Who You Callin Quirky?

Tom and I share a love of cookbooks.  At times we’ve eerily discovered we, or our husbands, coincidentally own some of the very same quirky and out of print tomes.  One example is Mary Ann’s Gilligan’s Island Cookbook, with a forward by Bob Denver.

Written in 1993 by Dawn Wells, the actress who played Mary Ann on the 60’s sitcom Gilligan’s Island, it’s sort of half kitschy “tropical flair” recipes and the other half gratuitous cheesecake photos of Dawn as Mary Ann, attempting I suppose to once and for all settle the “Ginger vs Mary Ann” debate.

Photo shoots are fun, but I can’t wait to dig into that El Presidente Pork Stew!

She has some fun recipes, though, including an entire chapter devoted to Coconut Cream Pies!  One recipe I particularly like, which pairs wonderfully well with the Washington Post’s wine column pick this weekFirst Vine’s Domaine Fond Croze Cuvée Romanaise 2007 ($17) is the “El Presidente Pepper Pork Stew”.  It only calls for a little red wine (1/4 cup) so I would go ahead and open the Romanaise to use in the recipe then drink the rest with the stew.

Cuvée Romanaise (50% Grenache, 50% Syrah) is a tribute to the region’s Roman history, visible in ruins and still-used bridges. The Romanaise has more fruit and spice because of its higher Syrah content. The Grenache adds the proper earthy balance and the wine is aged in oak for smoothness. An elegant wine for all occasions. The 2007 vintage was exceptional in this part of the world. So much so that Robert Parker awarded this wine 91 points in the October 2009 Wine Advocate. “The full-bodied deep ruby/purple-hued Romanaise exhibits lots of smoky black currant and black cherry fruit intermarried with hints of licorice, forest floor, and underbrush, a ripe, heady mouthfeel and a succulent, fleshy style. It…can be drunk over the next several years.”

Bon Appetit!

Mary Ann’s El Presidente Pepper Pork Stew

1/4 cup peanut oil

2# pork shoulder, trimmed, cut in 1″ pieces

1 medium chopped onion

2 TSP minced garlic

1 6 oz can tomato paste

1 1/2 cups water

1/4 cup dry red wine

1 1/2 TSP salt

1/4 TSP cayenne pepper

1/4 TSP cinnamon

1/4 TSP cloves

1 chicken bouillon cube

1 15 1/4 oz can pineapple chunks (unsweetened) , juice reserved

2 green bananas, peeled and quartered

1/2 cup heavy cream


In heavy pot, heat the oil and brown the pork, onion and garlic.  Stir in the tomato paste, water, wine, salt, cayenne, cinnamon, cloves, bouillon cube, and juice from pineapple.  Cover and simmer for 1 hour, 15 minutes.  Add the pineapple chunks, banana and cream.  Simmer for 15 more minutes.  Serve over rice.

This entry was posted in Dare Wenzler, Domaine Fond Croze, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Who You Callin Quirky?

  1. Sue says:

    That recipe actually doesn’t sound bad at all, but I bet the wine is the best part. That’s a riot that both spouses have that same (very odd) cookbook.

    • firstvine says:

      I didn’t know the book existed until one day I saw it at Dare’s now husband’s house (he and I used to work together). I’m not sure Mark and Dare had even met yet, and I hadn’t been dating Cy for very long at that point. Cy had told me not long before that that he and his older brother had loved Gilligan’s Island when they were kids, so I bought Cy a copy — and he then bought one for his brother. I haven’t tried the pork stew yet (I can’t bring myself to use green bananas as an ingredient).


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