I’ve noticed that I really like when a dish has both savory and sweet components. I think that these two different components add balance and complexity to a dish. For lunch today, I prepared an arugula salad with watermelon, red grapes, walnuts, chopped fennel, a splash of lemon juice, a tablespoon of pomegranate vinegar (cider vinegar would be great here too), and a tablespoon of olive oil. To go with my salad (I rarely eat only salad for a meal), I made a chicken sandwich with honey mustard, sliced tomato, and mashed avocado.
Within 5 minutes of arriving home, my mom told me we would have salmon for dinner. This is a recurring theme for the past 3 years – I eat very little fish at school, so when I go back home, I eat so much fish. (I need my omega-3s!)
I was also very excited to get back in the kitchen. Tonight, I made endive salad with diced tomatoes, drizzled with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. I grilled the salmon and served it with a pea “pesto,” inspired by an article I read in Bon Appetit. To make the pesto, I put some cooked peas in a blender with olive oil, a handful of walnuts, and a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Some cooked veggies rounded out my meal.
It’s great to be back in the big apple.
My brother gave me a Chez Albert gift card for my birthday. It is definitely one of the best gifts I have received. (My brother knows me well).
To be honest with you, I was a little skeptical of Chez Albert. I had heard good things, yet I worried that the food would be overpriced and not worth all of the praise. However, much to my surprise, my dinner was delicious, and I can say with confidence that the food at Chez Albert is the best I’ve eaten in Amherst as of yet.
The service was excellent, and I was so thankful that our waitress kept refilling the carafe d’eau (bottle of water). It’s the little things that can transform the dining experience from mediocre to wonderful. My friend and I both commenced with a warm pea and mint soup. The soup had a very smooth, silky texture and the mint acted as a fresh balance to the sweetness of the peas. For my main course, I ordered one of the specials – grilled swordfish in a tomato butter sauce (yum) with sautéed greens and mashed potatoes. My friend ordered the pork which came with a cherry reduction. Of course I tried it too, and it was very tasty.
At this point, both my friend and I were very very full, but a meal is not complete without dessert, is it? I ordered a chocolate tartine which came with biscotti and crème anglaise. Though not what I consider a typical tartine, the chocolate I was presented with was really spectacular. It reminded me more of a mousse, but it wasn’t too sweet or too rich, just the way I like my desserts.
I wish the food I cooked chez moi would be half as tasty. Maybe I will try and convince my parents to take me back to Chez Albert for my graduation next year.
I was contemplating writing this blog post tonight as I sit in my dorm room incapable of moving after stuffing my face with a huge plate of pasta at an Italian restaurant in Amherst. My two friends who came with me can serve as my witnesses. It’s funny because I realized I don’t like reading many food blogs when I’m in college, as I am too disappointed with the cafeteria food, and the beautiful food photos would only make me realize the food that I’m missing out. But when I am overstuffed, I don’t like thinking about food either.
Cutting to the chase, I went to a French restaurant with my cousin near Columbia, and the food was really good! I ordered a BLT (BLAT really because it had avocado in it). I guess that’s not very French, but it came with a huge side of french fries (French?), which of course I finished.
Farewell NYC, see you in May.
After a brief trip to the gym this morning, I am feeling really great. It’s amazing how exercise can do that. I wanted to continue my healthy habits into lunch, so I decided to have salad. I chopped up some romaine lettuce, added fennel, candied pecans (which I candied myself for a couple of minutes in a fry pan with a couple of teaspoons of maple syrup), the juice from half a grapefruit, the supremes of one orange (seriously had difficulty with this!), and a little olive oil.
I really loved this salad, but as I eye the clock, tea time is in a couple of hours. What dessert will I eat?