Monday, April 23, 2012

Weekend meals.

Appetizer on Friday was this homemade hummus, which is very simple to make.
In the bowl of a food processor add a small garlic clove, drained and rinsed chick peas the zest and juice of a lemon to taste, a splash of water, salt, pepper and olive oil blended in while the machine is running until the right consistency is reached.  Usually there is Tahini added to this and no water.  I don't think Tahini is necessary and the water is added so you use less olive oil.

The main dish was skirt steak that Tony grilled on the charcoal fire.  I made polenta with fresh rosemary and thyme.  After making it and while it's still warm pour it into a loaf pan or whatever shape you like (line the pan with plastic wrap so you can easily remove it later) and let it set in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.  Heat a nonstick skillet over medium high heat, add olive oil and butter then add a 1 inch slice of the polenta and sear on both sides.   I was trying to use up what I had on hand for the vegetable and I had some green grapes, I decided to roast them with a little butter.  I have had roasted grapes but just a handful mixed with other savory ingredients.   After roasting I added some toasted pine nuts and quark ( a European style soft cheese that tastes like a cross between cream cheese and sour cream).  I also made a red wine sauce to go over the skirt steak.  Tony thought the grapes were too much (acid/sweet with the red wine sauce, but I liked it).   

Dessert on Friday was this hazelnut roulaud with chocolate and whipped cream in the center and fresh strawberries sweetened with vanilla sugar and a splash of Triple Sec to create a bit of a sauce for the strawberries.  I do love a good dessert!

Lettuce wraps.  
This was something I saw at a restaurant recently and I thought it was a good idea to make at home.  Well the flavors were good but I found it very hard to eat, I ended up just putting all the ingredients onto my plate and ate it with a fork.  Tony ate it the way I intended with the lettuce.  I flavored the cellophane noodles by sauteing with fresh ginger, garlic, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil and red pepper flakes.  I made some guacamole, some left over hummus from the other night and stir fried red pepper strips.  I added sliced tomato and some clover sprouts.

Salad of fingerling potatoes and hard boiled eggs
I layered in this serving dish some boiled, then peeled fingerling potatoes, a splash of white wine and a good sprinkling of salt (while the potatoes are still hot pour in some white wine and it absorbs into the potatoes to add a nice flavor), some hard boiled eggs and arugula.  I sprinkled on some goat cheese and some aioli (homemade mayonnaise with garlic, mustard, lemon juice, egg yolk and olive oil).

Apple sauce apple tart
I had some homemade apple sauce in the frig and some apples, so I figured I'd whip up some pastry dough and make my favorite thing which is an apple tart.  I saw Laura Calder make a different version of an apple tart by first putting down a bed of apple sauce, then some sliced apples over that, so that's what I did.  Good for a change but something about the simpler version I like better with just a sprinkling of sugar above and below a layer of sliced apples and a bit of butter on top.

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