wine pairing

no more than 1 1/2 inches thick.

The shrimp, spinach, and roasted tomato fritata. Just the way I like my fritatas: no more than 1 1/2 inches thick.

Roasted tomatoes (adapted from The Perfect Pantry)

  • 2 tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  • for each half: 1/4 t of freeze-dried, minced garlic; a pinch of rosemary, thyme, and parsley
  • salt, ground pepper, and olive oil for drizzling

Pre-heat oven to 200F.  Don’t go higher that 225, if you must. Trust me… after 5 hours, I got impatient and increased the heat to 275F and within a couple of minutes I heard the oil spattering/boiling, so I decreased the temperature back to 200F pronto.

Oil a baking tray.

Lay the tomato halves face up on the baking tray.

Press the garlic lightly on the tomato halves’ faces.

Sprinkle each half with the rosemary, thyme, and parsley.

Drizzle with salt, ground black pepper, and olive oil.

Put in the oven and roast for 12 hours.  Check occasionally.

Before they go into the oven

This is how they looked before they went into the oven; ...

...after 5 hours under 200F;...

...after 5 hours under 200F;...

...and here they are after 12 hours. Juicy, fragrant, and well worth the wait.

...and when done after 12 hours. Juicy, fragrant, and well worth the wait.

La Bella Fritata

  • 16 pieces medium shrimp, about 5 ounces; de-veined; each shrimp cut into 4-5 pieces across
  • 2 T butter
  • 1 16-ounce (454g) carton of Crystal Farms All Whites; equivalent to whites of 8 eggs
  • 3 cups of chopped spinach
  • 1 T freeze-dried chives
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 roasted tomato-halves, sliced lengthwise and including the juice

Pre-heat the oven to 350F.

Melt 1 T butter in a skillet at low-medium heat.

Once the butter starts to get frothy, up the heat to medium and put the shrimp in the skillet.

When the shrimp is almost cooked, put the spinach and the tomatoes in the skillet. Toss well.

When the spinach is uniformly wilted, transfer the mixture onto a plate.  Add the chives. Season with salt and pepper.  Set aside.

Melt the remaining 1 T butter in an oven-proof, nonstick skillet in medium heat.  Make sure to swirl the melted butter and coat the side of the skillet well.

Pour the eggs into the skillet. Turn down the heat slightly. Turn the dial to about 7-8 o’clock from the 6 o’clock that is medium heat.

Wait until the sides of the egg whites just start to firm, i.e., the egg whites are just turning cloudy-white and slightly opaque in some parts.  Then, spoon the shrimp and vegetables mixture on top of the egg white.  Spoon some egg white on top of the shrimp and vegetables just enough to coat them.

Bake in the oven for 12 minutes.

Eat while still warm, or at room temperature.  When it has cooled to room temperature, it goes well with a dipping sauce of

  • 1T Kikkoman soy sauce,
  • 1 T lemon juice (DeLallo Lemon Juice plus), and
  • a pinch of sea salt.

Wine: Voignier.

Runny St. Marcellin straight from the oven.

Runny St. Marcellin, straight from the oven.

A pot of St. Marcellin cheese is just what the doctor ordered for a laaaazy winter-day repast.

I was too impatient to wait for it to get to room temperature, so I popped it directly from the vegetable crisper to the oven.  St. Marcellin is good warm and super runny or just as it is and runny-ish.  I got the best of all possible worlds: I had the stuff left from the wrappers cold from the fridge with just my index finger (be one with one’s food, I say!); warm with just my index fingers (it was dripping too much from the crackers and I didn’t have any baguette), and room temperature with some crackers.

That's a crock of cheese!

That's a crock of cheese!

The last glass in the bottle of Merlot I opened a week ago went very well indeed with this wicked crock pot.

Lemon-mustard tuna

Lemon-mustard tuna

I know.  That’s too lemon-y; but, that’s frequently how cooking for one goes for me.  Since the tuna recipe calls for juice from half a lemon and lemon zest, and the broccoli recipe calls for half a lemon and lemon zest also, I figured that I might as well pair them so I don’t waste the lemon.

