I read that it is OK, if not encouraged, for triathletes to put on up to 10% of their body weight in the off season. I am making every effort to ensure that I put on all of that 10% in the first three weeks following Ironman Maryland.
We both really love cooking, and especially eating! And while we ate well during Ironman training, we didn’t have the time to cook some of the elaborate, and time intensive meals that we sometimes enjoy. With serious racing behind us for the year it was time to get fancy. We had the wonderful opportunity to visit Thomas Keller’s restaurant, Ad Hoc, in Yountville in the Napa Valley a few years ago, and Thomas Keller has a cookbook, Ad Hoc at Home, that has some incredible recipes from the restaurant that are a bit more involved and require much more attention and time. Jon decided to tackle a handful of those recipes on the Sunday of a holiday weekend. I reaped the benefits of a delicious meal that included pork ribs, a delightful variation on creamed corn and smashed, marbled potatoes with garlic and thyme.
The ribs were dry-rubbed with a mixture of brown sugar, cayenne pepper, and cumin that sat for about 3 hours. The finished product almost fell off the bone, the true measure of success as meat following off the bone would be unreasonably messy.
Creamed corn never sounded appealing to me, but it sure is appealing to me now! This concoction included fresh sweet corn cut off the ear, some half and half, loads of lime juice, and cayenne pepper making it anything but your typical creamed corn dish. It had the right amount of heat from the cayenne and zest from the lime to create a creamy yet spicy dish.
We’d made the potatoes before, but they were even better than I remembered – crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside with intense garlic flavors that were balanced by thyme and a dusting of flaky sea salt. A big key to this dish was the garlic confit that Jon had prepared earlier in the day.
I usually try to pick my favorite part of the meal and save a perfect-looking bite of that for my final send off from a meal. In the case of this one, that was not possible. I kept circling my fork around and around my plate trying to decide which flavor I wanted left in my mouth following this culinary adventure. Three additional servings of each dish later, I think I wrapped things up with the corn, but it was a tough call.
We paired our meal with a beautiful Côtes du Rhône, that is a bit fruitier than our typical wines, but well balanced and was practically gone before the meal was over.
A savory, skillet cooked dutch baby helped ease us into a non-working Monday morning and a beef short rib chilli over polenta will carry us over into a at least slightly shortened work week. More to follow on those gems.