Friday, March 12, 2010

Following the Recipe Down the Path of Excess

My dining companion and I felt remarkably OK yesterday after consuming heroic amounts of oil, salt, and garlic the night before.  I made two Spanish dishes I'd never attempted before, pollo al ajillo (from Anya Von Bremzen's The New Spanish Table) and Canary Island-style wrinkled potatoes (from Jose Andres' Made in Spain, the glossy-yet-practical companion to his PBS travel/cooking series).  Between the chicken and the green mojo sauce for the potatoes, I used something like 25 cloves of garlic (not an exaggeration) - smashed and added to frying oil, sliced and used in the chicken sauce, crushed/ground in a mortar and pestle to make the mojo.  The potato recipe called for a full cup of salt.  This is why recipes exist, though.  I would never dream of using this much salt or garlic if left to my own devices, but the recipes worked - the sauces came together, the potatoes wrinkled.  (The excessive oil was my own fault - I don't think I poured enough out of the pan before making the sauce.)

If this was a proper food blog, I would have photos of the meal, but it isn't and I don't.  I will give a quick  wine recommendation, though, to add a little value to this post: 2008 Rayos Uva, a young, unoaked Rioja.  I was surprised to see the Louis/Dressner (great French wine importers) name on a Spanish wine, so I picked it up based on that alone and was not disappointed.  Was it the perfect pairing with all that garlic?  I don't know, but it held its own well enough (and was even better the 2nd day) and is certainly a great choice in the sub-$20 realm (a realm I rarely venture out of).

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