So I didn’t really mention it on the blog (because I didn’t think it should really be publicized), but in case you couldn’t tell from my posts, I’ve been home alone all week long. So that explains why there have been no fun home-cooked meals or home photos – it’s just me and the dogs, and I have been way too overloaded in the evenings to cook anything fancy.
Casey is in – of all places – Cincinnati for the week. He had to go there for work this week, and is staying at my mom’s house having family dinners, playing with my cats, and making me insanely jealous. Meanwhile, I am missing him like crazy, and trying to juggle full-time classes, part-time work, homework, crazy dogs, house duties, etc. all by myself. It has been a very long week – ugh.
Now that my complaining is done, here’s the good part – I’m going HOME tomorrow! I’m flying out first thing in the morning and joining Casey in Cincinnati for a very brief 36 hour visit before we turn around and drive back together on Sunday. While I got to see all of my family for Christmas, I haven’t seen my friends since mid-November, which is waaaaay too long! I am SO excited!!
Backing up a bit, this was my first week back in classes, and we jumped right back into action! Here’s a little more of what I’ve been making in the New World kitchen…
Each day we rotate our cooking technique, and today I was in the grilling group. The first thing my group made was Grilled Zucchini and Summer Squash Salad with Basil-Parmesan Dressing…
This was so simple and easy to make. It is so fun to use these big indoor commercial grills! We sliced the squash diagonally and tossed it with a bit of olive oil and salt and pepper. Then we laid them on the grill and flipped from side to side to get good grill marks and flavor. Once they were soft, we let them rest in a bowl for an hour or so while they cooled down and the flavors developed. We then added 1/2 cup of shredded basil, 3/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese, and 2 tbsp balsamic vinaigrette. All tossed together and and served on top of a bed of mesclun greens…
So delicious! Next up was another fun recipe – Grilled Chorizo, Shrimp, and Pork Loin with Chimichurri Rojo! This was originally supposed to have skirt steak, but the one we received was frozen, so we switched to the pork loin. First we poached the chorizo in beer, and cut the pork loin into smaller strips to be skewered.
Then we got everything laid out on skewers and ready for grilling…
We grilled the proteins for just a minute or two on each side, since the cuts were so small and delicate. The chorizo was so fatty that it kept creating lots of big flames!
When it was all grilled to the right temperatures, we lined them up in the pan and poured our Chimichurri Rojo sauce on top. This sauce was delicious! I didn’t try the meats, but the rest of the class assured me that they were delicious as well…
Around the classroom, my friends were cooking up some fun things too. Like these Chile Rellenos with Tomato Sauce, which were basically gigantic stuffed and deep-fried poblano peppers…
Along with Buffalo Chicken Wings with Blue Cheese Dressing…
And the roasting group mad Roasted Calabaza Squash with Curry and Coriander (which was AMAZING!) and Snapper Escabeche with Bell Peppers and Olives…
Lastly, my favorite dish of the entire day – simple Jicama and Orange Salad!
Since most of the food was meat or fried, I stuck to a big plate of this jicama orange salad and my balsamic grilled squash – both delicious!
And speaking of delicious, several of you asked for the recipe for yesterday’s asparagus… Ask and you shall receive!
Asparagus with Tomato Vinaigrette
2 lbs. large asparagus spears trimmed
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 small tomato, peeled, minced, and cut into small cubes
1 red bell pepper, roasted peeled and seeded, and cut into small cubes
1 green onion, finely cut on a slight bias
1 tbsp minced parsley
Method of Prep: Blanch asparagus in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, about 4 minutes. Drain and shock in an ice bath. Whisk oil and vinegar to blend in a small bowl. Add tomato, bell pepper, green onion, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Grill the asparagus until heated through and well marked. Place the asparagus on a platter and spoon the vinaigrette over asparagus just prior to serving.
(Recipe copyright by Johnson & Wales University)
I’m off to finish cleaning our house for the dog-sitter (YAY!!), packing my bag, and getting ready to jump on a plane in the wee hours of the morning! Crossing my fingers that mother nature gives me a break and lets my plane land in all the SNOW up north!
This blogger is Ohio-bound! :)