What to Cook, Drink, Read, and Watch This Weekend

Melissa Clark’s Braised Pork Shoulder with Tomatoes, Cinmamon, and Olives. Photo by Andrew Scrivani (Twitter and instagram: @andrewscrivani ) used by permission.

Note: With this post, I’m kicking off my “French Weekend” series, with weekly ideas on how to put some France into your weekend.

Well, snowmageddon 2013 was not nearly as brutal in much of the Midwest as it was out East a few weeks ago. That means that no matter where you live, you should have no trouble getting to the store to pick up a few things for some weekend enjoyment. A few suggestions:

Braise of the Week

As you know, I love braising pans so much that I wrote an Ebook about them. Now that I’ve cooked every recipe in the book about a million times, I’m looking for new recipes (and maybe you are, too?). Here is a gorgeous recipe from  New York Times’s “A Good Appetite” columnist Melissa Clark, who was kind enough to give me permission to post the photo. Go to her website for this Braised Pork Shoulder with Tomatoes, Cinnamon, and Olives.

Can’t you just taste the unctuousness of the pork shoulder? And knowing that the flavors are deepened by anchovies and long-simmering wine, then brightened with a burst of olives….oh my. As if that’s not enough, it’s served over creamy polenta. Oh yes.

Potel Aviron 2008 Julienas. LOVE BEAUJOLAIS CRU! This was a great bottle–subtle fruit, nicely acidic (that is, lots of zest). If you can’t find this bottle, ask your wine merchant for other rec’s. He or she will be thrilled that you’re interested wholly under-appreciated Beaujolais Cru.

What to Drink This Weekend

For heaven’s sake, if you haven’t every tried a Beaujolais Cru (and I’m not talking Beaujolais Nouveau!), what are you waiting for? This wine goes with EVERYTHING! And really good bottles can be had around $20 or so, which is mighty fine weekend drinking.

Why I like ’em: With their vivacious cherry-berry notes, they have a bit of that acidic Chianti thing going on. The best are shimmery, spicy, earthy, and just fruity enough; that is, though some fruit-forward-loving wine-drinkers might think them best with food, those of you who, like me, enjoy a little refreshment in their red they make fine stand-alone sippers, too.

What to look for: Skip Beaujolais Nouveau. You need a bottle that’s “not nouveau,” so look for the name of the village where the grapes are grown: Brouilly, Chénas, Chiroubles, Côte de Brouilly, Fleurie, Juliénas, Moulin–à-Vent, Régnié, or Saint-Amour.

To read more: Eric Asimov of the New York Times extolls the virtues of Beaujolais; he also gives some good wine recommendations for the ’09 vintage, which is still out there.

What to Read this Weekend

Find out why French actor Gerard Depardieu has established residency in Belgium, reported as only The New Yorker would report it—that is, in a measured yet wholly gripping way. And you’ve GOT to see that photo of him….Yikes. As Tina Fey once quiped on Weekend Update: “Gerard Depardieu was recently voted one of the sexiest men in France….I’m beginning to understand that Jerry Lewis thing….”

 

Julie Delpy in Two Days in New York

What to Watch This Weekend

I’m a huge fan of Julie Delpy’s chatty, thoughtful, and funny movies. Somehow last year’s Two Days in New York , which co-stars Chris Rock, slid past me. I started watching it on my iPad during a recent treadmill workout and decided it was way too good to watch while multitasking; I’ll finish it sometime this weekend. Interested? Watch this preview.

 

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