Monthly Archives: April 2011

Spring Pea Pesto

I love spring. It is finally starting to warm up, and I am even willing to forgive the occasional downpours since the trees and flowers are gorgeous as a result. This year, I am actually missing Italy and the plethora of fresh produce that was available daily. In particular, I am in fava bean withdrawal. Weird? Probably. But perfectly justified in my book.

Today was warm and humid, and I really wanted something refreshing for dinner. I remembered seeing a recipe for smashed peas and fava beans with fresh mozzarella on The Cilantropist a few weeks ago, so I headed to Safeway in search of some fava beans. Unfortunately, they didn’t have any fresh or frozen beans. I had already picked up some frozen peas, so I decided to save my fava bean experiment for another day and instead make some pea pesto.

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Bad Bloggers and the Best Cocktail of the Season (Thus Far)

Ohhh we’ve been bad, bad bloggers. It seems that the post-Dip Ball freedom that I so eagerly anticipated has not been as free as I would have liked. Presentations and papers have essentially taken over my life, and I am so ready for Easter break. Unfortunately, all of the madness means that I haven’t had time to make any exciting meals. After my mother kindly supplied me with Indian food, I’ve been a complete bum. I lived off of those, then off of takeout and a variety of things that I had lying around the house, none of which were particularly exciting and some of which I have already featured on the blog.

BUT I do want to let any Washingtonians (or visitors to this lovely city) know about a fantastic cocktail I had almost two weeks ago at The Tombs: the Strawberry Basil Lemonade. For those of you familiar with Georgetown, The Tombs is essentially our main bar. A restaurant during the day, students flock there at nights, and almost every night out features a pit stop at The Tombs. They have even established a “99 Days Club,” for those Seniors who which to demonstrate their love for the place by going every day for 99 days straight. That, my friends, is a true sign of loyalty (and of an impressive bank account).

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I have been insanely busy finalizing all the details for this year’s Diplomatic Ball, and my hectic schedule this semester has prevented me from visiting my family as often as I would have liked. This has led to a severe craving for my mother’s Kerala-cuisine, and I spent last night lamenting my inability to make proper Indian food. She is now bringing me yummy curries on Sunday (Thank God for my mother!).

So, to satisfy my craving until I can get my hands on some of my mom’s delicious food, I decided to try my hand at making chepati. Think of these as Indian tortillas. Ever since we were little, my sister and I have been helping our mom roll these out – although some wound up looking more like the Indian subcontinent than they did circles; I like to think my rolling abilities have improved with age. These are actually incredibly simple to make, but I have always been hesitant, as we’ve always made them with chepati flour at home. Solution: google a substitute!

They are delicious by themselves or served with any sort of curry. I ate these with the Sesame Eggplant with Tofu recipe that Megan posted a week ago. Sorry the pictures are so dark in this post; our lights are dying and our landlord has yet to bring the replacements!

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The Feast of Saint Macarius (or How to Make a Lemon-Herb Roasted Chicken)

As you’ve probably gathered from my recent posts, I am becoming acutely aware of the limited number of days left in my college career. My housemates and I decided to make a “bucket list” to help make our last days as students in the District as memorable as possible, and, upon realizing that we would all be in town this weekend, we decided to cross one of the items off of our list: the Feast of Saint Macarius the Wonder-Worker.

I know that you are probably wondering who the heck Saint Macarius is, so let me explain. My housemate Doria had a craving for Thanksgiving food over spring break and messaged me about the possibility of having a house Thanksgiving upon our return. I was completely fine with us, so we started planning what to make and when to have our feast. We didn’t want to simply dub it, “Thanksgiving,” however, so she decided to co-opt the Feast of Saint Macarius and use that to mark the day when, hopefully, we will all try to get together or at least contact each other in the future.

The Feast was a complete success. Doria made some delicious sides – Cranberry Apple Crumble, Sweet Potato Casserole, and Stuffing – and French Silk Pie (I am going to try and get her to guest blog and post those recipes!), Heather made a great pumpkin-pecan pie, and I made a roasted chicken (it’s just not the season for turkey in casa nostra), vegetarian gravy and mashed potatoes (with Mary’s assistance). Kevin provided wine, and Ena helped clean up, set the table, and coordinate things as she is busy with her thesis. All of the house effort resulted in a scrumptious meal!

Below is my recipe for roasted chicken. This particular bird turned out incredibly moist and lemony. I am so excited for leftovers! Hope you enjoy this as much as we did!

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Stuffed Cremini Mushroms

My apologies again for being off the blogosphere. The past two weeks have been insane. While I really enjoyed my trip to Boston, I wound up falling behind on work. It always seems like everything academic comes at once; add that to the promise of warmer, springtime weather and the very apparent fact that graduation is just over a month away, and a whole bunch of senioritis/stress about the future/excuses to wallow in sorrow with one’s roommates get added into the mix, making school seem that much harder and making homework take so much longer.

On Thursday night, I decided to take a break from all of the crazy event planning and schoolwork that I’ve been doing lately and make dinner for a few friends. Minus my housemate Ena, these were people with whom I do not get to spend nearly enough time, so I was eagerly looking forward to making this meal. The menu was primarily Italian fare, but I think that the best part of the entire meal (other than the amazing pie Liz brought over), were the stuffed mushrooms.

Now I LOVE appetizers – not just eating them, but making them. They are bite-sized portions of some of your favorite foods, made all the more interesting because you know that there is only a little bit of food to convey a whole lot of flavor. They are also a lot more fun to experiment with compared to larger meals; I feel like I can be a bit more adventurous with an appetizer than with a larger dish, as I am not destroying a whole slew of ingredients and possibly destroying the majority of the meal that I intend to feed people that night!

My friend Peter hinted that stuffed mushrooms would be very welcome at Thursday’s meal, and, as I had never made any before, I decided to try my hand at them. I opted to use cremini as I think they have a richer flavor than the average button mushrooms; they also hold up a bit better when cooking. I hope you enjoy these as much as we did. Happy eating!

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