A.G. Newsletter ##87: Cooking For My Family, Cut, Favorite Soup When I'm Sick & July 4th Ribs
Did you know you can eat Hummus for Dinner? Click that link and see how in today's post. (Plus: there's a recipe in there for skhug. If you don't know what skhug is, you don't know what you're missing!)
I was beyond flattered/honored/excited to have my cookbook included in Heidi Swanson's Favorite Things list this weekend on 101Cookbooks. Heidi's got such great taste that I feel like the kid always picked last for baseball finally getting picked first. Or something like that. So thanks Heidi!
My family was in town this last week and, because it was my brother's birthday, I decided to cook him a birthday dinner. Here's the whole family gathered around the table:
What's that on their plates? Why it's my famous Spicy Spatchcocked Chicken over Cous Cous Salad with Salsa Verde. It's a crowd pleasing dinner party dish that everyone seems to enjoy; plus you can really play with that couscous. This time I took my friend David's advice and included toasted pine nuts, raisins, and--the real kicker--pomegranate molasses diluted with a bit of lemon juice (in addition to my usual parsley, scallions and lemon zest):
It was a mighty fine couscous, if I do say so myself.
As for dessert, I made brownie sundaes with Martha Stewart's brownie recipe and this recipe for hot fudge sauce from Epicurious with Haagen-Daas vanilla ice cream. The birthday boy seemed happy with it:
Sadly, soon after my family's arrival, I caught a pretty unpleasant cold (still fighting it now). This cold involved a really bad sore throat in the morning, low energy...pretty much the works. I was still able to join my family for dinner at Wolfgang Puck's Cut on Saturday night, where I took this picture at the pass:
The room was pretty dark so the picture of my perfect ribeye didn't come out at all, but you can sort of make out the heirloom tomato salad that I started my meal with:
It's topped with slices of goat cheese and, the real kicker, pickled white anchovies. I like the idea of aged goat cheese with an heirloom tomato salad and I like the idea of pickled white anchovies with an heirloom tomato salad, but the anchovies AND the goat cheese together was a bit much. Just my two cents.
Here's the birthday boy again with another candle, this time in a Baked Alaska:
We Robertses can never have too much birthday.
So, you may be wondering, how did you nurse yourself back to health after such a lavish meal at Cut? Didn't you need something nourishing, something healing?
Behold the coconut/lime/chicken soup at Ruen Pair, my favorite cold cure:
I've written about this soup before in my post BATTLE COLD CURE: Thailand vs. Japan. Even though I found myself eating ramen too in my efforts to fight this cold, Ruen Pair certainly wins the prize for its potent mixture of lemongrass and galangal and chiles which really clear out your sinuses as you're fighting your way back to health.
Finally, on July 4th, we did two very important things. We ate ribs at our friends' Mark and Diana's:
(Those are grilled ribs with Diana's sugar snap pea salad and my sweet potato/quinoa/chipotle salad which I'll blog about later in the week.)
And, perhaps more importantly, we saw "Magic Mike" which was very entertaining, to say the least.
That's all for this week folks! I've got some really good posts up my sleeve this week, so watch out: cooking fish for a crowd, hand-blender salad dressings, and a sweet potato hash with chipotle peppers.
Until next time!
Adam (The Amateur Gourmet)
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