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Sundries
...a sweatshop of moxie

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Hostess

Next Saturday, our family will be hosting a Peruvian doctor, his wife, and their three sons in our home.

In a way, this is a return courtesy.

When my parents took me on a tour of South America, when I was a tweenie in the late 1980s, I recall that we were hosted by a few friends that my father had made there, since he was invited to speak at medical symposia, and the like.

One such friend was this gentleman.

We stayed a very pleasant week in his Lima Miraflores home, which is the equivalent of Mayfair in London, or the Avenue Foch in Paris.

To date, it was one of the most exquisite stays in a private home, I have ever had. And you already know how much I love luxury.

Cut flowers in every room.

Liveried servants with white gloves waiting at table.

Chauffeur-driven Mercedes at our disposal.

That oddly pleasant feeling of time standing still, which only the greatest wealth can permeate all around it.

And like many well-to-do families in this world, they had more than one residence. We also went to their beach home in the coast of Peru, for a weekend.

These were my thoughts when I was informed the doctor and his family would be coming down to South Florida, on their way to New York City.

Womanlike, my mother and I are very house-proud.

Fortunately, though when a child I hated being made to tag along to antique shops, we have a wonderful condo apartment filled with my mother's vast collection of inherited and scavenged furniture.

But because my father is reclusive, we rarely have anyone over any more.

Our home is thus like a museum -- tasteful, but it can be overwhelmingly antiseptic to some, at times.

On that score, I needn't worry though. This family are used to it.

But we have no servants. No chauffeur. And though we do have a second home two counties away, it is currently let out. We ain't rich like they are.

I'll thus have to find an itinerary amusing enough to keep kids aged 17 to 10 distracted, as well as two sophisticated grown ups, since my parents have work to attend to during the week.

So the moment I heard about this, my mind started to churn.

Frankly, I am loving it!

My mother is a much more sociable person than I, but she has no patience for the minutiae of entertaining.

There are a lot, a lot of details to sort out for parties, let alone for a full week's worth of holidaying.

Someone has to clean the rugs, someone has to paint the bathrooms, someone has to order food, someone has to order flowers, someone has to buy tickets to shows, and you are looking at that someone.

Me.

It's not the first time I've had to do something similar of course.

But one week is longer than any previous other entertaining I've had to do for non-relatives, inside my own home.

Two things set my mind at rest:

  • I'm up to the challenge, because though I love being on sabbatical, I've become a little bored being at home all day, like a rich old dowager lying by her pool. Blech.


  • I was trained for this. My school had what might be called Home Economics classes, but with a filip -- instead of making us learn to cook the meals, they made us learn how to plan parties, and how to entertain properly.


  • Eat your heart out Nigella Lawson!

    But now let's see how much I remember...

    They arrive Saturday, and I presume the kids want to rest by going to South Beach, and playing for hours in the sand.

    After all, it is summer in Peru at the moment, and this is what they would be doing there now.

    So Saturday is the down day, with little foresight needed.

    Sunday will be my D-Day, since that's when I have planned a sumptuous Peruvian meal for them, including:

    Lomo Saltado
    Papas a la Huancaína
    Chicha Morada


    They treated us to a wonderful traditional roast and Yorkshire puddings when we were there, so now I will return the national culinary favour.

    The hitch is this: I will cook the meal myself!

    These past few months, I have been getting slowly more accomplished in cookery skills, which I lacked until now.

    So I feel intrepid enough to cook something more adventurous than my usual bubble-and-squeak.

    I now need the wines, the savoury, and lastly, the cheese to serve during the meal.

    And obviously, which musical accompaniments (via CD alas, not a band like they had), to use throughout.

    This is why I am posting this.

    You, as a Sundries reader, can help me be the hostess with the mostest, by suggesting any bit of advice that you have for:

    Wine
    Cheese
    Dessert
    Music


    In no special order.

    Whew. This will be a hectic fortnight! Let's hope I don't burn the house down.

    UPDATE: Already some advice has flowed in, and my request even brought about this great post, by fellow quirk-blogger, XWL -- he in, turn, was called out in a general all-quarters post by Reader_Iam.

    I'm still sifting through the comments, but XWL provides an excellent template of what I am looking for.

    I'd seek out this album by Julieta Venegas. It's a fantastic album by a fantastic singer/songwriter and I'm told the lyrics are pretty good, too (my Spanish is too rudimentary to confirm or deny). [...]

