Week In Review

Wine tasting fun:

IMG_1189

Lamb chops, yum!

raw chops

Plated chops over caramelized cauliflower puree with celery, apple and blue cheese salad:

plated chops

Power Plate: salmon, steamed broccoli, gigante beans

salmon

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Bottega

Make your reservations. NOW. It take weeks to get in and believe me, you don’t want to miss this BYOB restaurant. We have taken to making future reservations after every meal at Bottega just to ensure we snare a spot.

The menu changes frequently so everything was new at our recent visit. The consensus? We would absolutely order everything again. And again. And again.

Lamb tartare — toothsome, mild and delicious.

Grilled radicchio salad with gorgonzola — THIS is a salad I will dream about for months to come. Seriously. I am still thinking about that lovely combo of bitter grilled lettuce and sweet pillows of salty, creamy blue cheese. Salad dreams do come true, apparently.

Skate wing with brown butter and capers — buttery, flaky, melt-in-your-mouth delicious.

Bavette steak with red wine sauce — simple, meaty and perfect.

My dinner of the grilled salad and steak easily ranks among the top 10 meals I’ve enjoyed in the past 12 months. Probably in the top 3. It’s quite possibly #1.

As you can see … oops …

Bottega

On The Menu

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Saturday

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Sunday
  • Lamb loin chops with rosemary and garlic: I will rub these beautiful chops down with a bit of oil, slather them with a paste of rosemary and garlic and then treat them to a sear in a super hot cast iron skillet. I plan to finish them off low and slow in the oven.
  • Caramelized cauliflower puree: Even better than mashed potatoes. Roast cauliflower florets drizzled with olive oil for about 25 minutes in a 450 degree oven. Puree with a bit of chicken or veggie broth (you can even throw in a nub or two of butter) and season to taste with salt and pepper. I like to drizzle on a bit more olive oil and hit it with a sprinkle of grated Parmesan just before serving.
  • Celery and tart apple salad: What to accompany the rich, unctuous lamb and the sweet, creamy puree? A crisp, tart salad that will provide crunch and liveliness. Although the recipe calls for radishes, I plan to use a tart green apple instead. If I had radishes around, I would probably use both.

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Monday
  • Bistro dinner salad with salmon and roasted vegetables: Put that leftover salmon to work. Gently warm the fish and flake it over a bowl of lightly dressed roasted veggies and greens. Sprinkle with toasted nuts and a squirt of lemon.

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Tuesday
  • Omelets with caramelized onions, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach and goat cheese (yes, we are having these again, although I may change up the ingredients. It’s my go-to weeknight dinner).
  • Butter lettuce salad with apple and lemon

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Wednesday
  • Gal’s Night Out! 

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Thursday
  • Chicken mafe: This is a West African dish that just looks too interesting not to try. Quite frankly, it has peanut butter in it, so I am SOLD. I will likely amp up the heat factor and swap out the starchy vegetables for bell peppers and cauliflower instead. A one dish wonder my friends!

Blue Cheese Heaven

I get anxious when I start running low on blue cheese. Seriously, I start to fret. So when I was pilfering through my cheese drawer and saw only a small nubbin of Stilton remaining, off to Wegmans I went to get my blue fix. I feel relaxed and calm now. So happy to know that blue cheese heaven is just a few steps away …

blue cheese trio.JPG

I went ahead and picked up three of my favorite blues:

Rogue River blue from Oregon: This is a smoky, tangy, aged dense blue. It’s very seasonal and currently in limited supply, so go find some! This slap-in-the-face blue cheese is tempered by a mild fruity sweetness as the wheels are wrapped in pear brandy-soaked grape leaves. Truly a MUST TRY cheese.
Point Reyes blue from California: This cheese is creamy and luscious and just smacks of that wonderful penicilliny, bluey goodness.
Traditional Stilton: The king of blue. No introduction needed.

Must. Go. Eat. Cheese.

Now.

 

On The Menu

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Saturday

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Sunday
  • Cauliflower soup: I know the recipe calls for truffle oil, but I tend to find it too aggressive, especially for this delicate dish. I think the soup is much better with a drizzle of excellent olive oil — olio nuevo if you can get your hands on it. I pre-purchase mine from McEvoy Ranch in California every year as this neon green, liquid delight is seasonal and sells out quickly. The soup is thick, velvety and flavorful on its own, but the vibrant oil really makes this first-course soup restaurant-worthy.
  • Roasted mushrooms with garlic and rosemary
  • Tuscan-style porterhouse steak with red wine-peppercorn jus: I am splurging on a beautifully crusty, dry-aged hunk of meat (bone-in, of course). It is Valentine’s Day after-all. Dibs on that bone!
  • Wine. We are opening something fabulous from our cellar. Most likely a Napa cab.

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Monday
  • Omelets with caramelized onions, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach and goat cheese
  • Green salad with walnuts and lemon-tarragon vinaigrette

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Tuesday
  • Pan-roasted halibut with herbed corona beans: I admit, I did splurge and order an $11 bag of dried heirloom beans online. I know, I know, ridiculous. I hear it’s worth it, however. My understanding is that my life will forever be changed once I taste the magic of super duper special beans. We shall see. I will not hold my breath.
  • Roasted root vegetables with cumin, paprika and cayenne

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Wednesday
  • Slow-cooker chicken cacciatore: a healthy, one-dish wonder. Well, here’s hoping anyway. I have not yet made chicken cacciatore in the slow-cooker. I will likely tweak this recipe as I go, but it’s a good start.

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Thursday
  • Leftover night