Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Dinner by Friends

In a refreshing change of pace, our friends cooked us dinner the other night. We began the evening with our standard Chardonnay, Pacific Peak- a truly outstanding example of the ‘two-buck Chuck’, gone right.

When dinner was ready, we popped open our new house red, the 2001 Jewel Syrah. Another bargain find- though slightly more expensive, coming in around $8- this is a fruity, cherry-vanilla little quaff that drinks easy, and has enough soft tannins to round it all out. Jolly good, indeed.

The meal came from Epicurious, and proved to be quite interesting. Thickly-cut pork chops were dry rubbed and grilled, then covered with a thick, chunky tomato-based pan sauce. The sauce was tangy and delicious, although the toasty, dusky cumin on the chop seemed to wrestle with it for dominance. The sweet potato salad was good, somewhat Eastern-Mediterranean in flavour, tossed with toasted, chopped pistachios; but seemed like it needed a bit more time to set up. I’ll bet that by the next day, it was utterly fantastic.

Sitting stickily off to the side is a piece of cornbread, dripping with the last of the rose-hip honey. What makes this bread so special is that it was cooked by a friend who claims she has no kitchen skillz what-so-evuh. Let’s just say that there wasn’t a crumb of cornbread left.

We were also testing different sausages and chorizos that evening, so you see pieces of a bratwurst, a chorizo with the skin, and one simply naked. It was a tough call, but the lingering taste of the brat seemed to nudge ahead just a bit. We may just have to do that taste test one more time, in my opinion.


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