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Archive for October, 2010

The hubby is here for the weekend, and last night we went to Carrol’s Creek in Annapolis for dinner. Made reservations. The United States Power Boat Show is in town and a football game against Southern Methodist University takes place later today. Go NAVY! So this city is more populated than usual. Anyway, we felt reservations would be necessary – and we were right! Even for an early evening dinner.

Forgot my camera. Again. Dang. Because the meal was a marvelous experience artfully displayed over several plates! I ordered delicious baked mahi encrusted in crushed macadamias, and the hubby treated himself to a filet mignon and lobster tail. Both came with sautéed spinach and a mixture of other veggies. The mahi also arrived with a small risotto cake topped with a ginger reduction. Oh my! A little hot; a little sweet. Many of you know I love white rice since I almost always have brown or wild. It was such a treat. Really.

So, what was the pèice de résistance? The dessert? Nope! We skipped dessert and coffee all together and followed the meal with a short walk on the bridge instead. It was the salad. Believe it or not, the salad.

Our server, Carter, prepared the most amazing Caesar salad at our table. When he started with a few anchovies I sorta jumped. I love anchovies! But the hubby does not. I figured the anchovies would be added at the end I could get two and hubby would get none. Wrong!

Hubby was game, so we watched as Carter smashed the anchovies in a huge wooden bowl. Then continued smashing a couple of huge garlic cloves. As the process continued he added Dijon mustard, raw egg beaters (couldn’t use a real fresh egg because being a restaurant – playing it safe), lemon juice squeezed from a lemon right then and there, Worcestershire sauce, olive oil, and vinegar. Finally at the end tossed in fresh, crunchy hearts of romaine (perfect bit size!) and topped with freshly grated cheese and homemade croutons.

Hubby thought the anchovy flavor throughout was perfect. That salad was simply divine. And the “simply” was the part that made it so divine. So many fresh, simple ingredients. Flavor of the foods involved. I’m not sure I would ever go through all that trouble at home, but I may. It seems to be one of those processes that if I perform the ritual enough, it wouldn’t take me too long. I could learn how to automatically gather my ingredients together, and just get busy.

Sorta like my friend Larry and his famous guacamole. To me it is such a complicated process to add all the “specialness” that makes his guac famous, though I try to make it, too (because it is so fantastic!). But he has it down to an art – can even drink a glass of wine, stir his chili, and talk to guests at the same time while preparing it! Amazing.

So I’m wondering if maybe I could do the same with this Caesar salad. I have wooden bowls. And I also have a small mortar and pestle if I wanted to use one. (Though it is my understanding that giving the bowl its own garlic “flavor” is a plus!)

Next on my ever-growing to-do list? Make this awesome Caesar salad with ease!

Watch out, Carter. Competition may be on the way!

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AUGH!! Don’t have my camera right now and I keep missing the most wonderful pictures of food!!

Last night I stopped at Lemongrass on my way home from work.

Planning ahead, I shopped at the Midshipmens Store and purchased reflective bands for my arm and backpack since I would be walking after dark. I walk on sidewalks, but the sidewalks are rather narrow in places and the traffic is very, very heavy. I don’t want to eat a special meal only to get hit by a car afterwards. True waste of money.

The meal was fabulous! Absolutely. No doubt. The hardest part was trying to decide what I wanted to try for my first visit.

Started with crispy deep-fried veggie spring rolls, accompanied by a small dish of sweet and spicy hot sauce. It was all so delicious I even ate the shredded carrots and fresh spring mix lettuce that shared the plate. Perfect. Best spring rolls I’ve ever eaten. Ever. I tried to take small bites and take multiple sips of my water – anything to make the experience last. Didn’t have much luck with that.

Next I ordered Shrimp Pik Kur, deep-fried shrimp served with broccoli in a spicy sweet sauce. Even though the spicy was a little too hot for me (however, they warned me), I still absolutely found it delicious! After my first few bites I removed the shrimp from the sauce and set it on the edge of the plate, allowing the sauce a little time to slide off into the center of the dish. The broccoli was already resting on the lip of the plate, so those little green morsels were rather tame. Thankfully the steamed rice came in a separate bowl, offering just the perfect balance to the heat of the meal.

And I asked for chopsticks so I could practice. When I first started this blog I wrote about trying chopsticks. I ate most all foods that way for a while, then after going a few months of not using them, I became totally uncoordinated with every attempt. Leo, my long-lost friend in Kansas (OK. So he’s not really lost. He’s just in Kansas.), encouraged me to continue to try. So I am again becoming proficient with the art of chopsticks!

Finally…..yes…..I was a bad girl….. I ordered dessert. Well, I had walked to work carrying my heavy backpack, and now I was going to walk home. I, um, I knew I deserved it. Seriously, I did.

The dessert was a take on Bananas Foster, with slices of bananas deep fried, topped with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, and drizzled with a little chocolate syrup and honey. I couldn’t finish it, but it was wonderful! The ice cream really cooled the hot left on my tongue from the entrée sauce. And that reason, my friend, is why I ordered dessert!

And as I walked home I realized all three courses were fried. Proof that I live below the Mason-Dixon line.

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