I’m a Lucky, Lucky Girl

I should know better than to take photos after I’ve had a couple glasses of wine. These photos do not do justice to the dinner my son-in-law, Sam Gelman, made on our first night in Iowa City.
We were there for Sam’s sister’s wedding and a dinner cooked by Sam is always a tasty part getting together, no matter the combination of people or the occasion. My daughter Riene helped cook. Together they created a memorable meal.
As I’ve bragged before, Sam is the Executive Chef for Momofuku Toronto and Riene is a Front House manager at Montecito, Ivan Reitman’s gorgeous restaurant in Toronto. Dinner with or by them is always a treat.DSCN1666
So Sam was cooking for in-laws, out-laws, cousins, aunts, uncles and people whose connection was shirttail.
We started with three appetizers: creamy, Asian-flecked deviled eggs, skewered toast cubes, crispy anchovies and green olives and peppadew peppers stuffed with fresh mozzarella and wrapped in prosciutto. Add a great glass of Spanish red and there’s a meal in itself.DSCN1660 DSCN1662 DSCN1661
Then Sam grilled huge pork chops he’d brined and butchered himself. He also grilled asparagus and ramps and made the creamiest mashed potatoes laced with green garlic. There was a huge salad made with greens from his mom’s (Becky) garden and homemade salad dressingDSCN1671.DSCN1664
Sam finished everything off in the oven and made an herb dressing for the pork, which he sliced revealing a juicy, pink interior.
There was more wine.DSCN1668
And we finished the meal with a rhubarb-strawberry tart that Becky, who is an ace baker, made.DSCN1679
The only thing I can say is Thank You, Sam & Riene.