Archive | November, 2014

Friendsgiving Appetizers from Food & Wine Magazine

20 Nov

It’s almost Thanksgiving… you know what that means?! It means the occurrence of the equally important tradition known among many friend clans as Friendsgiving.  For several years now, my group of close friends have made it a point to feast together before everyone departs to home for the holidays.  We all imbibe on some red wine and eat to our hearts content in comfy (and definitely stretchy) pants, undoubtedly reminiscing on a funny story from years past and being grateful for one another in our own ways.  Each clan member is responsible for bringing a delicious Thanksgiving-esq dish for this gluttony marathon, and the gracious host is always responsible for dealing with the bird.  I was late to the email chain laying claim to side dishes, but after devouring Food and Wine Magazine’s Thanksgiving issue, I knew I didn’t have a problem.  Enter: Friendsgiving Appetizers!

Exhibit A: Kale Salad with Root Vegetables and Lemony Vinaigrette

I took a few liberties with the recipe to give it more of my own flare, but the basics are the same.

You’ll need:

  • 2 lbs curly kale (I got two full heads)
  • 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. agave nectar
  • 1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar (my personal addition to the dressing)
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, roughly diced
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 2 scallions (thinly sliced)
  • Parmesan cheese (grated)

In a large bowl, massage one of the kale heads with  apple cider vinegar and 2 tablespoons of olive oil and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.  This makes the kale more tender and extra-sweet. In a baking pan, tear apart the second kale head into large pieces and toss light with some olive oil.  Bake kale for 20-25 minutes or until crispy.  Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1 tablespoon lemon zest, soy sauce, agave nectar, and a 1/4 cup olive oil.  This was a bit sweet for my taste, so I added a tablespoon on red wine vinegar.  Whisk together and set aside.  Use a peeler to strip the carrots into thin ribbons.  Add carrots, chopped apple, scallions and Parmesan cheese to the kale salad in the large bowl, and mix in crispy kale when ready.   Toss entire mixture with vinaigrette for a super healthy, vibrant Turkey day salad!

Kale Salad with Root Vegetables

Kale Salad with Root Vegetables

Exhibit B: Roasted Eggplant & Garlic Dip

This is one of several appetizer dips featured in the magazine, and it turned out to be a marvelous idea.  Think about how much time your loved ones sit around waiting for the gravy to finish or someone to arrive with the mashed potatoes.  This dip is the perfect solution! Pair with blue tortilla chips or pita chips.

You’ll need

  • 2 large eggplants
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 scallions, chopped
  • Olive oil
  • 2 8oz. containers of plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp each of minced parsley, cilantro and mint

Slice the eggplant vertically into 1 inch pieces. Lay flat on baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.  Broil in the oven for 5 minutes, or until slightly charred and softened.  Turn the oven down to 375 degrees.  Add chopped garlic cloves and scallions to the eggplant, and bake for an additional 35 minutes.  Make sure eggplant is super soft before removing from oven, and allow to cool completely.  Scrape the “meat” out of the skins and put in a colander for 15 minutes, or until totally drained.  Mince eggplant, scallions, and garlic; transfer to a bowl and add in the Greek yogurt, lemon juice, and herbs.  Mix thoroughly together, and serve at room temperature with some dipping chips.

Roasted Eggplant Dip

Roasted Eggplant Dip

Did any of you participate in a Friendsgiving??

Smoked Salmon Toast Snack

13 Nov

Happy Wednesday and a belated Happy Veterans Day! How many of you fellow DCers made it to The Concert for Valor on the Mall last night? Thousands of people packed themselves in front of our nation’s capitol to celebrate all veterans, active duty service members, and their families in honor of their monumental courage and sacrifice.  In between performances by Jennifer Hudson, Jessie J, The Black Keys, Dave Grohl, The Zac Brown Band, Carrie Underwood, Bruce Springsteen, Metallica, Rihanna and Eminem, the jumbotrons broadcast awe-inspiring stories about these veterans, about what they have achieved, and the incredible obstacles they have overcome.  These veterans were in the audience, getting the standing ovation that they deserve.  It was almost surreal to witness this directly in front of the Capitol building, and no one could have asked for a more beautiful November night.  My friend and I, both lucky to have the day off, parked ourselves on the Mall very early in the afternoon to secure a great viewing spot and enjoy what was undoubtedly one of our last 70 degree days in DC.  I doubt you’re surprised at this point that I made sure to bring snacks.  What I decided upon is a recipe idea I stole from a great friend at my August birthday gathering, and all you need is four ingredients!  Stop by Trader Joe’s and pick up:

  • Sliced loaf of Whole Wheat bread
  • One avocado
  • Small package of herb goat cheese
  • Small package of smoked salmon ($7.99 and the most expensive item)

Goat Cheese, Smoked Salmon, and Avocado Toast on Whole Wheat Bread

Toast the bread and spread on the goodness! The goat cheese adds an awesome zing under the smoothness of the salmon, and it’s a snack full of protein and good-for-you fat so it will tide you over (even while you wait for five hours on the National Mall).  Tried and true success!

Nommin’ Out: Medium Rare

6 Nov

My carnivorous people, pay attention. Medium Rare restaurant, originally started in the Cleveland Park metro area of DC, has expanded to Barracks Row in Eastern Market! My coworker, a staunch Arlington-dweller, mentioned that I need to make it a priority on my restaurant list, and a DC recommendation from him is a big deal.  I shared my desire with a fellow steak lover, and made it a dinner stop this week.  Let me break it down for ya: they serve one thing for dinner only.  Its a $19.75 pre-fixed menu of rustic bread, garden salad, and special-sauce covered steak with hand-cut fries cooked to perfection just the way you like it.  The best part? They serve the steak and fries to you TWICE. Your dinner comes in two parts to ensure the steak and fries stay warm and amazing, #thoughtful.  Paired with a $30 bottle of red wine and I was a happy camper!

Medium RareDC

thewinelifestyle

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Madison Sheffer

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