8/07/2006

And the Livin' is Easy

Maybe it’s practice. Maybe it’s a new mindset. I don’t know. I put together a lunch party and didn’t even break a sweat.

Jim and Vika were coming over at 2:00 pm, and here it was 9:00 and I hadn’t even thought up a menu. So rather than panic (regular mode), I sat at the table with a cup of coffee and some cook books and went through the possibilities (new and improved). I opted for:


Poached Salmon with Yoghurt Dill Sauce
Black Bean and Orzo Salad
Grilled Asparagus
Peach and Blueberry Crisp


I did the grocery shopping and preparation in 4 hours! It was as if my brain went on autopilot and I just knew what to do and when to do it.

First off: poach the salmon (in water, white wine, peppercorns, lemon, salt and dill. Cover the salmon with the liquid. Cover and bring to a boil. When it boils turn off the heat and let it sit for 30 minutes or so in the hot bath.

Peach and Blueberry Crisp – Peel and quarter 2.5 pounds of peaches. Combine peaches with 1 C of blueberries,1/4C white sugar, 1T instant tapioca, 1/2t lemon zest, 1-1/2T lemon juice. Grind up the topping in a Cuisinart until coarse: 5T chilled butter, 1/4C brown sugar, 1/4C white sugar, 1/4t nutmeg, 1/4t cinnamon, 3/4
c nuts (I chose pecans). Put the fruit in the bottom of a glass square-ish baking dish (so you can see how it’s cooking inside), and coat with topping. Bake for 30 minutes at 375, then pump the heat up to 400 and bake for about 10 more (not letting it burn). This recipe is from Cooks Illustrated.

We sat out on the deck talking about vacations and work, and even a pesky, determined yellow jacket couldn’t get us out of our summer mood.

The Peach Blueberry Crisp was by far the highlight of the meal. The peaches were soft, sweet, and melted in your mouth. The topping gave a gratifying crunch that made you want to scrape the sides of the pan for the crispiest bit, something I indulged in after our guests had left. The Husband was much less cunning. He unapologetically plopped the remaining helping into a bowl all for himself.

1 comment:

Autumn said...

Debora- I suppose we may have casually spoke about food, but not to the extent that I would have, had I known we share this. I haven't made this Cooks Illustrated recipe yet, but it looks delicious and just in time for the peaches, although the berries are running thin. Thank you also for poached salmon recipe. John loves salmon and I'm always looking for good recipes for it. I have The New Best Recipe cookbook which is a series of recipes from the magazine and the editors. The majority of the dishes are spot on, including chicken parm and lasagna and greek salad.