Today is my husband's birthday. The only thing he wanted was dinner with his children; he got half of his request. Our daughter and son-in-law aren't able to make it this evening, we'll FaceTime with them later. My son and his girlfriend will join us at Sea Grass Restaurant in Ocean Grove. We love the food at Sea Grass as it is consistently delicious, service is great and the staff is very accommodating. It's my husband's favorite restaurant. Did I mention that it's BYOB?
Saturday night special
Saturday I worked until closing. My husband and I weren't going to go out, so a quick, easy meal had to be considered. Recently we were watching America's Test Kitchen cooking show on Create TV, when they demonstrated a braising method for cooking fish. The recipe is Braised Halibut with Leek and Mustard. I didn't have halibut, but did have frozen cod that I purchased at Whole Foods when it was on sale a few weeks back.
As the recipe serves four, a halved the recipe for just my husband and I. Planning ahead, I was able to purchase two large leeks at Delicious Orchards at $2.49/lb. I sliced and cleaned the leeks before leaving for work so that helped when it came time to cook dinner. The other recipe ingredients I had on hand was butter, Dijon mustard and white wine.
Before work I went Joe Leone's in Sea Girt to get some mozzarella to make a tomato and mozzarella salad. I must say Joe Leone's mozzarella was very creamy and velvety in texture. It is, however, a little more expensive than other homemade mozzarella's I've had, $10.49/lb. I made the tomato salad when I got home from work. I merely dressed the items with EVOO, sea salt and basil. Magnifico!
Dinner was on the table in about 45 minutes. By the way, the fish was delicious!
Braised Halibut with Leeks and Mustard
From America’s Test Kitchen Season 16: Braised to Perfection
We prefer to prepare this recipe with halibut, but a similar firm-fleshed fish such as striped bass or sea bass that is between ¾ and 1 inch thick can be substituted. To ensure that your fish cooks evenly, purchase fillets that are similarly shaped and uniformly thick.
4 (6- to 8-ounce) skinless halibut fillets, ¾ to 1 inch thick
Salt and pepper
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound leeks, white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise, sliced thin, and washed thoroughly
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
¾ cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon lemon juice, plus lemon wedges for serving
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
As I mentioned in a previous post, Monday night's supper was going to be scallops. I swung by Whole Foods on the way home from work and picked up a pound ($18.99/lb. through August 30th). I merely dredged them in Wegmans basting flour and sauteed them in my non-stick skillet with some butter. To round out the meal, I used my grill pan to cook 1/4" sliced NJ zucchini (Delicious Orchards $0.89/lb.) and brown rice. My daughter gave me a small amount of spinach she had in her refrigerator, so I steamed that as a bed for the scallops.
cooking from sale flyers
burger taste test
The weekly flyers have arrived from my local food stores. A quick peruse of the Shop Rite flyer has an advertisement for Pat LaFrieda beef hamburgers (24 oz. beef chuck, brisket and short rib blend) on sale next week for $6.99/per package.
There's another brand that both the Wall Towne ShopRite has and Sea Girt Foodtown carry and that is Schweid & Sons. On sale next week at Shop Rite is Schweid is a CAB Custom Blend (certified Angus beef) made with brisket and chuck. The burgers come in a 21 oz. package at $6.99 each.
I usually purchase chuck beef patties from Delicious Orchards that come from Vrola Meats. However, as I said in a previous post, those Pat LaFrieda burgers were fantastic. I still have a few Vrola burgers in the freezer and I just purchased LaFrieda burgers; now I'm tempted to purchase Schweid and Sons for a taste test. I'll call my son and his girlfriend and see if they're up for a the challenge. Too bad my son-in-law is unavailable for this task.
"the other white meat"
Besides eating lots of chicken, I find pork tenderloins make a delicious alternative. They usually come two to a package and require minimal amount of prep. You always want to make sure that you remove the silver skin from the tenderloin and perhaps some small pieces of fat.
So for this evening meal, I'm using a recipe I found on Williams-Sonoma's website a for Marinated Pork Tenderloin. The pork is in marinated in a balsamic-rosemary marinade for approximately 2 hours, then grilled for 20 minutes. Easy peasy!
a change in the air
Our Brittany Spaniel, Daisy, is an early riser. How early you say, somewhere around 4:30 a.m. she's ready to go outside and then have her breakfast treat. The mornings at that hour are now dark and the sun is setting earlier. You can hear the crickets chirping all day.
I was working today so I have to prepare supper ahead of time so that all I have to do when I come home is sit down and eat. My husband can handle turning on the oven, popping in a casserole and setting the table. As the weather is much improved over the past two weeks, I'm able to prepare something ahead time for oven baking. Fitting the bill today is macaroni and cheese. Shop Rite has 8 ounce packages of Cabot cheddar cheese on sale for $1.88 ea., so it's a perfect meal for tonight.
I don't know about your basil plants, but ours are about 3 feet tall and we have two of them. I clipped some basil from one plant on Saturday and I barely made a dent to it. As a surprise to my son, who also has a basil plant, I made pesto for his pantry. The recipe I've been using is from The Classic Italian Cookbook by Marcella Hazan. Recipe after the jump.
I am thrilled to report that Shop Rite at the Wall Towne Center continues to stock beef from Pat LaFrieda Meat Purveyors.
Here is what Shop Rite has:
About a month ago I saw in a Shop Rite weekly flyer that they had ground beef from Pat LaFrieda. Some of you may have heard of them. They are a meat purveyor that started out in Brooklyn, NY and now occupy a larger facility on Tonnelle Avenue in North Bergen. Pat LaFrieda also supplies some of the best restaurants in Manhattan with their beef, veal, pork, lamb and poultry.
I was excited to see that I could purchase their ground beef here in New Jersey. I purchased a one pound Cryovac package on sale for about $6. The 80/20 blend was a mix of chuck, brisket and short rib. Last week I made two eight ounce patties and grilled them about 7-8 minutes per side. Oh my gosh, it was the best burger I've had. The meat was very flavorful, moist and oh so juicy. Even though it was an 80/20 blend, when cleaning the grill, I didn't notice much fat in the drip pan. I'm going to back to the Shop Rite on Route 34 to see if they still have the ground beef.
I also read on their website Pat LaFrieda does home delivery! Delivery in the tri-state is free. However, this won't be an inexpensive purchase. If you're looking for something unique as a gift and want to replicate that steak or burger from a famous New York restaurant, here's your chance.
A former teacher, shop-a-holic, empty-nester redefining quick, family approved dinners.