Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
You guys? This place is amazing. And I know, I know, I know most of you are rolling your eyes with an, "Uh, yeah, we know," look smeared across your face but uh, yeah, I didn't know.
Phenomenal selection, phenomenal prices, I was kicking myself for not having my camera with me. Especially because a cool 15 minutes later, we had a fabulous Chris Noth sighting on University Place. And let must just say. He looks like a dream.
Anyways, I left with a Chilean Merlot-Malbec blend which we enjoyed with dinner last night which will for sure become my new house red. At $4.99 a bottle, this stuff had pretty unbelievable flavor without an overbearing or cloying fake sweetness. I also picked up a bottle of California Viognier, $5.99, which will be tested later in the week. This place (along with Trader Joe's in general) is well worth going out of the way for. The quality, prices, and selection fit anyone's budget and it's just a downright fun experience. Preferably with a Chris Noth run-in.
Then take a break. Go watch some TV. Catch up on a crossword. Call home.
About an hour before dinner guests arrive, preheat the oven to 375 and slice the potatoes into thin disks and place on a large sheet tray. Drizzle with olive oil, plenty of salt and pepper, some slivered garlic and chopped rosemary. Throw it into the oven for about 20 minutes or so. Just keep an eye on them. They should be golden brown around the edges and absolutely creamy in the middle.
While those are roasting away, make the balsamic reduction. Pour about a 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar into a small nonstick skillet. Turn the heat to medium high. Add in a smashed clove of garlic and a sprig of rosemary along with a tablespoon of maple syrup. Bring to a boil then cut the heat back to low and let it thicken up. This will happen quickly. About 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and place in a small bowl.
Sear the tenderloin in a hot pan on all sides then transfer it to an oven at 350. Roast it for about 15 minutes. Let it rest. It should still be faintly pink on the inside. Otherwise, it'll be dry, dry, dry.
The vinaigrette is my classic with the addition of a tablespoon of maple syrup. You won't even know it's there, you'll just taste a subtle sweetness and it will make the texture thick and luxurious.
To plate, slice the tenderloin and serve the potatoes around it. Drizzle it all with the balsamic reduction. Gently toss baby greens with the vinaigrette and crumbled goat cheese and you're done. Sit down, toast your friends, and savor each and every bite.
Friday, September 25, 2009
So what to do when I get a sudden craving for this dish but can't get my hands on sushi grade salmon? Smoked salmon tartar. Simply take a few slices of deliciously silky smoked salmon and chop it up. Add in some finely diced red onion (or finely diced chives), some chopped capers, a squeeze of lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil and gently toss. Dress some baby greens with a little lemon and olive oil as well. Arrange the smoked salmon tartar on a plate with some of the greens on the side. Tear off a piece of baguette, spoon a little bit of the tartar on top and enjoy.
And for that Kir? Pour a glass of chilled white wine into a glass and add a drizzle of crème de cassis (black current liquor). Take a piece of lemon peel, twist it to release the essential oils and drop it into the glass. Sip. Smile. Spectacular cocktail.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
And with that, I'm off to participate in a Fire Drill Exercise. Where am I?
Monday, September 21, 2009
I know this sounds totally weird, but, she recounted about a Scandinavian Style Sloppy Joe meets Beef Stroganoff of sorts consisting of ground beef sauteed with onions and cabbage with a bit of sour cream stirred in at the end. As a lunch time treat, this was stuffed inside a pita and enjoyed, thoroughly, right then and there with a crisp, cool Carlsberg beer. She was absolutely, positively in a happy place.
So I figured this was worth recreating this week but with a few changes to make this a bit healthier. Ground turkey is most definitely going to replace the ground beef, as we all know my affinity, and reduced fat sour cream will replace the whole fat sour cream or creme fraiche used in Svenska. You could serve this in a whole wheat pita for lunch or over some egg noodles for dinner with a side salad. Done.
That said, if you trust me (which fingers crossed, omg, omg, I hope you do) here's what you'll need:
1 package ground turkey (93% lean)
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 clove of garlic, grated
1/2 small head of green cabbage, shredded/sliced thin (if you hate the idea of shredding it yourself, buy a package of cole slaw mix minus the dressing)
1 small container of reduced fat sour cream
1-2 carlsberg beers, for the cook (optional, but strongly urged)
In a large skillet, add a small drizzle of olive oil and bring to a medium-high heat. Add in the ground turkey, breaking it up with a flat edged wooden spatula. Saute for 2-3 minutes. Add in the garlic, onion and cabbage and season with salt and pepper. Feel free to add some hot sauce to give this a little kick. Once completely cooked through (about 5-6 minutes), add in 3 Tbsp. or so of the sour cream. Stir and shut off the heat. And guess what? You're done.