Lemon-mustard tuna

juice from 1/2 lemon
2 t Dijon mustard
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup olive oil (Bertolli EVOO)
1 t freeze-dried, minced garlic
1 tsp lemon zest
2 pcs tuna steak

Mix well the lemon juice, lemon zest, soy sauce, garlic, mustard, and olive oil.

Pierce the tuna. Put them in a shallow baking dish, like a quiche dish.  Pour the lemon mixture over the fish.  Coat them well and spoon marinade into the tuna slices’ crevices.  Put aside for at least 20 minutes.  Turn the steaks after about 10 minutes, spooning marinade into the crevices again.

Meanwhile, prepare the lemon-butter broccoli and baby carrots:

6 oz broccoli and baby carrots, Premium Selection pre-washed mixed vegetables
3 T butter
1 tsp lemon zest
juice of 1/2 lemon
a dash of salt
a dash of pepper
1 tsp freeze-dried minced garlic (fresh would have been great but I don’t buy fresh, so…)

Preheat the oven to 500F.

Toss the vegetables with salt and pepper.  Spread the broccoli in one layer on a cookie sheet.  Roast in the preheated oven for 6 minutes; then, turn them and put the baby carrots on the sheet in one layer.  Roast a further 6 minutes.

In a saucepan, melt the butter in low-medium heat, then toss in the garlic and the lemon zest. Mix this onto the lemon juice in a small bowl.

Transfer the vegetables on a plate.  Pour the lemon-butter mix on them and toss.

Lemon-butter broccoli

Lemon-butter broccoli and baby carrots

Now, the tuna:  turn the fish one more time and bake uncovered  for 20 minutes at 400F, and then, broil for 5 minutes. Turn and baste with the sauce halfway through baking.

Presto! Dinner for one tonight and a tasty lunch for tomorrow!

I had a glass of the open Voignier with this.  Not that bad a pairing.  For dessert: 4 pieces Chips Ahoy! chewies!

Baked crottin de Chavignol; plain, and the other drizzled with Murray's stock Spanish olive oil and pounded Planter's unsalted almonds.  The saltiness/sourishnesh of this little "dropping" balanced out the "steely" taste of the 2007 Lodi Voignier.

Baked crottin de Chavignol; plain, and the other drizzled with Murray's stock Spanish olive oil, and topped with dried basil, and pounded Planter's unsalted almonds. The saltiness/sourishness of this little "dropping" balanced out the "steely" taste of the 2007 Lodi Voignier. Eat while warm.

The crottin de Chavignol has barely discernible stink before baking and has none after.  It has a subtle saltiness, and is sourish.  This piece here was just starting to get moldy.  There were only a couple of small specks of greenish-bluish molds.

Since I didn’t have greens, I had a side of this French goat cheese naked, and the other half drizzled with Spanish olive oil, and topped with a pinch of dried basil and coarsely pounded unsalted almonds.

Best of all, it made the 2007 Cali Voignier, which already is a good white with a crisp, apple, subtle smell to begin with, taste less steely and less acidic.

Simple baked apple wedges, a dish that even someone who after more than a year of devoted practice has not managed to do justice to Hungry Jack's.

Simple baked apple wedges, a dish that even someone who, after more than a year of devoted practice, has not managed to do justice to Hungry Jack's can do.

2 green apples

Make a paste of:

1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
a pinch of ginger powder
1 Tablespoon of unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons of maple syrup

Slice the 2 apples into 8 pieces each. Take out the core and stem.  Divide the cinnamon-maple syrup paste among the 16 slices of apples.  The paste goes onto the top part of the apples where the seeds/core used to be. Put them into a shallow baking dish, (I used a quiche dish) and bake for 20-25 minutes in 400 degrees.

That’s it.  A lot simpler and definitely more flavorful than the pancakes I have been living on the past year or so.

I paired this with a fruity 2007 Australian Merlot.

My Christmas fare:  melons, mild Provolone cheese, and a tank-aged, crisp, citrusy 2005 Chardonnay with hints of green apple and melon aromas.  I finished the bottle in (the wrong side of) an hour!  Just a tad left of perfect in the below-zero Denver weather.  What a night – couple of weeks, actually! – it must have been for our friends and families in the Midwest!

watermelon, cantaloupe, provolone cheese, and a 2005 Chardonnay in the below-zero Denver weather

watermelon, cantaloupe, Provolone cheese, and a Cali Chardonnay