Monday, August 8, 2011

I'd walk 5 miles for this feast any day

When Mom, Stephen and I get together, it's always all about food. Even if all we do is a short, five-mile hike, in the end we'll feast like we hiked 20 miles.


This weekend was no exception, especially since it was the celebration of Mom's birthday. Pictured, clockwise from the grilled fish: sauteed baby bok choy and curly kale, grilled beets, grilled pasilla peppers, grilled oysters, roasted rosemary potatoes and grilled asparagus.

It was a group effort that only took us about a half-hour to make, and yes, even though it was Mom's birthday, she did the majority of the cooking.

She grilled the tilapia, which she'd sprinkled with salt the night before to tenderize it a bit, and also squirted a bit of lime juice on top before throwing it on the grill for about 20 minutes. Mom also brought the oysters, which were wrapped in foil and seasoned with lemon juice and olive oil, then quickly grilled for no more than five minutes. And she grilled the peppers (watch out for spicy bites!), which were simply rubbed with olive oil before being placed over the flames.

Stephen and I were in charge of the rest. I grilled the asparagus, tossed in olive oil, minced garlic, salt and pepper, then cooked until tender but still crisp, about 8-10 minutes. And Stephen made the roasted potatoes, which were tossed with olive oil, fresh rosemary and "lots of salt," he said. Although he usually uses red potatoes, this time he used Yukon Golds with much success.

He says the key is to preheat the broiler for at least 10 minutes before placing the potatoes in the oven. Toss them every five minutes, and they should be done in 15 minutes.

As a rosemary hater, I was skeptical of this dish, but it turns out I only hate dried rosemary because the subdued flavor of this freshly snipped rosemary was simply one of freshness rather than pine needles!

Stephen also made mojitos with fresh mint from his garden, and he prepped the beets and greens that he bought the previous day at the Olympia Farmers Market. We simply wrapped the beets in foil with olive oil, and left them on the grill while we were cooking everything else, about 30 minutes. Delicious! And Mom quickly stir-fried the greens with olive oil and garlic, then added a smidge of oyster sauce at the end.

I can't think of a better way to end our weekend!