    A little mind blowing journey to the unexpected always adds texture to a get together and this album from the Charlie Hunter Quartet definitely qualifies. Natty Dread as a peppy jump anthem is especially fun and surprising.

    Also even though it's a tribute to the music of Brazil, this album from Morelenbaum/Sakamoto is beautiful, pleasing and essential. It's a tribute to Jobim, and really what more do you need to know?

    Perfect! Thanks guys. Keep 'em coming!

    RECIPE UPDATE: I realised I left the menu selection rather breathlessly, so here is a rundown of what I shall be cooking.

    LOMO SALTADO: a reader called it stir fry, and in a way, that's right. It's beef strips marinated in red wine and cilantro, fried alongside chopped tomatoes, served with what Americans call steak fries. On a bed of rice, it goes without saying, since rice is king in Latin American cookery.

    PAPAS A LA HUANCAINA: Same reader called it potato salad, and that too is right. It's refrigerator cold, boiled potatoes covered in a spicy cheese-based sauce, made with green chilis (called aji), with hard-boiled eggs, black olives, and served cold atop lettuce.

    Chicha Morada is just a purple-corn drink (you what?), which is refreshing, if perhaps, an acquired taste.

    27 Comments:

    • for wine, perhaps a Cahor? or would a Rioja be more fitting?

      for cheese, an aged Cabrales, or a Taleggio? both quite strong!

      for desert, I recently had grilled fruit (pinapple, peaches) which had a ginger-infused simple syrup over the top, which was allowed to chill...quite tasty! I love Clairette di Die Tradition as a desert sparkling wine!

      music...mmm...so many choices! for good background music I like Bang On a Can's Music for Airports, which is an acoustic version of Brian Eno's electronic work. Let me think on more!

      By Blogger Ron, at Sat Feb 18, 05:00:00 pm GMT-5  

    • It all depends -- what are you cooking?

      By Blogger JSU, at Sun Feb 19, 01:21:00 pm GMT-5  

    • Dang. Here it is Sunday so I'm too late to be useful. But, here goes anyway:

      Have your guests every been to the United States? Probably but even so, here's what I'd go with: an entirely American menu. If I were visiting them, though I'd be appreciative of anything they served me, I'd rather have as an authentic local experience as I could and not some Peruvianized version of American dishes. So don't try to serve them something from where they're from. I wouldn't even try any Cuban; that would be almost too local. Do I mean hamburgers and hot dogs? Maybe so, but not necessarily. (Still, why not? That might be exactly what they were looking for!) American all the way, including the wines. We do a pretty good job here in the United States with wine and they might appreciate some samples.

      Okay, maybe your guests don't want American. Fine. If you don't know what they want, I'd go with what pleases you. At least half your guests will be happy and when you explain your choices to your guests, you simply say these are the things that please you most and you thought they'd do the same for them. They'll appreciate that you attempted what you considered your best.

      No, no specifics I'm afraid, just some general guidelines. But by the time you read this, the big event will be over. So, how 'bout some details?

      By Blogger Pete, at Sun Feb 19, 07:41:00 pm GMT-5  

    • What sort of music do they like? For what kind of mood are you aiming? Do you mind multiple genres?

      And we need to get Bill at So Quoted over here, or if he's lurking, I say on your behalf: Come out, come out wherever you are!

      IS the big event over? Reading your post, I'm assuming we're talking NEXT weekend, right?

      (And I bubbles-and-squeak--I had a British grandfather.)

      By Blogger reader_iam, at Sun Feb 19, 09:26:00 pm GMT-5  

    • That's "love" bubble-and-squeak.

      And I linked.

      (I don't know that it would fit with what you've outlined. But truly, Maytag bleu cheese is outstanding. And very middle America. I say that as one who basically doesn't believe in boycotts and therefore is quite willing to import cheese from France, and in fact does so.)

      By Blogger reader_iam, at Sun Feb 19, 11:15:00 pm GMT-5  

    • Readar I Am suggested that I might have something to offer in the suggestions department, so rather than a long comment here, I made a medium sized post at my own immodest blog.

      By Blogger XWL, at Mon Feb 20, 01:10:00 am GMT-5  

    • Victoria, there are people (and this is not a coy phrasing referring to me) who might wish and be able to offer you wine options--about which they have some knowledge--who aren't necessarily familiar with the components of the meal you outlined.

      Care to give a description thereof?

      (Some of are sort of getting into this. Can you tell?)

