gave me a big treat… carrot cake cupcakes!! I wanted to take the whole plate home against my better judgment. The cake itself was dense but moist and was finished with cream cheese frosting! I happily ate one and then immediately went in for a second which I regretfully split with the boy. 

We were so full rolling out of K and L’s that we didn’t eat anything else until 9 PM that night. We spent most of the drive talking about K and L, the food and the fact that we had a whole loaf of that delicious bread in the car with us. I’m sure I must have dreamed about 15-20 different kinds of sandwiches I would make with the bread once we got back home.  We did indeed have sandwiches for dinner but they were picked up at Bassett’s on the way. They make great Thanksgiving sandwiches with fresh carved turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce on marble rye. 1/2 of one of these massive sandwiches with some simply steamed Brussels sprouts was the perfect way to end the weekend.

All in all, it was a fantastic food weekend. K is a really great cook. I wish I had pictures because my words don’t do it justice. Pictures wouldn’t, either, but they would help a little.

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~ by canadianbaconette on May 11, 2009.

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