Archive for May, 2011

May 30, 2011

Holiday Weekend | Greek Mezedes

This started with my current obsession, which is oddly and plainly, roasting potatoes.

From which rose a lovely collection of small plates that we passed and shared over a couple of glasses of wine. Well, Cherub didn’t have any wine.

It was all easily pulled together a Monday night on a long weekend, Memorial Day here in America and Bank Holiday for those across the pond.  It’s a leisurely way to enjoy a meal or entertain.   It’s basically the more familiar tapas only with Mediterranean flair.  In fact many a Greek meal begins and ends entirely with mezedes.

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May 22, 2011

French Groceries | Marché Central, Nancy

I was at a Slow Food Columbus meeting recently and overheard someone mention how many other cities have one central market, whereas Columbus has many scattered farmer’s markets.  Farmers market season is truly gearing up here in Columbus and today’s lovely weather reminded me how beautiful the central market in Nancy was when I visited last month.   The Nancy market had everything from freshly butchered whole lapins, to the famous Bresse chickens, diminutive Periwinkles, tiny glass pots of tangy, fruit-laced yogurts, and tender white asparagus the exact length and thickness of a baby’s arm.  I loved how the fresh herbs were displayed and kept fresh in cascading water fountains.  Here are a few of my favorite photos.

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Playlist included C’est la vie, par Coralie Clément

May 10, 2011

Persephone’s Drinks Cabinet | Candied Ginger Vodka Gimlet

Sometimes, you just want a little cocktail, but only have a few things in the fridge or pantry.  This is perfect drink for those times.  We seem to almost always have a lime or a knob of ginger lying around as I’m always making Asian noodles of one sort or another.  Tried and true, this is a gimlet with just a little twist.  It’s extra delicious with OYO Vodka.  But then again, just about everything is better with a little OYO Vodka.

Candied Ginger Gimlet, makes one

3 ounces vodka, use OYO if you can find it

1 ounce lime juice

1 ounce ginger simple syrup

For the candied ginger simple syrup:

In a nonstick pan, take a thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and diced, and throw it in with a tablespoon of sugar and a tablespoon of water.  Heat it until it becomes extremely syrupy, and add it to your simple syrup (1/2 c sugar, 1/2 water, brought to a boil, simmered for a moment or two and allowed to cool).  Let it infuse for as long as you like, but try to give it at least 15 minutes. Strain.

For the cocktail:

In a shaker with crushed ice, combine all ingredients, shake well, and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with ginger and lime.

Playlist included Surfboard, by Esquivel.

May 8, 2011

Mother’s Day at Pleasantview Farm | Asparagus with Shallots

Mother’s Day afternoon was spent just how I wanted it: out at a gorgeous farm, with good food, family and friends.  Pleasantview Farm is twenty miles outside of Columbus, but feels a world away.  The farm is quiet with vast expanses of meadow and sky.  A working organic dairy farm, it is home to a great many head of beautiful dairy cows and their adorable offspring.

Since it was a potluck, I brought along an easy asparagus salad that was drizzled with a mustard dressing just before serving (a Ball jar works great for this).  It was an easy, no fuss day.  Perfect for Mother’s Day.

Asparagus Salad with Shallots, serves plenty at a potluck

2 pounds asparagus, stringy ends removed

1 thick slice of pancetta, cut into 1/4 inch dice

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May 6, 2011

Delivery

At night on the streets of Brussels, under bare bulb illuminated striped awnings, teeny cafe tables perilously balance candles, seafood platters, buckets of moules, mounds of frites and encourage smiling diners to stay a little later, have one more Kriek, share one more story.

The next day that very same street is closed up tight: light bulbs switched off, awnings drawn in, tables gone, sidewalks washed and no one at all on the street.

Save for the delivery man.  Leaving bags of onions and crates of young lettuces and meter long baguettes.  The ingredients to create an enchanting evening all over again.

May 4, 2011

Afternoon Snack

Don't eat it all at one sitting. Don't eat it all at one sitting. Don't eat it all at one sitting.

I picked this up in Brussels.  You can get yours here from the good folks at le Chocoholique.

May 4, 2011

Ivory Coast via Brussels | Salmon with Saffron Tumeric Cream

I’ll admit to a slight amount of jet lag.  By slight I mean passing out after dinner and waking up at four the next morning.

So I haven’t really blogged dinner in as timely a manner as I’d like; but there you go.

This lovely dish was inspired by a restaurant we happened upon in Brussels the first night we were there.  It was called Hemispheres and it was an ode to the southern hemisphere in all it’s diversity.  From Indian curries to tagines, the menu ran the gamut. The sauce on the salmon was heavenly.  I almost thought there was coconut in it, but it was simply the combination of cream with the deeply yellow colored spices that evoked that sweetness.

This salmon dish could be done in any manner of ways.  In fact, why even use salmon?  Try it with

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