Friday, June 19, 2009

Channeling Top Chef, Iron Chef & Chopped Talents

The other night my friend asked for my help. He needed to cook dinner for some special friends of his. He bought everything he wanted to cook, but needed help in compiling a menu. He had lamb chops, scallops, chicken breast, pork loin, fingerling potatos, Italian sausage, haricot verts, baby zucchini and the necessary cooking items like onions, garlic, salt, pepper, other seasonings, and shelves full of gourmet condiments.

So this is the menu we came up with:

Dijon crusted lamb chops

Proscuitto wrapped chicken breasts w/ black garlic on a bed of haricot verts

Baby zucchini sauteed in garlic and olive oil

Butifarro di patatas (Italian sausage with onions and fingerling potatoes)

Roasted pork loin w/ a port reduction sauce

Seared Shallops w/ crab butter

And we did all of this in an hour - Iron Chef move aside!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

TTT - third Tuesday @ Tango

Tonight's birthday dinner for Bill was delicious & fun @ Tango's wine pairing dinner. They started this last month and tonight was June's "TTT".

Here is a sneak preview for next month's "third Tuesday @ Tango" on July 21st menu:

"Shellfish Trio" - oyster & foie gras in savoy cabbage balsamic reduction, Maine lobster beggars purse and bill battered shrimp tempura

Papillote of snapper with confit cnion - fresh seaweed herb sauce & pommes parisienne

Cherries Jubilee - vanilla bean ice cream

all courses will be paired with a special selection of wine

$45 plus tax & gratuity
reservations confirmed by credit card 593-7288
seating limited

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Wine Down Wednesday @ town - June 10, 2009

Tonight's wine tasting was a great one because we got to meet and speak to the owner/winemaker, his boss (his wife), and his daughter (the namesake of the winery)....Natalie's Estate Winery from Northern Oregon.

Todd Teegarden is the owner/winemaker that made tonight's tasting extra special - he was very personable, engaging and knowledgeable (holding the wine glass). Chef Dave Caldiero (the guy with the apron & me).

Tonight's menu:

Rock Horse Ranch, Chardonnay '08
paired w/ local lychee, prosciutto di parma
- this was brilliant, the brightness & slight buttery notes of the Chardonnay (no oak) was perfect with the sweetness of the lychee and the salt & earthiness of the prosciutto.

Estate Pinot Noir '07
paired w/ organic polenta, red veal ragu
- another winner, the juiciness & earthiness of the pinot noir married well with the honeylike butterness of the polenta and the hearty stewy flavors of the veal ragu - WOW. This was so good, I had to order another portion for dessert.

Rock Horse Ranch, Merlot '07
paired w/ grilled lamb, black garbanzo, salsa verde
- "oh my goodness", the deep grape & berry flavors from the Merlot & 25% Cabernet Sauvignon paired like a great match on the "dating game" w/ the perfectly cooked lamb and Chef Dave's homegrown black garbanzo beans w/ salsa verde and a drizzle of extra special virgin olive oil from Italy. Deep dark earthy fruity citrusy flavors were amazing. I don't usually like Merlot, but this one I do.

Elephant Mountain Vineyard '07
paired w/ ali'i oyster mushrooms, lardo toast, arugula
- a very young Cabernet Sauvignon, so it was very tart. Like chef Dave said, "this was very difficult to pair, because of the dry tartness of the wine". He wanted to pair a glass of water with it because of it's dryness. But I have to say that the moistness of the mushrooms and arugula was a good substitute to water. This was my least favorite in wine and dish of the evening.

Like the winemaker said tonight - when you can pair a wine with food that compliments and also contrasts the flavors of one another, you have the perfect meal.

I had a great time with good wine, great food and wonderful friends. Muchas Gracias!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

art@town series 3 - "tikis, canoes & tattooes"

by Sam Clemens
opening reception
Saturday, June 13, 2009 @ 10pm

Series 3 is an ocean theme by local artist Sam Clemens, curated by Spanky Kenney, wife of Ed Kenney, is now up and runs until August 1st. With the warm weather here,

“Tiki's, canoes & tattoo's” art exhibition is a perfect way to start your summer.

