Monday, August 31, 2009
I haven't had lentils before so I thought I would give them a try. I blame Top Chef and other cooking shows that like to use them for putting the idea in my head :) I'll be the first to say that I'm not a fan of beans, so I wasn't sure if I'd like these or not (I think they are in the same family). They are easy enough to make and seem like they would make a good side dish. I was not a fan of the lentils as they were to close to beans. The flavors were okay, but it is a texture thing with me. The original recipe didn't call for bacon, but I believe it gave it a nice flavor. Bacon makes everything better! :o) So if you like beans, then I would suggest making this recipe because it is so versatile and can go with many dishes!
2 strips of bacon
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
4-inch piece celery stalk, finely chopped
4-inch piece carrot, peeled and finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon mustard seed- used mustard powder
1 teaspoon fennel seed- didn't use, not a fan
2 cups vegetable stock, chicken stock or broth
1/2 cup water
1 cup French green lentils, picked over, rinsed, then drained- not sure if I had French green lentils, but they were green :)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, cut into strips
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cook bacon and remove from pan. Reserve 2T of the bacon fat and add the onion, celery and carrot and saute until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, mustard seed and fennel seed and saute until the spices are fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add the stock, water, lentils, thyme and bay leaf. Raise the heat to medium high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover partially and simmer until the lentils are tender but still firm, 25 to 30 minutes. Drain the lentils, reserving the cooking liquid. Transfer the lentils to a large bowl and discard the bay leaf.
In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, mustard and 1/4 cup of the reserved cooking liquid.
(Discard any remaining liquid or reserve for another use.) Whisk in the extra-virgin olive oil.
Add crumbled bacon to the lentils and add the vinaigrette, parsley, salt and pepper to the lentils and toss gently to mix and coat evenly. Serve warm.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
So we have been working on the kitchen for a long time now and we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. However there are somethings that we have long term got the idea to buy some spray paint and make some changes. I did this project without Jim's knowledge, I wanted to surprise him. And I was freaking out a little on the inside because I was worried that it would look bad. Cause really, me spray painting the outside of the dishwasher doesn't really mean that it was going to look good. Jim came home from work and walked in and out of the kitchen without even noticing the dishwasher. I was trying so hard no to smile every time I was in there cause I wanted him to be surprised when he saw it. I started cooking dinner and he was in the kitchen with me,,, STILL not noticing the dishwasher,,, so I mentioned something about unloading the dishwasher so he would look at the damn thing. FINALLY he saw it, and loved it!!! Yay!!! It's not our long term resolution for the dishwasher, but it will make me happier for the short term $10 in spray paint was WELL worth it!!!
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Old dirty rug
Sunday, August 23, 2009
The roll with the tuna on top is the Texas Monster.... I can't remember exactly what is in the middle, but something like avocado, green onion,tempura shrimp, and on the outside, there is tuna and a dollop of a tequila lime sauce. It was a pretty tame roll, but it was very good. The other roll was the Heat of the Moment and it was fucking hot. It was a spicy tuna topped with jalapenos but it was a good heat.
This was a great drink... blackberry moijto. A bit sweet, but a nice way to start the night
Lindsay and I
Vanessa and Matt, the birthday boy
Charlie had a couple of extra pieces of sushi and Jim said that he would help him finish it. Charlie was nice enough to feed Jim... not sure how I feel about this but it did make for a funny picture and had the entire table laughing.
(Fred, I know you'll like this picture)
Jim, Chris and Lindsay
Matt and Jim... Hmmmm... Jim looks pretty darn happy to be hugging on Matt
Janette, Vanessa and Emily
Jen and Charlie
We went to a roof top bar after dinner, and it was slightly miserable. It was so humid and hot, even though we had a few fans blowing on us. I was sticky all night.
Tammy, me, Vanessa and Lindsay
Charlie, Jim and Matt
Nick and Megan... not sure why they look like they have a tint of green to them
The two tall boys of the group, Nick and John, were fighting over the fan and which way it would blow. It was at this point, that I moved away for fear that the fan would fall down.
The most experience I have with Figs, is with Fig Newtons. Before last weekend, I had never had a fresh fig (thank you Central Market) and now I'm hooked. I have heard other people (Dawn, I'm looking at you) rave about figs, but it just took me awhile longer to try them out. I have two recipes in mind,,, one sweet and one savory. This recipe was pretty darn simple, which I liked. The figs were good, but they weren't as sweet at the Figs at Central Market. There were 4 or 5 types of figs, so I guess I chose the not as sweet variety. Overall it is a very simple way to serve a dessert that looks all fancy smancy.
· 8-10 fresh figs
· 2 1/2 Tbsp of brown sugar
· 1 cup of fresh ricotta cheese
· 1 Tbsp of honey
· 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
· 8-10 mint leaves for garnish (optional)
1. Pre-heat the grill.
2. Trim fig the stems, if any, and cut figs in half length-ways.
3. Lightly butter a shallow baking dish. Place the figs curved side down in the dish. Sprinkle each fig with a little brown sugar. -- I didn't do this, I just put them directly on the grill
4. Grill figs for about 3-4 minutes or until the sugar starts to bubble.
5. Meanwhile, combine ricotta, honey and vanilla in a mixing bowl and stir with a wooden spoon until smooth and creamy. Forgot the vanilla, and I'm pretty sure that it would have been way better with the vanilla
6. Remove figs from oven and gently place on serving plates with a dollop of honey ricotta. Garnish with mint leaves and serve.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
We had another fantastic Yelp event to attend last Tuesday night. This one was held at Stubbs in downtown Austin. Stubbs was showing off their new organic menu for us. We tried....
Sarah, me and Dawn on the stage at Stubbs
We are the gangsta Yelp Elite crew
Jim, Orly and Matt
Orly and Sarah
The party also had an Elvis Costello cover band. They only played for an hour or so, and we stayed outside most of that time so I missed them. A lot of people said they were pretty good.
The party had another "photobooth" there. Cory Ryan was taking pictures and she did an awesome job! This pose was figured out by Jim and Matt. Jim kept telling me to do the "Superman". I had no freakin idea what he was talking about until I realized he wanted me up on their backs.
Love this one of us!
While we were stuffing our faces with food, a guy came up asked if he could take our picture for the local paper. Being the hams that we are we said sure! I just had Jim check my teeth for any lingering brisket tacos, and we smiled away! LOL, my 1.5 seconds of fame....
Pabst Blue Ribbon was also a vendor that night, and when the vodka ran out we switched over to the beer. I am a beer snob and didn't really want anything to do with PBR, but it was free so why not. It wasn't terrible beer, but I won't be running out to purchase a 12 pack for the weekend.