Tout de Suite

Hello long lost readers. It’s hot as hell in Washington, DC, so when it came to making a French-themed fete for Bastille Day, Coq au Vin was out of the question. Essentially anything Julia Child would make was out of the question. We needed light, refreshing, and fresh. So the dinner I ended up making was more of a French-inspired dinner, but with lots of good stuff from all over.

It began in the early afternoon with some prep. Pate Brisee in a food processor, i.e. the best kind:

I also made some basil sweet syrup (more on that later…)

And of course, very slowly caramelized onions

The meal commenced with this plate of goodies (with Manchego, Havarti, Jarlsberg and Feta)

It continued with a little appetizer of stuffed fried zucchini blossoms  (I stuffed them with red onion instead of shallots)

It went on to this onion tart

But we couldn’t help and have a drink before digging into the tart. My sous-chef/best-friend/cocktail-master/benetton-twin made this gorgeous Blackberry Caipirinha

Which was a perfect summer drink

And then proceeded to pull the tart out of the oven, burn my arm really badly, drop the tart face down, which meant we ate this instead. It was still delicious but a bit on the salty side.

Luckily, the faux Niçoise was still real pretty

Dinner ended with delicious grilled peaches, honeyed mascarpone, and the delicious basil syrup (an amalgamation of three recipes which worked real well)

And to all, bon nuit!

Holiday leftovers

I haven’t posted since Thanksgiving. WHAT?!

I made a couple of new things over the last few months. Highlights included these chicken meatballs in a spicy preserved lemon sauce.

Served with Orzo, these made me reconsider my suspicion of preserved lemons.

For dessert, made some Pear Clafouti, mostly because pears are pretty:

They were baked in what is essentially pancake batter. Everything is delicious in pancake batter.

Weekend recap

This weekend was filled with poorly photographed delicious food.
It started Friday night with a birthday dinner that resembled more a Rosh HaShana dinner. The recipe came from here, and it was, according to the diners, mmmm so good. The piece of brisket I used was just 2.5 lbs, so I made a half-recipe, but still cooked it for 10 hours. This was the way to go. I also threw in some Tapatío, which I recommend you do too if you like some kick.

The latke recipe also come from Smitten Kitchen, although in the frenzy of making these in time to come out at the same time as the brisket, it was not followed very carefully. Also, the potatoes were not shredded, but rather totally pureed in the food processor, and this was a GOOD thing.

For the next 30 minutes we were busy getting stupidly dirty eating these. I also heard some rumors that the rest of the brisket was stuffed into crusty bread the next day to make some Jewbans.

This carrot cake was just sitting there waiting until we were done

Some of us were much better than others at cutting the cake

Regardless, it was delicious

Then Saturday came, and with it some homemade Aloo Gobi

We ate it with Raita while watching Cake Boss

When Sunday night rolled around, I tried to keep it light with some fish tacos, but accidentally got too excited and made too many fixings. This is the slaw and mango salsa

And the Pico de Gallo and Guac

The fish was lightly seasoned with Adobo, and seared in a pan

Finally, all of the above plus rice and beans, cheese, and roasted corn went on the tortilla, and then were devoured, cumbersomely.

Belated Rosh HaShana

This year I celebrated Rosh HaShana twice, once without any food but ample drinks, and a second time, belatedly, with my two favorite goyyim, true lovers of Matzah Ball Soup.

It all started with a trip to the Mt. Pleasant Farmers Market, my new neighborhood market.

For snacking, I made my mom’s Moroccan tomato salad– it has Anaheim peppers, garlic, salt, and some canola oil. It’s super hot, but you can’t stop eating it.

Then making chicken broth (with some aromatics, carrots, onions and chicken)

Eventually some matzah balls went into that, too

By far the most exciting thing that I made were stuffed zucchinis. These are my grandma’s recipe, and are my favorite. In fact, I like them so much, that I have always dreaded making them. But, after I saw those round little zucchinis at the market, I couldn’t resist.
I got some grass-fed beef

Emptied the zucchinis

Stuffed them with a mixture of meat, onion, potato, and parsley, then egged and bredded them and pan fried them

Finally I cooked them in a sauce made of onions and the cores of the zucchinis. They cook a long time on low heat, and despite being slightly labor intensive, are incredibly delicious. Can’t wait to make them many more times in the winter.

For dessert we had a peach cobbler, and that was also a hit.

In fact, it was so good that we got distracted and forgot to photograph it before devouring it

My guests were a bit late, so I also got to take this picture:

Shana Tova and Happy Eid to all who were celebrating this weekend. I hope your year is filled with friends, family, and delicious food.