Some food-related (mostly) things we enjoyed this past week:
Our local Central Market offers the “Sip and Shop” feature where shoppers can purchase a glass of wine or a beer to sip while — you guessed it — shopping. Â We don’t always sip and shop, but when we do, it turns the sometimes tedious chore of grocery shopping into an enjoyable afternoon outing.
With so many yummy fruits currently in season (see also, cheap), we were inspired to try grilling some of the bounty and making a salad out of it. Â We grilled pineapple, apricots, peaches and grapes, then tossed the grilled fruit with crumbled goat cheese and a finely chopped jalapeno and drizzled all of it with a white balsamic vinegar reduction. Â Summer on a plate. Â We’ll post about it soon, but a couple of tips we learned are to use barely-ripe fruit (over-ripe fruit may get mushy) and if you grill grapes longer than a couple of minutes, their skins disappear.
Back when we participated in the Charcutepalooza “Year of Meat,” we discovered the perfection that is duck confit. Â Knowing we still had some duck legs in our freezer, Dan had a craving but decided to prepare the confit a little differently this time. Â He dusted off his sous vide machine, filled it with water, set it to 178 degrees, then cooked the cured duck legs in a vacuum-sealed bag in the machine for 10 hours. Â Then all we had to do was pop the duck in the oven for about 15-20 minutes and pair it with a salad and a poached egg for an amazing weeknight meal.
Because we don’t already have enough kitchen gadgets and we enjoy a sparkling beverage on occasion, we recently purchased a Sodastream. Â We’re pretty happy with it — it doesn’t take up much space and you can create your own club soda with varying levels of bubbly-ness.
Our cucumber plant is not quite done yet! Â We thought it was a goner once the temps started regularly reaching high 90s and 100s, but it has hung in there and even has multiple flowers, some of which will hopefully turn into little cucumbers for pickling.