Please excuse my absence from Mad About Food...I was on vacation for a couple weeks and didn't write because I was taking a break from absolutely everything. Now that I'm back, I'd like to catch up on a few interesting items.
I had some great bargain experiences in Richmond before I went on vacation. Capital Ale House, at both the downtown and Short Pump locations, has hamburgers for $1 on Monday nights. The burgers are full-sized and delicious, and cheese is only 15 cents more. Lettuce and a slice of tomato are included, and I shared a French fries appetizer that could have fed three hungry people along with their burgers.
Another great deal I finally took advantage of was Acacia's fixed price menu (Monday-Saturday) and half-price wine night every Tuesday. The dinner features three courses: a choice of soup or a salad, one of five entrees and seven sides, and a dessert. Acacia is one of the most elegant restaurants I've ever been to, and eating a full meal there for only $22 is quite an opportunity. I chose a salad with goat cheese and pecans, blackened rockfish and braised garlic white beans, and pound cake with cinnamon sorbet. Everything was excellently prepared, and having gone on Tuesday, the wine special was an added treat.
About a month ago I received a sizeable gift of homegrown vegetables from a friend; she'd taken too much produce from her aunt's garden and was generous enough to share with me. I received red and white potatoes, black raspberries, zucchini, two kinds of beans, and a kohlrabi. I had never seen or heard of a kohlrabi before, but it's sort of a cross between a turnip and a potato, is light green, and looks like an alien vegetable. I forgot to take a picture before I cut it up, but this is very close to what mine looked like:
I researched a couple recipes on the Food Network's website and decided to roast the kohlrabi with potatoes. It was slightly crunchy and sweet, and was a tasty accompaniment to the pan-seared lamb chops I made. I modified another Food Network recipe for those, and made a sauce in the pan out of onions and red wine. This picture was taken before I added the wine:
Another notable meal I made with my fresh vegetables was a zucchini, asiago and prosciutto frittata with homefries. There isn't much to say except that it was absolutely delicious:
Fresh vegetables really do taste better, and I'm lucky I had the chance to cook with homegrown produce.
Looking back on a lot of my summer food creations and outings, I can pinpoint some that were especially memorable. What was your summer culinary highlight? (No one ever posts comments so here's a great opportunity!)