Monday, July 25, 2011

Simon and Garfunkel Roast Chicken

Wednesday June 22
A nice fresh organic chicken from Trader Joe's, its cavity stuffed with all the folksong spices, plus extra rosemary and thyme worked up under the breast skin.  Roasted along with carrots, shallots, potatoes, and turnips.
But Barbara is leaving for Israel tomorrow, meaning a monthlong interval of dinners - and everything - apart.  Pooh.

Albacore Steaks with Preserved Lemons

Tuesday June 21
Holt made his preserved lemons earlier in the month, and despite some initial chemical problems, they came out very well.  So we thought we'd post a connection to the original David Warda recipe - he's the most creative person we know, in food, photography, sculpture, teaching, design, and of course blogging.  Thanks, David!
These lemons were ideal as a topping for pan-fried albacore tuna steaks -  just fried a sliced onion alongside, brushed most of the salt off the lemons, chopped them up, and tossed it all together.  Some garden lettuce made a nice fresh taste alongside.

Shrimp and Asparagus

Monday June 20
The end of our big western roadtrip, so we chilled out with a quick simple stifry of shrimp and asparagus.  Just as herebut add a clove of minced garlic along with the asparagus, for an extra layer of flavor.

David's Brisket

Sunday June 19
The day after the wedding, we got back into the car and began the first leg of our drive back.  This led to our halfway point, the familial manse in Smyrna, TN.  David greeted us with one of his marvelous home-cooked meals, a big beef brisket, meltingly tender, with potatoes and carrots.  With some good conversation and a glass of merlot, a fine evening.

Jenny and Luke's Wedding

Saturday June 18

The big day had arrived, and we all got dressed up to watch the first of our nieces get married.  Jenny looked exceptionally beautiful even for Jenny, and it was a pleasure to meet Luke and his family.  But in our humble opinion, the handsomest brother and sister pair at the wedding was Holt and Jo Linn.

The reception was held at a local convention center, and the whole family had joined with church friends in planning, decorating and serving.  The dinner was salad, chicken parmesan, and of course, wedding cake in the bridal colors, teal and southwest orange.  
A wonderful day, and we wish them all the best.

La Casa Broughton

Friday June 17
With a fond farewell to Winifred and Santa Fe, we drove off to Texas.  As soon as we crossed the border, we entered a whole bunch of nothing.  We could see from the bank time-and-temp signs outside every town's bank that it was 115 degrees, and stepping out of the car was like climbing into a clothes dryer.  Still, the people were nice - at the welcome center, they not only let us have our picnic lunch indoors, they provided us with a tablecloth.
After a looooooong drive, we arrived at the home of the mother and stepfather of the bride, Jo Linn and Miles.  They were in the midst of wedding prep madness, but the whole family was there, and we were welcomed with homemade chicken pot pie and salad, and a glass of wine, for a relaxing meal before the big day.

La Casa Sena, Santa Fe

Thursday June 16
We spent the day driving up The Back Road to Taos, one of the most scenic roads in the world.  And a not insignificant stop along the way is Chimayo.  You must stop at the Sanctuary, and get some Sacred Dirt.  You must go to the chile sellers, and get a ristra for your home.  And you must go to El Rancho de Chimayo for lunch.  We did all three, and the best was the last.  Barbara even found a Burrell tortilla on the menu, made with green chiles and cheddar cheese, so we just had to have it - along a plate of their classic chicken flautas, and a few chiles rellenos.

Later that night, Winifred took us out to La Casa Sena, a restaurant on a nice quiet courtyard in central Santa Fe, which claims an emphasis on the seasonal, local, and sustainable.  
Our appetizers were house-cured Coho salmon on wonton crisps with black tobiko caviar, and a coffee-seared carpaccio of Nilgai antelope with truffle oil and shavings; but the waiter mistook Winifred's order, and brought her the salmon appetizer too instead of the main course she wanted.
Our main courses were Vermont (yeah, local!) quail on edamame-studded quinoa (too bland) with baby bok choy, and grilled Nilgai antelope chop (chewy but good) with tiny roast turnips and oyster mushrooms on black beans and blueberries (again too bland).
Verdict: La Casa Sena has confused service, the preps are too standard, unimaginative, and not very meticulous...for four times the price of the wonderful Rancho de Chimayo.

Range Cafe, Bernalillo

Wednesday June 15
We had a wonderful but exhausting day in Chaco Canyon, featuring a 13-mile drive on a corduroy road each way.  So it was a good thing that Holt had downloaded a guidebook into his iPod touch, which sent us to a restaurant just this side of Santa Fe, the Range Cafe in Bernalillo.  It was decorated with lots of Fiestaware, some Southwest kitsch, some interesting paintings, and of course, in cooking ranges.
We had pecan-crusted sandia trout with yummy sundried tomato rice and broccoletti, and chicken fajita enchiladas (the correct way, flat and blue corn) - two grilled chicken breasts sliced, with squash, onions, beans crusted with cheese, guacamole, coriander rice, and crema.  Plus some Marble red beer (love their IPA even more) and a margarita for Holt after the long day's drive.  
But what was amazing about the Range Cafe - outside of the friendliness of the staff and the quickness of the service and the fun of the decor - is how yummy they made all the usually ho-hum vegetables.  We'd go back just for the Spanish rice alone.

Geronimo on Canyon Road, Santa Fe

Tuesday June 14
We spent the day wandering around Santa Fe, seeing everything from San Miguel to the Georgia O'Keefe Museum (Warning!  Almost no Georgia O'Keefes!), and having lunch with Winifred at the venerable and beloved restaurant, The Shed.  A bowl of green...aaaahhh.
But in the evening, we drove out to the galleries around Canyon Road, home of one of the hot restaurants in Santa Fe, Geronimo.  
We sat on the porch in the sunset, and enjoyed the atmosphere of luxury that hot restaurants afford, along with a Sainsbury 2008 Chardonnay. 
Started with a savory minted gazpacho with shrimp and smoked salmon, and a very clever battered softshell crab "BLT" on brioche. 

 Mains were sea bass topped with wasabi on shiitake mushrooms and ramen noodles, and elk with truffled sauce, button mushrooms, bacon and garlic mash.
Verdict: Geronimo's is a sweet dream, and you won't need dessert.

Winifred's House in Santa Fe

Monday June 13
Today we continued the Great Continental Drive, west toward Santa Fe, where we were visiting our dear friend Phoebe's dear Mom, Winifred.  We arrived in the evening to a warm greeting, and we joined in preparing a tasty dinner.  Holt cooked some nice fillets of salmon with tomatoes and mushrooms, and as there were lots of colorful bell peppers, we made a big piperade, as well as a salad with avocadoes and carrots.