Week of September 19

Sat: Out
Sun: Pita burgers with [make rice dish, dips]
Mon: Jerusalem+BA Rice dish
Tue: Dip Night w/ Drinker's Choice, Hummus, Labne w/ Carrot Salad
Wed: Dip Night redux + dolmades w/ Carrot Salad [roast eggplant?]
Thu: Spiced Eggplant with Bulgur Salad

Grilled Lamb Pita Burgers

Cajun and Creole Menu for Feb 9 2014

Sat: Gumbo w/ white rice
Sun: Shrimp Étouffée
Mon: Blackened Red Snapper w/ dirty rice
Tues: Po Boy Salad
Wed: Leftover gumbo
Thus: Shrimp and Grits
Fri: Leftovers Etouffee

Etouffee (served)

Food (and drink) link roundup. Mostly Drink.

Epic molecular mixology:

Hot-and-cold Gin Fizz from El Bulli:

GoodBooze comes out with an entire section on gin:


The make-your-own list:

Make your own bitters from this recipe database:

The first fall menu

This past week was undeniably a fall week, and the best food options at the market reflected that.

Mon - Butternut Squash and ginger soup with a sage foam, alongside kale wilted with pancetta, dried cranberries and pecorino cheese
Tues - homemade butternut ravioli with a brown butter sauce and broccoli
Wed - More soup!
Thus - baked sweet potatoes and salad

Fresh Chickpeas - Another Delicious Sign of Spring

Jon and I first had fresh roasted chickpeas about a month ago when spring first appeared in DC. At the suggestion of our waiter at Zaytinya, we ordered this dish which neither of us had had before. And it was delicious!!!

Today, for the first time ever, I saw fresh chickpeas for sale at Safeway (of all places), and so we got some and tried to replicate that delicious dish. The result</a href> was delicious.

Sauteed Chickpeas - before

Closing out Winter, Welcoming Spring

Last night, we had some friends over, serving our Pumpkin Raviolli using up the last of our pumpkin puree with an awesome beet-blood orange-fig chevre salad, fresh bread courtesy of the guests, and good wine and conversation courtesy of all involved. For dessert, I finally attempted my grandmother's strawberry shortcake, whipped-egg-risen cakes and all. It turned out well, but still a bit eggy (I used farm fresh eggs).

We ended the night with some creative Manhattans, and all was good.

Tonight, we continued on the celebrate-spring trajectory with a seared steelhead filet (with parsely, chives, lemon zest and a dusting of garlic and sage powder) served alongside some fiddle-head ferns which I blanched then sauteed with already-carmelizing onions and mushrooms in bacon fat. To both dishes, a dash of white wine was added.

In other words, I'm very happy it's spring. We've begun haunting the various nearby farmer's markets for any sign of garlic tails.

Brisket Success

I spotted some Stubbs' Moppin' Sauce in the Austin airport on the way back from SXSW. It was handily past the screening point, and I snagged it; having been unable to source it in DC as yet.

We finally got around to smoking up a brisket; and between increased patience, a smaller hunk of meat, and a better setup inside the grill itself, it all worked out. We got a great red crust around the outside and tender but juicy inside.

What Shall We Do with a Green Tomater?

So it's snowing here in DC. Though it seems to do this every year, it remains a surprise to DC residents ... every year, causing panic on the level I associate with Texans who deal with this whole freezing precipitation problem less reliably.

My tomato plants didn't really get the memo about summer being over, so remain(ed) laden with tons of green tomatoes (and blossoms...). I tore them up this morning as the snow was getting started and now have a rather large pile of green 'maters to deal with. I'm already ripening some in newspaper wrappings in a closed off bag.

The Secret to Good Salads

After a long and careful study of what makes a good salad, I have decided upon three key components, in addition to your standard greens and veggies:

1. Something sweet (like dried cranberries, raisins, pomegranate seeds, chopped apples, etc.)
2. Something crunchy (like croutons, crushed pita chips, tortilla chips, nuts, etc.)
3. Cheese (depending on the salad, goat cheese, feta, and parmesan are all good choices)

Of course you must use these things in moderation to avoid overdoing it and adding too much fat/calories/etc to a dish that, essentially, is supposed to be a healthy addition to your meal.

More on salad dressing after the jump.

August Beer: Czech Pilz

Bottled this weekend was the previously-mentioned Pilz. The West Coast Pale Ale was a resounding success; one of the cleaner, most balanced (sweet, light, hoppy) beers I've made in a while.

To be fair, I try to brew stuff that's not available in stores, like Pumpkin porter (a repeat favorite, coming in late October), and Coffee Bock (a new recipe for my annual Octoberfest bock).

Czech Pilsner

Kinda-Healthy Southern Week

Crabmeat Remick with artichoke -- we used a combination of canned and fake crabmeat. It might've been better with fresh lump crabmeat, but not actually worth it.

Non-stanard Italian Menu (week of July 13)

Crab Carbonara - yummy, but really would benefit from fresh peas

Wild mushroom and mozzarella risotto cakes - excellent but a bit hard to form and fry

Seared tuna salad

Asparagus and prosciuttio fritatta (we used green beans)

Mediterranean Week

Sunday will be grilling lamb sliders.

Monday will be a modification of this recipe

Tuesday is Lamb sausage with tabbouleh and tzatziki

Wednesday, there's an outdoor showing of Buena Vista Social Club that reportedly includes an on-site BBQ purveyor.

Thursday will be Couzcouz with brick chicken

Spanish Food week : Week of April 12

Sunday: Paella

Monday: Spanish-inspired Salad night

Tuesday: Spanish Tortilla using these two recipes

Menu for the week of March 1: New American (a.k.a. stimulus package menu)

This week we're focusing on using up food and supplies we already have instead of being spendy (last week's fresh seafood-laden N'awlins menu ended up on the expensive side).

But we're resourceful, so we won't be eating poorly this week.

Menu for the week of Feb 22: N'awlins

In celebration of Mardi Gras, we're focusing on N'awlins style food

Sunday: Shrimp, Chicken and Andouille sausage gumbo with dirty rice

Monday: Steamed crab with old bay seasoned btter

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