Monday, June 28, 2010

French-ish Salad

Ron introduced me to this salad a long time ago. REALLY! Ron introduced me to a SALAD. It's a salad he'd eaten in France and it was topped with both meat and cheese - now do you believe me? This is a lighter version - although a few pieces of prosciutto and a side of buttered baguette wouldn't hurt this!

Mixed greens, steamed potatoes, green beans, not-so-hard boiled eggs (all from the CSA), grape tomatoes, a bit of blue cheese and a simple vinaigrette made from course grain mustard, lemon juice, olive oil, honey, salt and pepper.


The different textures and temperatures of this salad are what make it so great. Warm potatoes, creamy cheese and egg yolks, sweet tomatoes and cool crisp green beans all tied together with a slightly tangy dressing. Ooh - know what else would make this good? Foie gras - remember this?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Asparagus, Spring Onion and Barley Salad

Our CSA has been giving us a ton of asparagus and spring onions. For this salad I grilled the asparagus and onions - putting the spring onion greens on the top rack and the onion bulbs and asparagus on the bottom.

I made a simple vinaigrette with lemon juice, whole grain mustard, olive oil, a touch of maple syrup, salt and pepper - the veggies got chopped up and tossed with the vinaigrette and some cooked barley.


These are the kind of meals that are perfect for the hot weather - nothing heavy, nothing hot. Next time I make this I'll add a some cheese (crumbly goat cheese, maybe?) and toasted nuts.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Too hot to cook! Shrimp with Arugula, Pea Pesto

When the weather is sweaty and your AC is in the basement turning on the oven is not an option. Grilled shrimp, grilled polenta and a no-cook pea and arugula puree seemed like the perfect dinner to not heat up my kitchen and use the quickly wilting spicy greens in my fridge!


Before I get into the how-to let me tell you that, yes, I understand that what looks like pureed green mush might not appeal to everyone. But this isn't mush - the spicy arugula, sweet peas, and walnuts when properly seasoned with a good pinch of salt and fresh cracked pepper and whirled in the food processor with a drizzle of olive oil turn into something YUMMY.

The shrimp was simply grilled with salt and pepper. I made the polenta last night and spread it on a small pan to chill so I could grill it today. If your shrimp and peas are defrosted this meal could come together in 20 minutes flat.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Strawberry Rhubarb Gin Fizz

I know, I don't need to write any fluff. You just want to know how to make this right?

Well here it is:

1. Go in your fridge and take out your shriveling strawberries and you limp rhubarb.
2. Hull the berries, chop the rhubarb and throw in a pot with a touch of sugar and a bit of water (these are precise measurements - I hope you're taking notes)
3. Simmer, simmer, simmer until everything is super soft
4. Smash, smash, smash
5. Push through sieve (you could probably skip 4 and 5 and just throw everything in a blender!)
6. Chill
7. Put ice cubes, gin, a teaspoon of sugar (depending on how sweet you made your puree you could leave this out) and lime juice in a shaker.
8. Shake, shake, shake
9. Poor into a glass, top with club soda.
10. Enjoy

This would probably be extra tasty with the addition of some herbs like mint or basil. If I had some ginger I would have simmered it with the strawberries and rhubarb and pulled it out before I started smashing and sieve-ing. It certainly doesn't NEED anything else though - it's pretty delicious as-is.

PS - Don't feel like simmering and and smashing and waiting for the whole thing to get cold? I don't blame you. Instead skip the rhubarb, take a few of those strawberries and muddle them with a tsp of sugar and some lime, shake with ice and gin, pour into a glass, top with soda and drink up. Mmm.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Use-Up-Your-CSA-Veggies Pizza

Our CSA has been pretty good this year and I've been making a lot of use-it-before-it-goes-bad meals! So far I haven't really minded, it helps to have what's in your fridge dictate what I make for dinner. Less decisions and with so many vegetables I'm eating close to no meat which I really like.

