October 21 2012
So Casey, the new SOS Operations Manager, her husband, Isaac Miller (of Flea Street, 231 Ellsworth, and now Maven, SF pedigree) just came over for a fun evening of drinks and dinner. Casey and Isaac requested that we do a mystery basket party. Here is what they were given:
Rodenbach Sour Beer, 3 bunches red beet and greens, one small sugar pie pumpkin, 2 pounds of ground lamb, and castelvetrano olives.
The meal was absolutely grand, with highlights being:
Castelvetrano Olives (deli style green ones with some others were used to make a rough chop tapenade to be used as seasoning garnish in leiu of salt!) I will use this technique many times going forward having already been roughly acquainted with it through use of a capers in Spain and Italy.
Lamb in Roasted Squash – fennel, onion, garlic, fresh oregano, fresh thyme, smoked paprika, seaoned salt for the lamb, canola oil for the pumpkin to avoid coloring the flavor
Sour Beer Braised Beets – This was the surpise of the evening, the sour beer marries the sweetness of slow braised beets into something earthy/sweet and incredible with the lamb/pumpkin.
Warm wilted beet green salad with cherokee purple tomatoes, lemon juice – uh, yum, the tomatoes were right off the vine from our front yard and were not too far gone yet (it didn’t start raining until Monday, this was Sunday). I think the rest of the crop is likely toast.
Speaking of toast – Isaac showed off a technique for rubbing the top cut cap of a cucumber on the severed end to draw out bittering “sap” from the skin. Apparently, this is a Japanese sushi technique. Whether it is true will require more research. Meanwhile, they made toasted wheat bread with black truffle oil, liverwurst, and madonlined cucumbers with smoked paprika sprinkled on – it did not suck.