Thursday, February 24, 2011

Good Eats at Goodies Getaway

Boy, am I a sad sight to behold. I've been down with a nasty cold all week, but lucky for me - misery does love company. Ran has the crud too, so we've been sniffling, coughing, sneezing and napping together. But lest you feel too bad for us, we came down with this ickiness at the tail end of a long weekend getaway that couldn't have been more vibrant!

We packed the car with gear and the dog and headed North for President's Day weekend. Destination: Lake Shastina, to "Goodies Getaway" - a treasure of a lakeside cabin owned by family friends who graciously tossed us the keys. (Kirk, Robbie - thanks again!) It's a nearly five-hour drive, terminating a bit past the town of Weed, CA, which is just shy of the Oregon border. (True story: what song pops up on our playlist en route to Weed? Ray Charles' "Let's Go Get Stoned." I had a chuckle.) We were joined by our good friend John and his new gal, Maya, and the four of us spent three days laughing, lounging and living the good life. The commanding silhouette of Mt. Shasta dominated our views (that photo above? Taken from the deck), good wine filled our glasses, and of course, it wouldn't be a Fare to Remember post if some amazing food didn't grace our table.

Maya and John pulled out all the stops one night and made a full-on Korean BBQ meal (Maya is Korean). For starters, Maya whipped up a simple but popular Korean appetizer of thinly-sliced beef and raw green onion. She didn't know the name of the dish, but it's apparently a take on bulgogi, as far as I can discern from trying to find something similar online. (Bulgogi: thinly sliced or shredded beef marinated in soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, sugar, scallions, and black pepper. Bulgogi literally means "fire meat.") Maya seared the super-thin beef quickly in a hot pan, dipped the pieces into a mixture of sesame oil, salt and pepper, then used it to wrap up the sliced scallion. Mmm mmm good - a quick, simple and super delicious start to our meal.

The main attraction, however, was the barbecued ribs - or galbi. We had beef ribs, prepped traditionally (marinade recipes abound online - this one is probably very close to what we had), and cooked over a charcoal fire. The ribs were served with a couple of sides: kimchee, platycodon banchan (the root of a flower - doraji - slathered in a sweet/spicy cause), and white rice. But not just any white rice. Maya mixed in a bit of barley as well, giving the finished product not only a nice, toothy bite, but more healthy fiber as well. She also made a fabulous spinach, kale and garlic dish that I lapped up like it was going out of style. She normally makes the dish with mustard greens and spinach, but the boom town that is Weed (population 2,978), doesn't stock mustard greens. Lucky to find kale, I assured her it would make a good substitute, and I dare say I was right. It was delicious.

I delighted in the entire meal, and Maya delighted in my delight. She was astounded that I ate the kimchee and platycodon with such relish - how does a white girl learn to like such foreign and spicy dishes? I assured her that this wasn't my first time at the rodeo.

At any rate, the weekend was lovely all around, and it re-awakened my desire to eat more Korean food. I'm craving it right now actually, even though the only thing I can stomach with this cold is chicken soup. So if anyone wants to join me for bibimbap once my taste buds return, you've got a date! In the meantime, enjoy a few photos from our weekend.

Mt. Shasta, Weed, Goodies Getaway....

Views of Lake Shastina

Sunsets over the lake

Views of the nearby Castle Crags...
I hope to climb there some day.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Casa Hunsaker

Words really can't describe the meal I shared this past weekend with some very dear friends. I won't even try, actually. But I gotta say, when someone will stay up multiple nights in a row until 3 a.m. prepping exquisite ingredients to exacting standards and then present you with a meal consisting of three different appetizers, four stunning, multi-layered courses, two loaves of fresh-baked brioche, and wine pairings throughout, you know there is love in the house. That someone would be my friend Jeff, and yep: major love. For an intimate crowd of six, Jeff really outdid himself by flexing his culinary muscle and creating an evening of food and memories that I will treasure for all my days. He followed recipes from Thomas Keller's The French Laundry Cookbook, and I swear, it was even better than being at the real restaurant. You see, not only was the food divine, but Jeff and his wife Shannon's kids were on hand (whom I adore), dashing in and out and providing the lively spirit that only kids can bring to the table. We laughed, we we got loud, we played (literally - Wii kicks ass!), and we all stayed up way past our bedtimes. Jeff had a blast cooking - he's like me in that regard, it brings him joy! - and we all reaped the copious rewards. So Jeff and Shannon, Linda, Mik and Ran - thank you for an evening I didn't even know I needed. Another Fare to Remember iconic meal in the company of the ones I love.

Appetizers: Poached shrimp and avocado sliders; leek tart; Parmesan crisps.

Parsley oil, step 1 of the amazing first course...

...of tomato tartar, haricot verts in a cream vinaigrette with frisee and tomato powder. OMG. My fave course, hands down. I will be making this dish for certain. Stay tuned.

Beef bourguignon... need I say more?

Yep, that's a 2000 Joseph Phelps Insignia. Perfect.

Cheese/salad course. The salad had pears poached in verjus. And you know how much I love cheese....

Berry crème brûlée in a tuille cup with three homemade sauces: crème anglaise, raspberry and caramel.

The goodness continued even the next day....
French toast with the leftover brioche (courtesy of Randall). Really? I am so spoiled.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

I'm Back! The Lowdown on Argentina

It's been a while, eh? My apologies for being absent for so long from Fare to Remember, but I've been having fun! I spent three weeks in Argentina, and upon my return, all of my free time went to blogging about that experience. So Fare to Remember has been a bit neglected, but certainly not forgotten! You see, over at that new, one-time Argentina blog, I have a whole lot of delicious adventures to share with you. So, sorry to be a tease, but if you want to know all about my food and wine experiences while in Buenos Aires and Mendoza, click on over to here:

A couple of the food/wine-related highlights include (see - I'm thinking of you!):
If you're interested things other than Argentine food and wine, here's a few of my other favorite sections:
There's a lot over there to pore through, look at and peruse at your leisure, but I sure do hope you take a few minutes and check it out, send me your feedback, and get inspired to hit the road! In return, I promise to bring Fare to Remember back to its regularly scheduled programming. Whatever that is!

Photo sneak peeks....