Final Monday Night Matchup Menus (Last Week’s) – New Orleans Saints!

I’m in Vermont with the boys during the storm! We’re making a Saints meal in my country house. The Saints are one of my favorite teams so it’s nice to end the season in their honor. Here’s what I’m throwing together:

Starter: Drew Brie with Marques ColStone Ground Crackers

Marques Colston - WR NO

Drew Brees - QB NO

Side: Jeremy Shiitockey with PiHeirloom Tomatoes

Pierre Thomas - RB NO

Jeremy Shockey - TE NO

Main: Fire Grilled Tracy Porterhouse

Tracy Porter - CB NO

Drew Brie with Marques ColStone Ground Crackers

We’re starting off easy. Cheese and Crackers.

Jeremy Shiitockey with PiHeirloom Tomatoes

Ingredients:
3 c shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1 box baby heirloom tomatoes, sliced in half
1 bunch scallions, finely chopped
1 small onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T lemon oil
olive oil
salt
pepper

Procedure:
Salt the tomatoes. Heat some olive oil in a pan over medium high. Throw in the scallions and onions and cook until translucent, about 2-3 min. Add the mushrooms and cook another few minutes until the shitakes have absorbed the liquid and released it. Add the garlic and tomatoes and stir in. Season with salt, pepper, and the lemon oil. Stir. Cook for another few minutes and serve.

Fireplace Tracy Porterhouse

Ingredients:
Porterhouse steak
salt
pepper
fireplace grill

Procedure:
Liberally season both sides of the steaks with salt and pepper. Build a fire. Once it’s died down so that the flame is still going but is below the grill, place the steaks on the fire. Cook each side for about 4-5 minutes, depending on the height of the flame and your desired cook level, I like medium rare.
Don’t play with the steaks on the fire, it ruins the crust.

Now Man Up! And Chow Down!!

Much Ado, about Matthew

Last night, my friend Brig and I had post football dinner (Advantage LA) at Ado on Main St. It was Van Gough’s Ear when I first moved to town. Then it was something else, then it was Amuse, which was great but closed due to liquor licenses or stairway permits, blah blah blah. Now it’s Ado, pronounced AAAAAH-dough, named after chef Antonio Mure’s partner’s Grandpa from Sicily.
Turns out I’ve been following Antonio around town. He hung out with me and Brig and we closed the place down. I picked up a little on his history in the process.
He started out at Piccolo – where 5 Dudley was.
I went there one year for my bday goals dinner with Matt.
(Now I digress)
Matt is what you’d call “my gay best friend” in layman’s terms. But that implies that I met him out one night being fabulous and we quickly formed a Carrie Bradshaw-Stanford Blatch relationship. This is NOT the case. Matt is actually one of my closest friends. His mother was my first grade teacher, I was a year behind him in school. I was her favorite student and since she’s reading this and that’s undiplomatic of me to say, I’ll rephrase. She was overwhelmingly impressed with my feat of winning the bookworm contest by half a classroom length, (aka landslide), and thus began a lovely relationship of mutual respect and admiration. Matt and I both did plays, GIA (government in action), and SGA (student government action), (Yes, hi, I’m a nerd.) in high school. We both went to Penn, and we both then moved out to LA. He was the only person I knew when I moved out here. I see it too, we’ve lived eerily parallel lives.  So he’s basically one of my best friends, who happens to be gay. (a slight variation of my gay best friend…) We also both have January birthdays.
So we started a tradition of doing a birthday dinner. We pick a hot new place to dine and go out for a meal and each treat the other. Which means we split the bill as if it were any other night out, but it’s cuter this way. Matt came up with the idea to do “goals” at each dinner, so starting in 2000, we brought paper, envelopes, and pens each year. We listed goals we wished to set out to accomplish by the end of the year, sealed them up in an envelope, and then opened the envelope from the previous year and checked off what was achieved. Sometimes we’d give each other freebies, just to boost our ego being able to cross one off. e.g. I listed “Scan goals in case there’s a fire.” and it seriously took me until the night before we had our next dinner to get them in. But I did it!
Incidentally I embarrass Matt EVERY time we go out, bday dinner or otherwise. At Piccolo I believe there was an incident where I was sharing desserts with one of the four other tables in the tiny restaurant and the whole place was singing to us come candle time. Amazing meal.
Then at La Botte there was controversy over how much wine to order (a bottle to split, right??!) And I succumbed to Matt’s protest and ordered a half bottle, only to open up my envelope from last year and look at goal #1. DO NOT LET MATT TALK YOU INTO ONLY ORDERING A HALF BOTTLE OF WINE!!! IT’S NOT ENOUGH!!! I couldn’t cross that one off, but it was worth it for the fifteen minutes of hysterics it sent us in when I read it aloud. CLASSIC, no? Fab Italian, again, but the cozy ambiance of Piccolo wasn’t as strong.
Anyway, last night I had dinner plans with a girlfriend (yes, Brig, if you’re following) after watching football on the Colston Couch (only people who own Marques Colston in their fantasy football leagues can sit on it during football). I had been wanting to try Ado for a while so we met there at 9pm. It was winding down, but we sat downstairs and it was the intimate environment we were craving. Conversations with the neighboring tables, (Brig was supposed to meet the people next to us some how…) closing the place down, hanging with the chef, finishing up his Passito (Italian dessert wine) and Pastiera Nopolitana (ridiculous ricotta dessert with orange blossom water) with him before we all headed home, and a delicious meal. My ideal evening. Thanks, Antonio!!

Antonio and Jordan enjoy the Passito