It is always a nice thing to come home again after being away for a lengthy stay. On the drive home, all the familiar sights and colors seem new again. Brings a tinge of excitement into your tummy. Then all of your neighbors and friends are happy to see you and "catch you up" on all the neighborhood news. But one of the best things about coming home to Key West is the fresh fish. I could not wait to head to our local fish market and pick up some of their "catch of the day" which was Mutton Snapper. Our son Chris, who is a chef, is still in Key West and while sharing a few bottles of wine with us last night, he whipped up a great feast for us using the Mutton Snapper.
I found a new French Chardonnay at the wine shop! I picked up a 2005 Petit Bistro Chardonnay from the Languedoc Region of France. It is bottled by Laboure ROI who gets their grapes from the Central Massif to the Mediterranean Sea area. This was a nice French Chardonnay with a lovely touch of melony fruit and a hint of pineapple on the nose. The taste was fresh and clean with no heavy oak but lots of long citrus flavors. The alcohol volume was 13% and the price was under $10.00. It was a perfect match for the mutton snapper Chris prepared.
Chris seared the snapper on both sides over high heat and then finished it in the oven to keep the moisture in. He laid this fish over a serving of collard greens sauteed with bacon, shallots and garlic. On top of the fish he served a warm tomato sauce that he constructed from olive oil, shallots, fresh oregano, freshly chopped tomatoes, fresh chopped garlic and finished off with a touch of butter. We also had wild rice and freshly sliced Italian Country bread with a fruity olive oil to accompany the fish. It was a great meal!
Here are a few of my favorite sights driving down the Keys!
This photo was taken on the longest bridge that you must cross to get to Key West. It is called the 7 Mile Bridge. The first bridge, which you see here, was constructed by Henry Flagler and was just a little over 1 lane wide! That bridge is not in use now as they built a new bridge to handle the traffic. I always find this bridge amusing as I have watched this tree grow over the years on that old bridge with no dirt!
Another stop we always make on the way in is Baby's Coffee. Mike is the coffee drinker of the family and this place ships their coffee all over the world! Baby's is the southernmost coffee roaster in the U.S. They roast several different types of coffee and we buy it as a whole bean. It's great to grind up those beans for a fresh cup every morning. The aroma is awesome!
This is a photo of a house that is about half way down the Keys. It is hard to see the house due to the palm trees, but it looks like it would be a really nice place to live!
The trip up north was wonderful and I especially loved the Farmers Market. I already miss Lucy and Eugene from Boulder Belt Eco Farm's array of fresh organic veggies, especially those "Fairytale" eggplants that I showed you last week. But, Hey it's good to be back home again! (Wasn't that a line in a song by John Denver!)