Pollo Cordón Azul with Romesco (Version 2.0), Grilled Purple Asparagus and Fiddlehead Ferns with Parsley-Tarragon Chimichurri

Originally, I had planned to cook my usual Pollo Cordón Azul with Romesco and the Grilled Asparagus with Parsley-Tarragon Chimichurri. But when I went to the butcher counter at Sheridan’s, the chicken thighs were calling to me – mainly since they were already butterflied. I also decided to use purple asparagus and fiddlehead ferns since they are both in season – and it was also an excuse to buy a grilling basket I’ve had my eye on…

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I decided to go with a bottle of The Gray Tower from Holy Mountain.

Gochugaru Chicken Kebabs, Grilled Asparagus with Olives & Grilled Citrus

I decided to play around with two recipes that I have done many times. I basically followed the Aleppo Chicken Kebab recipe from Bon Appétit. But since my Aleppo pepper looks to be a bit past its prime, I thought I should try Gochugaru instead. For the side dish, I wanted to try a simplified version of the Toro Bravo Asparagus with Preserved Lemon, Fried Jambon & Olives dish. I just coated the asparagus with roasted garlic oil and grilled them with some cut lemons. When they were done, I just added to olives and squeezed the lemons on top.

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To drink, I went with my last bottle of Maybelle – a farmhouse ale aged in chardonnay barrels – from The Commons.

Tandoori Fried Chicken, Saag Paneer Mac and Indian Slaw

This was pretty much a total disaster…

On a recent trip to Atlanta, I discovered Tandoori Fried Chicken at a restaurant called Botiwalla. I knew I was going to have to try to figure out how to make it.

I marinated the chicken using the same marinade that I use for my Tandoori Lobster (which was originally a chicken recipe in the first place). I then followed Alton Brown’s Fried Chicken recipe for the cooking process.

As to what to serve with the chicken… I did a bit of research to find two more recipes where Southern cuisine had been re-routed thru South India: Saag Paneer Mac and Indian Slaw.

But things didn’t go as planned… The Saag Paneer Mac recipe is very poorly written. Things like, you know, measurements or the size of pan to use are pretty much non-existent. The Indian Slaw recipe was pretty straight forward, but I had forgotten one key ingredient: the Serrano chili. These two came out edible – although not very exciting. The chicken, on the other hand, did not.

I’m guessing it was the yogurt marinade. First, I did not have time to marinate the chicken the minimum 8 hours. But, since I did not completely remove the marinade off of the chicken before dredging in the flour – it started to burn almost immediately upon hitting the grease. I then put the chicken in a roasting pan and moved to the oven. Well, at this point the Saag Paneer Mac was getting cold and the chicken was not getting above an internal temperature of 180° – so I turned the oven to broil… The chicken, which was already burned on one side, now was completely black. It went straight in the trash.

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I decided to go with a bottle of The Conversion from Logsdon Farmhouse Ales – which exploded and went all over the already destroyed kitchen… Not a good night.

Pollo Cordón Azul with Romesco, Grilled Asparagus with Parsley-Tarragon Chimichurri

My wife had invited a friend of hers over for dinner. I decided to cook the Pollo Cordón Azul with Romesco and Grilled Asparagus with Parsley-Tarragon Chimichurri.

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I decided to pull two special bottles from the cellar for the evening: Fantasia from Upright and Sahalie Fresh Hop from The Ale Apothecary.


It’s that time of year again… My sister came up from California for our annual bike ride. As usual, I put out “The Big Board”.  We had the usual suspects: CrucoloD’Affinois, St. Agur, bourbon chicken liver mousse from Chop, Saucisson Sec salami from Olympic Provisions, some smoked duck, plus some homemade pickled purple cauliflower and green beans and a baguette.

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As usual, we had a few beers… Wit’s Ransom – a Gin barrel aged wheat beer – from Claim 52, Temptation – chardonnay barrel aged blonde ale – from Russian River, Ampersand Volume 3 Chapter 1 – a golden sour botanical ale aged in Gin barrels – a collaboration from Crooked Stave and the recently shuttered The Hop & Vine, and for dessert, Noa Pecan Mud Cake – a chocolate pecan stout – from Omnipollo.

Tzimmes with Gnocci

Since the weather is ever so slowly turning to Fall, I decided to attempt to recreate a dish we had eaten at Kachka a while back called Tzimmes. Their version was served with gnocci (pre-packaged, regrettably) instead of the more traditional sweet potatoes or yams. After a bit of digging around on the internet, I found this recipe which was the closest to what I remember – but left out the squash and doubled the carrots.  Also, like Kachka’s version, the dish was topped with sour cream and chives.

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I went with a bottle of the Gypsy Tart from The Bruery Terreux.