A sauce so good I could live on it…

Roasted Pork w/ Spinach Yogurt Sauce

Roasted Pork w/ Spinach Yogurt Sauce

One of things I find funny about my life is that people assume I eat so well simply because my husband is a chef. I will admit that we both love food to a point of almost obsession, and that certainly affects my eating habits. After all, he is the one who has planned our dinners to the Herb Farm, the French Laundry, Au Pied de Cochon and (coming soon) Willows Inn. But unless I visit him in at his restaurant or guilt him about buying a new cookbook, he rarely cooks more than ramen at home.

And, since I spent many years cooking professionally, I totally understand why. Even on your days off you’re exhausted and, quite frankly, sick of looking at food unless it’s something someone else has made.

For us, this seems to work out perfectly though — I love being the one to cook. I get to play around with new recipes and slip in more fiber (and less butter!) without him there to interfere.

But every once in a while, he surprises me by cooking something epically delicious on a day off. I will come home to the the thermal circulator chugging away, the pressure cooker giving a quiet whistle or homemade raviolis being pressed together with a fresh egg yolk in the center. And it’s always so good, I get a wave of, “I can’t believe I get to eat this at home!”

For example:

Iberico solomillo (tenderloin), with sous vide egg, scallions and nasturtiums

Iberico solomillo (the tenderloin from Spanish acorn-fed hogs ), with sous vide egg, scallions and nasturtiums

The dinner he made for me a few weeks ago was one of those meals — though it was incredibly tame by his standards. Nothing was dehydrated or fried in duck fat, and yet it made a serious impression on me, mainly because of the sauce. I guess you could call it a spinach-yogurt sauce, which is totally boring, but perfectly accurate. I don’t know of what else I could name it, but I do know this stuff rocked.

The raw garlic gave it just a little kick, which was tempered by the creamy tangy coolness of the yogurt. The spinach and parsley added a grassy herbaceous quality but gave a lovely vibrancy to the finished product.

This was a sauce that could be almost anything you wanted it to be — make it a little thicker and spread it on a sandwich. Thin it out with more lemon juice and use it as a salad dressing. Drizzle it in a soup or on a plate of grilled vegetables. It was one of those creations that just seemed to taste good with anything — well anything that would taste good with garlic.

Spinach Yogurt Sauce

Spinach Yogurt Sauce

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Before summer is gone…

This week I noticed it’s getting dark by 8 o’clock and you can feel a certain chill to the air. My driveway is littered with fallen leaves, I have begun to see Halloween candy in the supermarket and I finally had to start using a bike light for my evening commute.

These things terrify me because it means that fall is approaching. Now I have no problem with autumn — we get along okay. I like the changing of colors and snuggling up on the couch with my kitties while a chicken roasts in the oven. My problem with fall is that winter is close behind it, and well, let’s just say it’s my least favorite season.

But before I get too sad, there’s still some leftovers from summer here to enjoy. One of my favorite things is tomatoes — delicious, sweet, warm tomatoes. Growing up in Alaska, I had no idea how good a tomato could be until I moved to Oregon. I was astonished.

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Seeing Green: Salsa Verde

We had some friends over last weekend for a BBQ/wine drinking extravaganza. My husband and I had just reached our 5-year anniversary and thought there was no better way to celebrate than with some good wine, great food and even better company. So surrounded by some of our closest friends, we dined on a simple, but elegant dinner fueled by the power of vino.

A Ponzi pinot party!

The star of the show (well besides the magnum of 1996 Pinot Noir Reserve from Ponzi — given to us at our wedding, which was held at Ponzi Vineyards) was undoubtedly the steak. I bought it from work — a lovely grass-fed Uruguayan beef flap that only needed salt, pepper and a nice hot grill.

But no matter how delicious the meat is, I always feel like it needs some sort of sauce. Keeping with the idea of fresh and easy, I talked my husband into making salsa verde — one of my summer-time favorites. Salsa verde is a blend of finely chopped herbs, with capers, lemon and anchovies added help bring it all together.

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