I am going to discuss a dinner we had prepared on some planks from a firm called Beyond Salt and Pepper. Most of the time the dinners that I discuss are big parties that we host or attend, or restaurants, either for pleasure or in groups. Most of the time that we are home, we will have something fast, like a carry-out of assorted ethnic foods, because we find the wine selection much better here; or my Bride will make a big dinner that will give us some left-over dinners for a couple days running, especially since sometimes she has projects with some of the charitable organizations that she assists in. There are days where the Raconteur is lonely and maybe that is what makes him the Raconteur that he is, when he encounters people.
My Bride and I both came from working class families, so our dinners, even the fancy ones, never have plated dishes that a foodie would photograph. I was offered some samples from this company called Beyond Salt and Pepper, and that offer these planks that are used for cooking, but the planks have been saturated and then sealed in an assortment of beverages i.e. Chardonnay, Merlot and Bourbon and they are sealed in a very thick mil plastic to keep the planks moist until they are used. If you sniff the plastic enclosed planks you can still smell the cedar and the liquid that they have been soaked in, so it is a real treat. I can also say that we did not use the barbeque once this summer, so the meal was done on the broiler. My Bride started off with the Chardonnay planks and prepared some nice portions of Salmon with a simple marinade so as to accompany the flavor of the cooking surface. The dinner was excellent and I think that she feels more confident to try the planks now with some meat, and I will presume some filets in the future.
Just so that you shouldn’t worry, we also had wine with the dinner. By now you may have noticed that I never write just about food. We had a bottle of Michael Pozzan Special Selection Annabella Napa Valley Chardonnay 2014. The Pozzan family came from the Piedmont and in 1948 his grandfather planted thirty-five acres of Zinfandel in Healdsburg and some of the original vines can still be seen on Pozzan Road in Sonoma County. Michael was in the wine industry and finally took the plunge to being a winemaker and has been doing this for twenty-five some odd years. This was a delightful wine where some of the Chardonnay was aged in French Oak and some in Stainless Steel for ten months. For an affordable wine especially from Napa Valley this wine showed some wonderful layers of complexity that belied its price.