Archive for the Veggies Category

Summer Salad

Posted in Cheese, Eat, Entrees, Photos, Veggies with tags , , on 22 June, 2009 by la fille

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Spinach, strawberries, goat cheese, toasted pecans, red onions, balsamic. Served with bread from La Boulangerie and a nice gruner-veltliner.

(photo by lafille)

Couscous Salad with Spinach, Parsley and Spring Onions

Posted in Eat, Recipe, Veggies on 20 June, 2009 by la fille

This being my first summer in New Orleans, I’m finding the necessary changes to my lifestyle fascinating. I’ve had to buy practically a whole new wardrobe, and the heat means I have to reschedule all of my activities, from errands to exercise, to make the most of cooler (relatively) mornings and evenings. There are so many great recipes to discover that help alleviate the effects of the heat, as well. Brother O’Mara and I have been eating salads almost every evening we stay home, and since they are usually greens-based, this one was a welcome change a couple of nights ago. Crisp lemon and onion, fresh parsley, spinach for texture– couscous never had it so good!

Couscous Salad with Spinach, Parsley and Spring Onions

INGREDIENTS

1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1-1/3 cups hottest possible tap water
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 bunch fresh parsley, leaves only (2 cups loosely packed)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 spring onions or 6 scallions, trimmed and cut into very thin rings
5 ounces fresh spinach, rinsed, dried, stems removed, and cut into chiffonade (4 cups loosely packed)
3 tablespoons Creamy Lemon-Chive Dressing (recipe follows)

RECIPE

1. In a large, shallow bowl, combine the couscous and the salt. Toss with a fork to blend. Add the water and fluff until the grains are evenly separated. Set aside and occasionally fluff and toss the grains until all the liquid has been absorbed, about 3 minutes.
2. In a food processor or a blender, combine the lemon juice, parsley leaves, and olive oil and process until the parsley is finely chopped. Toss the parsley mixture and the spring onions with the couscous. (This can be prepared up to 8 hours in advance and refrigerated.)
3. At serving time, toss the spinach chiffonade with just enough dressing to evenly coat the greens. Add the dressed spinach to the couscous mixture and toss gently to blend evenly.

Creamy Lemon-Chive Dressing

Makes 1 1/4 cups

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup light cream
1/3 cup finely minced fresh chives

RECIPE

1. In a small jar, combine the lemon juice and the salt. Cover and shake to dissolve the salt. Add the cream and chives. Shake to blend. Taste for seasoning. Store, covered and refrigerated, for up to one week. Shake to blend again before serving.

Excerpted from Vegetable Harvest by Patricia Wells. Copyright 2007 by Patricia Wells.

Delightful Dishes at Cure

Posted in Bars, Cheese, Eat, Entrees, Photos, Reviews, Veggies with tags , on 10 June, 2009 by la fille

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Another post about my favorite bar in town, but this time, let’s focus on the food, shall we?

Chef Jason McCullar has created some fantastic small plates to go with the high-quality cocktails, and every dish I’ve tried has failed to disappoint.

Note: In the interest of full disclosure, Cure wanted Brother O’Mara to come take some photographs for them, thus giving us the chance to taste a lot of things in one visit. I feel extremely lucky to have had a had such an opportunity, as my finances would not have allowed me such a feast otherwise. Brother O’Mara does not make his living taking pictures and only took the job because of his love for Cure. We will continue to support them in the future, even when the goodies are not on the house, so I feel this article is by no means a conflict of interests.


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Orange Salad

A delightfully fresh combo of Bibb lettuce, fresh orange, sweet pickled red onion, herbs, and olives in a sherry vinaigrette.

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Chopped Duck Liver Crostini

Sherry marinated duck liver, served on toasted bread with a bit of lava salt. We shared this with Ricky and Rhiannon, our bartenders, and it quickly disappeared.

Chilled Watercress Soup

Vegetable stock, watercress, and avocado, topped with a dollop of mango tartare. The sweet/tart combo of the mango tartare really added a sparkle to this refreshing summertime soup.

East Coast Crab Roll

Lump crabmeat tossed in citrus aioli, served with Bibb lettuce on a toasted bun. I lucked out and got to eat this delight all by myself since SOMEONE I know doesn’t eat seafood. The crab was so tasty, and Chef Jason’s homemade butter made the toasty bun incredibly rich and mouthwatering.

Cheese and Meat

These are rotated pretty regularly, I believe, but last night we enjoyed chorizo, Serrano ham, Saint Andre triple crème, and Valdeon blue, in addition to crusty bread, dates, spiced almonds, cornichons, and marinated olives.

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In case you’re concerned, this is not a full order.

Pincho Ribs

We even got a bite of Chef Jason’s rib special, which he spices with Spanish-style seasoning salt, angostura bitters, and a sherry gastrique. They were fall-off-the bone tender, and the dry rub added great savory flavors to a piece of meat I usually associate with sweet barbecue.

