Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Green Eggs and Ham

Over thanksgiving i had an opportunity to try cooking on a big green egg with my dad.

This was the first time for me using one of these smokers.

After retrieving a medium sized pork shoulder aka Boston butt, I lightly salted and peppered the pork.

We started a fire and let the egg get very hot, 500 or so.

Then the butt was "seared" for a few minutes on each side in the smoker/grill.

After that was finished we let the egg cool down to around 250 or so and threw on, I believe an oak chunk for smoke.

After a few hours the internal temperature was reading 160.

The big green egg rendered some of the most succulent and flavorful Boston butt I have had in quite a while.

The big green egg is all it's cracked up to be...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Tierra Restaurant Wine Pairing

Tierra is an Atlanta restaurant that serves South American cuisine. They recently had a wine pairing that we were lucky enough to attend. When we arrived at Tierra we were immediately greeted with a pisco sour, the South American cocktail that seldom rears it's head above the equator. No sooner did we have drink in hand, a white haired middle aged man in a black shirt and coat introduced himself as Alfredo.

Alfredo is the owner of Billington imports, who sponsored the tasting. Alfredo is Chilean, and has spent the last thirty years bringing some of the best South American wine to the United States. We chatted for quite some time over a couple of pisco sours. Alfredo was unpretentious and totally approachable for a man who’s been in the wine business for as long as he has.

The first pairing was a roasted duck breast over julienne vegetables in piloncillo-ancho pepper sauce with a 05’ Dona Isadora Riesling from Chile. The Riesling was sweet, yet dry which lent itself to comparisons to Viogner. The duck was cooked perfectly, but the piloncillo-ancho sauce I found to be a bit on the bitter side. It could have certainly been a bit sweeter and still have worked well with the duck and Riesling.

The second pairing of the night was a crab empanada, cilantro aioli and greens with an 04’ Catena Alta Chardonnay from Argentina. The chardonnay was the highlight of the night. Not too dry, the Catena had a good balance of crispness and sweetness. The $30 price tag might be a little steep for an Argentine white, but I would definitely pick up a bottle. The crab empanadas were good, though a bit pedestrian, but served a greater role by steering the table’s conversation to the pursuit of the ever elusive North American empanada. Much to the credit of the folks at the table, everyone had actually been to South America and knew what a real empanada entailed.

The main pairing was a petit filet over tacu-tacu with onions-pancetta demi glace with an 05’ Antiguas Reserva Cabernet. The steak and tacu-tacu turned out to be the real stand out of the evening. Tacu-tacu is a Peruvian dish that roughly translated means “left-overs”. Jorge, a native Peruvian, was one of our table mates and gave us a run down on the dish. The Antiguas Reserva tasted like motor oil to me. I couldn’t drink it, but others enjoyed it.

Dessert consisted of fruit compote, cheese and alfajores with an 03’ Catena Atla Cabernet. The combination of the fruit compote and the cheese was excellent. The Catena cabernet was quite good though not inexpensive at all at $50. Of course by that point we were all pretty much drunk and everything was tasting good.

Alfredo began the evening with a short speech in which he said, “People spend their lives pretending to be what they’re not, but after a bottle of wine people become what they really are” or something to that effect. He was right.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

05' Carr

The 05' vintage Carr is a major let down. Not even in the same ballpark with the 04', and not worth the $20 price tag.

Friday, November 2, 2007


Haven't blogged in a while not because I haven't been cooking, I have. It's just that I decided about two months ago to quit eating meat. I'll admit it is not easy making things taste good without using some sort of meat product. I have had some good success with a few things here and there and I am going to share them with you soon.