Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Birthday Dinner for Daddy

We went out for Fun Daddy's birthday. Due to menu related issues, we ended up at a local favorite, Almond. We have eaten here a bunch of times before. It really isn't a place for kids, but they are flexible and have always accomodated our girls. They are good diners after all. Plus they have a lot of side dishes and sandwiches that can appeal to those under the age of 12.

Here are a series of pictures that I took that evening. Fun Daddy felt that the appetizers and side dishes somewhat outshone the main courses, but that is because he did not order the steak frites with bordelaise sauce and marrow. That was outstanding! The girls and my MIL ordered the croque monseigneur... a traditional French sandwich of grilled ham (jambon) and cheese (grueyere). This version was topped with a mornay cheese sauce and served with pickled vegetables. The girls ordered the frites as well.

The wine that we ordered included a provencal rose, Domaine Ott, and the Burgans Albarino. These were very tasty.

The one problem that we did have was our waiter, a beautiful, tattoo'd and sadly somewhat dim asian boy. He brought a glass of the rose instead of the bottle and we waited about half an hour for wine to be brought to us... it was a downside. But at least he was decorative. Sigh.

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Friday, August 10, 2007

An old entry

As I go through my files I find a ton of pictures from before we left for vacation.

Here are some pictures that I took after BlogHer... and I am experimenting with photographing my lunches and dinners...

This lunch was taken at David Burke!

Here we are drinking Kung Fu Girl Riesling.

Tomato Salad

Now I am really in trouble.

My FIL is asked me to make time honored recipes in this house...

This time? The tomato salad.

It really isn't much of a trick. Chop up some tomatoes.. I use a large dice as you can probably see.. Chop up some basil (I chiffonade.. just because I can). Through on a vinagrette. MIL usually uses olive oil and balsamic vinegar... I added some Dijon mustard, garlic and lemon juice..

Guess who didn't eat any?


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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Birthday lunch

Yes, this is Imelda's birthday lunch... table level

We ate at JLX in Sag Harbor and it was lovely... I saved the food pictures for dinner.. which I will post later... but I was practicing my food photography...

How is it coming along?

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Sunday, August 05, 2007

Now I am in trouble...

We are out on Long Island and we will be here for a couple of weeks...

My mother-in-law has a limited repetoire of dishes, but they are all considered classics within the family. Therefore, I screw with them not.

Or at least we don't talk about it.

Or we didn't.

Until Fun Daddy spilled the beans last night. Literally.

See one of those classic dishes is the green bean salad. The recipe was originally that of Fun Daddy's Boma. Everyone spoke highly of it... but especially when Boma made it. But, she passed away in 1991. Since then, the salad has been the sole domain of my MIL and it is lovely and tasty.

She hand frenches green beans (haricots vertes) from the market... cooks them, drains them, cools them, adds chopped shallots and parsley and then dresses them with a vinagrette of white vinegar and olive oil. It really is quite tasty.

Over the past six months or so I have been goofing around with the recipe. Why? Because I can and that is what I do.

First I cheat by buying frozen frenched green beans. Frenching them by hand, while an act of love, is not something I would put my time into. Instead of simmering, I blanche the beans... not so much that they are the greenish grey of a canned green bean, but the bright and crunchy green that says, "Wow! See how fresh I am?" (please note that Boma's beans were also unmercifully cooked as well... and NO. I am not speaking ill of the dead, but of the dead's food... slightly different, I believe).

After blanching them, the beans are immediately plunged into a bowl of ice cold water...Yes, I have THAT much ice these days...no more running the cold water for me! This stops the cooking process and keeps the color of the vegetables.

I throw the finished vegetables into a bowl and add chopped shallots (or green onions, or red onions, or yellow onions... you get the idea), the chopped parsley and then toss on my own home-made vineagrette which tends to vary but generally includes:

2 T. Dijon mustard
2 T. Sherry vinegar (red wine vinegar or verjus work too, I prefer the oomph of the sherry)
a pinch of french thyme
some garlic powder,
sea salt and black pepper to taste
and 3T. olive oil.

These go into a covered jar and are shaken until emulsified.

Pour over the beans and toss... serve immediately before the vinegar start changing the color of the beans and making them look grey as if I had cooked them for a hour anyway!)

Personally, I like my version better. But I would never say that... it isn't nice to top your hostess... Not that this stopped Fun Daddy. Sigh.

No wonder the woman never eats anything that I cook.

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