A thousand thanks to Jason McCullar and Neal Bodenheimer for their hospitality. It was a night I will remember for a long time to come.

(all photos by Brother O’Mara for promotional use by Cure)

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch…

Posted in Eat, Veggies with tags , , on 8 April, 2009 by la fille

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Nestled between the parsley and thyme seedlings, I thought the catnip would be safe from the furry neighborhood hoodlums.

Turns out it never had a chance.

(photo by lafille)

Recipe: Orange and Fennel Salad

Posted in Eat, Entrees, Recipe, Veggies with tags , on 31 March, 2009 by la fille

3400447268_c5d71f8c30Orange and fennel are a classic combo for salads and to me they just taste like spring. Tart, crisp, juicy, green, and a little sweet. Add to that some almonds and thinly-sliced Manchego…honestly I think I could have left out the lettuce altogether and this meal would have been all the better for it.

(photo by lafille)

Orange and Fennel Salad

serves 2

INGREDIENTS

2 oranges, peeled and sliced

1/2 bulb fennel, thinly sliced

3 c greens (lettuce, arugula, etc)

small handful Manchego, shaved

1/4 c orange juice

1/2 c olive oil

salt and freshly ground pepper

small handful sliced almonds

RECIPE

1. Build the salad in individual bowls–lettuce, fennel, oranges, cheese, and almonds.

2. Make the dressing: whisk oil and OJ together with salt and pepper to taste. Pour over salad.

Easy peasy!

Restaurant: Martinique Bistro

Posted in Eat, Entrees, Imbibe, Restaurants, Reviews, Sweets, Veggies, Wine with tags on 28 March, 2009 by la fille

Brother O’Mara sold his old bike the other day, and we both got new ones in the last week, so we decided to go have a nice dinner last night in celebration of two-wheeliness. Choosing rather randomly from our list of to-eat places, we ended up at Martinique Bistro on Magazine street. An associate of Brother O’Mara’s has said that this is the closest thing to an authentic French bistro New Orleans has to offer, and after enjoying a relaxed, slow-paced weeknight dinner there, I’m tempted to agree.

We sat outside, despite the threat of rain, on a patio surrounded with plants, tiny sparkling lights, and flowing water. The service was just the way I like it–attentive and knowledgeable, but not pandering and hover-y. The menu was gorgeous, and the wine list had a tremendous selection of stuff by the glass, by the bottle, and by the half-bottle (much of it imported by Brother O’Mara’s company, holla).

Here’s a rundown of what we enjoyed (forgive the incomplete descriptions of what we ate–I didn’t make a point of remembering verbatim because I knew the menu was online. Turns out it was last autumn’s menu and was not quite the same):

Brother O’Mara

Wine: 1/2 bottle 2002 Muga Rioja Reserva

Appetizer: Handmade gnocchi with shallots, mushrooms, cured ham, and cream sauce

Entree: Pork loin with Steen’s cane syrup/apricot sauce, chive mashed potatoes, and haricots verts

Dessert: Profiteroles filled with Guinness ice cream, topped with Bailey’s and Jameson sauces

la fille

Wine: Glass of Sancerre

Appetizer: Pecan-crusted goat cheese served over field greens with raspberry dressing

Entree: Seared scallops served over spinach, goat cheese grits, and creamy corn

Dessert: Black forest cookie sandwiches filled with black pepper-cherry ice cream

Everything was supremely delicious, and since our server didn’t hurry us at all, we were able to enjoy each course with a little break in between. The highlight for me was the black pepper-cherry ice cream. The pepper really stood out, but blended so well with the creamy cherry flavor. Brother O’Mara says he enjoyed his entree best of all.

This is definitely on the list of places to go whenever we have guests. I’d be perfectly happy going simply for wine, appetizers, and dessert. Anytime.

Recipe: Sautéed Zucchini, Onion, and Yellow Squash

Posted in Eat, Recipe, Veggies on 2 March, 2009 by la fille

This was Brother O’Mara’s suggestion for a side dish to go with the pork chops, so I let him prepare it. It’s funny, he grew up eating these particular veggies cooked in this particular manner, while it never would have occured to me to make something like this. Of course, he says the same about many of the dishes I make, which is one of the reasons it’s so much fun to share a home with someone–we each, literally, bring such different things to the table.

Anyway, here’s how he told me to do it. Simple simple.

Sauteed Zucchini, Onion, and Yellow Squash

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

1 zucchini, sliced

1 yellow squash, sliced

1/2 purple onion, chopped

olive oil

sugar, salt, and freshly ground pepper to taste

1. Heat the olive oil in a skillet. Toss in the veggies, season with salt, pepper, and sugar, and cook over medium heat until the zucchini is soft (it takes longer to cook than the squash, so he lets it be the indicator).

We served this over a bed of instant couscous from a box and it was scrumptious!

Thanks, Brother O’Mara.

Thomara.