Our dear friends D&J are visiting for a few days. Despite D’s lactose issues, and with the aid of lactase for two of the six gathered, I made two tomato tarts for the six of us, with different cheeses to see if people had a preference. D&I usually split one between us (though sometimes I make a 4/5 tart to be reasonable) so there was about 2/3 as much per person as I’m used to. D said let’s just make a salad to go with the tarts, and I finally realized we should have a persimmon salad b/c a regular salad would demand yet more tomatoes. I also wondered about making a veggie, and D said what if I find romano beans at the Bowl, and I thought that was a great idea. I made two separate doughs b/c not sure how well I could mix a double-batch, but other than that, my cheese experiment had pretty much no variables besides the cheeses: one Tillamook med-sharp yellow cheddar, as called for in the recipe, and the other an extra-sharp white that I tasted at the Bowl. The label just says “Irish Extra-Sharp Cheddar,” $11.99 but likely this is a couple dollars off, b/c the tasties usually are.
I used a ton of Dirty Girl dry-farmed early girl tomatoes – will count and guess when I see the pics – about 2 1/2 oz of each cheese, an entire bunch of basil, and 1 1/2 of the most gigantic leeks I’ve ever seen. I weighed them out to 1 lb, which is what the recipe calls for. Everything basically doubled. [OK, I counted 78 slices of the tiny Dirty Girl tomatoes, which suggests I used about 19 of them tonight.] Here is one place I wrote up the recipe.
The gathered multitudes liked the “wrong,” extra-sharp cheddar better; I preferred the Tillamook. What this says is that I don’t have to stress about what cheddar to use.
Before heading for the shower (D, friend D, and I took a long walk today, from the house, across the pedestrian bridge, and halfway back to Point Emery before turning back, heading home via Vik’s, of which more below. So I needed a shower for sure.) Anyway… before heading for the shower, I trimmed, cut up, washed, and drained the romanos. It looked like a lot in the bag, but there was no excess at all. D took over cooking those, but we both forgot as the tart finished cooking and he put them on and served the persimmon and walnut salad (with EVOO, red wine vinegar, S&P) as a first course.
We had most of a bottle of the Jakue Txakolina left from a night or two ago, and D served that with the salad. He brought up one of our few remaining CalStar San Giacomo 2012 Pinots – he must like these people. It was terrific!
The dinner was well received, and we talked about the upcoming documentary about J’s play, and the upcoming stress season at E’s work. Nice evening, I thought.
D&D went to the Bowl to find stuff, including dessert, and came back with an a Talenti black raspberry-chocolate chip gelatl (!) (which had cream in it, as it turned out, so more lactase ingestion for two guests). D broke up the rest of a sesame confection called a “round gajak,” brand “Charliee,” which also had sugars and fennel seeds. They went really well together!
B/c I had to wait for the laundry, we didn’t leave till about 11:30 for our walk. Also R turned out to have borrowed the more-than-two-people car we were planning to drive to nearer the pedestrian bridge, so as to walk all the way to the marina and Chavez Park. So we ended up changing our walk route to start – obviously – where we were, and that took us past Vik’s. Since we were leaving so late, I observed we could have lunch there on the way home, and we ended up doing that. The awkward menu photo tells me we had Dahi Patata Puri (above, and the best of the lot IMO).
D told me the other was lamb biryani (right) – oddly, the least interesting of the lot.
Friend D wanted to be sure we had Somosas – well, of course! They were excellent.
Finally, D wanted to have “The Big Puffy Thing,” which is what they actually call it on the menu, in addition to its actual name, which, the menu tells me, is “Cholle Bhature.” The Cholle is the garbanzo dish you have with the airy, delicious bread thing. You are supposed to pick up the cholle and a bit of an odd pickle using the bread, but I used a spork, and didn’t include pickle.
We had mango (D&D) and rose (moi) lassis with this. All good, but I decided I liked the mango better – it’s thicker and richer.