Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Birthday Boy Barry

My birthday is over...and a success. The food and wine I mean.
It was on a Saturday. Good planing from my parents 75 years ago!

The way I have run my business stood me in good stead to cook for 7 people. Organised...and keep your cool.

Table prepared the day before...and the Iberico Cutlets put into a marinade of Mustard and Honey. 24 Hours in the fridge. 

On the Saturday morning...the post arrived...and I had received a letter from the Hessen State Minister, Volker Bouffier, congratulating me on reaching 75!
Nice touch...hope Prince William remembers me in 25 years.
Menu printed...

The Panko Crusted Sea Scallops were prepared and placed in the cool cellar.
Went and had a midday sleep...hey....I am 75...I can do what I want!
Fresh mushrooms fried...garlic added...then cream and coconut milk. 

Cooked pasta...and added to sauce. Now all I had to do later was warm it up...and I always think it tastes better after leaving it all to enjoy each others company for a couple of hours.
The Cutlets taken out of the fridge...2 hours before...so that they would not get a shock later.
All ready to go...so made myself beautiful...and waited for my three daughters and two son-in-laws to arrive.

Salad washed and ready to be covered in Sesame Oil and Raspberry Vinegar.
Scallops 4-5 minutes in the frying pan...only a little olive oil. On to the salad and served. Mmmmm...was the verdict.

I am a clean cook...and the kitchen always looks tidy...would not feel happy if it looked like a battlefield.
Cutlets into the pans...five minutes in all...then into oven for about 15 minutes...just circulating air 160 degrees.
Warmed up the sauce slowly and was able to sit at the table..so not to lose any points for not being visible. Only joking...but the children were telling me I may lose points for not having made the baguette on offer.

Now...I was going to take a photo of the cutlets...just forgot...and by the time I thought about it...there were only the bones. Not pleasant viewing...so I leave it to your imagination. Again...and I repeat again...it was all excellent.
Man...was I proud of myself.
Three cheeses with some shortbread biscuits...the sweetness of the biscuit really does go well with them...were enjoyed by all.
A few wines were tasted... my concentration on two.
Tablas Creek Vineyard Esprit Blanc de Tablas 2014
Adelaida District Paso Robles
San Luis Obispo County

Notes from the Estate:
The wine is a blend of three estate-grown varietals, propagated from budwood cuttings from the Château de Beaucastel estate. Roussanne(72%) provides the core richness, minerality, and flavors of honey and spice, while Grenache Blanc(23%)adds green apple and anise flavors, a lush mouthfeel and bright acids. Picpoul Blanc(5%) completes the blend, adding a saline minerality and tropical notes.
My notes...
Lovely honey and yellow pear aromas...with a touch of wax. The palate is beautifully smooth and would not have to hide itself next to it's
Rhône relatives.
Rich texture...again...honeyed..and spicy pear. The Grenache Blanc giving it a lift at the finish.
Points 18

Gritsch Singerriedel Ried Smaragd Grüner Veltliner 2018
The Singerriedel in the east of Spitz is one of the most famous sites of the Wachau with soils of paragneiss, mica slate and silicate-rich brown earth.
Dense -yes oily- nose with quince...almonds, orange zest and lots of dark minerality. Very much lush Wachau! Plump texture on the palate tobacco,
fresh orange peel, mineral underlay. Restrained acidity and minerality in the finish, but never heavy-handed despite 15 vol% alc.
Points 17.5

A good night's sleep...then only a little bit to tidy up as I had done most of the cleaning while cooking. Nothing worse than getting up to a pile of plates and glasses.

Just to prove I can eat without wine...I prepared myself a good breakfast before I left to play 5 hours of snooker. My way of spending a perfect Sunday.

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Viva España

I have a birthday soon...and my wish is that I cook for my family.
The kitchen is small...so the food has to be easy to prepare...well...not easy...but space is restricted. Iberico Chops is the plan...and trying a few ways in advance.

Garlic, Thyme and Rosmarin is on the left...on the right Mustard and Paprika Powder. Have tried with Honey...but although it tastes good...not easy on the eye.
Pan Fry them...till they are nice and crispy looking...2 times 2 minutes should do it. Then 17 minutes in the oven...160 degrees...Circulating Air.

Marqués de Murrieta Castillo Ygay
Gran Reserva Especial 2010

This vintage is 85% Tempranillo and 15% Mazuelo, aged 24 months in American and French oak barriques. The former in American...the latter in French.
In 166 years...this is only the 53rd vintage. All the Castillo Ygay fruit comes from a single vineyard called La Plana...planted on a plateau 485 meters above sea level...the youngest vines here were planted in 1950.
Down to business...used the Coravin...but poured 3 hours before tasting.
A wonderful fragrant, enticing and complex wine.
Ruby violet colour. Nose throws up black fruits...aromas of truffle, balsamic, marzipan with airing.
Palate with finesse and elegant...this is not a sweet fruit blockbuster.
Silky and rich with currants and raspberries...and a fresh tart finish.
Points 18

Saturday, March 06, 2021

Ain't Life Hard!

Only allowed to play Snooker twice a week..so some free time.
Below some evening pleasures.
A very fine Bratwurst...above the average...
with some Potatoes au Gratin (Dauphinoise) and fresh mushrooms.

Decided to try the other Ott in the celler...the recent Rosenberg 2018 was still too youthful and with baby fat.

Ott Grüner Veltliner Spiegel 2018

Orange zest on the nose, a glossy texture, hidden exotic fruits dragged upwards by a fine acidity. This is much more harmonious than it's sibling.
Points 17.25

I love throwing leftovers into a pan...
A mediterranean vegetable curry...

Way back when... a wine merchant told me they buy Alsace wines...but nobody bought them...so they had to drink them themselves. Hard life ain't it!

Albert Mann Riesling Schlossberg 2015

Had tried a glass a few days earlier...needed air...
Tried again after it had filled it's lungs.
Colour: Straw yellow with bright reflections, bright and clear.
Nose: Closed at first but then showed mango, ginger, apricot, peach and citrus...
Mouth: Initially closed. Spicy components...the orange and citrus notes opening...peach and apples...this is not searingly dry...just a trace of sweetness. This no doubt down to the Schlossberg site. Very good and perfect with the food.
Points 17.75

My favourite fish at the moment is Sea Perch. What to have with it? Some Ravioli and a light mustard sauce.

A half finished bottle of white Burgundy seemed to wink at me from the fridge.
Fabien Coche Meursault Charmes 2015

Rich...the aromas of hazlenuts(with air), honey, caramel...lead you down the path to a medium bodied palate of citrus and yellow fruits. Maybe a touch heavy at the moment...
Points 17.5