Sunday, August 26, 2007

Mmmm - Grilled Salmon with Pineapple-Citrus Salsa

As we promised, we're going to write a bit more about food. (We figured that if we wrote more about alcohol, cocktails, and wine, someone would have an intervention...)

Oh, by the way, today was bottling day for our CrushPad pinot - Three Graces! If you recall, it's a Russian River Valley pinot noir from the Amber Ridge vineyard, the same source of grapes for such notable wines as Kosta Browne and Siduri, and is immediately adjacent to the famed Gary Farrell Starr Ridge vineyard. Amber Ridge vineyard was also recently sold to Nickel & Nickel winery for $130,000 per acre! So, apparently it's pretty good stuff. Here's a pic of bottle #1 coming off of the bottling line. Yeah, it's a terrible photo from my Razr, so send your complaints to Motorola, not us.

We have 4.75 cases, plus two magnums. That's equivalent to 59 bottles, so if you invite us over for dinner in the next 18 months, you know what we're bringing!

OK back to food, because we're not obsessed with wine, we're obsessed with food...

A week or so ago, we had a hunkerin' for some salmon. So, we scoured the 'fridge, pulled out some ingredients, and came up with our newly-famous Grilled Salmon with Pineapple-Citrus Salsa! Mmmm, it was yummy! For the accompaniment, we also scoured the 'fridge and came up with something different. Both recipes are below. Next time, we'll take fancy pictures and liven this blog up a bit!

Grilled Salmon with Pineapple-Citrus Salsa

Ingredients (or, "what we found in our 'fridge that wasn't rotten")
  • 1 cup diced pineapple - Sarah had purchased some pineapple for a previous "grilled veggie extravaganza," and these were the leftovers. We're estimating one cup, but it would be more accurately described as "whatever was left in the container."
  • 1 orange, diced - Jason found an orange, about three weeks old, that was previously leveraged for an orange twist for his old-school Manhattan (therefore, about three turns of rind were absent).
  • Juice of 2/3rds of a lime - Sarah was having a gin-n-tonic to soothe away the turmoil of another day schlepping ink, so we used whatever hadn't been cut into cocktail garnish.
  • 3 tbsp fresh mint - As if. Mint would have been perfect in the salsa, but none was to be found in the crisper drawer. But we did find cilantro. So, feel free to substitute cilantro for mint in this recipe.
  • 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger - Ha. Again, we looked and looked, but 'twas not to be. So, as we did, feel free to substitute powdered ginger. But don't be happy about it!
  • 2 tbsp olive oil - Yum-o! In our kitchen, olive oil is a requirement in almost everything.
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar - Just because.
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 2 servings of salmon - Obviously. And obviously splashed with olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper.
  • Mix everything together (other than the salmon...) and let fester (or, "let the flavors meld at room temperature for an hour or so").
  • Grill salmon. If you need more direction than that, you'd be better off going to Applebees...
  • Put half of the salsa on each plate, top with the grilled salmon, add the side dish.
  • Consume!
For the side dish, we've been big on roasted veggies of late. What we found in our 'fridge (maybe that should be a theme?) was one yellow zucchini, 1/2 head of cauliflower, and 1/2 of an onion. We sliced it all up, mixed it with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roasted it at 425F for about 20 minutes. It's amazing what a little roasting will do to three white (i.e. "devoid of flavor") veggies!

Well, there you go. Easy to follow?

Let us know how your version turns out!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Next in Line...

A few weeks after Jason and I returned from our honeymoon, we were off to Bend, Oregon for my friend Annika's wedding. Bend is an adorable town about 3 hours from Portland. We even picked up real estate flyers while we were there - it was quaint but not too small and had a very independent vibe; and, there's rafting and fly fishing in the summer and skiing in the winter.

Annika and I have spent a lot of time being single in SF so it's kind of cool that we ended up getting married within a month of each other. It also meant we had someone to compare notes with along the wedding-planning journey so that others didn't have to listen to our "woes."

Annika & Brian's wedding was amazingly beautiful with the mountain backdrop -the reception was held in a canyon with Smith Rock as the focal point. Everyone's gaze shifted however, as the sun went down - leaving clear dark blue skies for the full moon to make its entrance - it was a scene out of a Hollywood movie and all over the grounds you could see people stopping and just staring as the moon rose over the rocks.

One of the things I liked most about Annika's wedding was that it was very engaging... in the sense that there were lots of things to do that got people moving around and interacting with each other. There were activities for the kids, horses in an old-fashioned corrall needing to be fed apple slices, etc. The most fun was the self-portrait area - everyone, from young to old to shy to outgoing - participated in this activity. Annika had a photographer build a self-portrait station, and then people used the pics to add to their guest book message. People got really creative and as the night wore on, the photos got funnier and funnier (imagine sevral tipsy girls in fancy dresses trying to spell out "Gonzaga" to honor Annika's alma mater!). Here's a set of shots that we did with Julie and Rob (Annika's sis and bro-in-law). We saved this one for ourselves b/c it's a great memory of a fantastic weekend - the photographer running the station printed copies for everyone as they exited. It was like being at really-well-run, high-class theme park!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

FOOD (and drink)!

We LOVE food!

Not in a creepy way, but in a foodie, San Francisco, obsessive, epicurian kind of way. And, it's gotten stronger in the past few months. Yeah, the caterer tastings and the cake tastings leading up to our wedding definitely kicked us up a few notches. And, the His & Her cocktail trials definitely got us going on the cocktail front. But, this isn't a new thing.

Sarah has been on a gin-tasting quest since... well, pretty much since she graduated from wine coolers and into gin at age 16. (OK, age 21. But it was funnier with "16.") In fact, at a recent wedding in Bend, OR, Sarah tried Cascade Mountain gin and Desert Juniper - both distilled in Oregon! (But her fav is still Bardenay, from Boise, ID.)

And Jay, well, among other things, he's on a quest to make a good pugliese loaf (still going...), and make a good pizza dough (like A16!), and a killer cupcake (like Sprinkles!), and the ultimate steak (he thinks he found it in last month's Saveur, but his brother disagrees).

Anyway, we've been reading a lot of food blogs lately to help stoke our gourmet fire, including Coconut & Lime (which has what looks like a fantastic recent lamb recipe), and Vanilla Garlic (which has a semi-focus on original - and we mean original - cupcakes, like maple bacon and rosemary lemon). In addition, our friend Frank, who's an amazing cook, continues to pass along recipies and tips to keep us going, including his recent pizza dough recipe, which he referred to as "the BOMB!"

With all that reading, and with all of our experimentation, we were thinking, "Hey, why don't we start blogging on our food exploits?" It's not like we're not trained in the kitchen arts...Jason took a four-hour pie and tart baking class, for goodness sake! So, we've got kitchen cred!

So, stay tuned for some food-centric blogs to supplement our usual drivel (or, maybe a second, food-specific blog?). We're making roasted salmon with carmelized onions and figs right now, Jay is drinking a cucumber gimlet (you see who wears the apron in this family!), and Sarah just came home with "artisan chocolate cake" from Safeway for $2.99 (although, she get's HP props for working until 1 AM last night and prepping for a 10 PM conference call tonight (damn those Austrailian scientists!))!