Sunday, April 29, 2007

Garden Preview

Tomatoes, Bell Peppers, Italian Frying Peppers, Zucchini & Cucumbers


More tomatoes, jalapenos, habenaros, watermelon & cantaloupe

Already harvesting strawberries


Hopefully blueberries soon too!

Terra, West Columbia


100 State Street
West Columbia, SC

The night before Craig left for his business trip to Atlanta, we decided to try a new-ish restaurant downtown - Terra. It probably sounds sad, but in an effort to get home in time to watch the Phillies, we made a reservation for as soon as they opened at 5pm.


We ordered a bottle of Le Volte and were pleasantly surprised to have our waiter Robert decant it table side. A note on the wine ... a nice/affordable super tuscan - we both thought it benefited from decanting.

While waited for our appetizers we were served some hot-crusty bread and butter - yum.

On to what we ordered...

Appetizers

Jamison Farms BBQ Lamb Stuffed Mac & Cheese Gratin with Poblano Peppers, Fontina, Goat Cheese. This was FANTASTIC! I'm already debating what I will order the next time we are there and I think this may have to be on the list.


Braised Rabbit Leg Risotto with Marsala Braised Rabbit Leg, Artichoke, Asparagus
Another winner. Rebecca & Ed ... we thought of you while savoring this dish!



Entrees
Braised Beef Short Ribs with Mascarpone Polenta & Haricots Vert


Steak Frites with House Made French Fries, Simple Salad, Blue Cheese Butter
(Sorry no photo ... too busy eating!)


At this point, we had been at the restaurant for over 2 hours. We finished up with a beautiful fruit/cheese plate (which I will probably detail in other entry). Tasty. Some restaurants make you feel like you wouldn't want to see them in bright daylight, but the decor here is beautiful... I especially loved the large skylight near the bar that let in wonderful natural light. Overall, a fantastic meal - pleasant service, a beautiful space & food, and a decent winelist. We will definitely be back.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Grilled Butterflied Chicken

I'm proud to say that I make a mean roasted chicken, but tonight I decided to try my hand at GRILLING a whole chicken. Cleaver (and camera) in hand I decided to give it a try. I'm happy to say it was a great success... so successful that we were too busy EATING the chicken to take some pretty after photos. The chicken was extremely juicy and Craig praised the super crispy skin.

Click Here for Printable Instructions
(Not much of a recipe here, more of just a grilling technique.)

Prepare Chicken (3-4lb bird)
Place the chicken breast side down on a cutting board. Using a knife or poultry shears, cut along one side of the backbone and then down the other. Discard the backbone – remove ribs if desired.




Turn the chicken breast side up. Cut a small hole through the skin between the bottom point of the breast and the thigh. Push the tip of the leg through the hole. Repeat with the other leg.



Rub skin with olive oil and seasoning of your choice(here I used minced garlic, fresh thyme, rosemary, salt, pepper, and cayenne)



Grill Chicken
- Place the chicken, breast-side-up, on the grill. If you have more than one burner, turn off the burner directly below the chicken. Grill the chicken with the grill covered for 45 minutes.
- Check the grill temperature frequently to ensure that its temperature is staying around 350-400°
- Using tongs, carefully turn the chicken breast-side-down. Re-ignite the burner directly below the chicken (if turned off) and set it at its lowest level. Grill for another 15 minutes, until the breast skin is deeply browned and the internal temperature of the chicken is about 170°.


Sunday, April 22, 2007

Weekend Food Pics

As I was browsing some of the food photos from over the weekend I realized that I didn't once use a recipe. Move over Iron Chef... hehehe. A few pics to share.

Ricotta Quiche

This experiment was a mix between a quiche and easter meat pie... ingredients similar to a quiche, but the texture of the meat pie. If anyone is interested I can try and put a recipe together, but it used a little of everything I had in the fridge - ricotta, eggs, spinach, baby bella mushrooms, garlic, provolone, grated romano cheese, sliced salami & pepperoni.

Mango & Cantaloupe Fruit Salad
Craig and I are both a fan of fruit with breakfast. Originally wanted honeydew and cantaloupe, but when the store wanted $5 for a honeydew we grabbed a few mangos instead. Nice combination of flavors.


Baby Back Ribs
We slow cooked the ribs in the oven for a few hours the night before the bbq, then threw them on the grill to finish them off.


Something wrong with the picture?

Yep, there's wine left in there. We had heard all good things about Napanook and looked forward to opening this bottle, but unfortunately it didn't live up to the hype. A beautiful deep red color and a pleasant nose, but that's where the beauty ended. There was just not much to it. Lacked structure. Overall, it just isn't an impressive California meritage given the price.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

frozen dinner


I had forgotten about the extra lasagna rolls I made about two months ago and put in the freezer. I feared they may have been freezer burned, but I popped them in the oven last night and they were still great! Wish I always had homemade frozen dinners on hand!