      By Blogger reader_iam, at Mon Feb 20, 01:58:00 am GMT-5  

    • Since RIA called me out, here's a couple thoughts.

      Ok, beef stir fry and potato salad. I can't even imagine what the Chicha Morada tastes like - all that corn, all that sugar. Is this a dessert or a side dish? If a side, seems a bit starch heavy paired with the potato salad.

      Wine pairings aren't my thing, but I think a light red would go with spicy food; maybe even a sangria.

      For cheese, find a good shop and ask the experts. Are you close to one of these Whole Foods?

      Let's try and Americanize the desserts. Blackberry cobbler - very easy (not much more than blackberrries and sugar in a crust or under a crust) and virtually impossible to make poorly. Banana pudding. Praline Bread Pudding by Marvin Woods is excellent.

      Music - pick up a couple collections of jump blues and throw something heavy at anyone who makes a move for the volume knob.

      By Blogger bill, at Mon Feb 20, 05:01:00 am GMT-5  

    • D'oh! My bad. It's NEXT Sunday. I'm a doofus. Must. Learn. To read. More closely.

      By Blogger Pete, at Mon Feb 20, 07:13:00 am GMT-5  

    • for wine, perhaps a Cahor? or would a Rioja be more fitting?

      Rioja sounds promising actually!

      Do you know, my mother's family have a vineyard in Germany, but I know next to nothing about wine.

      Just explain Cahor to me, as if I were a 16-year old with a fake ID. :)

      for cheese, an aged Cabrales, or a Taleggio? both quite strong!

      My Lord! Never heard of either, either...

      for desert, I recently had grilled fruit (pinapple, peaches) which had a ginger-infused simple syrup over the top, which was allowed to chill...quite tasty! I love Clairette di Die Tradition as a desert sparkling wine!

      *Googles*

      music...mmm...so many choices! for good background music I like Bang On a Can's Music for Airports, which is an acoustic version of Brian Eno's electronic work. Let me think on more!

      I think this is the only suggestion which I can say, thanks for the effort, but pass. They're not Brian Eno-ish type people. :)

      Still, thanks Ron-boy!

      Cheers,
      Victoria

      By Blogger vbspurs, at Mon Feb 20, 08:56:00 am GMT-5  

    • It all depends -- what are you cooking?

      Ahh, I knew once I mentioned wine, and cookery, you'd be all over that, JSU. :)

      And yes, I left the menu a little too coyly, up on the post.

      I have since updated that, to give you an idea of what each Peruvian dish is.

      Hope you can give me some good vino tips, at least. :)

      Cheers,
      Victoria

      By Blogger vbspurs, at Mon Feb 20, 08:58:00 am GMT-5  

    • Have your guests every been to the United States?

      Many times, yes.

      They have a home in Manhattan and I believe, they go skiing in Vail.

      Probably but even so, here's what I'd go with: an entirely American menu.

      Alas, Pete, I may save that for later, but next Sunday, I have determined will be a tribute to their culture. :)

      It's a return tribute to when we were there, and they served us traditional English fare.

      If I were visiting them, though I'd be appreciative of anything they served me, I'd rather have as an authentic local experience as I could and not some Peruvianized version of American dishes.

      Although, I do have to say, your remark made me reflect...Britishised Peruvian dishes. *gulp*

      Still, I'm arrogant enough to try! ;)

      So don't try to serve them something from where they're from. I wouldn't even try any Cuban; that would be almost too local.

      Most Latin American cookery is very similar, as you can imagine.

      Everything on rice.

      Fried plantains, and beans being very popular (although not like in the Caribbean and Venezuela), too.

      Dishes like flank steak "Palomilla", and Ropa Vieja (shredded beef), are all over South America.

      But if we go to a Cuban eatery, you can be sure it'll be something top drawer like Lario's on the Beach, which belongs to Gloria Estefan.

      Or Versailles (hi Jose!).

      Do I mean hamburgers and hot dogs? Maybe so, but not necessarily. (Still, why not? That might be exactly what they were looking for!)

      Not too bad a suggestion for the first day, when we will go to the beach.

      It's a good after-swim meal!

      American all the way, including the wines. We do a pretty good job here in the United States with wine and they might appreciate some samples.

      Kendall-Jackson, right?

      Okay, maybe your guests don't want American. Fine. If you don't know what they want, I'd go with what pleases you. At least half your guests will be happy and when you explain your choices to your guests, you simply say these are the things that please you most and you thought they'd do the same for them. They'll appreciate that you attempted what you considered your best.

