Monday, April 21, 2008
Good Food, Good Drink
I had the most fun girl's night out this weekend. We went to a really yummy Italian restaurant and they served Strawberry Basil Martinis. Basically, if you say strawberry and/or basil...I'm in. These were FABULOUS. So light and refreshing and perfect for a light spring evening! I found this great recipe online and tried it last night. TO DIE FOR.
Strawberry Basil Martini
2 strawberries, plus 1 thin slice of strawberry for garnish
2 basil leaves
1/2 ounce Simple Syrup
1 ounce gin, preferably Tanqueray No. Ten
1 ounce vodka
1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
In a cocktail shaker, muddle the strawberries with the basil leaves and Simple Syrup. Add ice and the remaining ingredients and shake well. Strain (using a fine strainer) into a chilled martini glass and garnish with the strawberry slice.
Then last night we had our most favorite friends over for dinner. They have twin girls that are BabyGirl's age and a boy two years older than BabyBoy. We used to always joke that SOME DAY we would actually be able to sit and eat without infinite interuptions. That seemed to happen last night! It was wonderful. They are vegetarians and it seems like I always make salmon when they come over. I've deemed it "Salmon with the Shermans". Here's what I made last night:
GRILLED SALMON NIÇOISE
4 pounds fresh salmon filets
Freshly ground black pepper
3/4 pound haricots verts, stems removed and blanched
2 pounds small cooked Yukon gold potatoes, thickly sliced
2 pounds ripe tomatoes, cut into wedges (6 small tomatoes)
8 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and cut in half
1/2 pound Kalamata black olives, pitted
1 bunch watercress or arugula
1 can anchovies, drained (optional)
3 tablespoons champagne vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
10 tablespoons good olive oil
1. To grill the salmon, get a charcoal or stove-top cast-iron grill very hot. Brush the fish with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill each side for only 5 minutes until the center is barely raw. Remove to a plate and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Set aside for 15 minutes. Arrange the salmon, haricots verts, potatoes, tomatoes, eggs, olives, watercress, and anchovies, if used, on a large flat platter. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
2. Make the vinaigrette: Combine the vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper. Slowly whisk in the olive oil to make an emulsion.
3. To serve, unwrap platters and drizzle some of the vinaigrette over the fish and vegetables, and serve the rest in a pitcher on the side.
Traditionally this meal is made with tuna...but it worked really well with salmon. They brought the most delicious bread from Fresh Market and we topped it with a dill finishing butter also from Fresh Market. It could not have been a more perfect pairing. Fantastic.