For various reasons last night had to be a simple yet filling meal so I made the simplest of pastas: garlic and olive oil. It is probably good to have fairly large amount of chopped parsley available to mix into the pasta just before serving. I crushed the garlic as an experiment last night but it was an unsuccessful experiment. The recipes call for sliced garlic which is what I have done in the past so I will be going back to the tried an’ true methods.
Obviously there must always be a salad and I made an insignificant one using the meagre remains that had collected in the fridge.
To compensate for this terribly inexpensive meal I lookedat the rack and found a delicious Carpineto Chianti Classico. The first sip was on the sweet side but decanting with some air to it meant that it was very good and a suitable beverage with the pasta. I do not believe that it was terribly expensive so I’ll see if there is some more in stock at the local store.
Last evening was a slow-down evening and as appropriate the good doctor was taken from the fridge and served to the grateful masses; actually only two so I guess “masses” is an inappropriate term.
We had, thanks to Di, a little plate of nibbles to begin and a salad to end. In the meantime a bottle of Taster’s Choice Clean Skins: a Cab Sav from Coonawarra enjoyed by the masses.
These Clean Skins are very inexpensive and in nearly all cases they are very good drinking. I assume (I have no official knowledge) the vintners have an over-stock of some wines and know that they won’t sell so they market them at low prices through “Clean Skins” and by doing so they protect their name meaning that they are not just known as table wine growers–everybody wins.t
Last night was one of those sweet little meals that does not cause any great bother in the kitchen. I am speaking of course about having leftovers and particularly in this case they are better than the first time that they appeared on the table the day before. This dish is like an Indian curry the more time it is in the sauce the better it becomes.
Diane used the remaining polenta dressed, as before, with some of the delicious sauce. That was followed by a cleansing salad and a couple of glasses of leftover wine of indeterminate origin and a great meal was had.
Our olive tree has produced its last olives before the winter months set in so The Chef wanted to fix an old recipe that has been on our plates for decade4s, since we moved in, planted the tree and the it began producing olives. It harkens back to our year in Italy in the early 70s when we visited Lucca about six times from Florence; it was one of our favourite Tuscan cities out of a plethora of beautiful Tuscan cities!
The recipe is Da Giulio in Pelleria (lamb in black olive stew) from a cookbook called A Taste of Tuscany. You can substitute chicken for the lamb which is how we do it and we always use breast meat or thigh pieces because there is no bone to work around. It is a simple recipe that is served in Luccan restaurants in the city centre (. The main ingredients: your choice of lamb or chicken, ripe chopped canned tomatoes, black olives, plus the usual suspects of crushed garlic, white wine, olive oil and rosemary. It really is cucina casalinga (home cooking).
Diane served polenta with this dish topped with the marvelous cooking sauce; it was a superb meal!
Our beverage of choice was a bottle of Borgo San Leo Pinot Grigio; it is a Venezie wine but we had previously finished all of our Tuscan whites.
Yesterday afternoon Diane and I were invited to the baptism of a friend’s never used Weber Q and she did herself proud. She had never BBQed but our summer heat was particularly bad this year so she bought herself a little Weber Q and has decided to cook outside in order to escape the heat of the kitchen; she said that it worked perfectly for that heat–reason and worked perfectly for other reasons as well.
She prepared: toasted Haloumi on toasted Turkish bread, Asparagus wrapped in prociutto, roasted Shoulder of Lamb, Plunger Coffee and Turkish Sweets.
It was a superb BBQ and because her outdoor area is covered, we can expect more winter BBQs even when it is raining and I think that will be particularly nice!
I feel that perhaps I should not include the Bakehouse because it has footpath seating which, as every Wheelie knows, is easy to access. However, I will include it because with winter approaching the Bakehouse may remove their outdoor eating option. Diane and I have eaten there many times; in fact it is our favourite eating place in Freo for brekky and lunch.
They do not have disabled facilities but a short wheel will get you to the Sail and Anchor pub on the corner and they have a large disabled toilet that can be used.
No outdoor seating does not preclude a visit to the Bakehouse because the interior, although tightly packed with seating, has always had a free table on the edge as you enter so that Wheelies can access seating directly inside the etrance. There is a lip at the entrance but in all my visits I have never foud it to be a problem.
