Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Culinary weekend!

I love food! (even though that is not an association people make when they first see me :) ) So, a weekend where almost every meal was soul-satisfying needs to make it to the blog.

The lucky streak started on Friday. The husband was working from home and so I stirred myself to make more effort over lunch. I am very happy  when I get a chance to put leftovers to use.There was some rice sitting in the fridge, the default accompaniment to every Seamless delivery. Turns out this slight hard, slightly old rice is perfect for quick fried rice. This is the expedited path I followed: Stir fry finely chopped ginger, garlic, onions and then any veggies you might have on hand. I never skimp on the ginger - important to add that punch. Remember to add some sugar as well to help the flavor and add color. Add the rice and the soy sauce soon after. Since soy sauce is salty, taste before adding the salt. Some recipes add in the vinegar at this point. I like to have vinegar separately on the table - in a bowl with chopped green chilies and more ginger.
All of this took me around 20 minutes. Topped off my plate with some stir-fried shrimp as a reward for my efforts while the husband got a sunny-side on his.

Ventured into Williamsburg later in the evening to look for baby clothes for my husband's new nephew. Decided to eat at St. Anselm on a whim. Now, we have visited and liked St. Anselm before. Being vegetarian, however, a restaurant specializing in grilling isn't going to be at the top of our regulars list. But this experience changed that for us. Despite their prohibitive wait-list (2 hours! which we used to find parking and browse baby stores) plus a further 30 minute wait for proper seating (no, I don't want to sit on a hard, tall stool at the bar - not after such a long wait anyway!) St. Anselm delivered. We decided to order a bunch of their appetizers and small plates to get a taste of everything.The peach-tomato salad, the haloumi-pea leaves salad, the spinach gratin were all worth the wait. The charred cauliflower brought back memories of my Dimma's phulkopi jhuri bhaja. The wine, though a tad expensive, perfectly complemented the flavors.We also managed to squeeze in some dessert (what a blessing it is to have expandable tummies!) - vanilla ice-cream with peach pie. Pure bliss! Exactly what a randomly special meal should feel like!

On Saturday, we pigged out at a special rakhi lunch cooked by the m-i-l. Lotus roots (bhe) in a light curry, saag paneer, a very toddler friendly red salad with beets and a great halwa.

Partly out of guilt and partly out of boredom (from over-eating!), we ended up walking all the way from 46th street to 14th. We did make a few pit-stops but since those pertained to shopping, our poor feet did not get any rest. When we finally reached Williamsburg, we were thirsty (and hungry again.) A quiet, airy pub beckoned. Williamsburg has tons of these cute establishments. Ordered wine with a small appetizer of Welsh rarebit. Really savored both the refreshments and the ambiance.

The weekend was going swimmingly and I didn't want to break the streak on Sunday. I am usually very amenable to husband-made omelettes and coffee on Sundays but this time I decided to step it up a notch and made some sambar and coconut-coriander chutney with idlis (ready-to-make, of course. I am not that efficient!) I found this to be an easy sambar recipe. I didn't have any tamarind on hand but lemon juice helped. This is the recipe I followed for the chutney. I didn't do a very fine grind either. Everything turned out great, even if I say so myself.

Too bad I forgot to weigh myself on Monday.Would have done my parents proud!

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