Unlike my high school days, I am no longer a big football fan. Nor do I watch TV. But part of the American culture celebrates the Superbowl with enthusiasm, and for me it was an opportunity to invite our friend, Michael, over for dinner and to watch the game together. As you already know, the game doesn’t need any further commentary, so I will give a brief description of the meal. Barbara ate with us, although she repaired to the Downton Abbey episode, in lieu of the Game.
It was an easy supper: a tapas plate first, followed by a simple pasta, with a well-executed zucchini-eggplant-tomato sauce.
A few elements of the tapas/antipasto were notable. One was my non-vegan foray for the week, a slice or two of Ibérico jamon (Fermin) from Spain. It is one of the most delicious pork products in the world, and it is so expensive that the taste I want fits nicely into the weight and caloric value that I permit for animal protein on these rare occasions.
Another was the small cubes of golden beets, steamed, drizzled with olive oil, and a few nuggets of Kala Namak salt, an amazing finishing salt of volcanic origin from India. It is absolutely stunning with beets.
Finally, there were the crisply-fried pieces of Maitake mushroom, another texture and flavor to stimulate the palate, as well as a purée of Controne beans, which spreads nicely on my homemade multigrain bread, grilled — of course.
The wine was a southern Italian red, probably Aglianico, but I honestly don’t remember.