If you haven’t figure it out by now, Lindsey and I cook almost everything and we’re not afraid to try new things. Here recently I’ve been on a lamb kick, but I really don’t have a good spice set to compliment it. I love Middle Eastern food, but was a bit intimidated because I wasn’t 100% sure what to buy. And really…I wasn’t up for searching for spices and herbs and sauces and whatnot at the Trader Joes and Whole Foods of the world; I wanted it from the source. Lucky for me, there is a store around the corner from me that has everything your heart could desire.
Bon Appétit ran an article some time ago that highlighted your essential Middle Eastern spices and while I was able to find most of them, I still haven’t found the aleppo pepper. And I learned the hard way that you can buy everyone’s ras-el-hanout…kinda like you can’t eat everyone’s potato salad. But back to the article, check it out and the first thing you should do is get that pomegranate molasses on some lamb. The second thing is to add these spices to your gluttony arsenal if you dont have them already: cumin, cardamom, anise seed, tumeric, sumac and caraway. They’ll help you in other dishes too!
That’s the description of live octopus chopped into bite-sized pieces and drizzled with oil and herbs. In my brief escape from work today I came across this video Americans Taste Test Exotic Asian Food. It’s pretty hilarious. I’m down to try almost anything except for that half born baby duck. #justsayno What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever eaten? I had alligator flavored ice cream once…and a kangaroo burger.
Outside of work stuff, summer is a really busy season for me so I’m always looking for quick and creative food ideas. Last year I came across a recipe on Pinterest that I really liked. It looked really easy and seemed flavorful based on the ingredients, but it took forever to find some reasonably priced crabmeat. I mean the one good thing about living in Baltimore is that crab and oysters are always at your beck and call, but sometimes they get a little pricey. Anyhoo, fast forward, I made the dish…it was amazing and easy and quick. I decided it would now be one of my summer staples.
I hope you’re good at following a storyline here, because I’m always all over the place. Maybe a month or so ago Whole Foods had their “One Day Deal” on jumbo lump crabmeat. At $15/lb it was a steal and I got like 5 things. So I made some crab cakes and added some crab to my vodka sauce and then it was 85 degrees and I didnt feel like cutting my stove on. Re-enter the cilantro lime crab salad recipe. I got home late, had to mow the lawn and before I knew it, it was 9pm. I whipped this up in less than 10 minutes. Check out the recipe:
- 1/2 cup (8 oz.) lump crab meat
- 3 tbsp mayonnaise
- 2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1/3 cup red onion, diced finely
- 1-2 tsp jalapeño, diced finely (optional)
- 1 tsp lime zest
- Juice from 1/2 a lime
- Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
- Dash of cumin
- 1 avocado, cut in half, pit removed
Here’s where the story changes pace again…I went to the market on Tuesday and they had a sale on cilantro. 2 bunches for $1…another steal! I swear I bought all the cilantro. So now I have like 5 more bunches at home and nothing to do with them. I was sitting at my desk thinking, “I wonder what else I could make with cilantro…” and I came across a recipe for Coconut Shrimp Salad With Spicy Mango & Cilantro Salsa at Food Republic. Its an oven recipe, but its baked and healthy and has that fresh mango salsa. Its going to go great with the white sangria I’m making this weekend and you guys got a twofer today. Have a great weekend!
So the week is almost done and for the first time, I feel like this week has gone by as fast as the weekend. I’ve been so busy with work that I haven’t been able to get anything else done, namely prepare for the summer. I forgot/was too tired/it was too cold to go outside to cover up my grill this past winter, so now its just an ashen, spiderweb filled shell of what it used to be. I’m going to try to tackle resurrecting summer’s best friend some time this weekend so I can try out all of my favorite staple and new recipes. Somewhere on our site is a picture of some grilled fruit…it’s probably Lindsey’s but I think there’s a picture of mine too. Anyway, one of my all time favorite and super quick and easy grill recipes is grilled peaches. I found the recipe online a few years ago and as with everything, I tweak it to my liking, though I can hardly even write down a recipe…and my liking almost always includes adding alcohol.
- Get as many peaches as you like (half them and DON’T remove the skin)
- Enough liquor to cover the bottom of a pan (Bourbon or Whiskey works best, but you can take this out if you have kids…or not)
- Brown sugar to mix in with the alcohol (You can skip this if you’re not making them for dessert or keep it in if you’re leaving the liquor out)
- Butter or your choice of non-stick assistance (To prevent sticking)
- Mix the liquor and brown sugar together if you choose to use it and let the peach halves soak for at least 4 hours and no longer than 24hrs.
- Oil the grill grates well (If you don’t, most of the peach will stay on the grill!)
- Cook the peaches over a medium-high fire until grill marks show and the peaches are tender but still firm when you press them.
But onto the reason I actually wrote this post…I need to clean my grill! Outside of buying a new one, I’ve been researching ways to bring mine back to life. I found a decent article on The Kitchn for a quick grill refresh. Guess I’ll start with throwing all of my stuff in the dishwasher! Do you have any tips?