Pernil Asado con Mojo – this was so good! I used a much smaller pork shoulder (3.5 lbs) and the bone was already removed. The leftovers were great in enchilada pie and quesadillas.
Laotian food from Food and Wine magazine – the only one I haven’t made yet is the Ground Turkey Laap, and that will probably get knocked off the list in the next few days. And they were all keepers!
Shrimp and grits – I used half the shrimp and added two chipotle cheddar sausages to the grits, as well as a diced poblano and smoked sea salt. I upped the cheese a bit (what can I say, I like Cabot clothbound cheddar). I think that the ratio of sauce to grits is a bit off, since I found I needed a lot of the chile sauce.
Chicken and hominy soup – we made this with Rancho Gordo hominy. As long as you remember to soak the hominy in the morning, this is very doable as a weeknight dinner.
Chickpea and spinach stew – I usually have all of the ingredients for this on hand. It’s a really nice and easy weeknight recipe, especially in winter. Even though it doesn’t really feel like winter here because we haven’t had much snow. Not that I’m gloating…
Butternut squash soup with coconut and ginger – I was quite taken with a coconut kabocha squash soup I ate (from a food truck, of all places!), so when I ran across this recipe I had to give it a try. It’s good, but definitely not as good as that kabocha squash soup – I think you need that extra sweetness. I will have to give the recipe another try with kabocha.
We signed up for occasional Washington’s Green Grocer deliveries (it’s similar to Boston Organics). It’s much more flexible than a CSA, but of course it isn’t all local produce. We get to add and subtract things, too, and they offer products from Brooklyn Brine. I love their fennel beets and the curry squash and the chipotle carrots and… well, I haven’t had anything that I haven’t liked!
Momofuku’s ginger scallion sauce – I wasn’t sure if I was ready to purchase David Chang’s cookbook, but I ran across this recipe. Quick and easy and you can throw it on anything!
I was really happy to see that the Dupont Circle farmer’s market is open year round, and it’s on Sunday mornings. It’s a shame that dogs are prohibited, because I have dreams of taking Hobie for a walk while visiting the farmer’s market.
Still looking for replacements for some of my old favorite things from Formaggio Kitchen and Central Bottle. I found that the Whole Foods occasionally has Jasper Hill Farms Bayley Hazen Blue, and since Meadow Creek Farms is local, it’s easy to find their Appalachian cheese. I’ve grown fond of Cowgirl Creamery’s Devil’s Gulch cheese and Firefly Farms’ Merry Goat Round. On the chocolate front, I haven’t seen any Mast Brothers or Rogue chocolate here. Our Whole Foods has been lacking in general – they don’t carry many chiles, they never have fresh lemongrass, and the bakery selection is abysmal (then again, I haven’t found a bakery like Iggy’s or Clear Flour in DC).
Speaking of things I miss – I have yet to find a replacement for Flour. I have made a few things from Joanne Chang’s cookbook, like the dacquoise (which was much easier than it looks!), the gingerbread cake, the boozy rum cake, macarons… I also made her maple apple upside-down cake from Food and Wine magazine.
As much as I enjoy cooking, it’s nice to eat out, too! There are several restaurants here that we were already familiar with before we left Boston (Oyamel, Againn, and Brasserie Beck, for instance), and we’re starting to explore a bit more. Restaurant week was a great opportunity for this. We had a great Mexican themed meal at Untitled, Southern comfort food at Acadiana, and we finally went to Birch and Barley.
Other places of note: Estadio (still not sure if I like it better than Jaleo), Bourbon (beer cocktails and fried chicken!), Two Amys (although next time I will stick to the small plates), Pizzeria Paradiso (great beer list and delicious pizzas), Pho 14, Scion (they have a great beer list!) and Vermilion (if I can’t get Garden at the Cellar’s tater tots anymore, I’ll be happy to replace them with Vermilion’s hush puppies). I’m sure I’m forgetting a few. And China Poblano, but that doesn’t count because it’s in Las Vegas. Or maybe it does, because it’s by Jose Andres. Anyhow, it was a huge disappointment.
I’ve been making the food truck rounds, too – @eatwonky, @FlmeetsDC, @lobstertruckdc, @fojolbros, @capmac, @sweetbitestruck…
And of course there’s lots of places I still want to visit. I have a lot of eating ahead of me!