Sunday, May 30, 2010

Our Friends Eric and Shari

Another lazy holiday weekend evening. Friends for a barbeque.
As always I thought I'd be home sooner, but as I dashed in the door at 5 PM with friends coming at 5:30 and no appetizer planned I dashed for the pantry and lo and behold two jars of ready to eat treats just waiting for crackers or crostini. Last fall when our garden was spilling over I canned up jars of "hot" (not really too hot) peppers and "pickled eggplant". For just such an occasion. I tried not to look too proud when our friends noticed the custom labels. Add some crackers, cheese, olives and a couple slices of salami an there was plenty to munch on while we got down to the work of what I'm calling "audience participation dinner."
While I was in santa Fe I bought a bag of blue corn flour, thinking I would give it as a gift. I never did so today seemed like a good time to use it up with a batch of homemade warm tortillas. I poured enough boiling water into the flour to make a thick, but not sticky dough. Eric rolled the dough into balls, Shari flattened them and I laid them on the waiting heating iron pans to cook through. Not the prettiest tortillas I've ever seen -- none of us will be mistaken for Jane Russell in "The Outlaw" but they were warm and chewy and all together not too bad for a first attempt. I started thinking about tortillas because, having a stock of chickens in the freezer from our poultry CSA, I had zeroed in on a grilled chicken recipe from Rick Bayless that coats the flattened (spatchcocked actually) birds with a mixture of chili powder, orange juice, oregano, cinnamon, clove, and apple cider vinegar before grilling them over indirect heat for 45 minutes. In the last 10 minutes I added some lightly oiled and salted green onions to the flaming side of the grill. Bayless serves his chicken with a tomatillo salsa. We had fresh avocados, which James loves, so I whipped up a quick guacamole with chopped onion, cilantro, jalapeno peppers, and lime juice.
More homegrown showing off. These lima beans and wax beans are from our garden. I blanched the beans until tender, added some thinly sliced red onions (also from our garden) and dressed the mixture in red wine vinegar, sherry vinegar (2 TB each) and about 1/4 cup of roasted walnut oil. Salt pepper and a handful of chopped fresh mint finished off this easy summer salad.
Speaking of salad. Since the grill was going I decided to give a grilled romaine salad a try. I brushed the quartered heads with olive oil and salt and tinged the leaves with the flames for about 20 seconds on a side. A feta cheese vinaigrette (3 oz feta cheese, 5 TB olive oil, 1 tsp oregano, 1 TB water, 2 1/2 TB red wine vinegar all whirled in the blender until creamy, it's a food and Wine recipe) along with oven roasted cherry tomatoes I had made earlier in the day. My favorite dish of the night. My favorite dish for quite some time.
Dessert? Well it was sort of a barbeque. I blended up a quart of blueberries, lime juice and some simple syrup and poured it into popsicle molds. Done.


  1. Love the labels! How did you do those? Are they custom printed? We have a few canned things we'd like to give to people, and custom labels would be awesome... I'll be trying out that roasted romaine next weekend - looks delicious.

  2. ah easy -- my secret label source

    we do them for everything!