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easy dinner with Mark
Thursday June 02nd 2011

Our dear friend Mark stopped by the other night to pick up some wine, and we were lucky enough that he was able to stay for dinner. Pick up wine, you ask? Well, Mark has a big birthday coming up and is throwing himself a party! Getting catering, bartender, the works, and asked me to help select some wines. So that’s what he was picking up that night – 5 cases of wine. I think he said he invited about 25-30 people – should be one hell of a party! Crazy Castro boys, I tell ya.

We were running around all evening, with soccer practice and the like, so I whipped together as low an impact dinner as possible.

First I boiled up some new potatoes, then made yet another mistake that has consistently proven to not be a mistake! See, once they were cooked I drained off the water, then put it back on the heat to dry them off completely. Then a couple pads of butter went on, a little shake, some salt and voila. Except I forgot to turn off the heat!! So I’m smelling browned butter and freak out, quickly pulling the potatoes out into a bowl. But look at that photo – they’re brilliant! And topped with some chopped up chives from the Farm Box and they were perfect. Yumm

I had taken out a pound each of Marin Sun Farms beef and pork the night before, so decided to ship up some Danish meatballs (aka frikadeller). Chopped up onion, some thyme, oregano, an egg, pepper, and more-salt-than-you-think-is-healthy. The batch in the picture here isn’t as brown as the second batch. The joy of a seasoned pan, I guess.

Then fried up some bacon and topped up some creamy salad (aka Caesar salad) for the girls, though we ate our fair share too!

For dessert, Emma got all creative in the kitchen and plated up 5 lovely looking plates for us all. Two strawberries from the Farm Box nestled along side a homemade chocolate chip cookie on top of a scoop of Ben and Jerry’s. Thanks Emma!

For the wine, we started with a Beaujolais Blanc (made from 100% Chardonnay) from Dominique Cornin, but for the dinner we switched to red and had a 2007 Crozes Hermitages from the producert Albert Bouquin. A Crozes is a region in the Northern Rhone valley in southern france, and is usually made from 100% Syrah, though a little Marsanne or Rousanne (yes, white grapes!) can be added in to soften the Syrah and/or to add a perfumed character. This Crozes went will with the meatballs, as they were somewhat delicately flavoured, and the wine was a lighter style (at least compared to the US or Australia) so didn’t overpower the food.

It was great to see Mark and we’re so looking forward to his birthday party!


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