On the 26th December is the name day of my “brother”, Manolis. We have made it a tradition that every year we get together in my house and celebrate his name day having lunch. The same happened yesterday, and I happy to report the proceedings of this event.
As you may remember, I already had a go at the menu a couple of weeks ago, but as it usually happens, things changed. The ever moving fate brought two regions of the Mediterranean together on the menu. Thessaly of Greece and Toscana of Italy contributed their best products. Spleen sausage (splinantero) from Trikala and Bistecca Fiorentina from Panzano, Toscana.
Lets start from the appetizer, which is like a greeting card of the two regions in an envelope.
This envelope was well received by all participants, who more or less gulped it down in a frenetic mode. This was largely due to the fact that the cheese had melted, it was thoroughly covered by the liquid fat of the pancetta, and engaged in constant dialogue with the acidity of the tomato and the strong sweet flavoor of the parsley. Hard to resist!
Next in line was the spleen sausage, the “splinantero” (σπληναντερο), prepared by a shepherd in a village near Trikala, in the region of Thessaly. This is forbidden food, according to the European Union. This is sausage made from the spleen and heart of muton, wrapped in the “suet” fat (μπολια). For the Greek speaking visitors, I have created an entry in wikictionary on splinantero (the spleen sausage).
Then it was time to greet the Tuscan beauty, La Bistecca Fiorentina! Especially prepared by my friend Dario Cecchini in Panzano, Chianti. I grilled la bistecca over charcoal, as the spleen sausage.
In Greece a lot of people eat meat well done, and so my task was a difficult one, as I personally detest well done meat. In any case, it all worked well and everyone was happy! Manolis more than anyone else, as he devoured the bone!
Every good meal must end with a good desert, may be more than good, to lighten the hearts and the stomachs of the participants. In this case, I made a kiwi tart on the basis of a recipe by Thomas Keller (Bouchon).
A short note on the wines, all of which came from Toscana. We started with Morellino di Scansano Riserva 2000, from Val delle Rose (92 out of 100 in the Wine Spectator). Continued with Alte d’ Altesi 2000 from Altesino (93 out of 100 in the Wine Spectator). For the desert we had Castello di Brolio Vinsanto del Chianti 2004, from Barone Ricasoli.