Monday, June 29, 2009

Winning Dinner

Last night's dinner was an amazing WIN. Yes, in capitals, because it was that good. Since we love our CSA, The Pedant and I wanted to use some fresh broccoli and collards that we got. So, yesterday morning during breakfast we pull out Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian - a cookbook quickly becoming our go-to-first and favorite (although, shameless plug for presents - we are DYING for Lidia Bastianich's Lidia's Italy which may be another great one since we are obsessed with her shows). Lo and behold he has 2 great recipes that we used for our broccoli and collards.

The broccoli was a suggested substitution for a green bean with miso-walnut dressing. And, after three tries at acquiring white miso, we blended the miso, soy sauce, ginger, walnuts and water in a blender and poured over steamed broccoli. It was tremendous - however, a bit salty for my taste with the miso and soy - but nutty and creamy and really great.

The best part of dinner was the rolled kale (in this case, collards) with feta, olives and tomatoes. (Ok, I picked off the gross olives and tomatoes.) Basically, you cut off the stems of the collards and saute with some EVOO and garlic. Meanwhile, you slice the leaf in half and cut a block of feta into small slices that get rolled into the collard leaves. Nest in the pan with the cooked stems, add wine (we used water but I'm sure it's even more flavorful with a good white wine) and pour olives and chopped tomatoes on top. Let it cook until the collards are tender and the cheese is just a bit melty. Then we topped it with chopped red onion. And it was gooood. Like, really good. Company worthy in fact. So good.

There was another Bittman win I almost forgot about. For my book club, I made Brown Sugar Cookies with Sea Salt. And I even fudged it a bit - I didn't have some semolina flour,so I used all all-purpose, rather than a mix, I used light brown sugar not dark (after having dried out dark brown sugar one too many times I never buy it anymore), and I had a coarse kosher salt. Yet, they still turned out amazingly. They were sweet but not clawing, buttery and a tiny bit salty for fun.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

And...We're Back!

OK, so this is incredible. It has been well over a month since our last real post - the interlude about John Kerry counts, but the tiny amount of text is inexcusable. And well, while not sleeping well last night, I have single handedly decided to resurrect the blog (I'm sure The Pedant will agree but he was fast asleep during my revelation) and I woke up early and am not ready to go running yet (although I do have a goal to get to in October - wish me luck!) so I will blog about dinner last night. And, well food for the last month.

First - Scandinavia and Iceland. It was awesome. Iceland was incredible. The food was amazing. Many vegetarian options. Very good. Best Onion Rings in my life were had here. Oslo was also very good, we just happened to have bad food experiences - expensive, not worth it restaurants But the sandwiches we had for lunch (roasted veggie with humus one day, the next day got a pesto and cheese on a baguette) were cheap and tasty. Copenhagen was also amazing. The city was beautiful and we had some great pastries and really good food.

When we got back we started getting food from the CSA we joined. We've gotten some really great, fresh produce and have made interesting food. This weekend we're making a broccoli soup to use up broccoli from the last 2 weeks. Plus, the food is super fresh and stays longer in the fridge.

Last night, I had really wanted to see My Life in Ruins (especially since I read Nia Vardalos's blog post last week) so I was to meet TP for dinner right near the movie theater. Or so we thought. Google Maps was a bit off, and the restaurant wasn't quite as near to the movie theater as I thought. And then I got there a little late. And got lost. So we nixed the movie (boo!) and had a really tasty dinner. It was at Yaku, a Peruvian-Chinese place. TP ordered some appetizers while I got lost in the surrounding neighborhood and we started with Yaku lettuce wraps (with tofu) and Stuffed Yaku croquettes. Both were very tasty. The croquettes were cheese fried with a spicy sauce on the plate and were very tasty. The lettuce wraps were messy to eat, but tasty. We took advantage of happy hour prices on booze (well, for my drink and the appetizers, especially since I was cranky we wouldn't see the movie and I got lost, but we missed the big rain storm and the restaurant has giant windows that were perfect for watching the storm) and I got a white sangria which was fair (I got less fruit than others around me and it got watered down with ice quickly) and TP got a fun spicy tequila ginger drink.

For entrees, I got the Quintto Vegteriano - a risotto made of quinoa with veggies and Parmesan cheese. It was perfect - just creamy enough with the interesting texture of quinoa. TP got the Chinese BBQ Duck and really enjoyed it. He loved the cilantro fried rice.

For dessert we shared the apple wantons with an amazing Dulce de leche ice cream. A total win. This place has brunch and we said we will definitely go back for that one day.