I love the idea of using whole wheat dough for my homemade pizzas but it generally leads to soggy pizza that gets stuck to pan. So this time around I rolled the dough out into 8 pretty thin rounds, put them on a nonstick sheet pan sprayed with nonstick spray (just to make sure!), drizzled them with olive oil, sprinkled them with salt and pepper and baked them at 450 until they were just light brown. Now I have 8 dough rounds in the fridge ready for fixins.

For dinner tonight I had zucchini, mushrooms and a bit of swiss chard to use up. I sauteed the veggies in a bit of olive oil with salt, pepper and a pinch of crushed red pepper. I topped of one of my precooked doughs with canned crushed tomatoes, the veggie mixture and a bit of ricotta. The pizza went in the oven for about 10 minutes at 400. Then...I took a picture with my iphone. Boo.

I know, it's hideous. But I decided I need to blog more and I already have two blogs waiting to be posted because the pictures are sitting on my phone because my card reader is MIA. So, I bit the bullet and posted this awful photo.

But it tasted great! And after I ate half of this way too slowly I popped the other (now cold) half in the toaster oven* to reheat and the crust got even crunchier! Can't wait to have more for lunch tomorrow.

*I just made a correction on here that tells me no one reads my blog - at least no one that likes me. If I ever write "I popped the over half in the toaster over" again - someone please tell me.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Potato Chips AND Runny Eggs - Uh Oh

I don't normally do this...I stumbled upon this recipe via tastespotting and looked to awesome to keep to myself. I haven't tried this recipe. Truth be told, I'm scared. I'm scared that this dish, being the combination of two of my very favorite foods, would mean the end of single digit pant sizes forever. I'm scared that after trying this recipe I will no longer be satisfied by accompanying my eggs with healthy things like a few slices of tomato or whole grain bread.

Please go see this FRIED EGGS ON POTATO CHIPS recipe over at Monica Bhide's "A Spice of Life" - just go, there's no way in the world it's not going to be awesome. I already know I love chilaquiles, the mexican version of chips + eggs. Now this? Oh man.

Maybe I'll make this recipe this weekend and update this post with a picture? It's not like I need to fit into a wedding dress anymore. Watch out Ron - slippery slope, here I come.

Monday, June 7, 2010

My New Favorite Drink

Chelada - Ice, lime, beer, salt rim. That's all, easy right? I tried the Michelada and was grossed out, but the plain old Chelada now that's one refreshing cocktail.

I drank more than a few in Mexico.
One Chelada:

Two Chelada:

Now I need to go buy Margarita salt so I can drink them on hot days while sitting on our stoop. I have no doubt that they're just as delicious in Philly as they are in Tulum.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

El Tacoqueto

Our buddies Carla and Gerry had been to Tulum before and we took a lot of their suggestions including where to stay and where to eat. Carla let me know that the food in Tulum Pueblo was a good bit cheaper and really good. When we were driving through town Ron spotted El Tacoqueto and after we ate their we realized that this was the place that Carla and Gerry had raved about - and rightfully so. Looking back on C&G's photos - we actually have embarrassingly similar photos of ourselves inside! Good find guys, very good find!

Ordering goes like this - walk up to the window to the kitchen and the women open the pots of what they made that day and you pick what you want. They don't speak any english (a very good sign to us - yay, not a tourist trap!) luckily, our knowledge of the spanish language pretty much includes only food items. We can read a menu with hardly any problems - but street signs? Not so much.

Generally if I hear the word "mole" I'm in! So we went for the chicken mole served with rice (note my spanish dictionary in the background!):

And the abondigas (meatballs) in a spicy tomato sauce served with black beans and rice:

Ron also ordered a melon Agua Fresca - fresh melon, water (bottled of course, stay FAR away from the tap water!) and sugar blended and strained into this massive glass:

This was probably one of our best meals and definitely one of the cheapest - I think we payed around $10 for everything! When we were waiting for our check a man who must have been one of the owners came over to talk to us - since our spanish was limited he was more like talking at us as we played the role of stupid americans. He asked where we were from, we told him and he jumped up to grab a magazine that they'd been featured in. A little magazine called Food & Wine! What a good place to stumble upon, huh? I'd agree with Food & Wine - it's definitely a "spectacular hole-in-the-wall".