Jul 312007
 
Authors: Liz Sunshine

I had the pleasure this week of not cooking. Every once in a while it is nice to have someone else cook for you, especially when that person is more of a foodie than you are.

This week an old friend from high school, Jonathan, came up to the Fort to find a place to live for the school year. This was only his third visit to our city, so he asked me to show him a few good places.

In return for my chauffer services Jonathan offered to cook dinner. I told him it was my night to cook for this column and because of that there is a budget and a few guests to cook for as well. Rather than deterring him, this information only seemed to spark more interest, so I agreed.

After a long day of looking at apartments, meetings on campus and of course a visit to one of our breweries for a tasting, Jonathan and I ventured our way to the grocery store.

We started at the meat/seafood counter where the attendant told us what he would give to us for half price. It was pretty late in the day, and he was trying to get rid of a few overstocked/old items and everything on his list was seafood. Jonathan’s immediate response was anything not on that list.

After settling on a flank steak we headed over to fresh produce grabbing limes, cilantro, jalapenos, tomatoes, avocados and onions. For whatever reason, this was also the point in which Jonathan was inspired to add dessert to the menu as well but was disappointed when he realized that would throw us over budget.

I reassured him that it would be OK if he did go over budget since it was dinner and dessert and off we went again, grabbing peaches before we left produce but also grabbing vanilla ice cream.

After reassuring Jonathan that I had a few ingredients at my apartment (i.e. bell peppers and balsamic vinegar) we checked out and head home to cook.

Jonathan is a loner in the kitchen, so all I had to do was sit and chat while he did the hard work. Marissa and Katie showed up and joined in the sitting and chatting while the steak was on the grill.

Joining the steak was a few jalapenos Jonathan decided to grill, which sounded like a great idea at the time, but he was the only one to sweat through one. Marissa and I both tried and only got one bite in before returning happily to our fajitas.

For dessert Jonathan grilled peaches and reduced balsamic vinegar to put over ice cream. I was allowed to help this time around by scooping ice cream (I was a big help, promise).

My first instinct regarding putting the vinegar on my ice cream was, well not to. The smell of reducing balsamic vinegar is quite strong, but I gave it a try and the syrupy vinegar added depth to a great dessert.

All around it was fun having Jonathan here and nice not to cook. Enjoy these last remaining days of summer before school starts.

L’Chaim and B’Tay Avon (to life and eat well)

Recipes:

Steak

1 flank steak

2 teaspoons garlic powder

juice of 2 limes

half a bushel of cilantro

2 jalapenos (change according to spice preference)

1/4 cup canola oil

Chop jalapenos and cilantro then combine garlic powder, limes and oil to create a marinade. Marinate steak for at least 30 minutes and grill for five minutes a side (timing is based on how hot your grill is, the steak should be pink in the middle). Serve on a tortilla with bell peppers, onions, guacamole (recipe to follow) and any other fajita/taco filling you desire (cheese, sour cream, salsa, etc.)

Guacamole

3 ripe avocados

1 hot house tomato

2 jalapenos (change according to spice preference)

1/4 white onion

3 or 4 sprigs cilantro

juice of 1/2 a lime

salt

Chop everything to your texture liking, I like mine chunky and combine. Rather than covering the bowl to refrigerate, cover the actual guacamole to avoid browning.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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