Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A Week of Great Dining

The week of great dining started when my parents, Lorraine and Bob, came up to Denver for a visit from Carefree, Arizona. The first night we had fresh sauteed corn and two different kinds of sliders. I prefer to cut the corn off the cob and slightly saute it in butter with a little salt. Avoid overcooking it, so the corn still has that crunchy, fresh taste. The slider on my Mom's plate is combination of ground pork, chorizo, worcestershire and minced onions topped with slices of roasted poblanos and a mayo/sour cream sauce that has cayenne & paprika in it. The slider on my Dad's plate is minced tuna, salt and pepper topped with chopped pickled ginger, slices of avocado and a mayo, lime juice and wasabi sauce. To get uniform patties, I use a scale to get 2.2 ounce patties and then I form them in 2 5/8" ring by pushing the meat (or tuna) down into the ring with a back of a spoon. I also trim the buns with the ring. I cook the pork patties for about 2.5 minutes per side and the tuna for about 3 minutes total.

The hand blown wine glasses are from Guajuye, a glass factory owned by my good friend's family in San Miguel de Allende. The oilcloth is also from San Miguel in which I cut up and made reversible place mats.
The next night we went to Mizuna, one of my all time favorite restaurants in Denver. I started out with the slow roasted Hudson Valley foie gras with a stuffed spring onion and arugula drizzled with a 20 year balsamic vinegar. It just melted in my mouth.
The chef's, Fran Bonanno, signature "mac and cheese." It is poached Maine lobster and marscapone cheese with elbow pasta. Frank beat out several other chefs with this recipe when he participated on a "mac and cheese" competition on the Food Network. Yeah Frank! Definitely a winner!
This beats any steak around. I had the pan roasted ostrich loin served on a bed of Calvados glazed beets and mache along with a St. Augur and walnut bouche. Checkout their website at
The next night I did rotisserie chicken on the grill. So simple but with the infra red cooking, it turns out really moist and tender. Even Len who does not like chicken will eat it and LIKES it! For dessert, I made Lemon Buttermilk Pudding Cakes topped with a Grand Marnier flavored whipped cream and fresh blueberries. The cakes are served warm and are perfectly soft and mushy in the center. This recipe is from Cindy Pawlcyn's cookbook, Big Small Plates. The blue and white bowl I purchased eons ago in the market in San Miguel de Allende. Food really shows off well with blue and white plates!
Another night, good friends of ours invited us over for a delicious dinner. Here Judy is sauteing some vegetables as my husband, Len, looks on. Denny, Judy's husband, served a perfectly grilled beef tenderloin.
Dinner back at home , I served butternut squash ravioli, duck legs and mache dressed with balsamic/olive oil dressing. The ravioli filling is a combination of carmalized onions, roasted butternut squash, cream, a dash of nutmeg, blue cheese and parmesan. The sauce is butter with roasted, chopped pistachios, chopped sage leaves and a crushed amaretto cookie. I take a day to make all kinds of raviolis and then I freeze them.

The duck leg confit came out of the freezer too. It was first coated with seasoned flour, dipped into a egg/milk bath, dredged in bread crumbs and then fried in olive oil. It just falls off the bone when you eat it.

Len poured one of my favorite wines that evening, a 2004 Aalto! This Tempranillo from the Ribera de Duero region in Spain is mouthfilling and highly comcentrated. Here we are on the last night of their visit. A simple salad of half an avocado filled with sliced, cherry tomatoes drizzled with my favorite Balsamic Vinegar from the Oleo store. And crab cakes with a roasted poblano and caper sauce.
This evening, Len poured a great Cava from Spain, Segura Viudas Brut Reserva. As my sister-in-law, Susan, would say, "It's a price performer!" We buy this Cava at our friend's store, Argonaut Liquors. Regularly it sells for $7.00 a bottle, on sale, $6.00.
After all this writing, I am hungry!

Bon Appetit! Buen Provecho! Let's eat!

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