Friday Favorites

Some food-related (mostly) things we enjoyed this past week:

Wonderful, briney oysters at Oceanaire last Friday evening.  Some of the best we’ve had around here.

On Saturday we drove out to Cedar Hill State Park and camped for the night.  It was a good trial run for our new tent and other camping equipment.  Camping is an awesome excuse to eat hot dogs.

And watch a sunset.

And toast 7 years of marriage (back at home.)

Although the traditional gift for the 7th anniversary is copper (representing prosperity and good fortune) or wool (representing comfort and warmth), and the contemporary gift is a desk set (representing boredom?), we decided to go with a fancy new blender instead.

Asian-Glazed Halibut

Asian flavor makes just about anything taste better, even fish.  Thanks to my aversion to any fish that tastes too fishy, we have experimented with all kinds of sauces to make fish more appetizing, including citrus, BBQ, Southwestern and Italian style sauces and toppings.  While we usually cook with tilapia at home, halibut is another mild flavored fish that is easy to prepare in several different ways:  baked, broiled, grilled, pan-sauteed, poached or fried.  Because it is thicker than tilapia, halibut holds up nicely in a heavier sauce or glaze.  Breaking out of our tilapia rut, we adapted this recipe into an Asian-inspired marinade and glaze for fresh halibut, pan-seared and finished in the oven.  The marinade keeps the halibut from drying out and infuses the fish with spicy, tangy and fresh flavors.

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Steak Salad (w/ leftover steak) & Blue Cheese Vinaigrette

Although we don’t cook steak at home all that often, when we do, we usually have leftovers.  Dan appreciates a good deal almost as much as a giant slab of red meat, so whenever he sees a bargain on nice, big steaks at the grocery store, he buys them and freezes them for later use.  Then, when a special occasion calls for steak (for Dan, the occasion would be a random Tuesday), we’ll have enough left over for another, separate meal (thereby creating two special occasions.)  Dressing up a simple green salad with leftover steak is an easy way to create an elegant weeknight meal.  Adding homemade vinaigrette and roasted onions ups the fancy factor even higher.

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Friday Favorites

Some food-related (mostly) things we enjoyed this past week:

We celebrated the long Memorial Day weekend and welcomed the unofficial start of summer with an entire pork shoulder that was injected and rubbed with seasonings and cooked for 16+ hours in the smoker, then pulled apart and served on rolls with a vinegar-style sauce.  It was amazing — some of Dan’s best work ever.

Thanks to a wild hair and a big sale at REI, we are fully equipped to go camping this weekend (cat not included.)  No, really, we are going camping.  And looking forward to it!

Dan has perfected his refrigerator pickles recipe (with cucumbers from our garden no less!)  Refrigerator pickles are really easy to make — no canning required — in just a few days and taste remarkably better than the store-bought version.  We’ll post the recipe when we make our next batch.

Crawfish are still in season around here and make a perfect (although messy) afternoon snack with a cold beer on a patio (in the shade with ceiling fans going.)

Our first tomatoes of the season ripening on the window sill.