Tonio, a retired master mechanic, has his personal dream garage 2 doors down from our house. He works on cars for his friends and friends of his friends, but mostly just hangs out Monday through Friday, 8-5, talking, puttering around and sharing a glass of the good stuff with friends :)
At the beginning of the week, Tonio was craving barbecue. He mesmerized me with talk of barbecued meats in the style of his native country, Portugal, and his mastery of all things grilled. He specifically mentioned cote de boeuf or rib steak. Talk being cheap, I insisted we set a date for the weekend, volunteering to make sides and a Bavarian chicken. Saturday was good for everyone.
I steamed some cauliflower with sliced yams and covered all with a cheesy bechamel sauce, then made a Texan potato salad; potatoes, onion, sweet gherkins, pimentos, boiled eggs, mayonnaise, and yellow, I’m talking to you Frugal, mustard.
I sent the marinated chicken over early so that Tonio could get that started with the travers de porc (French ribs) before he grilled the other meats that needed less time. There was so much food!
Hey, wait a minute! That’s Chantal in front of the grill! Where’s Tonio, the barbecue king? I obviously totally misunderstood Mr. Tonio! He meant that it would be at his house using the barbecue pit that he constructed but that, naturally, his spouse Chantal would do the cooking while he looked at Portuguese TV or strolled around looking barbecue worthy :D Okay.
Tonio has also constructed a wonderful Florida room in his courtyard with sofas, television and a casual, kitchen table. Absolutely perfect for bright, sunny days or rainy, wet ones like yesterday.
I would like to attach a veranda to the back of our house for our dining room table. Also I would like Chantal’s bread basket :)
We began this fiesta with spicy, barbecued shrimp and a nice assortment of French sausages. Delicioso!
As I tucked into my sausages of boudin noir, boudin blanc and andouilette, I thought sadly of Le Parret, stuck in the hospital with his invalid’s fare of porridge or maybe gruel. Really, I had to take a big sip of Champagne to control the tears :D
Chantal’s roasted peppers with chipolatas and merguez were incredible! I wanted seconds but there was the steak, the chicken, the ribs, the potato salad and cauliflower casserole still to get through. Cheese and dessert were mentioned but I knew that was going to be impossible for me!
Do you remember what I said about French amusing themselves by putting a finger/hand into a picture? SMH
The food and wine was excellent and we did have a good time, but I think we all missed M. Parret.