Home Grown Tomatoes is a weekly Vegan/Vegetarian column written by Giovanina Bucci
First off, I can't take credit for this recipe, but I can completely vouch for its absolutely mouth watering tastes and textures. But before I get into the nitty gritty, allow me to briefly tell you about kick ass Santa Fe, New Mexico. My roommate, Renee, and I decided that it was the perfect time for a road trip. School begins again in two weeks...TWO WEEKS. And before our lives get trampled on by papers, textbooks, and class discussions, we figured what better a time to head East and enjoy a fast weekend away from Flagstaff, submerged in the awesome art scene of Santa Fe, with fabulous company. Dan and Margarete, dear friends from St. Thomas, hosted us for the weekend. And host they did!
We arrived Friday evening, caught up over Thai food and called it an early night - it had been a long day for all of us. Saturday was complete with a full day of exploring the city; an old bookstore, a historical church, lounging in the park, people watching, market galloping, art gallery perusing, and a quick stop at a local brewery.
Margarete is an incredibly talented artist and she and Dan own Golden Dawn Gallery. She's part of a three-generation artist powerhouse and the gallery showcases the works of her grandmother, her mother and herself. I mean, I'm talkin', people collect their work. Go see for yourself. It's overwhelming to watch two people, like Dan and Margarete, be so immersed and passionate about their work. It helped remind me of the fact that we can, with tons of dedication, turn our passions into realities.
Saturday night, we enjoyed a dinner party with a group of friends and this is where these little pear numbers made their appearance, kudos to Dan. The evening was full of laughter, great company, good conversation, perfect music, and outrageously full bellies. I don't have Dan's exact recipe, but I did find a Food Network link that will at least help get you in the ball park. Dan's recipe was kept a bit simpler, which clearly paid off!
Dan poached the pears in red wine, and only red wine...lots of it. They were then left to cool and the remaining red wine, with a hint of clove and cinnamon, was left on the heat to reduce into this splendid molasses type consistency. Finally, the pears were cored and filled with fresh mascarpone cheese (not mine, of course) and then lightly dusted with confectioner's sugar. For a good 10 minutes, oohhh's and aaahhh's were about the only sounds being made at the table. We were speechless. I was speechless.
The red wine reduction acts as a holder for the pear - making it both taste and look decadent.
And this is the final product!
Do you see what I mean by molasses type consistency?
This is Renee, enjoying her very last bite :)
Don't expect to go home without purple teeth - but don't you worry, every bite is damn well worth it!