Wednesday, February 11, 2015

When life hands you lemons...and Grenache Blanc.

There are only two reasons to live in Southern California: Mexican food and citrus.  All citrus, but especially the Meyer lemon.  Citrus is in season right now, and I know people.  Very generous people.  I've chosen my friends wisely.

So that when M. came in over the weekend with a generous handful of Meyer lemons from her tree, and I had already in my locker the most generous bottle of Tablas Creek Grenache Blanc from the very same generous person, I knew I needed to make an M. inspired devoted meal.


Because the other reason people think it's swell to live in Southern California is the weather which is less swell and more swel-tering.  It will take us 75 inches of rain to make up for what we've not had in three years: winter. We've had 1, 095 days, of summer. 

 Perfect soup weather! 

But I had the wine and the lemons and the inspiration of generosity, and white wine is sort of summery, I'd not have otherwise looked at it until July.

In a pot, I threw in roughly chopped garlic, ginger, serrano pepper, leeks, fresh fennel, lemon rind,a bit of butter, curry, S&P, and a couple of chicken legs.  After some bits gathered on the bottom of the pot, I covered everything with water and let it cook away for a couple hours. 

In another bowl, the juice of one lemon and two eggs, beaten. I let these come to room temperature.

I'd opened the wine Saturday.  This wine was: different.  My first Grenache Blanc, I have no idea how to explain it taste wise. Mostly it reminded me of the old, over-the-hill, white wines I've taken to for their evolved body and flavor, which I find satisfying both for what they've become and for their other-wine-i-ness. 

When everything in the pot was done I shredded the chicken and pushed everything else through a sieve and then discarded it.  Then I tempered the eggs/lemon and added it to the soup.  I've never tried this before. It worked.  It worked A LOT, in fact it's fantasic. Lastly I added the wine and simmered it long enough for the soup to thicken and the alcohol in the wine to cook off.

This soup is killer good. This soup is life changing amazing.  Why haven't I tried this before?  I didn't even have the concept for this soup in my head until the accidental intersection of generosity, the gift of a really nice wine fortuitously coinciding with the gift of most amazing lemons.  Thank you, M.