Wednesday, November 19, 2008

salmon, bleu cheese and capers...oh my!

It's only Wednesday and my week has been jam-packed! Juggling work, class, cooking for events and my personal life has definitely been a challenge the past few weeks. I also do know that everything in life happens for a reason and for that, I am thankful.

A few days ago, I was finally able to try out Fuego, the newly-replaced Duce of Tim Love. The reviews have been good and I was really excited to try just didn't deliver for me. We went for lunch and started with the smoked chicken wontons in a truffle butter sauce. The sauce needed salt and the wontons were a bit soggy but it had a good balance of flavor.

My girlfriend then ordered the duo of soups (broccoli and roasted red pepper) with crab meat. First of all, the soups ran together (orange + green = brown) and had a gloppy appearance. When I tasted it, it was fishy. I'm not sure if it was the crab meat, the stock or a combination of both...regardless, it was unappetizing.

We both ordered shrimp with our entrees. My girlfriend ordered the spicy shrimp pasta with an arrabbiata-type sauce and I ordered the ensalada fresca (garbanzo beans, hearts of palm, sun-dried tomatoes, fontina) and added grilled shrimp. When I received the over-sized salad, it was without hearts of palm (the only reason I ordered it!) and like the crab, the shrimp was fishy. My overcooked meat curse is being replaced with fishy seafood.

Later that evening, I met with a client who is hiring us for two Christmas parties in January. We discussed the menu over dinner at P.F. Changs. Surprisingly, she had never been so I introduced her to some of the simple, P.F. Changs' favorites- Mongolian beef with scallions, crispy honey shrimp and moo goo gai pan. We finished with the banana spring rolls and coconut pineapple ice cream...heavenly.

The next day, I went on my weekly annual Central Market binge with a specific objective in mind. Although adventurous in my dining, there are a few "culinary delights" in the minds of others that I just can't stand: salmon, bleu cheese, pickles, capers, hard-boiled name a few.
I'm determined to force my palette to like these things. Seemingly silly, I feel like I'm missing out on something great.

I decided to tackle the salmon first-(hence the CM binge) and left complete with a salmon filet, fresh parsley, a bottle of Scheurebe, chocolate with hazelnuts, Belgium black currant beer, veggie potstickers, pineapple chunks, hummus, whole wheat pita, tomatoes, haricot verts and scallions.

For dinner, I decided to keep the salmon simple and let its flavor shine through. I seasoned it with olive oil, salt and pepper and seared it on the grill pan with a mustard glaze...after some steamed haricot verts with orange and basmati rice with fresh herbs..I was completely satisfied.

The next evening, I made my favorite lazy-night-at-home dinner: pan-fried veggie pot stickers with steamed edamame. I'm pretty snobby about frozen food, but I'm addicted to these veggie pot stickers that I get from CM (white and green bag in Japanese). They are perfect with steamed and salted edamame and Lana's sweet and sour sauce available in the Asian section.
Now if only I could get my hands on some sake...

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