Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Back to cooking and blogging

And it feels sooo goood! :)

Howdy strangers! I feel like it's been weeks since I last blogged and even longer since I made a decent meal at home!

Jamie's mom came over for dinner tonight and we whipped up some Grilled Salmon with Orzo Salad. I took a mini-break from a crazy week at work to get my FoodGawker fix and came across this recipe on We [Heart] Food. It looked simple enough for Jamie to jump in on in case I got stuck at work late AND it looked light and delicious. Sold!
When I got home, Jamie was already hard at work chopping up the cucumber and tomatoes for the orzo. I got the water boiling and started chopping up some dill on the nifty cutting board my dad made out of a leftover chunk of kitchen counter (corian?)
Jamie picked up a
1.5 lb salmon fillet from Whole Foods that we were able to cut into 4 equal pieces. Check out how rich that color is!
I decided to sprinkle on some garlic powder since I thought it could use a little extra flavoring.

Some artsy lemon zest
My microplane is kinda wee but I love it. I'd like a regular sized flat microplane one day, but not right now. This one gets the job done!

Heated up the grill pan and cooked the salmon according to the directions (are you amazed? I sure am!)
Mixed up the orzo salad, threw some mixed greens on a plate (you know I needed to) and voila! Dinner!
Aside from the burning smell that always happens when the grill pan is used, I think dinner was a success! I'm definitely keeping this recipe on hand. It was light, simple and flavorful! I might add some more veggies to the orzo salad next time...artichokes, hearts of palm, corn (just kidding!). Betcha the salmon would be even better on an actual grill ;)

Tonight's dinner was exactly the sort of meal I was looking for, especially after a long weekend of
eating out and eating heavy foods. When I last wrote, we were prepping for a wedding weekend in New Jersey for a good friend of mine/old roommate from college. I was running around a lot last week for both jobs so Friday night, I was not really into cooking a meal. We ended up at Fresh Med in Cleveland Park.
We've ordered from Fresh Med a ton of times (delivery is WAAAY slow) and have enjoyed pretty much everything we've tried. This time around we both went with platters - Jamie got the
Mixed Platter (Chicken taouk, ground beef kafta, and lamb shish kabab, served with hommos, house salad, and rice) and I got the Chicken Platter (Grilled tender cubes of marinated, boneless chicken, served with hommos, house salad, and rice). I must say, the food is SO much better when it's eaten immediately and not after an hour or so of traveling.

Early Saturday morning we hopped on a train to my parents' house in New Jersey where we ran a few errands with my mom and ended up at the Phil-am Colonia lunch buffet. Um, Filipino lunch buffet is nothing but trouble. Here was my first plate:

Clockwise from the rice:
Fried Dilis (translation, deep fried itty bitty fishies that taste delicious w/rice), Lumpia Shanghai (not the best I've had), Pancit Palabok (I only had a bite b/c it had no flavor. I might be partial to my mom's), Caldereta (beef stew that I NEED a recipe for), Pakbet (this is what my squash dish tasted like!), and Lechon Kawali (um, no plate is complete w/out some roasted pork).

I went back for more of the Pakbet because I realized I really do love it...the bagoong (fermented shrimp paste used in Filipino cooking) adds a nice briny taste to the dish, more than my fish sauce/squash/kale experiment. Who knew? I used to think that stuff was stinky and gross. Now I just think it's stinky, but delicious!

The other repeat on my plate?
Caldereta. My gramma used to make a beef stew all the time when I was little. Beef stew had a very distinct flavor and look in my mind. I once tried to make a beef stew because I was craving it and failed miserably. Why? Because apparently this is a 'special' beef stew and there are tons of different versions, some that include vinegar and some that even use cheese (random, I know). I'm determined to find the perfect recipe. Anyone out there have one?

Jamie's dessert was a simple banana...
Of the mini variety.

We didn't have too much time to digest since wedding festivities began at 6:30 Saturday evening. My parents dropped us off (hi, high school moment!) and the eating and dancing madness began! This was my very first Indian wedding and I must say, SO. MUCH. FUN.

The cocktail hour was free of alcohol but loaded with fun food. My favorite of the night:
Not really sure what it was, but it was this crispy shell with a filling that looked like beef but wasn't, pomegranate, a yogurt sauce and some other sauces. It was such a great refreshing, slightly spicy flavor explosion!

I also loved the
dosa filled with potatoes
As I said, there was a ton of dancing and I even jumped in on the stick dancing! Woo! We all scarfed down the main courses pretty quickly so I forgot to take pictures. Plus it was pretty spicy so I was a bit overwhelmed. Once I find out exactly what we ate I'll be sure to post!

Sunday was Baraat and the wedding ceremony. We all jumped in on the groom's side since we figured we could go either way ;) That meant we dance/walked/cheered between a van blasting music and the groom on a horse. Not lying - this is the most fun I've ever had at a wedding before. Also, please note I'm wearing A COLOR. Huge deal for me. I felt a little out of place even with a non-black dress! So many fun and happy colors at this wedding!
Dinner was a bit of a blur, probably because I had a couple of these
and was reunited with the AU crowd, minus Jamie who had to leave after an hour to catch a train back to DC.
I do remember the food was delicious and not as spicy as Saturday and the cake was gorgeous
AND I've never seen so many people on the dance floor at one time before! Awesome time!! Congrats to the bride and groom :)


Morgan said...

I really do think traditional Indian weddings are the most beautiful affairs! Thanks for sharing the story and pics!

Holly said...

ahhh the wedding looks AMAZING! and i love your dress - you are gorgeous!

that salmon orzo salad looks bomb - i am going to have to remember that recipe for when i go home and can make my parents buy the salmon :)

Lauren @ Team Giles said...

whoa that wedding cake is gorgeous! glad you're back ;)

We Are Not Martha said...

Oooh to the salmon! Now I'm totally craving some :) And that cake is AMAZING!!!


Anonymous said...

Salmon - YUM! One of my favorite on-the-grill meals. Although, your inside grill looks pretty convenient :)

Haven't attended an Indian wedding yet - looks like you guys had fun though! That cake is amazing!

Karena said...

The salmon and orzo was actually pretty easy and fast to make - I think it would be great for a spring/summer dish!
Can't take credit for the dress...totally borrowed it since my entire closet is black, white and gray with random splashes of tangerine and lime green hehe - think it's banana republic though?