      They're very gracious, so I know they'll appreciate it. :)

      No, no specifics I'm afraid, just some general guidelines. But by the time you read this, the big event will be over. So, how 'bout some details?

      I read that you realised it's next week.

      We'll have a fun time thinking up suggestions, fear not.

      Thanks, Pete!

      Cheers,
      Victoria

      By Blogger vbspurs, at Mon Feb 20, 09:06:00 am GMT-5  

    • What sort of music do they like? For what kind of mood are you aiming? Do you mind multiple genres?

      Not at all! In fact, multiple genres can often get a party going, and keep it that, during lulls.

      Not that with that many kids, will there be a lull, I'm sure.

      And we need to get Bill at So Quoted over here, or if he's lurking, I say on your behalf: Come out, come out wherever you are!

      IS the big event over? Reading your post, I'm assuming we're talking NEXT weekend, right?


      Yes, indeed.

      And thanks for making Bill de-lurk. ;)

      (And I bubbles-and-squeak--I had a British grandfather.)

      Bubble. Like the AbFab ditz. ;)

      (more below)

      Cheers,
      Victoria

      By Blogger vbspurs, at Mon Feb 20, 09:08:00 am GMT-5  

    • That's "love" bubble-and-squeak.

      Heh. There you go. ;)

      And I linked.

      I backlinked! Thank you so much, RIA. :)

      (I don't know that it would fit with what you've outlined. But truly, Maytag bleu cheese is outstanding.

      Exsqueeze me? Baking powder?

      MAYTAG?? Like the dish washer??

      And very middle America. I say that as one who basically doesn't believe in boycotts and therefore is quite willing to import cheese from France, and in fact does so.)

      Hey, I don't believe in boycotts either.

      I knew you were a sound egg. :)

      Cheers,
      Victoria

      By Blogger vbspurs, at Mon Feb 20, 09:10:00 am GMT-5  

    • Readar I Am suggested that I might have something to offer in the suggestions department, so rather than a long comment here, I made a medium sized post at my own immodest blog.

      XWL, what can I say? You're awesome.

      I am still reading people's comments this early Monday morn, and will write them down in my new "Hostess" Italian leather-brown notebook I bought specially for the event.

      I am not anything, if not methodical. And chic.

      Thank you, baby! Hope you saw my linkback.

      (more later)

      Cheers,
      Victoria

      By Blogger vbspurs, at Mon Feb 20, 09:12:00 am GMT-5  

    • Victoria, there are people (and this is not a coy phrasing referring to me) who might wish and be able to offer you wine options--about which they have some knowledge--who aren't necessarily familiar with the components of the meal you outlined.

      Care to give a description thereof?

      (Some of are sort of getting into this. Can you tell?)


      I sure can tell. :)

      I have put up some recipe links where you can see what the dishes entail, cookery-wise.

      Also, alongside that, a brief description of the dish.

      All three are typically Peruvian, and therefore, require condiments that I may have to hunt for.

      But I'm still 100% aiming towards those specific dishes.

      I thought maybe a ceviche (fish cooked in lemon juice) might be a little too much, but I'm open to ideas.

      Cheers,
      Victoria

      By Blogger vbspurs, at Mon Feb 20, 09:15:00 am GMT-5  

    • Since RIA called me out, here's a couple thoughts.

      Thanks for the time and effort, Bill. :)

      Ok, beef stir fry and potato salad.

      *LOL*

      That's a great way of putting it, and quite correct. :)

      I can't even imagine what the Chicha Morada tastes like - all that corn, all that sugar.

      It's oddly refreshing, though. Once tasted, never forgotten.

      Tangy, is the closest adjective to describe it.

      Is this a dessert or a side dish? If a side, seems a bit starch heavy paired with the potato salad.

      It's just a drink, served in lieu of soda pop (I'm thinking of the kids, but then, children around the world are allowed alcohol much younger than in the US).

      Wine pairings aren't my thing, but I think a light red would go with spicy food; maybe even a sangria.

      Sangria! That's a thought. Maybe not for that day, but to have around. Perfect, Bill. :)

      For cheese, find a good shop and ask the experts. Are you close to one of these Whole Foods?

      I have Epicure Market, a chi-chi grocery store.

