Sunday, August 26, 2007

Not available in stores!

We had a marvelous dinner tonight, but, alas, the same is not readily available to the general public.

After the big storm Friday, a friend who lost power gave us a partially thawed pork loin. (We are saving 20 pounds of frozen food for her in our freezer.)

We pan-browned the loin, then put it in a 325 degree oven for a couple hours with a maple syrup, ketchup and garlic glaze. We finished the loin under the broiler for a few minutes. The sweet glaze permeated the loin. It was succulent, tender and sweet. Sides included a sweet pepper, cucumber and onion salad, fresh sweet corn from the RO farmers market and new potatoes boiled and then grilled with a coating of olive oil and salt. Dessert was Trader Joe's lemon pound cake with a sauce of fresh Michigan raspberries and whipped cream. All this was accompaied by a modest pinot grigio and Chateau St Jean 2006 Chardonnay. Neither was incredible but both were certainly drinkable; they were not the star of the show - the loin was.

The food was terrific, but as is often the case the company - Tom and Emily - truly made the meal. They are young and interesting and energetic. Our children - Tom is one of them - are smart and kind and have good work ethics amd we are quite proud of them. One exciting side note is that both enjoy good food, can identify good food and often seek out interesting foods and wine. Emily's dad is a food pro and she knows and enjoys good food as well. One of my best memories of my dad is in the years after my brothers and I had left home, when my parents were making decent money, and my dad enjoyed taking us to great restaurants. He wasn't a foodie, but he enjoyed entertaining us and he certainy recognized quality. I hope we and our kids can enjoy similar good times in the next few years.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Thank you Marcella

Having picked up some new green beans at the RO Farmer's Market this morning and having participated in making some homemade pesto*, I suggested that we might try a pasta with green beans and pesto dish for dinner. No, no, said the Irish/Austrian roommate, no, no.

OK, says I. I'll just check Marcella Hazan's Essentials to see if she has any green bean and pasta recipes. She does.

"When serving pesto on spaghetti or noodles, the full Genoese treatment calls for the addition of boiled new potatoes and green beans. When all its components are right, there is no single dish more delicious in the entire Italian pasta repertory."

We collaborated on making the meal and both of us did our jobs well. It was tasty indeed.

*Our pesto was made with fresh basil from the garden, walnuts, parmesan reggiano, olive oil, garlic and salt.

Slow train to heaven

Can you get better ribs around here than Slows? Wow! They're terrrific. We had both the baby back and the St Louis style this week. They don't make ribs better than these. Plenty of flavor, no grease, none of that skinstuff you sometimes get on the underside of ribs. Nothing but juicyness, tenderness, and flavor, flavor, flavor. I cleaned mine all the way to the bone.

I liked the dry rub seasoning. I particularly enjoyed the separate sauces offered on the side. The Michigan apple based sauce balanced sweet apple and a vinegar bite.

The sides are worth noting as well. All were good - the baked beans had a bit of spicy heat. We shared the potato salad, Mama's green beans and the coleslaw. All excellent, though I would have liked larger portions.

Slows is on Michigan Avenus, a couple blocks west of the old Tiger Stadium. The door to Slows is actually the wood horizontal=slatted section of wall next to the big windows. It took me a minute to figure it out.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Such a sausage!

We occasionally pick up some sausage from the Suchman folk at the Royal Oak Farmers' Market. Tonight's dinner was a grill of Suchman's sweet Italian sausage with grilled onions, carrots and peppers complimented by a caprese salad of tomato, mozzarella (fresh tiny balls of mozz' stored in salt water from Trader Joe's) and basil from our garden.

I like this sausage - it's flavorful without being overpowering. My wife thought it was a little too lean, though I thought it was just fine. Darling daughter liked it. All of us thought the flavor was excellent, subtle but clear.

Suchman's usually has a half dozen or so types of sausage and meats at the RO market, including rabbit. It's frozen and our Italian sausage was $5 a pound. They are in the northeast corner of the market which is on 11 Mile, east of Main Street. The Suchman firm is out of Tipton, MI, a bit south of Manchester, south of I-94, west of Ann Arbor.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Amici's Pizza in Berkley

We had a take-out pie from Amici's in Berkley last night. Not bad at all. Ours was asparagus with tomatoes, tomato sauce, mozzarella and feta. The crust is pretty thin, but not a cracker-like "thin crust." The sauce is excellent, not thick, and it has chuncks of sweet Roma tomatoes.

I hate to complain about Amici's because they've been a nice addition to Berkley, but the crust was burned at the edge on about a quarter of the pice. That's my only complaint. Wife and son, however disagreed and said this was a byproduct of the hot oven cooking.

Amici's is on Twelve Mile between Coolidge and Greenfield in Berkley. They have a nice patio and connected is the Living Room, a very low-key bar.