Wine, Women and Salsa (the kind you put on a chip)

Keeping with the theme of visiting the scarier parts of Virginia, I hauled my ass down to ye olde Lynchbutt for some quality time at the Virginia Wine & Garlic Festival at Rebec Vineyards and with the Chihuahua. Once off the shithole that is I-66, I found myself in “McCain Country.” These signs were so loud that they nearly drowned out the banjos.  Nearly, but not quite.

In Lynchburg — where the southern gospel *does* drown out the banjos — I avoided the Campus of 1,000 Loan Payments and headed straight to BeanerCentral to rest up before the next day’s wine festivus.

After a really late start we decided to make the festival a 2 day event to properly get our wine on.  We didn’t to as many tastings as we wanted on Saturday, so after the stingy pours we headed to the store to have our own private tastings with dinner.

Now one of the traditions that Chihuahua and I have is that we cook up a storm when we are together. A magical Colombian-Mexican fusion of whatever items are at our disposal. We get pretty creative and can throw down some bitchin’ chow.  This time I had brought my recipe for gandules con coco (pigeon peas in coconut milk) and Trader Joe’s Cuban Mojito Simmer Sauce. If you’ve never tried that sauce, you are seriously missing out on life and should consider therapy. Or stopping by Trader Joe’s.

My cooking style is to take inspiration from a recipe, but not to follow it completely. My authority issues extend to cookbooks it seems. Anyhoo, the gandules recipe doesn’t exactly call for a product called Recaito, but as all of us beaners know, Goya products are a necessity of life and therefore will be added at will to any and all recipes.

Unfortunately, the Latin food selection in Lynchburp does not extend past Old El Paso Taco seasonings. Note to City of Lynchbarf: Despite what you see on the menu at Taco Bell, Latin food extends far beyond enchilada sauce and jalapenos. Shocking, I know.

Not one to let a little thing like a vital missing ingredient stop us, I decided to make my own sauce. Some Googling and I had the basic ingredients for what would become the 2 best sauces ever created.

For the Recaito I followed the basics of cilantro, onion, garlic and oil and added some lime juice, a few tomatillos and tomatillo juice. With the exception of the tomatillo, everything was fresh. I blended everything till it was a heavy sauce. Once added to the simmering gandules, it became a thick, stew-like consistency. This Recaito was far better than any sauce I’ve tried. Flavorful with a hint of kick, it was awesome but not overpowering.

After the Recaito was done I still had a lot of leftover tomatillos, which inspired me to whip up some salsa verde. I followed the basic ingredients of the Recaito, only increasing the about of tomatillos and its juice. The result was a beautiful bright green salsa that wasn’t hot, but had that crisp flavor in each bite.

It was seriously one of best dinners I’ve ever eaten and definitely the best dinner I’ve ever cooked. Not trying to be cocky here, but I made a total kickass dinner.

We got a slightly earlier start to the festivus the next day and hit up the wineries we missed the first go round.  Other than the Rebec wines, my favorite (and the most fun) wines came from the Peaks of Otter Winery. This winery produces more fruit wines than traditional wines (Blueberry Muffin or Strawberry Shortcake wine anyone??) which are yummy yummy.

They also make 2 kinds of pepper wine, both geared towards cooking as opposed to drinking, though they were were giving tastings of the peppers. The Kiss the Devil wine was billed as a Very!!Hot wine during the tasting and OMFG, they were not kidding. The wine was so hot, that I started speaking w/ a Southern accent for a few minutes.

I eventually regained feeling in my mouth (which was promptly numbed by a clove ciggie or two), did my tasty and we headed back for homemade Chilaquiles featuring Pithy’s Amazing!Mofo Salsa Verde.

I will probably be making some of the salsa and Recaito this week. If you ask nicely,  I might bring you some.


~ by pithycomments on October 13, 2008.

3 Responses to “Wine, Women and Salsa (the kind you put on a chip)”

  1. “My cooking style is to take inspiration from a recipe, but not to follow it completely.”

    I am in awe, since I can’t really boil water.

  2. Here’s the thing: I can follow a recipe and have it turn out decent. Try to make instant mashed potatoes or fry a pancake? Epic Fail. Potatoes come out like soup and pancaking requires that all windows be open so the smoke alarm doesn’t go off. I really miss pancakes in winter…

  3. […] tooted my own horn about my cooking abilities, but as I’ve commented, I can’t really make simple food. Instant mashed taters come out like soup, frying pancakes […]

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