Monday, March 22, 2010
Oh Monday, here you are to greet us with rain and cooler air. Hey, it's not that bad. Personally, I'd rather be at work on a dreary day like today rather than any one of the warm, bright days we've had in the past week. Rain always puts me in a productive mood. Clean, cook, read, run errands and then, having earned it in my mind, collapse onto my couch and zone out with some mindless TV and eat something sweet. Or, you know, work a standard day and then zone out.
But goodness, what a weekend it was! I was outside every chance I got, even trying to eat outside when possible. Strolled around Shadyside and Squirrel Hill to catch up on my vitamin D. Had me some strawberry cheesecake gelato (yum!) at Mercurio's. Got my tart pan from Williams & Sonoma. Had a nice book club meeting outside. The only change of plans was regarding Sunnyledge Inn. According to the receptionist, they are still "on winter hours" and "don't do dinner" and "weren't sure when that'll change"... whatever that means?
So, we met up with some friends at Double Wide Grill for a late (and delicious) dinner. I'm such a sucker for outdoor dining, so this place was right up my alley. I got the Barbeque Pulled Porky. Aside from making a fool of myself and asking the waiter for the other slice of bread, only to have him tell me that it's an open-faced sandwich, I was totally in love with my meal. Crispy shoestring fries, and a flavorful meaty pulled pork. Some pulled pork tends to be heavy on the sauce, to slimy, and light on the meat. Not this baby. Tons and tons of meat. Loved it. In fact, out of 8 people, 7 completely cleaned their plates (like, not a crumb left clean). The only one that didn't had a salad, so we shouldn't even count him :) Have any of you been here? What did you think?
Yesterday I did some cooking for the week ahead and was playing around with marinades for chicken and salmon. This was one such experiment that went very well. The great thing about marinating anything is convenience. Most you can make ahead, and along with the meat, put in a sealed container in a refrigerator for up to a day and cook immediately. I only let this marinade for about an hour while I was doing other things around the apartment. Easy. The maple gives the salmon a nice caramelized thin crust while the "wooster" (how I said it when I was younger and how I choose to say it now) sauce and ground ginger give the fish a nice warmth and depth of flavor.
Maple Marinated Salmon
-enough for four 4-ounce pieces (I halved since I only had two)
1/4 cup real maple syrup
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons Worcestershire (or soy) sauce
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
In whatever container you plan on using, whisk together all ingredients. Using tongs, place fish in marinade, and flip to coat other side. Seal container. Store in refrigerator for up to two hours. Preheat oven to 400F degrees. Remove fish from marinade with tongs and place on a foiled baking sheet. Cook 15 minutes. Enjoy with a green vegetable of sorts -- I chose steamed edamame.