Sunday, May 27, 2012
Saturday, May 19, 2012
McCormick Dinner Party Chain: Cuban Shrimp Bruschetta, Coq au Vin, Blackberry Cardamom Pavlova, and a McCormick Giveaway!
Last weekend I hosted a dinner party for some friends at my new abode as a part of McCormick's Dinner Party Chain. McCormick, the wonderful company most of my spice cabinet comes from, is giving away the chance to host your dream dinner party and the chance to attend the Food Network awards in New York city!!! Simply click on the link here or above and follow the instructions on McCormick Gourmet's Facebook page, (which are basically to describe the theme and the food at your dream dinner party, nice and easy, right?) You're welcome to share your thoughts, comments, and any dinner party photos of your own on the McCormick Gourmet Facebook page as well! When you do, make sure to use the #GoGourmet hashtag to help others find your dinner party.
For the party, I decided to make a Cuban-style Shrimp Bruschetta as an appetizer since the weather has been so admirable, and citrus-laced seafood always pairs well with the heat. I chopped up some avocados and fresh cilantro and tossed them with lime juice, then settled them on the toasted baguette slices along with the Cuban-seasoned & lime-marinated shrimp. It was a cinch to make, and had the most pleasant summery taste about it. The Cuban seasoning paired perfectly with the lime, avocado, and fresh cilantro, and the toasted baguette slices made it easy to eat and share (aka no forks necessary, which is great for me because our new place doesn't have a dishwasher so I'm washing everything by hand). I am excited to start grilling in the backyard so I can use the Cuban seasoning on other novel creations, like steak, corn on the cob, or mahi-mahi...
Sunday, May 13, 2012
Sunday, May 6, 2012
Greek Macaroni & Cheese with Roast Garlic, Caramelized Leeks, & a Side of Greek Coffee, Plus a Giveaway!
I am going home in about two weeks to visit my family and friends for the first time since Christmas, and just thinking about it made me start craving my parents' home cooked Greek food again. I've already put in a Pastichio request to my mom (thanks mom!) but my stomach has been shouting that two weeks is not soon enough. My mind tried to stay strong, telling me that all the baklava and fresh hummus would be worth the wait...but alas, I have little to no will-power when it comes to food, and so I buckled under the pressure and came up with this cheesey and gooey melange of my favorite Greek food components. Feta, spinach, roasted garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, caramelized leeks, oregano, onions, and my little cheat ingredient, Asiago Cheese. It's not Greek, but it's Italian, and in Italy they have a saying about the Greeks "una faccia una razza" which translates to "one face one race", and basically means that Greeks and Italians are one and the same, so now that I think about it, I am going to let my Asiago addition slide right on into Greeksville. To go with this rich and hearty dish, I decided to whip up a nice little cup of Greek coffee. Also known as Turkish or Arabic coffee, Greek coffee is very thick and is made by simply boiling very finely ground coffee (think powdered sugar in texture) with water and a bit of granulated sugar until it begins to boil. When it is served you sip it slowly, and don't drink all of it, because as time passes the grinds settle to the bottom of the cup and leave a about a quarter-inch thick layer of coffee grinds. It's a fun little tradition in Greece to turn your cup upside down onto the saucer (after you've drank all of the liquid), wait 5 or 10 minutes, pick up your cup, and try to read your fortune in the way the grinds have shifted.