Monday, July 9, 2007

Channeling Del Mar

It's hard to believe, but just two very, very short weeks ago, we had just returned from our trip to Del Mar, California. I planned to blog about that, but the night before we returned home, we got the phone call that led us to the difficult decision to put our lab to sleep. It sort of wiped out the good memories of the trip.

In fact, while the whole family was trying to reach us, we were having a fabulous dinner--the best of our trip--at Sammy's Pizza. The Husband had a hankering for a pie, and we decided to check it out. We did get our pizza, but started with some selections off the tapas menu: hummus with grilled flat bread, and a wonderful chicken satay. When we got back to our room, where we had uncharacteristically left our cell phones, the sheer number of missed calls alerted me that something was seriously wrong.

Now that we've had some time, and another trip in between, I decided to recreate that meal--minus the pizza. Continuing to cook out of Weight Watcher's Take Out Tonight, and having some leftover chicken breast to use up, I made the Coconut Curry Pork Satay--but with chicken. I have no idea where the "curry" in the title comes from. I've checked the recipe twice--thrice even--and there is no curry in there. Whatever...just a disclaimer! I also made hummus from scratch for the first time. Why, oh why, haven't I done that before? I will fearlessly take on a 25-step dessert, but I've avoided making my own hummus for years. Never again.

Although it was 110 degrees outside, instead of the 65 degrees we enjoyed during our first dinner, this meal transported us back. Somehow, it was all perfect, and had an emotional impact far beyond the food. The plating just worked, and the Husband and I piled on to the couch with the food between us, and my favorite leaf-shaped appetizer plates in hand, complemented by the delicately printed green and black Ikea napkins I just picked up. I don't know what could have made it better.

The chicken satay carried just a hint of the sesame oil in which it marinated before grilling, and the sauce had a nice blend of salty and sweet, with just enough peanut taste to know it was there. The creamy hummus tasted great on its own, but the drizzle of olive oil over the top added an extra dimension, the paprika added a slightly smokey note, and the parsley brightened it all up. The flatbread, heated on the grill and brushed with olive oil, was rich and luxurious when used to scoop up the hummus. As a bonus, this went together very quickly, making it an easy repeater for any weeknight. Actually, with a little bit of prep the night before, this could be put together in the time it takes to heat the grill.

1 comment:

Alysha said...

Aw, I missed what happened after your initial post, but just got caught up on the CLBB.

Sorry you had to go through that, Michelle, but I'm glad to hear there was a peaceful end.

What a sweet picture of Jubilee and the cat.