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Posts Tagged ‘Alabama local food’

Last night we had a last, leisurely, late-afternoon-into-late-evening dinner with Jim, Sharyn, and the adorable Mimi.  Jack and Mimi played continuously and tirelessly for five solid hours, pausing only for dinner—spicy local pork sausages with spicy mustard, shalloty crispy green beans, and grilled eggplant dressed with saffron-yogurt sauce—and dessert: lemon custard tart topped bountifully with berries.
Sharyn's tart
Sharyn is the picture of effortless elegance.  The wine was served in little Moroccan tea glasses that complemented the votives arranged asymmetrically here and there.  The tapenade was lemony, the pita toasts just bite sized, the dishes bistro-white.  And then there was the tart: aristocratic and earthy at once on its crystal cake-stand.  The crust edges were perfectly tapered and golden, the vanilla-lemon custard softly peaked, the berries tart-sweet and juicy.  The farmers’ market blackberries were as big as small plums, and satisfyingly, sun-ripened sweet.  My adjectival powers are stretched to the limit!

Let’s end with some happy faces.
J & M

J & M 2

J & M 3

interpretive dance?

interpretive dance?

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shiitake1
Umami.  It’s the earthy, meaty taste that mushrooms, meat, and long-simmered stocks have.  Aged and fermented foods have it too: hard cheeses, Thai fish sauce.

I bought a few handfuls of local shiitakes at Dayspring Natural Foods, sautéed them in olive oil, and tossed them in a salad with romaine, spinach and a vinaigrette made with Dijon, sherry vinegar, and olive oil.  The dark tang of the sherry vinegar was a perfect match with the umami of the shiitakes.  It’s my mushroom of choice.  In comparison, so-called “buttons” taste like dirt.

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