Sunday, December 19, 2010

testing, testing, 123?

What a day!  I should sleep just fine tonight for all the excitement and running around I did.  Normally, on my lazy Sundays, I'll just kind of eat throughout the day...breakfast, then breakfast snack, then pre-lunch appetizer, and finally lunch, then maybe some lunch dessert a little bit later, and finally dinner...and probably dinner dessert (you really can't have too much dessert - I'm always the one in the dessert buffet holding a dinner plate and trying to look casual about it).  Today, though, I was too busy running all over center city and relishing my city-dwellerness to eat more than two substantial and delicious meals.

Well, okay, I did have a little pre-brunch snack when Mister brought me a doughnut from his early morning (9am on a Sunday is early) venture out to get an egg sandwich and gatorade.  I ate my Christmas doughnut (red and green sprinkles on chocolate frosting!) with my coffee, then got ready for my brunch date.

Lovely Lady and I each got the Tofu Benedict at Mi-Lah Vegetarian.  It's exactly what I got last time, which I really tried not to do - after all, it's not every day I eat somewhere where nothing is off limits.  I contemplated the beer-battered seitan on Belgian waffles, as well as a couple of other options, but really, I couldn't escape my desire for that big pile of kale on the right as well as the sweet potato homefries on the left.  Plus, the english muffin is awesome and the hollandaise sauce is bizarre enough that I was trying to figure out what made it taste like that.

I ate everything on that plate. 

do you know what this is?
it's a close up of this!
 After brunch, Lovely Lady headed over to DiBruno Brothers for some pre-game provisions (she is originally from NYC and an avid Giants fan.  Her husband is an avid Eagles fan.  There is battle in that household when the two teams they did today.) and I headed to the first stop on my afternoon shopping adventures.  A brief tour of center city's shopping hotspots (at least the ones I can nominally afford) included Urban Outfitters, The Shops at Liberty Place (home of the 3-story-tall Christmas tree pictured above), The Shops at the Bellevue (notably, Williams-Sonoma - gift shopping today, but I'm looking forward to returning next week with a purse full of discretionary funds...or a giftcard or two), Borders, Ten Thousand Villages, Starbucks, Wine and Spirits, and a cigar store.  Can you believe I appear to have finished my Christmas shopping?

Christmas/Winter Scene set up in the Bellevue
After depositing my bags of various treasures at home, I set back out to Whole Foods and Superfresh for our weekly food provisions.  I had intended to make a fairly labor-intensive meal for dinner tonight, but I was foiled by the absence of fresh basil, a key component in the dish I had planned to make.  As such, it will unfortunately have to wait until the end of the week now, because I don't see myself wanting to spend hours on dinner much before Thursday.

Besides, I had some chard taking up space in my packed fridge, so I felt the need to use it, which left me two options: a super spicy dish or a dish I thought might go better with my poor Mister's misbehaving belly.  So, tonight's dinner was Farfalle with Shallots and Chard.

I took a picture of the shallots saute-ing because it's never happened before and I didn't know if it would ever happen again

Between onions and shallots, I'll take shallots any day of the week, but that doesn't mean I'm completely comfortable with them.  This recipe involved more shallots than I've ever used in a recipe before and in a much less minced way.  In other words, there was no way I would be able to avoid actually tasting one.

Here are the shallots welcoming the chard into their little party.  While all this sauteing was occurring, Mister's curiosity replaced his nausea and he came into the kitchen, sniffing at the air like a bloodhound and walked directly over to the pot. 

"What IS it?"
"It smells good. I want to make them eated."

Considering the man was actually externally ill a few hours before, this was promising.  Fortunately, by the time his hunger kicked in and he made his way into the kitchen, I was only about ten minutes away from putting dinner on the table.

It tasted as delightful as it looks.  Due to the length of time the shallots sauteed in the olive oil before I added the chard, the olive oil took on an amazingly buttery taste.  I kept psyching myself out with the shallots because they looked so much like onions.  Every time I took a bite, I thought to myself, "Oh, no, this is going to be the time I taste them!"  And I did...they were a little bit sweet and ever-so-slightly crunchy; they weren't crunchy the way fried things are, but rather like raw jicama, with a similar taste.  Despite my initial reticence, I found myself seeking them out in the bowl to pile on top of the chard and pasta to be shoveled into my mouth.

The shallots did saute with red pepper flakes, but not that many, which was why the heat of the dish surprised me.  Mister, who was having stomach issues, said I had a sissy mouth and that he was fine, so I'm pretty sure it was just my surprise that intensified the heat.  Like heat usually does, it enhanced the other qualities of this recipe.  We will definitely have this again...when the cookbook I tested it for comes out...


  1. chives are great, especially when they're fresh from a friend's garden... but shallots still win.