Traditionally my family had an easy chili for Christmas Eve dinner b/c it went together quickly and then simmered for 3-4 hours while everyone ran around madly trying to do stuff they should have done days – or sometimes weeks – before. This time we had the chili on the 17th, when we decorated the Christmas tree. It was a funny little warped thing, and D and I set it up after our walk, so the hard part would be done before R&E came over. Chili: good idea! So tonight, not much to do, as not at Mom’s, not doling out Mom-levels of presents, not going to our old church at 8 o’clock.
D wanted to try a gremolata again, this time including sage, since he had good luck with the gremolata-with-rosemary recipe, served over fresh cranberry beans, on the 19th. Sage was his idea. And he thought, reasonably enough, that this gremolata should be served over pork chops. So I defrosted a Costco chop, and D did all the cooking. He split it into two thinner (but still substantial) chops, flavored with salt, pepper, and garlic slices. [I’m writing this up the 5th of January, but I remember the cooking of these was the same as of the previous ones on the 16th.] Gremolata is basically chopped parsley, lemon zest, and garlic, with a drizzle of olive oil over the top. And sage, this time. No cooking, just served fresh over the top.
When hunting for sweet onions at the Bowl, I had run across an almost-empty bin of small cippollini, and bought six of them, thinking D would like to cook them to have with the chops. Good call. He basically braised them in olive oil, with balsamic vinegar as a flavoring late in the process (at the end?). One of the onions went bad before he got to it (probably a bad buy on my part – it wasn’t that long) and one got rather cooked down, so we each got two and a remnant.
I wanted to have sauteed greens with this – bought a good mixture at the Bowl, with chard, dino kale and curly kale, and radicchio leaves, which I cleaned well and left to dry on a towel so they would saute well (seen here with “cooking wine” – wine to drink while cooking). I cook these in olive oil with a minced clove of garlic and some salt, and after they wilt, add a bit of water, cover, and let them steam.
I bought a Semifreddi Sweet Batard, thinking this would be as good a choice as I had at the Bowl for the Christmas lunch milk-soaked croutons. (It worked great.) We had some for lunch, more for dinner, and froze 4 slices for sandwiches, then D cut into thicker slabs to let dry overnight before making the croutons.
D wanted to have one of the Susumaniello wines that we got at Wine Mine. He’s suddenly got a thing for this grape 🙂 It was very good with the meal as I recall.
I liked the lines in the crust of the Semifreddi bread 🙂
We had some of the Ossau-Iraty that I bought at The Cheese Board when I noticed the name – the cheese that was in the risotto we had at Piperade on the 14th. Mui expensive (>$30/lb) but I just grabbed it b/c wanted to try it by itself. We really liked it a lot! (Since I am writing this almost two weeks later, I can say it makes an excellent sandwich, too.) The bread also worked will with this cheese. D made an excellent little salad to go along with it, just Nicoise olives over romaine. Might be some celery in there? D makes really great vinaigrettes – I remember this was great, but not what was in it. Perhaps champagne vinegar?