Weekend Eats (and Drinks)

Another end to a busy weekend, but it was a good one, if a little hot and sticky at the end. I can’t complain too much – after all, it is summer, and the heat is helping bring forth all sorts of good things to eat. Like these raspberries, for example. They are bursting out all over our yard, ripening as quickly as we can pick and eat them. Not a bad problem to have.

Dinner:  June 24, 2008

Speaking of berries and things that go with them, I really need to tell you about this salad I made earlier in the week. It doesn’t technically fall under the “Weekend Eats” category, but since I didn’t get around to doing a proper post I want to mention it here. I brought home some rhubarb from one of the farmers markets in Boston, and Mike cooked it down to a puree. We figured that way he could use it in cocktails and I could incorporate it into meals, and I did just that, combining it with a little balsamic vinegar and olive oil to dress a salad of tender spinach, strawberries, crushed hazelnuts and lots of black pepper. It was lovely – tart and creamy and really delicious. We had the salad alongside simply sauteed Bomster scallops, but the salad would be an awesome main course with a little feta or goat cheese crumbled on top.

But back to the weekend, which we kicked off with another beautiful bird from Pat’s Pastured, expertly grilled by my guy. He made another compound butter, this time seasoning it with plenty of garlic scapes, thyme and summer savory, and he also chucked a couple of foil-wrapped baking potatoes right onto the coals to cook while the chicken grilled.

Dinner:  June 27, 2008

My contribution was a simple salad and sparkling conversation (ha). Mostly, I ooohed and aaahed and licked my fingers, happily munching away on my meal.

last night's vino

Oh! But I did bring home the wine for Friday dinner – and funnily enough, it was the second Chenas we drank this week. Not a common varietal, at least not for us, but we really loved both of the versions we tried.

Saturday morning came and again we made our way to Hope High, not as early as we would have liked, but still in plenty of time to pick up what we needed: another chicken for later this week, various veggies, and six (count ’em) more bunches of garlic scapes, destined for pesto.

We also picked up another fresh, gorgeous lobster from Matunuck, which turned into lunch:

lobster rolls

I’d been craving a lobster roll since our ill-fated attempt to get into Summer Shack in Boston on Thursday evening with friends visiting from Brooklyn, so I figured I’d make some myself. I boiled the lobster for 10 minutes in salted water, removed the meat from the shell, and when it cooled a bit I chunked it up and bound it with a mix of mayo, creme fraiche, lemon juice, salt, pepper and summer savory. I divided the mixture and spooned it into two buttered, toasted whole wheat hot dog buns, lined with a little soft buttercrunch lettuce. They were a little drippy, but divine, particularly with cold Amadeus white bier.

Blue Moon

Mike took the reins after that, with a lovely round of Blue Moon cocktails and an even lovelier pork butt, slow-cooked for hours in our new Weber Bullet smoker.

He also put together a delicious vinegar sauce for the pork, and I provided the sides: my basic potato salad, subbing in some garlic scape pesto and (yes, again) summer savory for the usual dill, as well as a tomato and cucumber salad over more of that buttercrunch lettuce.

Dinner:  June 28, 2008

Just looking at this makes me want to eat this meal all over again.

The only thing we ate at home on Sunday was breakfast – we had a full day of errands ahead of us, and a Zipcar to take us around, so I wanted to fortify us for our travels with something substantial:

press

My spin on croque madame, a simplified version with grated gruyere mixed into a spread rather than a sauce Mornay.

I’m still completely dazzled by the eggs we can get here – Wishing Stone Farm‘s are probably the best we’ve gotten anywhere.

Tired from our day and struggling in the oppressive heat, we decided on a late lunch/early dinner at El Rancho Grande. A couple of cold beers and several plates of food later, we headed home full and happy, already looking forward to our next visit.

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12 thoughts on “Weekend Eats (and Drinks)

  1. Elizabeth says:

    I also saw the garlic scapes at Hope High this weekend–but I have no idea how to prepare them!

  2. that grilled sandwich is gorgeous. as is the lobster roll, the blue moon, the pork butt…. I’m taking the week off and eating at your house 😀

  3. Bill says:

    Your pictures are always gorgeous! MMMMM, pork, cheese, bread and Eggs. The only thing to put with that would be a bloody mary and a cup of french press!

  4. Jennifer Hess says:

    Elizabeth – I generally like to process the scapes into pesto, just cutting them into short lengths and putting them in the food processor with coarse salt, lemon juice, and enough good olive oil to make a paste. Sometimes I add basil or flat-leaf parsley, but I tend to keep the pesto as neutral as possible so it’s more of a base that I can dress up with a variety of other flavors (nuts, cheese, you name it). But I also use them in place of garlic or shallots in recipes.

    anita – Come on over! 😀

    Melissa – Thanks!

    Bill – Thank you! You remind me that my darling husband has been remiss in his bloody mary-making duties of late… and he does make a good one. I’ll have to bug him 😉

  5. We have a weber smoker too and it’s the best ever. I’m trying to talk my boyfriend into building me a cold smoke attachment for cheese and bacon.

  6. Yeah, your version of croque madame is gorgeous. And the weight you have for squashing it? I want one!

    Raspberries growing in your own yard. Sigh. I’ve just turned some black ones into jam and am looking forward to currants.

    Thank you. That was all very delicious and inspiring 🙂

  7. Jennifer Hess says:

    angela – Mike loves it. And we’ve got a pork belly in the freezer that is destined to be turned into bacon. 🙂

    Nancy – I’m sorry!

    Marie – Thank you! The press is just a Lodge cast iron grill press – I picked it up at The Brooklyn Kitchen, and it’s great. We’ve mostly been eating the raspberries out of hand, but I’m trying to get my husband to use them in a cocktail. Soon. 🙂 And I owe you a return email.

  8. Beautiful! I love your little romantic outside dining nook. I envy your backyard raspberried! I used to have them in my backyard growing up and I have delicious memories of eating them off the vine.

  9. I’m getting some scapes tomorrow, and solely for the purpose of trying my first pesto. Looking forward to it!

    Your summery cooking looks fabulous. You and Mike do a wonderful job together.

    I read below – your priorities are definitely in order. Sometimes I feel so scattered with all I try to accomplish on top of “real life”… I should take a lesson from you Jennifer. Take good care of yourself. 🙂

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