This art display will feature a wide variety of art mediums, including acrylic on canvas & wood, handmade koa wood canoe paddles, painted tiki's on driftwood & handcarved tiki's, digital images done on adobe photoshop, and much more. The bright and colorful images and subject matter for Sam's art is inspired from his daily life adventures: surfing, canoe sailing, hiking, mountain biking, and daydreaming. Especially the daydreaming!!!!

The handpainted tiki's are my favorite...they are fun and whimsical.

SAM CLEMENS a young up-and-coming local artist has been experimenting with a variety of artistic mediums for over fifteen years. Originally focusing on ceramics, Clemens has expanded his repertoire to include acrylic on canvas; collages with wood, acrylic and enamel; fabrics (including costume design); metalworks; and electrical components. His spontaneous and conceptual use of color and dimension brings a unique and whimsical interpretation of his personal visions of reality and the ethereal.

town restaurant has been featuring the art@town series since its opening in March 2005. Staying true to the restaurant's commitment to supporting local farmers and ranchers by serving locally-grown produce, meats and seafood whenever possible, the art@town series seeks to support local artist by providing a venue for their work. All art pieces are available for sale.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Another Beautiful Weekend at Home

Just being lazy and enjoying my hale and garden. Here is a photo of my serene herb garden/sunning/meditation area.

I have 4 types of thyme (lavender, lemon, creeping, & regular), 2 types of mint (spearmint & regular), a tangerine tree, a key lime bush, a curry leaf plant, banana trees, a rosemary bush, 3 types of chilis (Hawaiian, habanero, & yellow banana), 2 types of parsley (flat & curly) and sage. I've used all of my herbs in cooking, cocktails and sauces. I am not sustainable yet, but as soon as I get my chickens and pigs, I will be.


Saturday, June 6, 2009

Clues that Summer is Here

We planted these beautiful vines about 9 months ago and they have been blooming for a couple of weeks. I wanted to share these beautiful Red Jade flowers with you.

They are called Red Jade, but they are these brilliant coral orange beauties.

What do you think?

Third Tuesdays @ Tango - June 16th

Here is a sneak preview of Tango's TTT menu on Tuesday, June 16th:

"Trio of Duck"
Duck Lumpia, Duck Confit, Sauteed Foie Gras Deglazed w/ Raspberry Vinegar

Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb w/ Sarladaise Potato, Merlot Reduction

Vanilla Rice Pudding w/ Wild Berry Compote

all courses are paired w/ a special wine selection

$45.00 plus tax & tip
Limited Seating - Reservations confirmed by Credit Card
Call now 593-7288

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Wine Down Wednesday @ town - June 3, 2009

Tonight's theme is French wines with wine expert William Gladstone. See you @ 6:30pm.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Tapas on the Rise

As you all know, I and 12 of my closest friends are going to Espana in September for my ?0th birthday. (Hint: my older son will be 30 this year and I was 20 when I had him.) So I have been immersing myself with everything Spanish - movies, language tapes, music, people and most especially FOOD!!!! So I've been cooking all kinds of tapas or pintxos.

Last week I went crazy (see my previous post).

And I couldn't get enough of it, so on another day, I tried another version of the stuffed squid - ground pork, chorizo & mushrooms stuffed giant squid, this recipe was so much better. I also made pan con tomate w/ anchoas (white anchovies), and did the gambas and long sweet peppers again, because they are so easy and so delicious. Oh yes, and bought some jamon, lomo (smoked pork loin), manchego and garrotxa cheese.

I shared all of my results with my friends again. And they loved it!!! They ate everything. I didn't even have leftovers for lunch the next day. We paired everything with cava sangria, rioja wine, and more cava.

Please enjoy the pictures!!!!