Monday, June 28, 2010

Creamy Creole Crab Pots: Anniversary Dinner, the Second Way

For those of you who were expecting me to cook up a Creole feast for my anniversary surprise for Poppa Trix, I apologize. I  have just one dish to share with you - but what a dish it is! This little pot of goodness is loaded with sweet (local and sustainably-caught) Maryland lump blue crab meat that's carried to your mouth in a creamy sauce of mushrooms, shallots, thyme, onion, Amontillado sherry and (please forgive me, seafood purists!) Parmesan cheese, topped off with a lid of crunchy phyllo pastry.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Wedding Anniversary Dinner, Two Ways ... The First Way: Dinner Out at Zaytinya in DC

Ah, the view from the top ...

Poppa Trix and I love surprises, especially food-related ones.  So what better way to celebrate our  2nd anniversary than by taking turns surprising one another?  And Poppa came up with the perfect one for me: He took me to Zaytinya in Washington, DC, where Mike Isabella from last season's Top Chef cooks up some seriously good food. The specialty here is inventive Greek, Turkish, and Lebanese small plates, with a particularly strong selection of seafood dishes.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Summer "Noodles" of Yellow & Green Zucchini with a Cool Basil Oil Tomato Sauce: International Incident Noodles Party

International Noodles Incident Party

Please don't misunderstand:  I adore noodles. Spaghetti, fettuccine, ramen, udon, soba, cellophane, rice - I don't play favorites, I love them all. Making them is fun; eating (or slurping) them all up is even better.

But I decided to forgo the dough for this latest noodles-themed International Incident Party.  Thanks to the summer heat and humidity (at least in my hemisphere),  the thought of kneading dough and getting covered in flour and then - horrors! - boiling a big pot of water leaves me  exhausted and dripping with sweat.  These days I find myself craving crunchy, cooling, refreshing foods. So I decided to make ribbon-like "noodles" out of the ultimate cooling summer vegetable, zucchini. (To  check out what all the others brought to the noodles party, please visit our lovely hostess, Penny aka Jeroxie!)

This  dish is composed entirely of  ingredients I got at the farmers market. In fact, I made this the same day I visited the market - and it doesn't get much fresher than that!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

New Orleans Style Gumbo Z'Herbes: Guest Post for Jeroxie: Addictive and Consuming

 Penny aka Jeroxie recently surprised me by asking me to do a guest post for her awesome blog, Addictive & Consuming. How cool is that! So I cooked up something from my very favorite place in the whole U.S of A.: New Orleans, Louisiana.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Summertime Simplicity: Lime & Rosemary Granita

A friend was supposed to come over for dinner on a recent sweltering Sunday, but she canceled on me.  Hmmpf. This simple and refreshing granita is just one of the many scrumptious things that she missed!

Lime & Rosemary Granita
 1 cup sugar
2 cups water
1 large sprig of rosemary
Zest of 1 lime
Juice from 3-4 limes; more if you prefer things on the tart side, which I do (Also use more  if your limes, like mine, have been inexplicably dried-up and nearly juice-less. I had to use 5 limes for this.)

Combine all the ingredients except the lime juice in a sauce pot and slowly bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat and add the lime juice. When cool, pour into a shallow rectangular casserole dish and freeze. Every 30-45 minutes, give the granita a stir in order to prevent the liquid from freezing into a uniform solid mass. You want a slushy consistency. Once there's no more liquid, it's ready to serve. 

The rosemary gives nice depth to a dish that could otherwise be somewhat one-note. And since my friend canceled, there's been more for me (and Poppa Trix, of course!)  to enjoy.  For extra oomph, splash a little (or ... a lot) of Hendrick's gin over the top before serving.  Hic!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Chilled Avocado Soup with Cornbread Feta Croutons

When Denise of Quickies on the Dinner Table put out a challenge to compose a dish that included both avocado and feta, my brain immediately started whirring. I love both of these ingredients, yet why was it that, to the best of my memory, I had never combined them in a single dish?