      I was, of course, going to buy the specialised cheese there, but I wanted to go armed with foreknowledge, so the uppity sales assistants wouldn't give me a condescending look. :)

      Let's try and Americanize the desserts. Blackberry cobbler - very easy (not much more than blackberrries and sugar in a crust or under a crust) and virtually impossible to make poorly. Banana pudding. Praline Bread Pudding by Marvin Woods is excellent.

      Good lord! I think I like the sound of that Praline Bread Pudding.

      That's definitely on my "Possible" list!

      Music - pick up a couple collections of jump blues and throw something heavy at anyone who makes a move for the volume knob.

      Heh. :)

      I'm sure they're very well behaved kids. It's my mother who might need to be anaesthesised by a heavy tome, if she starts competing with the mother.

      And she will. She will.

      Cheers,
      Victoria

      By Blogger vbspurs, at Mon Feb 20, 09:21:00 am GMT-5  

    • D'oh! My bad. It's NEXT Sunday. I'm a doofus. Must. Learn. To read. More closely.

      Bah. This tells me you were so eager to help out, you rushed it. :)

      Thanks, again, Pete, everyone!

      I await any more suggestions, you may have.

      I'll let you know on Tuesday, if I have made a decision based on them.

      Cheers,
      Victoria

      By Blogger vbspurs, at Mon Feb 20, 09:23:00 am GMT-5  

    • Re: Maytag cheese.

      Yes, indeed, Victoria, it's that family. Famous for dryers. Famous for this WONDERFUL American (as in U.S.) cheese. And, even for its beer (another Maytag owns Anchor Steam brewing company).

      Known for quality all the way around, the Maytags (Iowa bred).

      See why I suggested it? You're doing a tribute to your guests own culture, but still, as an (a)side you could throw in a touch of the American, as well!

      By Blogger reader_iam, at Mon Feb 20, 09:50:00 am GMT-5  

    • Just FYI, in case you need a diversion and interlude during your hectic week:

      Maytag Blue/Bleu Cheese (And I love Stilton; yes, there's difference, to which I say, Viva! And thank goodness there's room for variety in this life.)

      Anchor Steam (including an interview with a Maytag the Third.

      By Blogger reader_iam, at Mon Feb 20, 10:09:00 am GMT-5  

    • *Authentic* Peruvian cuisine

      Thought it could be interesting to see if Unmentionable Cuisine by Calvin Schwabe would have anything to offer. It's an amazing compendium of recipes using every conceivable part of the animal. Mostly forgotten by Americans, though there has been an offal fad in haute cuisine.

      For Peru, he offers recipes for barbequed beef hearts or intestines and two recipes using horse jerky. Written in 1979, he claimed that 50% of animal protein was provided by guinea pig. I will give you Guinea Pig Arequipa Style (Cuyes a la arequipena).

      Soak plucked and cleaned guinea pigs in salted water for 2 hours, dry them thoroughly, and let them stand in the air for an hour. Cut them into quarters and salt them.

      Heat through in the following sauce. Fry finely chopped onions and a generous amount of crushed garlic in oil until golden. Add fresh yellow chili peppers (previously seeded, soaked in saltwater, and ground into a paste), black pepper, and salt. Cook a bit and add quite a bit of ground toasted peanuts (or peanut butter), everal boiled potatoes, and a couple of potatoes mashed with a fork.


      At this point I think we can blame Reader I Am for inviting me to the conversation.

      By Blogger bill, at Mon Feb 20, 10:33:00 am GMT-5  

    • Yes, indeed, Victoria, it's that family.

      Whoa!

      It's like finding out the Firestones make wine, or the Vanderbilts, condoms.

      Wait, that's the DuPonts right?

      Famous for dryers. Famous for this WONDERFUL American (as in U.S.) cheese.

      Amazing! Good to know.

      And, even for its beer (another Maytag owns Anchor Steam brewing company).

      Talk about diversifying your portfolio.

      Known for quality all the way around, the Maytags (Iowa bred).

      Yes, we've owned a washer-and-dryer of theirs, that lasted forever.

      See why I suggested it?

      Little hometown pride never hurt anyone.

      Like Bill Bryson, I like Iowans. :)

      You're doing a tribute to your guests own culture, but still, as an (a)side you could throw in a touch of the American, as well!

      You know what -- you're right.

      I'll do the Maytag Blue Cheese...if I can find it!

