Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Tonight's Dinner: September 13, 2014

I realized that after living in our house for almost four months, my family has never been over for dinner.  We’ve had Nick’s family over several times already, but my parents tend to be busy on Saturdays and on Sundays they don’t want to come over because my Dad has to wake up early to go to work the next day.  Since my brother was coming home from school for my Grandma’s 90th birthday dinner the following day, we decided to have them over for a Spanish inspired dinner.   Since coming home from Spain, I’ve been all about trying to replicate what we ate.  I think it’s nearly impossible to get it exactly the way that it tasted in Spain, but it’s close enough to be a passable dup.   The quality of food is different there.  Even if I buy all organic products, it just doesn’t taste as fresh. 

Nick and I may not be Masterchef caliber, but we get by just fine.   For dinner I planned to make a chateubriand like I had in Benahavis, loose chorizo, Asian chicken wings (my Mom likes them so I broke away from the theme), mussels in wine sauce, tomato bread with anchovies, and cilantro lime rice.  Last minute I decided to make a spinach salad with pickled shallots, red bell pepper and tomatoes because we didn’t have any vegetables.  We noticed that aside from the Padron peppers, we didn’t really have many vegetables in Spain.  

Considering  chateubriand is a prime cut of beef, my Dad who is our ultimate critic, enjoyed dinner.  And he says that I have expensive taste!  We basically served a roast of filet mignon since it is a beef tenderloin.  We also are preparing for a large BBQ with Nick’s coworkers and wanted to test out some of the dishes.  I read the day that we were having my family for dinner that Mexican chorizo, which is what I had, can’t be substituted for Spanish chorizo.  They apparently have two completely different flavor profiles.  The article that I read suggested getting Portuguese linguica as it is a closer substitute.  Well, by that time it was too late to go back.   The Mexican chorizo over the cilantro rice was delicious.  We’re definitely doing the Mexican chorizo for our BBQ, but I’ll have to hunt down some Portuguese linguica in the future. 

My charming husband grilling the meat.  Normally you would pan sear the roast, but since we were trying it out for our BBQ we wanted to make sure it would turn out okay.  We don't have enough large pans to feasibly cook the meat in a timely manner for 20+ people.

I baked the chicken wings in the oven instead of grilling just to save some time.

I used the picked the shallots (recipe here) for my last minute salad.  They were really good with the sweetness of the tomato and red bell pepper.  I didn't pickle the cucumbers because I didn't want the flavor to be overwhelming.  Just as a note, the quick pickles that I made from the post linked above gave me an upset stomach.  I would not advise eating an entire bowl by yourself.  Eating in moderation like I did tonight had a much better outcome.

This rice doesn't look harmful, but there is a whole stick of butter in here.  So good, but so bad.

Fresh chimichurri sauce for the meat.

Tomato bread with anchovies.

Mexican chorizo

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