The Summer Romance of Al Fresco Dining
I believe that Al Fresco dining shouldn’t be reserved just for an intimate group of family or friends nor only just for two people to share a meal together.
I am all for practicing self-love once in a while and a dinner for one outside, with a good glass of wine to go with a single serving meal is as romantic a treat as we can possibly give ourselves most specially when about to face the dreaded Mondays of our regular lives.
Although I know that meals in the summer must be light and refreshing, I also know that to treat oneself like a king or a queen for a day, we should also give in to our ultimate inner food cravings also known as our comfort food.
My comfort food and one of the dishes that unabashedly gives comfort to both my tummy and summery bright disposition (only when I know I’ll be eating in 5 minutes) is Stuffed Baked Potatoes… never mind the fact that it is only politically correct to eat it only during the months of October to January, for a potato meal, I’ll gladly be a bear in the summer heat.
Summertime… and the supper is easy and breezy.
Suppers in summertime should be light, easy and breezy… breezy in the sense that after you eat dinner you will never feel sluggish and stuffed but feel refreshed and healthily nourished.
Salads I think are the best “thirst quenchers” anyone can happily munch on and not feel a bit weighed down after.
This is just a simple salad of regular greens, cherry tomatoes, slivers of red onions and apple slices. What makes this salad summery sweet is this Orange Marmalade-Dijon Vinaigrette…Tangy and Sweet and as fast as a passing breeze to do.
ORANGE MARMALADE-DIJON VINAIGRETTE
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon or Honey Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons orange marmalade
pinch of salt
freshly cracked black pepper (optional)
1/2 cup of canola oil
Put all ingredients in a jar and shake the jar vigorously until mixture gets emulsified.
Serve on the side or lightly dress the salad just before serving.
Note: This dressing is also great with a salad of Mandarin orange slices, iceberg lettuce, green onions and crushed candid almonds.
What’s for dinner?… Grilled Lamb and White Cheddar-Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Dinner is in the works now. I just salt and pepper seasoned some lamb cutlets and drizzled those with olive oil. I have some steak purists (prefers their meat seasoned with just salt and pepper) in my family and I also have some soy fanatics (those who like their meat marinated in soy and other flavourings such as garlic & thyme with some worcestershire sauce) which includes me.
So I now resolved on seasoning my lamb with salt, pepper and extra virgin olive oil, then later before grilling those tonight, I’ll have half of the lamb grilling as is and half brushed with my famous soy basting mixture of butter, garlic, soysauce and thyme.
I’ll be making some white cheddar and garlic mashed potatoes and will uncork a bottle of red wine. :) Photos after dinner I guess…
I want to showcase a dish that is composed of ingredients that came out of cans and jars, yet have that home cooked, un-processed and like-it’s-made-from-scratch taste. The sauce is made by sauteing onions,garlic and canned whole tomatoes in olive oil. Then add canned corned beef,canned button mushrooms,half a jar of green olives,two links of smoked garlic sausages that have been sliced and browned,3-cheese spaghetti sauce,chili flakes,Italian seasoning,dried oregano, (add salt,pepper and brown sugar according to taste.)
THE HOMEY AND HUMBLE ESCABECHE
Fried fish in Sweet-Spicy-Vinegary Red Sauce with Julienned ginger,onions,red bell peppers and tomatoes.
I posted 3 filipino dinner table mainstays here to date… Adobo, Sinigang and now this Escabeche dish. My mission is to showcase the quiet and elegant beauty of Filipino dishes without so much as reconstructing it or even deconstructing it… but mainly just to present it in a different “spotlight”. Of course, and I admit that I tweaked with these dishes a bit by incorporating my own twists… but still I never marred or committed any sacrilege to these traditional dishes. I believe that even if these dishes are served at home in a very normal lunchtime or dinnertime these staples shouldn’t fall short on visual deliciousness. :)
Red Wine and Cream Pork Adobo with Fried Garlic Chips
Loin of Pork marinated in red wine, peppercorns, cinnamon stick, bay leaves and garlic. Braised until tender in soy, white vinegar, oyster sauce, water, garlic, bay leaves and peppercorns. Then finished with cream. Served with fried garlic chips. Enjoy!