(See Part 1 for the early part of the week, from Korean kalbi to Greek salad)
Thursday: Vietnamese bun ca nuong, i.e. grilled fish over noodles and herb salad.
This meal was courtesy of Next Doors. Mrs. Next Doors has a post about it, complete with photos, here. Do hop over and take a gander. She provides an easy to follow recipe. (Of course for me the recipe is super easy: go next doors with a tray and return with fabulous meal.) This is such a perfect one-bowl dish: fresh and crunchy and tangy and grilled and fishy and noodly and minty all at once.
Friday: Spicy Chicken Thighs with a Rhubarb Cucumber Salsa, multi-color quinoa, salad.
I recently found this recipe on Epicurious, and the chicken came out moist, flavorful, and a hit with all ages. The preparation is very easy: five ingredients in a food processor, baste onto chicken thighs (with skin—this is essential) in a baking dish, and roast for 25 minutes. The rhubarb and cucumber salsa takes 10 minutes to make, and is refreshingly crunchy and zingy, a good counter to the aforementioned chicken skin. Accompanying this was a packet of multi-colored quinoa from Trader Joe’s (cooked in chicken broth, not water, and tossed with olive oil, fleur de sel and some sauteed shallots) and a salad.
Saturday: Herb-roasted cod on potatoes, and sauteed asparagus.
Chop up a couple of tablespoons of whatever fresh herbs you can lay your hands on. Oregano, thyme, rosemary, chives, etc. Peel and slice (1/4 inch thick at most) some red bliss or Yukon gold potatoes. Toss the potatoes in half the herb mixture, along with some kosher salt and olive oil. Roast potato slices in a single layer (or slightly overlapping double layer) in an oiled roasting pan at 400 degrees for 40 minutes. Place fresh cod fillets on top of potatoes, brush with olive oil and sprinkle with remaining herbs mixed with minced garlic. Roast until fish is cooked through, about 12 minutes. We served this accompanied by asparagus sauteed until crisp-tender with garlic, olive oil and a pinch of fleur de sel.
Sunday: Memorial Day BBQ. Featured guest: North Carolina Pulled Pork. And lots of other things. Oh, and some people, too. We did need some help eating all this.
A couple of years ago we moved and acquired a bit of a yard. This, of course, was certainly not the point of the move, but having a corner of outdoor space has enabled many positive things, including an opportunity for parents to say to whining children “Why don’t you go play outside?” and some fantastic grilled and smoked meals. Within a couple of weeks of our reconfiguring the mud heap that was behind the house into a semblance of a usable yard, a big, green egg landed on the little square landing pad that J had lovingly planned for it. Yes, a Big Green Egg. It sits, mysterious and alluring, amid the greenery, and under J’s unrelenting attention (which includes night-time wakings reminiscent of the baby years) disgorges delectable eats.
The day’s full menu:
North Carolina Pulled Pork, with slaw and dip and potato rolls. While the exact recipes for the first three items now reside in J’s head, the inspiration for them came from a combination of Holy Smoke: the Big Book of North Carolina Barbecue by John Shelton Reed and Dale Volberg Reed, along with some lessons run by Lester’s BBQ.
Marinated steak tips.
Hot dogs for the non-believers, otherwise known as children.
Mac n Cheese (also from the Holy Smoke book)
Corn bread (purchased from Blue Ribbon BBQ)
Radishes with anchovy butter (pulled from the “sides” section of Serious Barbecue by Adam Perry Lang)
Chopped salad (inspired by Serious Barbecue, but modified for whatever we had in the fridge at the time)
Mini pecan tarts (brought by a lovely guest)
Brownies (recipe from the back of the Ghiradelli sweetened cocoa powder can, surprisingly moist and pleasingly rich, and helpfully made by Next Doors)
Ice cream from the unbeatable Christina’s
Oof, what a week!