Sunday, January 11, 2009

Winter Break--A Food Retrsopective

Some of this will be redundant because the people with whom I dined and cooked already blogged about it. The best part was how much we cooked at home and how many of us cooked together.
Thanks to food, the break is memorable. Everything else is sort of a hazy mess of sickness and conflictedness.

In reverse order though, I did eat well enough to sustain me through Mountain Town's semi-bleak cuisine. Highlighting the best parts:

The Sunday before we left, mom and Little Hands indulged me by going with me to the Hong Kong Tea House. As an added bonus, the kids came too. Watching Lil and Z eat rice with chopsticks and Cam and Lil try the sticky buns and Cam actually liking potstickers was the sweetest part. Well that and I got to order pork dumplings, shrimp dumplings, homemade meatballs, homemade dumplings, potstickers, spare ribs, beef wanoki roll, shrimp noodle roll, curry roll in rice noodles, and the half-hour special--fried rice. I think there may have been more food ordered but the blood that rushed to my stomach trying to digest all that food stroked out part of my brain.

Sunday night: Halibut with dill butter. Halibut had a worm. Not a highpoint, but a highlight nonetheless.

Saturday....bleak except for brunch at Red Rock where I ordered a cholesterol sky-rocketer: eggs in a nest with hollandaise instead of red sauce. And yes, I'd like the bacon too.
Cheese at the Paris. Should have made a reservation for dinner.

Friday: Flew down to the New Yorker in the snow. Shared a rib-eye with bernaise will Little Hands. KJ had delicious carpaccio. H-ster ordered the best--some sort of chopped salad special.

Thursday: Delicious spaghetti and meatballs at Little Hands'.

Wednesday: The Pub with KJ, Doug and Egg. Southwest Chicken Salad. Mediocre. More queso fresco please.

Wednesday lunch: ACME burger with HighTouch and Dr. Write. Delicious shoe-string fries and even better conversation about movies, books and academics.

Tuesday day: Skiing lunch. Best pizza in Utah at Goldminer's or was I just hungry from torturing my calves?

Tuesday night: Delicious dinner with Scorpion's Tail (maybe she'll blog again if I link her) and Dr. Write at Cafe Madrid: Red peppers stuffed with white fish, sardines on toast points, manchego, prosciutto, and two other meats whose names I can't remember, a sausage, bacon wrapped shrimp, mussels. All in all, pretty good but overpriced and some problem with paying by threes. Rude.

Monday: Tomato soup and baked potatoes? I think so...

Sunday: Iron Chef Citrus--(mom's choice of "secret ingredient") You can get another angle at KJ's but overall, much more successful than Iron Chef mushroom. Citrus is versatile. Half the recipes I looked at had citrus anyway. KJ made a great halibut ceviche with lime and coconut milk and jicama. The chicken wings were spicy and fruity. Little Hand's roasted red-pepper with tangerine cream was possibly the best soup I'd ever tasted (should have made mushroom soup last time instead of risotto!). Her scallops were perfectly cooked and paired well with the lemon capellini. The caviar was just a huge bonus and El said now she can say she tried it, even if she didn't like it.
The shrimp I marinated for just a half an hour in lemon juice, salt and pepper then grilled and topped with a mango, lime and radish salsa. Sectioning the limes was the biggest pain. Then I made duck breasts marinated in orange, soy, orange zest, white wine vinegar. I also threw the marinade on top of some salmon and the leftover halibut that KJ brought for the fishotarians who don't eat duck. I cooked the duck skin side down in a large pan for a little longer than they said, took them out and let them rest and then reduced the marinade. Braised chicory formed the base and then I cheated by making lemon mashed potatoes.
Overall, a much more balanced and exciting meal--partly again because of the company and partly because citrus is just a note, not the primary ingredient and partly because that's a lot of food and it's easier to eat a lot in the winter.

Saturday night: Dinner at the cousin's with funeral potatoes and ham. Thankfully, mom brought sausage and cream cheese stuffed mushrooms and a turkey.

Friday night: Lugano's with my mom and sisters? Things are getting fuzzy. Either way, everyone ordered badly except Little Hands. Mom and I both ordered prosciutto pizza. KJ ordered clam linguini. Little Hands ordered something so good that I can't remember. It involved pappardelle and cream. And maybe prosciutto.

Thursday: Merry Christmas Meat-By-Val--ham, turkey breast, prime rib, sausage and cream cheese stuffed mushrooms. She made the best prime rib yet!

Wednesday: Christmas Eve. Tomato soup with dill. Cold roast beef.

Tuesday: Dinner at Marshall and Joy's (Egg's sister and boyfriend). They made Tom Kha Gai and spring rolls with peanut sauce and the most delicious skewered mushrooms I'd ever had.

Monday: I roasted a chicken at Val's. Mashed potatoes involved again? I'm sense a them.

Sunday: Erik and I went to Trio after I was mostly cured. A delicious pizza made better with a side of mashed potatoes.

Saturday: Rick's big party. El made nacho cheese green chile soup. I made clam chowder.

Friday: I was sick but I still made halibut and salmon and possibly the best hollandaise I've ever had. Fortunately, no one got what I had.

Thursday: Little Hands made something delicious. Mom was there. Edited to add: She remembered! Tacos. This after we realized that Erik is the Johnny Appleseed of beer caps, leaving beer caps everywhere he goes. Val found three in her ski boot. She thinks perhaps he's hoping for beer trees, she texted. Thank god for texting.

Wednesday: We arrive to a bounty of homemade enchiladas.

Surprisingly, I didn't got to Settebello, Martine, the Paris for dinner, Mazza, or the Metropolitan. I suffer I know. Being sick those first 4 days really cut into my organizational abilities and my food plans. I see already I didn't eat with my mom nearly enough and that mashed potatoes may have figured too prominently in my diet.


Dr. Write said...

Everything (and yes, I mean everything) is made better by a side of mashed potatoes.
Also, wine helps.
I'm glad I got to see you and eat with you as often as I did.
More on the way??

Lisa B. said...

An impressive dossier of eating. I am so glad I got to see you and also I am glad I got to eat those fries again. But mashed potatoes--always improve everything!

Here's to a dinner and maybe more in Chicago.

Valerie said...

And HOW! Wowser. That really makes me want to go for a run. Although I don't run. I am taking the kids to Hong Kong Tea house again on Sunday for bday brunch!

Counterintuitive said...

Yes, an amazing dossier of eating to steal Lisa's phrase. I hear you on Cafe Madrid. About 5 yrs ago I convinced my bk club friends to meet there and order the paella ahead of time. When the bill came, they all about face planted into the left-over sausage paella and they've never let me live it down. Still, good food.