‘Licious Links For You
My “brother” Austin (what do you do with people who are your brother in all but biology?) imed me today to ask for ideas. He has been married for two months (which is an outrage, since the actual wedding isn’t until October) and wants to surprise his wife (that still sounds weird to me) with dinner. And she’ll only be gone for two hours, which has to include time for him to run to the store!
AND he wanted it to include meat – not sausage, which they just had, and not fish, which she won’t eat. Remind me to go off here about things people won’t eat. I am a great supporter of my girlfriend’s theory that if you don’t like it, you haven’t had it cooked right. But I digress. Oh, and did I mention he doesn’t really cook? So it had to be easy, of course.
I suggested chopping some onions and mixing that and some seasonings into ground meat to fry himself up some burgers. I can’t think of anything that says Austin to me more than burgers, for some reason. But a veggie side was harder for me to brainstorm. So, of course, I went to Tastespotting to get inspiration.
If you haven’t been, I suggest taking a little vacation there right now. It’s a gorgeous, ever-changing collection of beautiful food pictures people find (or post) online, with links to the source. So really, it’s like a gorgeous gallery of brilliant food blogs. And while I tried to find something good for him, I found TONS of great stuff for me. And how can I not share them with you? Some stuff I want to make as soon as possible:
A Sauce of Some Deliciousness: Pooh Bear helps us all flavor up some salads and things. I need to get me some sesame oil and rice vinegar so I can do this up: you mix those with chopped chili, grated ginger, miso paste, and honey (but I’d rather use agave, which has no sucrose)…. oh, and sesame seeds, and a little warm water, and…. yum. Plus, it told me all about a blog challenge that combines books and food… two of my favorite things!
Cheesy Fried Green Tomatoes: I cannot wait until we get some green tomatoes out in my yard. To be fair, two of the tomato plants I bought came with green ones on them, and I haven’t checked how ripe they’ve gotten yet. (So far I have plants that will produce plum tomatoes, tiny red currant tomatoes, and I think maybe some enormous beefsteaky ones.) I especially like the idea here of putting a soft cooked egg on top of the tomato slices. Genius! what a fantastic breakfast that would be. I would use some nice rice flour I have, to get away from the wheat which makes my sinuses all glunky.
We have strawberries growing in the yard too, and we used to have mint. (It’s a constant battle between the mint and the blackberries about which will come back first when they’re razed to the ground, as they were recently… don’t know if we have mint yet but I wish it would smother the damn blackberries on that side of the yard!) So if I wanted to be patient enough for all this stuff to grow, I could make these dishes for Practically Free. Isn’t that the point of summer? That and being warm, which someone should remind my boss about – she likes to keep the A/C going so that we’re as cold in the summer as in the winter! And me sitting here barefoot, in two tank tops and a skirt….
(My beautiful and genius girlfriend just pointed out that we could use the cheesemaking kit I bought her for Winter Solstice to make GOAT RICOTTA for the strawberries. Holy shit.)
This Andalucian gazpacho looks and sounds so fancy, but I do feel a little wary; sometimes the sheer acidity of gazpacho makes it a little painful for me to eat. But as a side dish it sounds cooling and fascinating. And SO easy – you just throw everything in the blender and go! I tried to talk Austin into this one, and he said he’d just come up with something at the store. Pffft. (Come to think of it, we planted two kinds of cucumbers – so if I wait, this will be almost free too. All but the onion. I don’t like onions enough to have them in my yard… yet.)
Wild. Salmon. With. Shiitake. Bacon. Bits. I MEAN. That is genius. I am drooling as I type this. I’m not even kidding. Drooling inside my mouth. This recipe sets out to make the shiitake mushroom bits taste like bacon, which confuses me. On one hand, just use bacon, damnit. On the other hand, not only is making things taste like bacon an awesome art, but also, bacon-tasting shiitake actually sounds a lot better than bacon. It’s bacony AND mushroomy, for gods’ sake! Pure genius. Also: SALMON. LOVE SALMON. Such good ideas.
Fava Bean Salad. Fresh fava beans, crushed pink peppercorns, little peeler peels of parmesan or whathaveyou, and a little vinagrette. Simplicity and genius. I want everything here!
Off to make my meal plan for the next week, and a bon appetit to you!