      I'm sure I can. :)

      Okay so far, we have:

      Pralines Bread Pudding -- DESSERT
      Maytag Blue Cheese -- CHEESE
      Julieta Venegas, etc. -- MUSIC


      Rioja and Sangria as possibles for wine or at least, as something to have around during the week.

      Since JSU is a true wine expert here, I'll let him delight us with his further suggestions.

      Cheers,
      Victoria

      By Blogger vbspurs, at Mon Feb 20, 11:29:00 am GMT-5  

    • *Authentic* Peruvian cuisine

      Thought it could be interesting to see if Unmentionable Cuisine by Calvin Schwabe would have anything to offer.


      Aha? That doesn't sound good!

      It's an amazing compendium of recipes using every conceivable part of the animal. Mostly forgotten by Americans, though there has been an offal fad in haute cuisine.

      Sounds offal. (oh hush)

      Being Yourapeein (not that anyone who is actually European, ever really refers to himself as that), I am used to having foodstuffs really looked as bizarre by most non-Southern Americans.

      Tripe, brains, chicken livers, tongue.

      This charnel of cookery is normal, to us.

      And even certain meat is too -- like when was the last time you heard an American speak about the rabbit he was serving up for dinner?

      (Cuyes a la arequipena).

      Apparently, Arequipa is a culinary hot point in Peru.

      At this point I think we can blame Reader I Am for inviting me to the conversation.

      Well pfui to that! I loved your gross-out quotes! ;)

      Cheers,
      Victoria

      By Blogger vbspurs, at Mon Feb 20, 11:35:00 am GMT-5  

    • Schwabe's book, other than being a grossout collection, was written from his POV that Americans are irrational food-bigots. And once population growth caused the food industry to collapse, Americans would be forced to change our eating habits and laws would change to allow the average city household to keep small animals in their yard.

      Rabbit is fairly easy to find. Any half-decent grocery probably has it in the freezer section. If not, it can be ordered without much fuss.

      Speaking of Yourapeeins, as lung is considered a banned food in the USofA, there's a decent trade of smuggled haggis, especially close to St. Patrick's day.

      Dinner sounds great, good luck with it. As for Chicha Morada, what type of corn will you use? I came across recipes calling for purple or red, but have no idea if these differ significantly from the basic yellow.

      By Blogger bill, at Mon Feb 20, 01:02:00 pm GMT-5  

    • Cahors is a wine appellation in France, which makes reds mostly of Malbec -- basically in the Bordeaux style, though not to the same heights. But Malbec (also used in Bordeaux proper) is a main grape in South American wine production -- there are some excellent inexpensive-ish Argentinian and Chilean examples. So as much as it might suit the food (a natural match to the stir-fry, I suspect), it might be a little too homey.

      A good (modern) Rioja might work, or one of the more minerally Bordeauxes. Or a California cabernet, or one of the more classically-styled zinfandels (e.g. Ridge).

      Or -- and yes I suggest this for everything -- a good rose champagne.

      Kendall-Jackson, right?

      God, no. If you serve California chardonnay, make it one from in or near Santa Barbara County. Have no idea of your budget or wine store resources, so I can't suggest anything more specific.

      I like Ron's Clairette suggestion with a fruity dessert.

      The coolest, of course, would be serving the family wine.

      By Blogger JSU, at Mon Feb 20, 04:33:00 pm GMT-5  

    • I vote Argentinian Malbec for the wine (it can handle beef and the spice.) Two nice ones I've tried recently are Catena Malbec Mendoza 2003 (~$20), and Altos las Hormigas Malbec "Las Hormigas" Mendoza 2004 (~$10.) The former is worth the money for your table wine. Following the tradition of marinating with the same or similar wine that you'll be serving for quaffing, you might consider marinating your beef in the latter (though it's perfectly drinkable -- I just wouldn't advocate marinating anything in a 20$ bottle of wine!!)

      I like the suggestion of a Cabrales for the cheese, and also thought of Manchego.

      Good Luck!

      By Blogger redredwine, at Mon Feb 20, 04:33:00 pm GMT-5  

    • May I just say that I have reaped the fruits of redredwine's wine suggestions a time or two (OK, that's an outright lie: it's more like many times), in person?

      She's a foodie, to boot: her leftovers are better than a heck of a lot of restaurant's cooked-fresh entrees.

      (Of course, I'm biased! I don't want her to stop sending food home with me!!!!)

      By Blogger reader_iam, at Mon Feb 20, 04:54:00 pm GMT-5  

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