I had a stressful beginning to my vacation. This week, it seems, will be filled with doctor visits, and I’m not pleased. My lovely husband, however, poured me a glass of white wine and made me a delicious dinner to help me forget my troubles. Later, we’ll visit my buddy Emily at Don Pedro’s to watch the always extremely moving and serious Tarkan vs. the Vikings over cheap beer.
Formerly resistant Chris has now read Omnivore’s Dilemma and gotten behind this Meatless Monday concept, so he prepared (almost entirely from scratch!) an AWESOME dinner. We had portobello mushroom burgers on onion rolls with herbed goat’s cheese, a spinach salad with homemade croutons and our honey/mustard/balasmic dressing, and (homemade) lemon squares topped with (homemade!) whipped cream.
We got the awesome onion rolls, and a great ciabatta, from Pain D’Avignon in the Essex Street Market, where they also sell bunches of fresh herbs for a buck apiece.
Chris adapted his burger recipe from here, simplifying the marinade to olive oil, balsamic, salt, pepper, and fresh basil. He marinated the mushrooms for about 40 minutes (turning them over and freshening up the liquid after about 20 minutes). He baked them in the oven for about 15 minutes. He took plain old goat’s cheese and jazzed it up with a few sundried tomatoes and basil, which was a perfect condiment.
Homemade croutons are stupidly easy, and everyone should make them. Take some slightly stale bread (we used the aforementioned ciabatta), cube it up, drizzle or spray with some olive oil, season with your favorite stuff (we just used salt and pepper), and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes, until they reach your desired texture.
The lemon squares were a fantastic, and refreshing, end to this meal. He made them yesterday, to accompany my roast chicken (more on that later), following Mark Bittman’s recipe. They came out perfectly, especially since it was his first try. The crust is particularly exceptional. He wants to experiment with them in the future, as he thought they were a little too sweet. I thought they were delightful, especially so since they were made by someone else who loves me.