Monday, July 28, 2008

Sunday Dinner

Porchetta Romana, Fresh Summer Salad & Roasted New Red Potatoes w/ Garlic-Lemon Aioli & Parsley
I was having company over for dinner and I wanted something fresh, seasonal and sexy. I have been playing with salads all Spring and Summer. I think this last weekend I had a "simple" salad that ended up with at least 10 ingredients. With all the produce available right now I seem to eyes bigger than my stomach and I hate seeing anything go to waste. The cool thing with these salads is you can get creative with using raw, grilled or even blanched veggies (like green beans or asparagus).
The other thing I like about these salads is it doesn't take a recipe.
The Entree for dinner ended up being an Italian Pork Roast.
Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder w/Garlic, Fennel and Rosemary
This pork shoulder roast has been stuffed with garlic slivers then coated with olive oil, fresh rosemary and a liberal dose of fennel seeds. Anyone who needs a little more detail can see my detailed recipe of "Porchetta Romana". I have really developed a fondness for this slow cooked roast. The lean meat is well marbled with pork fat and this roast literally self bastes as it cooks. This roast is so fabulous that the only pork product that could top it would be a Heather Arndt Anderson's whole pig roast (hey, when are you doing that again?).

With a great roast and a fresh salad all I needed were some carbs to balance the plate. Since I had the grill already fired up for some of the salad ingredients I decided to grill some new red potatoes and then toss with a lemon aioli.

Grilled New Red Potatoes w/ Lemon-Garlic Aioli & Parsley
Recipe is courtesy of my alter-ego Bobby Flay
3 pounds small new potatoes
1 1/2 cups best-quality mayonnaise. For the record, I can, and have made aioli before-this is just quicker (Heather, don't roll your eyes at me...)
6 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons finely chopped lemon zest
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Place the potatoes in a stockpot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, season the water with salt, and cook until almost tender, about 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes, and when cool enough to handle, cut each potato in half.
Preheat the grill to medium. Add the mayonnaise, garlic, lemon juice, and zest to a blender and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.

Brush the potatoes with oil on all sides and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill, cut side down, until golden brown and just cooked through. Remove the potatoes to a platter. Drizzle the aioli over the potatoes and sprinkle with chopped parsley.

Patricia Green 2005-Ribbon Ridge-Bonshaw Vineyard
Since I was having company I thought I could pull out a nice bottle of Pinot Noir. Patricia Green is one of my favorite Oregon producers and I have been buying her wine for the past 5-6 years. Patricia is one of the second wave of wine pioneers in the Willamette Valley and she is a self taught winemaker. Pinot Noir is very expressive as to where it is grown, but I firmly believe that the personality of the winemaker shows.
To me these wines are much like Patricia (Patty), approachable, enjoyable, with levels of complexity and sophistication that start to show over time.

Patricia Green 2005-Ribbon Ridge-Bonshaw Vineyard
Dark purple color (heck, it is still a baby!), some earthiness, a bit of spice, mushroom/forest floor, concentrated cherry and raspberry fruit on the nose and palate. Tart cherry shows in the mid-palate (which makes this a fantastic food wine). Some good silky tannins on the back palate and a long finish. To me the fascinating thing about Pinot Noir is their ability to change in the glass. This wine showed a new scent every time I lifted my nose to the glass. Later in the evening this wine had a much more floral nose. This will be a great bottle to try again in 3-4 years.


Foodycat said...

God I love pork. That looks delicious!

dp said...

Norm, I'm always impressed by your plates. The meats always look great. But the thing that really impresses is you actually eat vegetables. If it was my husband cooking (which would mean pigs have started flying), there would only be meat and french frie on the plate.

Norm Schoen said...

dp-Thanks for the note. I love feedback! My 13 y.o. son would be the "Meat & Potato" guy in my household.

Tom said...

Love the fact that you don't need recipes for these, Norm. You know your food. Literally!

Heather said...

I will do the pig again, maybe sooner than next June? I'd like to pick up a smaller one this time, though. :)

(psst.. it's Heather Arndt Anderson, the hyphen is silent)