May 3, 2010

It got HOT this weekend.  Like the kind of hot we only dreamed of growing up in Washington.  I spent approximately 7 hours of this weekend sweating away in McCarren park with various friends.  It was grand.  And gross. 
Earlier in the week I had invited my friend Jenn De La Vega to come by for dinner, not realizing how super warm life would be by Sunday evening.  Boy oh boy, I am glad I selected some recipes that did not require too much oven time. 
Last week I met Emma for a snack at Bakeri, where I ordered a delicious avocado sandwich with a small scoop of chickpea salad.  OMG the salad was so simple but so incredible.  I sat there chewing like some a-hole foodie trying to figure out the ingredients to recreate it.  It was worth it.  I’ve made the dish twice in the past week – for the Dinner with the Band premiere celebration and then tonight. 
I don’t have exact measurements for this, so just do whatever tastes best.
Chickpea Salad
Bakeri Chickpea Salad
1 can of garbanzo beans (or you can use fresh ones, you snob)Juice of 1 1/2 lemons1/4 cup of parsley1/4 cup of chopped red onion1 tbls of mustard seedsalt and pepper to taste
The other two things I made were from recipes I found using Tastespotting. If you have not used this site, DO IT!  Lovely pictures + great recipes.  It’s the Hypemachine of food.
Orange and Fennel Salad
Orange and Fennel Salad (from Cate’s World)
makes 3 small servings
1 medium fennel bulb , thinly sliced (slice the celery-looking stalks too) 1 medium navel orange, cut into sections 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion 3 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice 1 tbsp olive oil 1 tbsp lemon juice 3 tbsp chopped walnuts
Toss the fennel, oranges, and red onion in a medium bowl. Sprinkle with a pinch or two of salt and pepper.
Whisk together the orange juice, olive oil, and lemon juice. Pour over the fennel mixture and toss well.
Chill for about 20 minutes, covered, then sprinkle with walnuts to serve.
(I made this with 2 big fennel bulbs and it made about 5 servings. Toast the walnuts.  Makes a big difference. Also, I have no idea how to cut oranges properly.  Totally embarrassing.)
Maple Sesame Tofu (adapted from andthenidontdothedishes)
I saw this recipe and was jealous that I didn’t eat salmon… I remember something similar to this that my mom used to make with cod – one of the only fish dishes I liked as a kid (except salmon mashed with a ton of mayonnaise.)  I figured that the marinade would be just as tasty with a firm tofu, so I went-a-marinating. Toasted sesame seeds are key. 
Salmon or trout fillets (enough for 4 to 6 people) Tofu Steak* 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped 1/3 cup maple syrup 1/4 cup soy sauce (I use reduced sodium) 2 tsp rice vinegar 1 tsp sesame oil 1/2 tsp Sriracha sauce (or hot sauce of your choice) Toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
Pour over the tofu and let it marinate.
I have a convection oven, so this sort of dish required a bit more attention.. but if you go by the recipe directions, you should run things under a broiler for 10 mins.
The final product:
Sunday Dinner
Jenn is a big fan of all things meat, so she was pleased with the tofu marinade (and was thinking of meats to apply it to) and even liked the fennel well (it can be a bit licoricey but the citrus juice mellows it out a ton.)  Also joining us for dinner was her friend Paul who  is in town with his company 2 Player covering their friends at Penny Arcade being honored as one of Time Magazine’s Top 100.  COOL!
* Jenn told me that if you freeze any style of tofu and then cook it, it changed the molecularblahblahblah and it basically easier/firmer to eat/cook