Wednesday, October 12, 2011


It shouldn't come to much surprise that sometimes my inspiration comes from one of my own home-cooked meals; afterall, comfort food is the foundation of Table 219's ideology. So when I cooked an iconic dinner for my wife and I on Monday, I realized the potential for a special.

I cooked whole wheat spaghetti with turkey pesto meatballs for us, and I said to Anna "this dish never gets old!". I then remembered once trying out an idea where I made a pasta with pureed Moroccan oil-cured olives, so I went with a play on that Italian-American classic that is ingrained into our society.

I made the pasta by pureeing the pitted olives with whole eggs and then mixed that into regular flour to form a dough that I rolled and cut with a Kitchenaid attachment as opposed to the traditional pasta extruder. Not exact, but close.

For the meatballs I took a cue from the lamb burger on our menu by mixing two parts of ground Anderson Ranch lamb from Oregon with one part all natural beef from Northwest Natural to tame some of the gaminess of the lamb. For a  Moroccan flair I mixed in my own blend of spices like coriander, cumin, cinnamon, paprika, turmeric, parsley, preserved lemon and some breadcrumbs to retain some of the delicious fat within the meatballs.

My sauce is also something more than your usual marinara: I slowly cooked onions and garlic in extra virgin olive oil before stewing them with tomatoes andred wine. I finished the sauce by adding spice like dried chipotle pepper, chile flakes and Sriracha chile sauce as well as blending in fresh oregano and basil. The sauce has such a zip and powerful flavor without being too overbearing!! 

Now that the word is out with my purchasing of the restaurant everyone wants to get their piece. Sometimes it's annoying due to all of the solicitors, but every now and then there's some good that comes from it.

A liquor rep of ours, Lucy, came by touting some new products to replace some of the top shelf liquors without the premium prices. One of her product lines is Effen vodka which I've had success with their cucumber version, but since that's their most popular vodka she wanted me to try out one of their other flavors: black cherry.

After speaking with one of our new servers, Carolyn, also an experienced bartender, she suggested this week's drink special: a Cherry Drop.

Similar to a lemon drop, it's made by muddling a fresh lemon wedge, adding a splash of simple syrup, a healthy pour of Effen Black Cherry vodka and finished with my own brandied cherry made a couple of months back with some leftover cherries from another drink special.

With Love,