Not too long ago my good friends Melissa, Omar and their daughter Chelan convened at my place to share a delicious meal, some good wine and lots of laughs. While I supplied the vino, Omar volunteered to do the cooking, which worked out great since Omar is fantastic in the kitchen.
Here is a quick re-cap of the evening’s dinner:
NV Cremant du Jura Rosé
-country pâté, Acme baguette, Cabot Aged Cheddar
2001 Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt Piesport Goldtropfchen Riesling Spätlese
1999 Château du Cedre “Le Cedre” Cahors
-pork tenderloin with apples and thyme
-lentil and hazelnut salad
– glazed carrots with brown sugar
– potato and celery root smash
While Omar got the cooking underway, I cracked open a bottle of Cremant du Jura Rosé and the three of us snacked on country pâté, Acme baguette and Cabot Cheddar.
The Kesselstatt Riesling was absolutely perfect with the mildy sweet carrots and earthy potato smash, while the 1999 Château du Cedre Cahors worked really well with the roast pork and thyme seasoning. With ten years of bottle age, this malbec had shed some of its primary fruit to reveal more nuances of dried cranberry, damp earth and light smoke.
Incidently, many folks consider Château du Cedre’s “Le Cedre” to be the finest malbec in all of France. As we will be traveling to Argentina very shortly, and no doubt be working our way through many Argentine malbecs, I thought that it would be interesting and worthwhile to pay homage to the grape’s ancestral home in the southwest of France.
Below you’ll find the recipes for Omar’s delicious dinner chez Mumu!
Pork Tenderloin with Apples and Thyme
- Pork loin (2lb) butterflied
- Fresh thyme springs, leave them whole
- 1 pink lady apple, sliced with skin
- Sea salt, medium coarse ground
- Fresh ground black pepper
Sear the opened butterfly in cast iron skillet until brown shows nicely.
Put apples and thyme springs in center and fold butterfly up.
Rub salt on outside (of both sides of now closed butterfly) and put into 375 oven for around 45 minutes (leaving it in the cast iron skillet).
Sauteed carrots with brown sugar
- two bunches carrots, sliced into 1/3-1/2 inch disks
- tablespoon or two of brown sugar (light or dark)
- 1/3 teaspoon or so of sea salt
- 1/3 cube of butter
Put butter, salt, brown sugar into saucepan and heat to saute level, without burning the butter.
Add the carrots and saute for around 10 minutes, stirring/tossing occasionally, until tender. don’t overcook.
Potato/celery root smash
- 4 carola’s or german butterball potatoes
- celery root (piece as big as 1-2 potatoes)
- sea salt
- small handful of shallots
- 1/2 cube of butter
- cup of whole milk
Slice the potatoes and celery root into even size pieces (1 inch thick).
Boil in well-salted water until forkable; don’t overcook to mushy.
Add butter, milk.
Squeeze the shallots with a garlic press to get just the juice into the mix.
Mash to fluffiness with a potato masher.
Salt to taste.
(got the basis for this from a food network recipe online)
- 1 lb green lentils
- 1 small each red, green, orange bellpepper
- 4 meyer lemons
- 2 pears, crispy type better (bosc)
- 1 cup hazelnuts (filberts) roasted; skinned as much as possible (not critical) Just pan roast them in a dry fry pan, don’t burn them. Rough chopped.
- evoo (1/2 cup)
- sea salt
Boil lentils in salted water until tender (20 mins). Drain.
Dice the pears and bell peppers, not too small and add to the lentils.
Zest two of the lemons and add to the mix.
Juice the 4 lemons and whisk in the olive oil.
Add the dressing to the mix.
Salt to taste.
Good to have the above set for some hours in advance of the meal. Make sure plenty of time to warm up before serving, if setting in fridge. Put the chopped hazelnuts in just before serving.