Oh yes. And some awesome new wines! Chef Storm and his friend Chef John Mercer (see This Post) did a super, awesome job preparing these goodies. This was a special dinner put on by these two very talented Chefs. It will not be available at all times. Their Prime Rib, though, is just as good. Look at what we enjoyed today. (Left Click any of these photos to see them enlarged!)
Oh my! Such a good dinner. Loved this lamb. The Citrus and Celery Salad, which is posted in the Boise Foodie Blog Recipe File – along with many more recipes, was a delightful addition and paring to the Lamb with Peppers Ragu. Take a look at this delicious meal. The dinner is not difficult to prepare. Just use good lamb. We got this kabob lamb from Meadowlark Farms in Nampa, ID. (Our normal supply of lamb from Felzien Farms is limited to chops and ground this year.) This lamb is great with a Merlot or Malbec. Great to have Marnie with us for dinner.
Yes, congratulations to Skip and Melinda Smyser for 35 years of marital bliss! A great party at their restaurant in Boise, Capitol Cellars – a 5-Star establishment! (There is a permanent link to their restaurant in the sidebar.) Great party with some 30 year old wines that have aged well, just like the marriage. An interesting point – Skip Smyser was an Idaho State Senator for several years and many of the dishes served are of political slant. Check their menu on the site for some names. “Featuring Prime Rib six nights a week, our dinner menu is all about Idaho cuisine. You’ll be sure to find that almost every product is sourced locally.”
September 17th will always be a special day – It is Robin’s Birthday. This year we celebrated the 43rd anniversary of her 29th birthday at Alavita, a good Italian restaurant. Actually a solid 4-Star Italian restaurant. On their webpage, they say, “ALAVITA is all about fresh pasta and local ingredients—from Agnolotti to Tortellini to Garganelli, Linguini to Pappardelle—created freshly every day. A restaurant whose name means “to life,” (Well actually two words– ‘alla’ ‘vita’ –that we put together to create one) ÀLAVITA is a great place for celebrating life with good friends and family alike.
What we believe: great food need not be too convoluted or overwrought, but rather fresh, uncomplicated, relatable and well executed in order to get out of the way of the local ingredients and find the pleasure in their innate flavors and qualities. In the vein of a traditional Italian osteria as a casual, local gathering place (An Italian Joint) to discover food, friends, wine, and creative libations, our menu reflects a new twist on Italian fare that is inspired by local, regional ingredients. As we do at Fork (Our big brother concept located next door by same creators), we firmly subscribe to our mantra of being ‘Loyal To Local.’” And they adhere to these words, rigorously. Enjoy these photos of our visit. We will return.
A happy 32nd anniversary dinner tonight! Thank-You Robin for all that love and those many years! The gardenia pictured here is on our front porch. Last century, when Robin and I would go to a formal dance, I would get her a corsage of gardenia. This plant is fitting and brings back many fond memories.
The dinner tonight, Tagine of Lamb with Peas and Fennel, is a very traditional Moroccan dish and tonight we prepared it in a traditional way – in a tagine.
A tajine or tagine (Arabic: طاجين tajin from the Arabic: طاج) is a historically North African Berber dish that is named after the earthenware pot in which it is cooked. A similar dish known as tavvas is found in Cypriot cuisine. The traditional method of cooking with a tajine is to place it over coals. Use of the tajine can be compared to stewing.
The traditional tajine pot is made of pottery, which is sometimes painted or glazed. It consists of two parts: a base unit that is flat and circular with low sides and a large cone- or dome-shaped cover that sits on the base during cooking. The cover is designed to promote the return of all condensation to the bottom. Tajines can also be cooked in a conventional oven or on a stove top.
Tajine is traditionally cooked over hot charcoal leaving an adequate space between the coals and the tajine pot to avoid having the temperature rise too fast. Large bricks of charcoal are purchased specifically for their ability to stay hot for hours. Smaller pieces of charcoal are reserved for cooking brochettes (barbecue) and other grilled meats.
Other methods are to use a tajine in a slow oven or on a gas or electric stove top, on lowest heat necessary to keep the stew simmering gently. A diffuser – a circular piece of aluminium placed between the tajine and burner – is used to evenly distribute the stove’s heat. European manufacturers have created tajines with heavy cast-iron bottoms that can be heated on a cooking stove to a high temperature. This permits the browning of meat and vegetables before cooking.
Tajine cooking may be replicated by using a slow cooker or similar item; but the result will be slightly different. Many ceramic tajines are decorative items as well as functional cooking vessels. Some tajines, however, are intended only to be used as decorative serving dishes. [Wikipedia]