Thursday, July 8, 2010

Tilapia with Shallot & Pinot Grigio Jam Sauce

Jayme, who's become the newest member in my arsenal of foodie friends (she's gotten several shout-outs here already), tipped me off to something amazing at the Marietta Farmer's Market that I'm glad I tried for myself: Emily G's Jams of Love. If you're in Marietta on a Saturday this summer, just stop by the farmer's market and sample them. I dare you to go home without a jar! I picked up the pinot grigio jam because it was tasty, really unsure what I'd do with it until the nice lady who sold it said it was good on fish.

Inspired to do something healthy for dinner last night to combat the effects of eating large spoonfuls of pre-chilled lemon curd before dinner (that recipe's coming later), I came up with this little gem I can't wait to make again. I'm usually not one to blog about recipes necessitating specialty ingredients, but this one's worth it!

Serves 2

3 filets tilapia (from frozen is fine, what I used)
salt, pepper, Italian seasoning
1 shallot, fine slices
some butter (about 3 tablespoons)
some olive oil
juice of half a lemon
about 1/4 cup Emily G's Pinot Grigio Jam

Thaw tilapia if starting from frozen (submerge, still in plastic, in cold water for about 45 minutes), rinse & pat dry, then sprinkle both sides with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Add about 1/2 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil to a nonstick pan, heat over medium-high heat. Once butter has melted and mixed with the oil, add tilapia, cooking about 3 minutes on each side, turning only once. Remove tilapia from pan, set aside, and cover with foil to keep warm. Return the pan and all remaining drippings to the heat, add shallot, salt, pepper, and sautee about 2 minutes, until shallots become translucent. Add in jam and lemon juice. Once jam has melted, stir in 2 tablespoons butter, one tablespoon at a time, to make the sauce velvety and creamy. Serve immediately over fish, and enjoy!

The lemon juice is key here, as it really balances the sweetness of the jam. Jam is an excellent sauce-maker here, as the pectin gives the sauce a heartier feel than just using plain wine. I imagine it would be just as tasty over some shrimp or other delicate whitefish.

I served the fish last night with plain jasmine rice and green beans. Paired with a little glass of white wine, it was a perfect summertime dinner!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Flip Burger

It's a busy weekend for Team Dawmilam. Our adventures started yesterday with an outing to Flip Burger with Laura (ADPi sister who's known me since I was the quiet girl with bad bangs & scrunchies) and her husband, Heyward, who happen to live dangerously close to Flip. I've been to Flip twice before - once with Christy, once with Lindsey - and both times I was impressed. Dave was getting a little upset that I'd been without him; last night, halfway through what he thought was the best burger ever, he said, "I'm officially mad that you've eaten food this good twice without me." If you're ever in Atlanta, and wanting a burger, this is the place to go.

As my official review of the restaurant, I'd like to start out with the negative: the waitresses, waiters, and hostesses look like they need to eat a few cheeseburgers or drink a couple of the amazing milkshakes there. Really, I'd like to sit down with them and force them to partake of the greasy goodness they're serving up. Upon being seated by a size 00 bleach blonde young woman who didn't know how to smile or make eye contact, Heyward pondered aloud if it hurts to be that trendy all the time. I have to agree: the people who work there aren't so much welcoming or warm. They're pretty, but they don't look happy. My guess, again, is that if they'd just eat a cheeseburger, they'd feel better. But, that's coming from a non-size-00, so maybe I'm totally missing the point.

But, there really isn't anything else negative about this place. We started our meal with the "duck nuggets," ordered primarily because it's not often you can say the words "duck" and "nuggets" in the same sentence and be taken seriously. I'd never actually had duck before, and it's a shame, because there's no way the next time I eat duck it will be that delicious. Anything cooked in its own fat, fried, and topped with a spicy sauce is bound to be delicious. The outside was crispy; the inside was a nice, creamy texture contrast. And the blood orange chili sauce added a delicious sweet kick.

We got one of all the "fried" items last night. My parmesan zucchini fries were delicious, even without their special mayo. Laura's whole pod fried okra was yumtastic, especially with the Sriacha mayonnaise. Heyward got fries, and Dave got onion rings, which apparently were just "mediocre," but this place's mediocre is like everyone else's "good." Our burgers were to die for. I relished every greasy, delicious bite of my bacon cheddar burger that had some sort of special sauce on it. Lemme tell you: it was special. Dave was in burger heaven with his chosen creation, which had a red wine jam, caramelized onions, and blue cheese. And, for dessert, we all got milkshakes.

My favorite thing about Flip WAS the Nutella & burnt marshmallow milkshake - a sweet treat that cannot be missed. But, Dave and I split a different milkshake last night, and it's my new favorite. The turtle was divine. The ice cream was a perfect vanilla, and the caramel was delicious, especially when combined with the lightly salted, toasted pecans atop a cloud of whipped cream.

To add some excitement to the night, we were so happy to run into Frank, Steve and their friend who was visiting from out of town! Great minds definitely thought alike for dinner last night. They were on their way to the Liza Minnelli concert at Chastain. Expect a similar restaurant review after our meal together next weekend at Ballenger's in Rome... a place that Frank insists is one of the best places ever.

After we gorged ourselves, we went back to Laura & Heyward's and enjoyed a relaxing evening out on their screened in porch, chatting mostly about our animals, other funny animal stories and food (welcome to life as married-without-children!). We're definitely glad to have these guys close by and are already planning our next foodie adventure together.

As for the rest of the weekend? Today, I'm preparing for the Peachtree Road Race with Lindsey, who'll be running with me. This is our second year to run, but this year, neither of us is in really good condition to run 6.2 on a hot summer day. Our motivation for running sort of waned after the half marathon in March. It really took a lot out of us! I ran 5 yesterday, so I theoretically *should* be able to run 6 tomorrow. But, neither of us expect to run at our best pace, nor have we ruled out giving up about mile 4, taking one of the beers that so many spectators try to push on the runners, and just walking the remainder of the course. Maybe I should make sure to run with a koozie? Our preparations for today will include laying out by the pool, drinking lots of water, and eating a carbo-heavy dinner tonight. I'm rather excited about getting some relaxing pool time in this weekend!

The adventures will continue tomorrow, as after the Peachtree, we have a fun day at Lake Allatoona planned with the Changs, some of their friends, Genay, Amy & Lindsey. We'll be celebrating lots of things: the fact that Lindsey and I will have survived the race, Independence Day, and Genay's birthday. Pictures & stories will follow soon!