Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day Weekend Cooking

Memorial Day weekend marks the official beginning of summertime backyard cooking. With one goal in mind for this weekend and you know that was to make sure I spent a good deal of time in the kitchen and doing backyard cooking. It's at these times that I wish I had a full outdoor kithen.

No particular menu in mind, just use what's in the freezer, refrigerator and pantry. I did pickup some things at Costco on my home from work Friday (wild shrimp U-12, some tomatoes and mozzarella cheese). I removed from the freezer a tri tip I had previously marinated (Professor's secret marinade) and then frozen for later use. For Easter, my son had boiled too much penne pasta so I froze some. This I removed from the freezer to make a pasta salad.

I find that cooking eases my mind and takes me away from all those stresses of work. No one can tell me what to do in my kitchen. I work at my pace and produce foods for the enjoyment of others. This past week at work was one of those that was hard to take. My desk was piled up with items which accumulated while I was vacation (no one to cover my workload) and to add to this, it seems everyone wanted to re-invent my priority list and bump their needs over mind. I'm thankful for a class I took a couple of years ago on how to say "no". Anyway, I'm digressing.

My daughter T is home for a week prior to moving to the location of her very first 100% off my payroll job. Friday, G and I took her to our favorite local sushi restaurant, Sushi Karen .

Saturday, T and I headed for some shopping at Ontario Mills. Girls day out and we found some great Memorial Weekend sales even for me. I guess you are wondering where the weekend of cooking begins. Well, after the shopping spree,we headed home where I began Saturday's dinner and prepared the ribs for the next days smoke.

I marinated the wild large shrimp (fyi- Costco had both farm raised and wild shrimp for the same price. I went for the wild shrimp after remembering a pod cast which supported wild U.S. shrimp versus farm raised and convincing me that wild shrimp would be more tasty and have a better texture). My marinade consisted of olive oil, parsley, salt, pepper and lots of minced garlic. I was going to grill these so I decided to skewer them.
Wild U-12 Shrimp
Skewered and Grilled Shrimp

My pasta salad was adapted from a recipe I found in last AAA's Westways magazine. Caprese Salad with kalamata olives, tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, zucchini and basil (from my garden), roasted bell peppers, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, penne pasta, garlic, salt and pepper. This salad was fantastic. Best served at room temperature. My substitutions were the balsamic vinegar instead of red wine vinegar, roasted bell peppers instead of sun dried tomatoes in olive oil and I added the zucchini.

The marinaded tri tip was grilled over indirect fire until med rare. this is sliced and served with some of the marinade I had in the refrigerator. Can't divuldge the recipe for the marinade as I promised I would never publish it as a condition the Professor would give me the recipe. Let's just say, it is jam packed with Asian spices, sauces and herbs.

I found time to prepare some spare ribs. I cleaned them, removing excess fat and the membrane covering the ribs. I rubbed them with my Sylvie's Magic rub and then returned them to the refrigerator to smoke the next day.

In that T is a pseudo vegetarian (she eats fish but no other meats), I also prepped some salmon filets to smoke for her.

For dessert, T requested that I make Cinnamon Bread Pudding. I used the same recipe posted previously minus the Nutella chocolate. I substituted the raisins with dried blueberries and added walnuts per T's request.

With all this food, by Monday (official Memorial Day), we are having leftovers.


mooncrazy said...

Welcome back to the kitchen. Your bbq is always food porn to me. You need to bottle your special rub. Call it Mr. Ziggy's, no one has to know Ziggy is a doggy.

Sylvie said...

Moon, it was so nice to be back in the kitchen. By the quantities I prepared, you can tell I was starving to get back in the kitchen and to BBQ.

landa said...

WOW! Everything looks so good.

The Survival Gourmet said...

I really need to start dropping by your house more often...

Hageltoast said...

my mouth is watering!

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