Thursday, July 12, 2007

Where's the little umbrella in my drink?

It's not my fault. Really, it's not. It all started with a trip to Trader Joe's. Normally, I don't even look at premarinated meat, but the Maui Short Ribs were calling to me. Somehow, they ended up in my basket, and have been staring at me every time I open the refrigerator since then. Somehow, the purchase of this convenience product resulted in a developing a couple of recipes and an afternoon of cooking. Very convenient, huh?

The "Maui" in the meat led my thoughts to pineapple, in two forms. The first was a Pineapple Vinaigrette drizzled over smokey greens and scallions wilted on the barbecue while the meat cooked, then given a rough chop before hitting the salad plate. I'd still like to work with this dressing a little bit, but it was very good even on this first go-round. I used some coconut oil in the dressing to continue the tropical theme. A little bit of serrano chile added just enough heat to wake up the taste buds.

Another go-with was Tyler Florence's Cold Sesame Noodles. These were good, although I think I need to step away from the Asian influence for a few days. The same notes are showing up too often! The Sesame Noodles would be a great picnic dish, as there is absolutely nothing in there to go bad, and they can be served cold or at room temperature.

We finished off with a dessert of pineapple and bananas brushed with coconut oil, brown sugar, and cinnamon before being sizzled on the grill, then topped with honey-sweetened Greek yogurt and chopped almonds. (I wanted macadamia nuts, but they were $20 a pound at Whole Foods--and they were rancid. Um...thanks anyway!) I also used a little bit of Tuesday night's fresh raspberry sauce to decorate the plate and add another burst of flavor.

The best thing about this meal? I was going to say that it only required six tiny minutes at the grill. But...I think the really best thing was the Husband's satisfied noises as he proclaimed each and every dish a keeper. For isn't that why we engage in this game of cooking? To satisfy the hearts and bellies of those we love.

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