On Saturday Kee and Todd came for dinner. We’ve only been meaning to get together for a year, so the event was right on schedule. They’re both Southern, so I took it upon myself to violate one of their most sacred culinary traditions in that reckless and insensitive way that I have. It’s one of the reasons we have to keep inviting new people over.
The white beans from the other night, whirled with garlic and olive oil in the processor, turned into a pretty skippy Crostino Adornment Paste® which we enjoyed while chatting, looking at the floor, and surreptitiously checking our watches. Milo and I had been out earlier, and bought some littlenecks, and I defrosted a quart of fish stock. Using the 10-grain mix from Wild Hive Farm- which I love, and have written about before- after a soak, I made a paella-flavored “risotto” with the fish stock, saffron, pimentón, and the liquor from steaming the clams over the grains at the end.
Having polished off the Spanish white I asked them to bring (a Rias Baixas albariño) with the crostini, I popped a 1983 Drouhin Chassagne-Montrachet to see if it was drinkable. The place where I get them has a bunch of old Burgundies that have dubious provenance, and some of them are completely cooked. But the ones that aren’t make up for all the rest; this bottle cost $20 with the case discount and was pure plummy gorgeousness- like a lipstick that Lancôme only wishes they could have developed for Isabella Rossellini if they hadn’t fired her for being over 40 because they’re gigantic assholes.
Next up were country pork ribs with an espresso-based rub and an applesauce-vinegar based BBQ sauce; I tried to give a nod to the Carolinian in the house by leaving tomato out of the sauce. This is all pretty hilarious if you understand that just a few years ago (about 4) when I first started smoking ribs, my wife said “for a Jew who was a vegetarian for 18 years, you make some pretty fucking good ribs.” In other words, I have no idea what I’m doing. But the smoked pork does seem to elicit strongly favorable reactions, so I continue.
To accompany said heresy, roasted beet salad, the first parsnips I’ve been able to get out of the garden (we like to leave them alone until now so there’s something to enjoy from the ground in March) and discs cut from the neck of a butternut squash that I steamed until just tender. We drank a Pleiades XVI, since they love Thackrey too. Then we had some pistachio ice cream and blood orange sorbet that they brought (because I was too lazy to make dessert) along with some fortified Australian muscat that has been living in the door of the fridge for an age, as fortified wines are able to do so well.