We planned this dinner – by going to the Bowl and looking at mushrooms and choosing two – to go with a wine we were tasting from The Wine Mine. It was pricey, but we bought a bottle from the description, a Ventoux that the distributor had three languishing cases of, earthy, highly recommended. We opened the wine – Clos de Trias 2007 – a couple hours in advance. Thought it had minimal bouquet at that point, and that didn’t change a lot. At 6:30, when we had decided the wine needed to be in the fridge to get to “cellar temperature,” I moved stuff around and miraculously managed to get the rolly decanter into the fridge, so I poured the wine into that to give it additional air…
Meanwhile… actually starting quite a bit earlier, b/c it took a long time, I cleaned the “hedgehog” mushrooms, which look like chanterelles in color (and are not unlike in taste) but instead of gills or pores have thousands of “quills” that are soft and delicate – and which capture and hide, unless you look closely, tiny bits of grit. So, I cleaned out the bits with the point of a very pointy paring knife, after brushing off, or attempting to brush off, any bits lying on the surface. The hen-of-the-woods were easy to clean (or to check for already-cleanness) and I pulled off all the smooth “feathers” but left the smallest of the “leaves” with the core of the mushroom unseparated. D decided not to use those but we will use them later. D cooked the two kinds of mushrooms separately in butter with salt and pepper, and laid them alongside cooked spaghetti. Back in cleaning time, I also washed the several plants of Choi sum [there was another word here… tall?], rerinsed them, spun them, and left on a towel to dry. When the spaghetti went in, I started cooking the chopped choi stems in butter and olive oil (with S&P), and maybe 6 minutes later I added the cut leaves (with more S&P). Almost at the end, I decided they needed to steam, and poured in some water, and stirred while some evaporated, then covered the pan and let the choi steam, and finally uncovered the pan so the last of the liquid could evaporate. It turned out quite well. I heated the pasta bowls and the veggie bowls with pasta water a couple of minutes before the spaghetti was done, and the choi was still hot in my little bowl after I’d finished eating the pasta. Amazing!
D sliced up an orange (the one I zested for the marinade yesterday, which has been in the fridge) suggesting it would be good on the hedgehog mushrooms. He was right, but I didn’t think that would go so great with the wine, so I oranged only a small part of the pasta, to get a taste of it. We had the rest of the orange for our first dessert. For the second, see below. I bought an Acme sweet baguette to go with dinner, and it was a good choice.
So, all this was b/c E at The Wine Mine said “mushrooms” as one great dish to have with the Clos de Trias 2007 Ventoux. It was a good idea, and we loved the pasta, but we are not convinced that the wine is worth the price, or that we are happy enough with it for it to outrank other wines of our acquaintance that are a lot less $$. So, no more of this one, alas. I was hoping it would be a big winner, but of course, this saves us a pile of money 🙂
OMG it’s Girl Scout Cookie time! There was a Scout outside the Bowl when we left, and of course I had to buy at least one box of cookies – so I chose my (and everyone’s I think) favorite, the thin mints. So, the box says 8 servings per container, and we ate one of the sleeves of cookies (slowly, only 2 at a time – really!) which means we had two servings each. Which is better than I’d feared, but really, we can’t go on like this… But wow, yummy cookies! (hardly a surprise) So yummy I forgot to take a picture…
We ate up the last of the black bean soup [this is not the veggie part of the program: soup has ham and bacon in it) as a sort of chili on top of nachos. I opened another avocado. We broiled the Monterey Jack to melt it, topped with La Cascada Salsa Fresca (I heated this briefly in the broiler too, so it would not chill my nachos out) and avocado chunks. We split one of R&E’s small “Blind Pig” IPAs, which was a great choice with the nachos.