Jan 18 2011

chipotle shrimp

chipotle shrimp on rice

This is a Rick Bayless week for us.  On Sunday we sat down to figure out what we wanted to make for the week before heading to the grocery and we surrounded ourselves with a bunch of cookbooks. Somehow every single recipe we decided on ended up being from Bayless.  I guess because it’s been freezing cold and snowy here in Boston and some nice hot, spicy food just sounds really appealing, not to mention the fact that we haven’t made a Rick Bayless recipe that we haven’t loved.

wild maine shrimp

While I had seen this shrimp recipe (and drooled over the succulent shrimp in the picture), it didn’t make our list and I forgot all about it.  But when we got to the store and saw that they had a great deal on wild Maine shrimp, we couldn’t pass it up, though we didn’t have any plans for it.  When Joseph picked me up from work on Monday, he said he already had a plan for the shrimp and we already had all of the ingredients.  He had found the recipe in Everyday Mexican and it just so happened to be the very recipe for the picture that I had been drooling over the night before.  It was meant to be!  That’s my husband — knowing what I want even when I’ve already forgotten all about it!

chipotle in adobo, cilantro, garlic, and broth

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Sep 18 2010

ginger-miso halibut in shiitake and edamame broth with soba noodles

While we were in DC celebrating my Dad’s, Joseph’s and my birthdays, my mom wanted to cook a meal together (well, my dad’s very helpful participation was on the cleaning up side of things).  Joseph found a striped bass recipe on epicurious.com that looked pretty good.  My mom had some beautiful halibut already, so we trooped off to the new Whole Foods in their neighborhood for the rest of the ingredients.  And what a Whole Foods it was!  For the most part, it was just a nice grocery store and not really that different from the one we go to in Cambridge.  But in the center of the store lays a total trap for suckers like me: salt, honey, and olive oil bars.  I got small samples of a merlot salt and another, very fine, powdery salt (I forgot the name!) that we got to use as a finishing salt for the halibut, but totally forgot all about. Oops.  Anyway, the bags were so small that when they tried to weigh them at the checkout, the weight didn’t register so we got them for free.  Score!

I really wish we had a salt bar at our Whole Foods because I keep looking at this $20 bottle of Himalayan pink salt that comes with its own little salt grater and oh, I want it so much.  Like I said, I’m a total sucker for that kind of thing and I would be much better off with a little .5 oz bag of it than a whole jar just because I want the salt grater!  Why would I need a salt grinder?  For the Himalayan pink salt!  When would I use it?  I don’t know! Continue reading

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Sep 10 2010

rhode island calamari

Calamari is one of those foods that garners all kinds of reactions from people.  Some people are appalled by the mere idea of it (“it’s squid!!”), some people are only ok with it if it’s deep fried, some people are only ok when it’s cut into rings and they do no want to see the tentacles, and some people love it in all its forms.  I used to be of the second persuasion: only ok with it as long as it was deep fried.  It just seemed safer and more unrecognizable in that form.  I mean, it’s breaded and deep fried.  Of course it’s good!

My very first date with Joseph was at a tapas restaurant and as we were selecting dishes to share, he suggested a sauteed calamari dish.  I was faced with a dilemma.  Do I present myself as a picky eater who’s somehow willing to eat (and enjoy) fried calamari on our first date, or just suck it up and eat something that sounds, frankly, kind of disgusting.  I went with option number one and openly admitted that I was a little nervous, but of course I would try it.  I loved it.  After one bite I didn’t want to share the rest with him. Continue reading

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Aug 25 2010

thomas keller’s caramelized sea scallops

Joseph insisted that instead of going out for his birthday, he wanted to make a nice meal at home and break open a bottle of wine that we brought back from our honeymoon in Napa last year.  One of the restaurants that we went to on our honeymoon was Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc (French Laundry wasn’t quite in our budget, not to mention it’s really hard to get reservations) and I gave Joseph Keller’s new cookbook, Ad Hoc at Home for Christmas.  Now, Thomas Keller’s cooking at home isn’t quite what we do at home on an average weekday night (I wish).  In fact, we hadn’t made anything from it yet, although Joseph has found the book to have really helpful tips, for example, how long to let meat rest before serving.  I mostly like to look at all the pretty pictures.

Anyway, while many of the recipes are bit more involved, Joseph found a very simple recipe that he wanted to make and oh my goodness, you need to do yourself a favor and try it in your home right away.  It’s very, very simple, and very, very tasty.  A perfectly caramelized scallop is pure perfection – a sweet little treat from the sea. We served them with roasted broccoli and some rice, threw in a cheese course (Camembert that we brought back from the French airport highrollers that we are), all served with Joseph Phelps’ 2007 Sauvignon Blanc. The result was a meal that tasted so good it felt like we’d spent a small fortune at a great restaurant and the cleanup was pretty minimal so we weren’t left with a mess wishing that we had gone out. Continue reading

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