May 2010 Archives

L'Asia Restaurant Denver

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L'Asia : Bargain Fine Asian.
A treat for MidWeek.

On Tuesdays and Wednesday nights, l'Asia, a Denver fusion-style Asian food restaurant offers 1/2 price appetizers. We made a meal of it. And these four choices went particularly well with the 'every-night' two for one Saki-tini's: Saki and match-stick ginger with some other additions that were not sweet, not too strong.

Green-lipped New Zealand mussels were baked with a light, slightly sweet and hot cream sauce, sprinkled with sesame seeds. The spring rolls were packed with shrimp, cilantro and rice noodles, easy to grasp and tasty with the slightly curried peanut sauce. Well balanced: taste and more. See picture below.

The calamari had a spicy breading that made eating the fried squid worth it. These were not tubes or tenacles but thinly cut strips of calamari steak. Consistent in texture and taste. Our favorite of the four hors d'oevres.

The crab cakes were the last appetizer we tried and was a little dense compared to the lightness of everything else we'd ordered. In all that gingery sauce, it even looks heavy in the picture. And when we we weren't saying 'wow' as many times as we had with the other dishes, we knew we'd had enough.

I'm looking forward to visiting this restaurant just across the street from Pablo's on 6th Avenue again, and giving the entrees a try.

The calamari -- lightly breaded, peppery with a sweet and spicy sauce. Sits here on a bed of edible, desirable greens with light-as-air noodles.

Starter Plants Tomatoes

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tomato-Marmand.jpgSteuart and I spent the day at Denver Urban Homesteading, selling the plant that we aren't going to have room for in our urban garden.
He grew more than 200 plants from the seeds we bought this year. We'll have about 12 in our two raised beds and 8 in pots.

We decided in February that we like the taste of produce grown from this year's seeds and -- because so many seeds come in one package from the quality producer that we love -- we split the lot with Steuart's brother, Andrew & wife Lisa.

Steuart's green thumb was particularly green this spring and we had so many healthy plants we didn't know what we were going to do with them, until we went to Denver Urban Homesteading, which does a year round farmer's market at 200 Santa Fe, on Saturdays from 9-2.

For 2010, we are choosing to grow the Super Marmande, which is a big tomato popular in southern France. It's the first one pictured above.

We're expecting the heirloom, Tigerella -- here pictured with orange stripes -- is going to be slightly smaller but just as good to eat right out of the garden.

Instead of a cherry tomato, we're growing something that can become slightly larger -- the size of a golf ball. I'm going to try this in a hanging basket -- it's a beautiful plant.

The fourth type of tomato is one that will mature later and we'll preserve. We will either make sauce or concentrate down to a paste or just freeze as crushed tomatoes for use throughout the winter.

I found myself realizing while I was handing out plants that since we've been in Denver, and able to grow our own tomatoes, we are having a hard time going back to canned ones -- even good ones.

If you want more information about any of these tomatoes, or the eggplant, cucumbers or sage plants Steuart grew, you can download this document about our Starter Plants.doc.

Check back here for ideas of what to do with all the fruits of our garden labors this summer.

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Fruit Salad Mothers Day

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A Mothers' Day Herb Fruit Salad:

fruit-tarragon.pngSpring Tarragon Salad with Fruit

The tarragon has come back in my garden and its sweetness, because it is so young, makes it so mild that I added it with some garden mint to the fruit salad I made for Mothers' Day Brunch.

It's simple, but the best fruit salad I've had in a long time.

Peal and chop fruit, such as cantaloupe, mango, peaches, etc. into bite sized pieces. I used mango, cantaloupe, avocado and apple.

Zest and then squeeze a Meters lemon. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the best local honey until it dissolves. Add chopped tarragon and mint. Add this to the fruit.

Add more delicate fruit like berries just before serving, and toss all to incorporate the fruit and the lemon-honey dressing.

We packed the fruit and dressing in containers, carried berries in another container and rode to our friends house. Nice tossing was had by all.
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Spanish Tortilla

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A tortilla in Colorado is a flat bread made of corn masa or wheat flour. In Spain, it's a unfolded omelet or what I've heard called a Frittata.

The Basics of the Frittata:

Beaten eggs poured into a skillet, vegetables/additions added and it's baked until the eggs are set.

Potatoes go with Frittata, much more than a delicate French omelet because I don't have to ease the setting eggs over onto themselves, don't have to worry about a heavy cube of potato making the whole thing a mess. For this Frittata, we added green beans, mushrooms, sauteed onion and a little cheese to the cubed potatoes. Five beaten eggs were poured over the vegetables, and it was cooked in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes, then broiled until brown.

The final step is sprinkling with a little exotic paprika from Savory Spice shop. This frittata along with the savory biscuits served 5 easily.