Since it's all of a sudden Fall, full throttle, this will be a warm bowl of coziness that's packed with nutrition and flavor. Plus, it's going to yield a seriously substantial amount. That said, feel free to invite someone over for dinner tonight, on a whim to rid those Monday blues and then you're totally set for lunch and/or dinner for the next two days, at least. If you absolutely hate the idea of cabbage (although I urge you to at least try it) you could certainly substitue some chopped button mushrooms instead. I have a feeling a package of mushrooms is destined for my shopping basket this week anyways. If they don't make it into this dish, you can simply saute some up with some garlic and parsley and toss 'em with whatever you'd like. Baby greens. Sandwich accompaniement. Naan pizza topping. I'm thinking the latter with some crumbled goat cheese.
small green cabbage
1 box button mushrooms
whole wheat pita
small container reduced fat sour cream
Friday, September 18, 2009
I can't decide whether or not this experiment was slightly cruel but I can say that I watched, laughing the entire way through. Their faces and reactions are ridiculously adorable. Could adults practice such restraint as well? Questionable. Although, personally, marshmallows just don't do it for me. Gimme something savory and I might have had the same reaction as the other little red head. You go girl.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Alright, so I'll stop. But mostly because the bag has been kicked. And while I can't guarantee it won't be immediately replaced, I will chill out on the different ways I can incorporate shrimp into salads and move on to a different obsession. Which, at the moment, is TBD. Suggestions?
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
But we're back.
I posted about Notakeout.com a while back but I make it a point to check in on the site every now and then for inspiration. The recipes are always quick and simple but packed with flavor in the purest form. This Teriyaki Shrimp with Minty Zucchini and Rice just jumped out and punched me in the face and said, "make me or you're beyond stupid." Mean and flat out rude of it, I know, but I guess it's allowed to be cocky. It sounds delicious (I'm a slave to the zucchini-mint combo) and the grocery list is minimal (that is if you have soy sauce and rice wine vinegar on hand, which I admittedly, do). Any leftover shrimp would be de-lish in a pita with some thinly sliced cucumber and cilantro (if you've got it) for lunch the next day.
You're also probably wondering why the influx of shrimp recipes up on Eat and Greet lately and here's why: two weeks ago I picked up a bag of Costco (Kirkland) frozen shrimp and it's been true love ever since. They taste 50 times better than the "fresh" shrimp I was picking up at my local grocery store and at $18.99 for a huge freaking bag (peeled, deveined, tail on, bam), a crazy good deal too. I suggest having a bag of these guys on hand at all times. You won't believe how much of a happy relief they'll be for you. And if they're not? Well, I don't know.
One movie (Extract, hilarious) and an hour or two later and we found ourselves at Pinche Taqueria. And as I sat in the tiny yet incredibly campy and festive space, I decided, well, what the heck. One fish taco ($3.75!) and a can of Modelo, por favor.
Three bites later and it was gone. But what fantastic bites they were. A tender piece of fried tilapia, shredded cabbage, a schmear of guacamole and a spoonful of perfectly spicy salsa, all wrapped in a small warm corn tortilla and finished off with my generous squeeze of lime. And when that was gone (sadly) I sipped my ice cold Modelo with sheer happiness. Modelo, incidentally, is superb.
Crumby weather? Stop by Pinche for a pick-me-up. In a city deprived of really good Mexican food (an epidemic I truly do not understand), this place is absolutely legit. Fresh, fast, and pretty darn delicious. You'll leave with lips slightly tingling with the lingering sensation of jalapeno and you'll like it. A lot.
Pinche Taqueria 333 Lafayette Street
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
campari tomato, red onion, and feta salad
grilled shrimp marinated in lime zest and juice, garlic, cilantro, and olive oil
steamed mussels and clams in garlic, white wine, and parsley
grilled onions and kielbasa
bud light (don't you dare snicker. nothing would have gone better. nothing.)
Whether or not that sausage looks inviting or far from it, is absolutely open to interpretation. As for my opinion, I have yet to reach a verdict. But deliciously smokey? I'm nearly passing out in my chair reminiscing.
In many ways, this was an ode to the classic New England clam bake only sans lobster. And instead of throwing everything in one pot or seaweed lined sand pit, I cooked almost everything separately infusing each with its own flavor profile which once combined all on one plate proved to be extraordinarily successful. The mussels and clams, briny and garlicky with a knockout aroma of white wine when your face dared to hover close. The shrimp, bright, tangy and tender. The kielbasa sausage with dijon, smokey, salty, and ridiculously flavorful. And the cool tomato salad which accompanied each and every bite along the way.
I'm not really going to address the Summer coming to an end but I will say that I was staring lovingly at an over sized pot of herbs on our outdoor patio table and knew that it was time. Time to trim off whatever was still gorgeous and time to make something out of it. Snip, snip, snip to the basil, mint, parsley, and chives to make my ode to the final days of Summer with an inspired pesto. I finely chopped all the herbs by hand and added in a finely diced shallot, some garlic, a dash of dijon mustard, a splash of white balsamic, and healthy glug of olive oil. After seasoning with salt and pepper, I tasted, smiled, and went back to snapping pictures of all things bright and happy. As for the use of the pesto, I mean, there's really no end. My favorite use? Toast up some pieces of bread (preferably baguette or ciabatta), smear a dollop of fresh ricotta and top with a drizzle of the pesto. Lovely. Really, really lovely.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
And it's happening again for lunch today.
Rave reviews, my friends. All from me, of course, but I'm thinking at this point, you've already decided whether or not you trust my opinions. That said, so you'll be in agreeance. Make this. Really, truly, seriously make this. It's cool and crunchy and bright and incredibly healthy and satisfying in the best way possible. The shrimp added such a great contrast in texture too. I just sauteed a few up with a little garlic, let them cool, chopped 'em up and tossed 'em in the salad. No doubt in my fine little mind that this will become part of my weekly repertoire. It was just that darn good.