Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Restaurant-style pizza

Tomorrow, I'm heading out of town with my girlfriends for a long weekend trip (bachelorette party to be exact). So, with all of the packing I need to do, a quick and easy dinner was a must. But, even when I'm super-busy, I try to come up with something interesting and healthy to eat.

So for tonight, I made a pizza that's modeled after one I ate once at Lolita:

Wild mushroom with arugula

Here's what you need:

1 pre-made pizza crust
1 package sliced wild mushrooms
1 cup Italian blend shredded cheese
3 cloves garlic, minced (lucky for me, I had some fresh garlic from my grandpa's garden)
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
A few leaves of arugula chopped (again - I had some fresh from his garden)

Saute the mushrooms, onion and garlic in olive oil until the mushrooms are cooked. Then, spread the mushroom mix on the pizza crust, lightly sprinkle with cheese. Follow the cooking instructions for the crust (for me it was 7-10 minutes), but a good rule is to take it out when the cheese is melted and slightly browning.

Finish it off by sprinkling the chopped arugula on top.

It was a perfect, light dinner that took me 20 minutes to make.

Enjoy and have a great weekend!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Deagan's Kitchen and Bar

Tonight was my second trip to Deagan's - first was only drinks, though.

I forgot take pics until it was too late, sorry!

Anyway, this place is really great. Nice casual vibe, a nice mix of metal and rustic decor, with a pretty eclectic menu. The beer list is long, and they have some interesting nightly specials. Tonight, all wine bottles were half off - a great deal for wine drinkers!

After starting with two of our favorite beers, Leinenkugal Summer Shandy and Ommegang Witte, we went with:
Bangers and mash - the sausage was flavorful, the mashed potatoes were like a big of whipped heaven, and the porter gloss was incredible.

Spicy shrimp tacos - perfectly-cooked shrimp, with creamy, smashed avocado and a spicy sauce topped with fresh cilantro. There were so many flavors in these tacos - a delicious mix of hot and cool, all wrapped in the softest tortilla I've ever had. Very good!

Crisp eggplant - Two large slices of eggplant that were breaded, fried and rolled and stuffed with cheese. Served with a chunky tomato sauce and fresh arugula. These were great, but I was so full from the tacos that I could only each half of one piece. No worries, though, now I have lunch for tomorrow!

While the food was great, the one less-than-perfect thing about the experience was the service. Our server just seemed a little too busy and rushed. But, that definitely won't stop us from coming back many more times. If you haven't given this place a try, you absolutely should soon.

Check it out:
Deagan's Kitchen & Bar on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Summery Steak

So, tonight I felt like Mexican. But, not just the typical Mexican (taco night), or even something with a little more pizazz (I already have barbacoa burritos planned for another day). Tonight we had something simple, with just a hint of Mexican flavor.

Strip steaks with chimichurri, spicy grilled potatoes and avocado
Here's what you need:
Potatoes (I used one large potato for the two of us)
1 avocado
1 punch of parsley
1 punch of cilantro
1 small red onion
Olive oil

To make the chimichurri, put the parsley, cilantro and red onion in the food processor and let it run until it turns into a choppy pesto consistency, then, while it's running for another 10 seconds or so, drizzle in some olive oil.

To prepare the potatoes, slice then in thick slices and toss the slices with olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder and cayenne pepper.

Grill the potatoes until they're soft, and grill the steak to your liking.

Once everything's ready, slice an avocado and serve it on the side. It tastes really great with the spicy potatoes. Spread the chimichurri on top of your steak or use it as a dip - it's up to you, and either way, it's delicious.


Monday, July 4, 2011

Eating through Spain

My husband and I just got back from a week-long trip through Spain (including a day trip to Tangier, Morocco). While many people spend their time in Europe seeing the sights, standing in line at each of the famous tourist spots, we spent most of our time in search for our next great meal.

I don't have a lot of experience with Spanish food, other than the few dinners I've had at the downtown Cleveland restaurant Mallorca, so I wasn't sure what to expect. Needless to say, I was very pleased with what we found on the menus of the many restaurants and cafes we went to. While I did take notes during every meal, I thought I'd just share the highlights:

Spinach pasta stuffed with fresh cheese, with blue cheese cream sauce

Catalan sausage with shrimp and mushrooms

Beef cannelloni with black truffle cream sauce

Duck confit with pineapple chutney

Potato omelette sandwich with cured ham
King prawns with curry
French-fried cheese with honey and caramelized onions

Sole Andalusian style (white wine cream sauce with prawns)

Fish and seafood paella

Moroccan cous cous with chicken and vegetables

Toast with minced tomato and cured ham, toast with beef and brie
Veal in cider sauce, side of patates (or fries)