Before we start, a shout out and heartfelt thanks to our good friends Jimmy and Elaine, who did us one better (fifteen better actually!) Saturday night with a Seventeen at the Table dinner at their spectacular new home. Dinner was phenomenal and the Seventeen were the best company you could ask for.
We’ve been on an unplanned hiatus for the past two weeks as we’ve had to deal with some things that made it had to make dinner and even harder to blog about it as often as we usually do. We have a very ambitious menu planned this week, with seven dinners in seven days, but we are both anxious to get back to one of the things that makes us happiest – planning, preparing, and enjoying dinner together.
On Sunday night, we’re making a new version of an old favorite and will try Epicurious’s (www.epicurious.com) Grilled Skirt Steak with Parsley Oregano Sauce. We make skirt steak pretty often as it’s easy, quick, and super-flavorful. We’re always on the lookout for new ways to make it and this recipe, which features lots of parsley, oregano, and lime, sounded perfect. We’re going to pair this up with Baked Tostones from Gina Homolka’s Skinny Taste website (www.skinnytaste.com). Tostones, which are made from green plantains, are traditionally fried, but having made the fried version once (right after a trip to Puerto Rico), we decided we had to find a better way. This recipe, which we’ve made once before, is that better way!
Monday night, we’ll have Food & Wine’s (www.foodandwine) Lemon & Herb Tilapia. We’re going to pair this with a great side from Ina Garten (www.barefootcontessa.com): Snap Peas with Pancetta and Parmesan. We’ve made this side before, including for guests, and it never fails to please. We think this pairing is going to work very well, with the crunch from the peas and fried pancetta contrasting nicely with the soft, flaky texture of the tilapia.
We saw that graffiti eggplant, which we had never heard of before, was very highly rated – five out of five stars – on Fresh Direct, so we decided to use it to make Elie Krieger’s (www.elliekrieger.com) Ratatouille with Red Snapper and Herbed Goat Cheese Crostini on Tuesday. Unlike traditional eggplants, which are so purple they’re almost black, graffiti eggplant are a much lighter shade of almost pinkish-purple with streaks of white. We thought they would look really pretty in this recipe, which is one we’ve made several times before. Since we’ve made it before, we know that it takes quite a bit of chopping, so we may do that in advance if we can.
We’ll keep things simple on Wednesday with Deb Perelman’s (www.smittenkitchen.com) Everyday Margarita Pizza, which we’ll pair with a simple arugula salad. As we’ve mentioned before, we use pre-made dough whenever we make pizza. This time, we’re trying a whole wheat version of our usual pizza dough, just to see how it turns out.
On Thursday we’re going to try something very different for us – Thai food – when we make Little Thai Cocottes from the “Mini Cocotte Cookbook” by Le Creuset. We’re excited to try this dish, as it uses ingredients that we have no experience with outside of a restaurant, including coconut milk, lemongrass, and lime leaves. We added a side of pre-made Coconut Rice to our Fresh Direct order to have alongside this dish.
We were in the mood to have chicken some day this week, so we’re going to make Mario Batali’s (www.mariobatali.com) Chicken Saltimbocca with Asparagus on Friday. This dish features vin santo (literally “holy wine”), a sweet Italian dessert wine that we had on our trip to Tuscany this past May. It was great after dinner, but we’re very curious to see what it’s like to cook with and will pay a visit to Columbus Wine and Spirits (www.columbuswines.com) and see if our friend Michael can help us find a bottle.
Since we’re going to have some leftover Parmesan and mozzarella cheese, we figured we could have an Italian tapas night on Saturday. We purchased some dried italian sausages, one sweet and flavored with fennel and one hot and flavored with Calabrian chiles, to have with the cheeses. We also going to make a Rachel Khoo (www.rachelkhoo.com) dish, Sun-Dried Tomato & Ricotta Tapenade, from her newest cookbook “Sweet and Savuory Pates”, to mix things up a bit.