Happy Monday Bloggies!!
Ok, so, like I TOTALLY forgot about Food Fridays this past Friday, but it actually works out really well because I went to an AMAZING restaurant on Saturday night which I will now review for you. I feel the fates were on my side with this one, because as we ALL KNOW, Mondays can be drab, and depressing, and sometimes just downright MEAN, so now you all have something interesting(I hope) and funny(please GOD) to read this Monday morning! You. Are. Welcome.
Also, I should let you know that this weekend is mine and Brian's Inaugural Londons' Holiday Party( see, Inaugural BRIAN, not first annual), and so I am all kinds of hyped up because this will be our first big party at our home since we got married and got all of our fancy serving ware and dishes and crystal, blah blah blah. So obviously this means the food must be amazing and must blow peoples' minds because as a married woman I am expected to have mastered the art of cuisine so as to be a good wife and also a good hostess. Not that I am not an amazing cook already, because I am, if I do say so myself. I just have had so much going on lately that I have not cooked EVERY night, like I used to, and am also trying out some new recipes for this party, so those two things combined equals me perhaps not feeling completely confident that everything will go as smoothly as I hope. But my Mom will be here, and let me tell you something about Momma Joanna: she makes miracles happen. My Mother has the ability to turn a ruined recipe, or missing ingredient, or insufficient amount of anything into the most amazing food you have ever put in your mouth. Maybe one day she will pass on the Jedi tricks to me.
Anywhos, what I am saying is that I will try not to wander and get off course with this post. But one last thing! This weekend, I went and printed pictures I had taken in Amsterdam and Chicago, and framed them in fancy frames with mattes and everything, and they look AMAZING. Like, so amazing that I cannot believe I took them and I framed them. So amazing that I should probably be a famous photographer. Just saying. I will post pictures after I hang them on our walls(not so easy, I tend to make tons of mistakes with nails and hammers when I try DIY...which only confirms to me that I am a true Jew at heart and sometimes need help when it comes to handy things).
SO, restaurant! Recipe!
The Purple Olive
A1A South, Saint Augustine, Florida
What to get: Rack of Lamb with port wine reduction
Let me just start by saying I love lamb. If you take me to a restaurant with lamb, chances are that's what I will get. I want to try it everywhere, because it is just so delicious and has this taste that you can't get from beef or pork or anything else other than lamb...lamb lamb lamby yumminess. So, this restaurant is pretty unique in that they have a two-sided menu that lets you either put your own meal together, or choose from the Chef's Selections that are basically the same things from "make your own" but put together in the way the chef thinks they are best. As a cook, I ordered from Chef's Selections because I understand that sometimes you have to trust how someone thinks a meal should be eaten, and go with it. I'm glad I did because the lamb was cooked perfectly. It was red and pink and juicy and tender and hot and crispy on the outside, and just so melt-in-your-mouth delicious on the inside. YUM. The sauce was so luscious and thick, and just sweet enough and spicy enough to add balance, with this pesto on top that had pistachios and mint and garlic, and OMG, I am drooling just thinking about it. Brian had the filet, and it was HUGE. He got the potato and vidalia onion gratin with it, and it just smelled amazing. Usually, he lets me try what he orders(mainly because he always orders my second choice so that I can try two things I want), but this time, I wasn't allowed one bite. So, I know it was one of the best meals he ever had. To risk one of my food meltdowns in a public establishment is serious business. But anyways, the FOOD. They have about 10 different sauces you can get on your meat selection, and so many unique sides to try that it makes it hard to choose. Also, I got a caesar salad with my meal, and it was grilled. Grilled salad people.. Sounds gross, so good. It was charred but not wilted, and had this smoky flavor that just made the tangy bitterness of the dressing pop and dance on my tongue. The cheese melted a little from the heat and it just enhanced the taste of the whole dish. I highly recommend it. Also, they have diver scallops, ALL THE TIME. That's hard to do. I did not get them this time, but I definitely will next time, because YUM. Who doesn't love a fresh scallop?
Curry Chicken Empanadas
What you need:
1lb boneless/skinless chicken breasts
1 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp curry powder(any kind you want, I like a mild yellow curry)
1 tbsp Garam Masala (the grocery store has a great one in the spice aisle, no need for a specialty store)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 cup golden raisins(or more if you like, but start with this)
3 tubes Grands Biscuits(flaky original) - I use these because I am horrible at making dough, and these work really well for making these quickly. But feel free to use your own dough recipe.
3 cups flour
1 egg plus 1 tsp water, beaten.
Preheat oven to 350. Cut chicken breasts into 1/2 inch cubes.
In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add chicken and cook for 6-7 minutes, or until cooked through. Add yogurt, curry powder, garam masala, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and taste. Add more curry or garam masala if you like until you get the spice level you want. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes over medium-low heat. Add raisins, stir, and set aside and let it cool.
On a flat surface, sprinkle about 1/2 to 1 cup flour. Open one tube of biscuits at a time. Peel off one biscuit at a time, and using a rolling pin, roll the biscuit until it is flat and a little more than double the diameter. Spoon a rounded tablespoon of chicken mixture onto the middle of the biscuit. Brush a light layer of egg wash around the edge of the biscuit, and fold the biscuit over to make a half-moon shape. Crimp the edge with a fork, and place on a non-stick baking sheet. Repeat until all the chicken mixture is used.
Bake for approx 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown and slightly puffed. Serve warm.
Just so you know, I will be serving these at my Holiday Party, so get excited if you are invited and reading this!!! If you are not invited, then perhaps you should think about why that is. If it's not because I don't know you personally, and therefore, could not invite you because I wouldn't know how to invite you in the first place...then you have some reflecting to do. OR, you are invited and just haven't viewed the Evite yet, JOSHUA.
Either way, I hope you enjoy them.