Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Pearfect Plan

In an attempt to begin moving through plentiful pears I came up with a game plan as to how to use them up. I started by coring, segmenting, and grilling a Red Clapp pear then serving it on this salad with some toasted walnuts, kale, olive oil, salt, pepper, and Sambar powder. Sambar powder is a south Indian spice blend consisting of coriander, cumin, mustard, fenugreek, red pepper, amchoor powder, and Asafoetido (hing) powder. I don't actually know what those last two are, I just read them off the packet.

Grilled Red Clapp Pears with Kale, Toasted Walnuts, Sambar Powder, and Fourme d'Ambert

I topped the salad with some Fourme d'Ambert blue cheese which I'd never had before. It has the appearance that it is going to be extremely harsh but it's actually creamy and delicious. I think it might be my new favorite cheese. I'm probably right. Generally my favorite cheese is the one I'm eating at the moment.

Garbanzo Bean and Chicken Stew with Sambar Powder and Coconut Milk Broth

For the main course I cooked up a little garlic, onion, Jen's rainbow carrots from the farmer's market, potato, kale, garbanzo bean, leftover grilled chicken breast, vegetable stock, coconut milk, salt, and Sambar Powder. I'd intended to have this be a completely vegan dish but I found the old chicken when I was going through the fridge and decided I needed to use it up.

I served it up like a hearty stew with big chunks of bread.

Trappistes Rochefort 8

For beer one would assume that we should have had lager. After all, experts agree that you should pair up flavorful meals with mild (and arguably flavorless beer). Bollocks! That's what I say about that!

I opted for what was likely one of the least flavorful beers in the fridge, this Trappistes Rochefort 8 from Brasserie de Rochefort. I had the Trappistes Rochefort 6 earlier this year and I was even more impressed with this version of the beer. The Trappistes Rochefort 10 is waiting in the fridge so I look forward to this beer with great eagerness.

The only thing that this beer lacks is a proper website. The website linked above is a telnet site. Do you remember telnet? Maybe not. If you're younger than 30 you may not have ever heard of such a thing.

This site is a fan site because the beer doesn't have its own website. Apparently monks get around and brew beer and make cheese but there aren't any Trappist Monks who are able to program HTML.

Caramel Apple

For dessert I bought a candy apple at the store. It's way too early for caramel apples but I wanted to get in on the ground floor of this. Caramel apples are one of Jen's biggest joys in life. Last year I failed to acquire any such apples and it was the source of much sadness for Jen. Occasionally we'd be sitting there and she would sigh deeply and say, "I didn't get any caramel apples this year. Not even one!"

This year, if nothing else, I can say I did not fail her as badly as last year.

It's all about incremental improvement, right?

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