Monday, June 11, 2007

First Day of Summer Vacation

Nick and his dad went to the Printer's Row Book Fair yesterday and picked up a kid's cookbook that is part of the marketing juggernaut for the new Pixar film, Ratatouille. He pretty quickly found a few recipes that he wanted to try, so we have spent the first day of summer vacation shopping and cooking. For breakfast, he made crepes. Actually, we prepared the batter last night before bed; a quick whisk this morning, a hot pan and some butter, and we were in production.

Lacking any really tasty fillings (Nutella, bananas, chocolate chips, fresh berries, whipped cream), we had to make do with peanut butter and jelly, with a dusting of powdered sugar on top.

Dinner was a much more elaborate affair. Nick wanted to try vichyssoises, which sounded perfect to me on a warm summer day. He was also intrigued by a recipe for "faux escargots," essentially pinwheel sandwiches with a gherkin dressed up with chives tucked underneath. Actually, they were kind of cute.

(Of course Nick's dad had to add the tongue to his.) The soup was wonderful, rich and velvety, with a great fresh green edge from the leeks. Simple to make, too--just boiled potatoes, leeks, chicken stock, salt and pepper, with a little (OK, a lot) of cream added at the finish. Definitely a keeper.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Lobster Fest

Today is dear hubby's birthday, so I decided to try a new recipe I saw in this month's Gourmet Magazine. Lobster, parboiled, split, and then grilled, served on arugula, with boiled new potatoes and a basil vinaigrette.

Nick and I procured four fresh crustaceans after school at Dirk's Seafood. Fairly outrageously priced at $20/pound (thanks, Mom!), they were lively fellows upon arrival in the refrigerator.

Nick helped with the gory part. We had to slaughter them two at a time.

The lobsters were parboiled in about four minutes. We took them out to cool a bit, and then pulled the claws off and split them down the middle.

We grilled them for about three minutes a side.

Here is the birthday boy, beaming over his "catch."

Voila! The finished product. Dressed with a basil vinaigrette and served atop arugula and boiled new potatoes.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Nick's Nicoise Salad

I had an evening meeting last week and no time to make dinner, so I asked Nick to step in. I had all of the ingredients for nicoise salad on hand, so I quickly wrote out a recipe and left him with a cutting board and a mixing bowl. This plate was waiting for me when I returned from my meeting, hungry and tired. What a delight!