Monday, May 23, 2011
I talk to my parents on a Saturday night to determine where we'll meet for lunch the next day with my grandmother. I'm thinking that I'm not going to get to cook anything this weekend. So then the idea that they would come over to our house comes up. Problem solved.
But new problem started. What dishes can I acquire the ingredients for with minimal shopping. I have about 15 hours, and will be sleeping for most of that time.
I target two antipasto, one of which will become a main with the addition of steak, and a dessert.
Gulf shrimp and mahogany clams: Gulf shrimp are pretty easy to come by here, so that was no problem. My fish store didn't have mahogany clams, probably because they seem to come from New England, and since we are down here where there are plenty of Gulf shrimp, we have Florida clams. That seemed the way to go here.
Actually, the hardest thing to get was the purple basil that is shredded over the dish as a garnish. None of my markets carried it, and neither did Home Depot. But I stopped in at Dolin's Garden Center on the way home, and they had some plants. I needed 10 leaves, but had to spring for the whole plant. The price of authenticity.
Saute, steam, serve. Simple as that. It was impressive how much clam flavor got into the wine-and-oil broth. And the dish looked as good as it tasted. Will make this again.
Cool-roasted shiitake: The only ingredients for this dish that I didn't already have in the house were the mushrooms and some sage leaves. Neither of those were hard to find. The mushrooms get tossed in oil and garlic, roasted, then tossed with an anchovy vinaigrette. Grill some onions (or broil, in the event you haven't replaced your recently deceased grill yet) and dress with basil oil. Done.
Here's what the mushrooms and onions looked like:
I served the mushrooms with sliced skirt steak on top to make it more of a main. Here it is with the meat, and some olives:
Olive oil and rosemary cake: I didn't have to shop for anything for this. And I got the rosemary from plants in our yard.
Actually, the hardest thing was the fruit to accompany. We are only about 20 miles from Plant City, where they are somewhat famous for strawberries, and it was still strawberry season there. But I went to three stores, and every strawberry I saw was from California. For a previous dish, I had gotten organic Plant City berries from Whole Foods, but I didn't have time to drive there. But I was adamant that I wasn't buying California strawberries during Florida strawberry season. It wasn't even about regional pride, just common sense. So I stopped at a produce stand on the way home, determined to get whatever fruit looked good. They had Plant City strawberries. Not organic, but they looked and tasted fine.
Why did that part have to be hard?
Up next: Not sure yet, but a fun one is coming soon