Evenings in a French Kitchen after Days Spent on the Sporting Road with Paper Hulls, Silk Lines, and Fast Horses

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Denver Magazine – Video from the Denver 20/30 Polo Classic

This video was just released for public distribution, after being featured in Denver Magazine and features the 2010 Denver Polo Classic.  We think it’s a hit as we are in the video, as our many of our friends.  Keep an eye out for the 2013 Denver Polo Classic videos, which should be out soon.

 

Bear Your Part in the Battle of Life

Angling teaches a man patience and self control; (fox) hunting improves not only good horsemanship, but pluck and observation; whilst shooting inculcates quickness of hand and eye coupled with endurance and the power of bearing fatigue; football, cricket, rowing, rackets, tennis all bring to the front and encourage qualities that are essentially manly; and perhaps no sport tends to combine all these lessons so much as polo, none makes a man more a man than this entrancing game, none fits him more for the sterner joys of war or enables him better to bear his part in the battle of life.”    – J. Moray Brown, Badminton Library of Sports and Pastimes, 1891

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And, while you are at it, check out the new United States Polo Association website.

Watch the 2013 United States Polo Association Open Featuring Colorado’s Team – Valiente

Published on Apr 27, 2013

US Polo Open 2013

As featured on YouTube from the USPA website.

The Kluge Picnic Hamper

The ultimate picnic hamper was featured in the 2005 Christy’s auction of the contents of Albemarle House, Patricia Kluge’s estate in Virginia.  This is the ultimate picnic hamper.
Lindaraxa.blogspot.com writes, “Commissioned in the 1980’s by the Kluges from the London firm of Asprey, jewellers and silversmith to the British Royal Family, this picnic hamper is the pinnacle of sophistication. Containing a full service of just about everything imaginable for a party of sixteen, the hamper can be towed to the perfect picnic location by hooking it to the back of a tractor. The wicker trailer holds about 15 wicker cases, each fitted with brass handles and leather straps, with battery-powered hot and cold boxes and a water pump, cases for Bernardaud Limoges china, Baccarat crystal, Asprey silver cutlery, a staghorn bar service, two folding mahogany tables and 16 chairs, each with the monogram “K.” The set was estimated at $20,000 to $30,000 and sold for a whopping $144,000.  Although day-trippers have used wicker carryalls since the 1700s, the true picnic basket was born in 1901, when British luxury-goods retailers like Asprey started stocking hampers filled with tableware for motorists to enjoy on country drives.”

Penne all’arrabbiata with Tender Belly Sausage

L1100758I have been making this dish since college days and the first version of it came to me from a penne all’arrabbiata recipe, which translates as “enraged penne.”  The sauce can be hot to very hot, depending upon the amount of dried red pepper that you decide to use.  The dash of vodka and heavy cream enhances the flavor and color.  This dish only takes about 20 minutes.

But the real revelation to this dish came to me tonight, after reading my favorite magazine, Garden & Gun, which is a Southern Living type of magazine only more hip, with shooting and lots of Southern recipes, mostly pork.  Only there was no pork this week.  So left feeling hungry, I headed off to the kitchen.

L1100784I grabbed some Tender Belly Franks and they say they call them “franks because of the extra effort we put into them. They are uncured and 100% Berkshire pork from the hind leg, coarse-ground like wonderful Old World sausage. They are applewood-smoked and have a subtly sweet and delightfully salty taste. The snap our frank makes when you bite into it is exactly what you would expect….Perfection.”  But, these delightful little sausages look like small kilbsa sausages, but they have a taste that is out of this world.  There were barely enough left to make the pasta, as my girls started eating the tasty bits of sausage as fast as I could fry them up.

I now prefer to use my Quick Chunky Tomato Sauce instead of the store-bought sauce, but I wanted to give you the original recipe for my friends and family who complain that all of my cooking is becoming too time consuming.  The Quick Sauce only takes 20 minutes and I think it is worth the tiny extra effort, as the water has to boil and then the pasta cook, so it really takes no extra time, but here is the easy version:

Ingredients

  • 1 lb.Tender Belly Franks cut into 1/4″ slices
  • 1 quart store-bought marinara sauce, kicked up with 1 T. red pepper flakes, 1 T. freshly crushed garlic, 1 t. salt, 1 t. pepper, 1 T. fresh herbs or Italian Seasoning
  • 1/2 cup vodka
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (or 2% milk, if you haven’t the cream)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 pound penneL1100785
  • Freshly chopped parsley and Parmesan to serve

Directions

In a nonstick skillet or cast iron skillet, fry the sausages in a few dashes of olive oil until browned on both sides, about 5 minutes.  Remove to a plate lined with a paper towel to remove the oil.

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In a separate pan, simmer the tomato sauce with the spices and bring to a simmer in a heavy large skillet over low heat.  Add vodka and cook while pasta water is boiling until the mixture reduces by 1/4, stirring often, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a third deep pan, cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes. Drain the pasta.

Stir the cream into the tomato and vodka sauce. Simmer over low heat until the sauce is heated through. Stir in the Parmesan cheese until melted and well blended.  Transfer the drained pasta to the pan with the sauce, and add the sausages, tossing to coat.  Serve with more Parmesan and chopped parsley on top.

Tender Belly Berkshire BBQ Spare Ribs

L1100059We went through St. Louis at Christmas time.  Just to make sure these were the best ribs, we stopped at several St. Louis BBQ joints and I can proclaim these ribs are still the best.  And you don’t need to set up an all day smoker box, nor a hillbilly hot tub (but a hilly billy hot tub helps to hold the beer once you have soaked and drained it), to make them at home.  You can make these ribs completely in the oven!  I know, heresy in many places, but true.

We have tried a bunch of rib recipes including the famous Willingham’s World Championship Ribs and making my own BBQ sauce, but I keep coming back to this favorite recipe, which comes from my Uncle Tom.  The recipe and technique are simple and still tastes best for all the homemade ribs that we have found.  But we were given some Tender Belly Berkshire pork ribs which make this recipe complete, as it can now be proclaimed the best!

In a cooking bag add:L1100779

  • a rack of Tender Belly Berkshire pork ribs
  • 12 oz. of Coca-Cola
  • 1 T. vinegar

Marinate all ingredients overnight with meat side down (the ribs curving upwards) in a Reynolds oven bag.

Make 5-6 holes in the top of the bag with a sharp knife.  Bake in a preheated oven, at 325-350F for 2 hours, on a baking sheet.  Take out of bag and bake 20 minutes more at 325F on the reverse side, coating with BBQ sauce.  Turn and add BBQ sauce to the other side, cooking for 20 more minutes.  We have found that Ken Davies and Bull’s Eye BBQ sauces mixed equally tastes like home-made sauce!   You can also finish them on the grill for added smokiness, but it really is unnecessary with this recipe, but if you want to show off to your guests and make it look complicated, go for it!

Ribs