Once seated either out or in you can make your choice from the many goodies on offer. Historically the Bakehouse has been a brekky place, particularly for the male Johnson, before watching a movie at the Luna on Essex just down Essex Street then wheel left at Outback Jacks.
Everything that I have tried at the Bakehouse cannot be criticised so, at least by my tastes, a person should be pleased. The Bakehouse is a Fremantle Icon and judging by the number of people eating there I would say that those people also think so.
We had a very quiet but intense Friday Night Party last evening. Earlier we had a partial Freo Day with Indian street food at one of the Fremantle Market stalls. From that snack we moved on to the cheese stall and spent some more money on excellent, skunky French cheese; I bought one of those square French boxes that contain the cheese. In this case it was a Petit Pont L’Eveque from Normandy. From there we went to the stall the sells free range meat products so we bought some tender thin steak: Stockman’s Choice Angus Rump that makes delicious old fashioned Steak Diane. I once went to a restaurant where they said they did table service meaning they cooked the food at your table which has now disappeared in West Australian restaurants. The only problem was that the guy cooked a regular thickness steak and served it with Steak Diane ingredients. In my mind Steak Diane must always be a thin cut of meat, rather than a steak cut in half (if you are lucky), like Round Steak which is Rump Steak in Australia. I can go no further than saying that Diane’s traditional version tasted brilliant. As I have said before it is a shame that this dish is gone from West Australian menus.
Diane began the meal with a plate of nibbles to accompany my very satisfying Side Car.
Next she delivered another great dish: Asparagus Wrapped in Prociutto.
Then that delicious main that I have talked about followed by the Petit Pont L’Eveque cheese.
Our beverage last night was a Western Australian Margaret River ’06 Shiraz that married beautifully with the Steak Diane and the Pont L’Eveque; what a way to end the week!
Last evening Diane and I did something that hasn’t happened in decades: we ordered Dinner Boxes for our meal before the Etta James Story at the Regal Theater. It was decided because the dinner venue had to: have a handicapped toilet, be close to the Regal and be quick to serve. The decision was between The Colonel or Jacks next door and the Colonel won. We try to fore-go fast food joints because they are too caloric but they do have their place when fast service is important.
After eating the Dinner Box with its three pieces of chicken, roll, potato and gravy plus a slaw, I was still famished during the production. We normally eat much less at home so, being the conspiricist that I am, I reflected later that one of the colonel’s “nine herbs and spices” must be an appetite expander. It does not make sense that after all that food I would still be famished. Ah, the mysteries of the universe!
Diane has been cooking up a storm so it was only natural that we had a quiet food night last night hence the decision to enjoy one of the good doctor’s pizzas–I am writing of Dr. Oether who makes the best super market pizza that either one of us has ever tasted.
Diane made a tasty salad with olives, halved cherry tomatoes, walnut pieces on a bed of Mesculun lettuce as an accompaniment.
I had a coke for a beverage and Diane had a glass of wine.
Tuesday night has been our Diet Night but we have decided to ease off a little from the rigors of the 2–5 Diet Week because we are getting a little tired of the fish days even though the fish is very, very good. We have been on the diet for something like three months (or maybe it just seems that long!) so to ease a bit is seen as OK by both of us. Our food, such as there is, during the day is very modest so the goal of 500 calories for Di and 600 for me is still the marker for both of us.
Last evening Diane made us a semi-Greek meal of Lamb Cops that she had marinated in Greek herbs.
As a first course she made some of the best Cauliflower that I have ever tasted. I do not enjoy eating this vegetable because the Americans insist on cooking it with a cheese sauce, or at least that is the way I remember it but the Mediterranean cuisines cook it in such away that the vegetable loses that cauliflower taste that I so dislike. After the preparation she made a gremolata: bread crumbs, crushed garlic and parsley that was sprinkled over the cauli.
Also before the main, Diane also made eggplant pieces with a coulis with fresh tomatoes and herbs.
The lamb chops were followed by (almost always) a fresh, cleansing salad.
Our wine of choice (I love to marry a countrie’s wine with a countrie’s food) was a Greek wine from the Greek Cyprus: Kthma Keo (2006). It was a robust, dry red from Lefkada and it married perfectly with Diane’s dinner.