Fab Friday! And a beautiful one to boot – lalalaaah! The sun is shining and slowly melting all that damn snow. I squeezed in Friday Morning Coffee with Suz, the first in many weeks. And since I flew solo for dinner, I made myself a plate of tasty, healthy favorites – fish (in this case cod), a smidge of polenta, and lots of braised curly kale. Feeling good, feeling good.
I’ve been buying cod lately and lucking out with very fresh, tasty fish. I just sprinkle it with a little salt, then saute in olive oil until just-done, a few minutes per side (it only browns a bit). I squeeze lemon into the pan, maybe toss in a few capers, and voila, the fastest “sauce” ever. Yum. And as I’ve weirdly raved before, I flat out cravepolenta + kale. The texture of slightly chewy greens alongside soft, creamy polenta, mmmm, love it. Nothing particularly involved, in fact very quick to prepare (when I make polenta for myself, I only simmer 2 Tbsp. in a cup or so of water until smooth and creamy; takes 15 minutes max). Another example of a meal that no one else in my family would touch (John loves fish, but kale and polenta, not so much; the kids – yeah, right). Good thing I’m quite happy to cook for myself and eat alone!
Although dining with others is lovely as well – especially last night, when John and I had dinner with our neighbors Kasey & Dan Hatzung at Spasso in Minnetonka. Spasso, owned by The Wine Shop, has been open for oh, about a week, so we’ll forgive them a few goofs, like serving our entrees before our appetizers (!) Luckily it didn’t much matter – we shared everything anyhow. The wine list helpfully included point scores from various wine reviewers (e.g. Robert Parker, Wine Spectator). Scores aren’t the be-all, end-all of course, but they are helpful when you’re staring at a list of a hundred wines, your nice waitress clearly knows nothing about wine, and you would like to try something new.
The unanimous favorite was their version of the Spanglish (as in the movie) Sandwich – a BLT, jazzed up with a fried eggand basil mayo. Seriously good. A couple of pasta dishes didn’t blow anyone away – over-cooked pasta, flavorless sauces. I enjoyed the polenta fries but I’m not sure anyone else did – I mean, what would I not like about fried polenta? This version was crisp on the outside, creamy in the middle, smokin’ hot and not greasy, served with little flavored mayos – a rather odd combo but tasty nonetheless. For dessert we tasted tirimasu (fine, not great) and pear bread pudding (positively delicious). Although Kasey & Dan live across the street, in typical winter-in-Minnesota fashion, we’ve hardly seen them for months, so it was great to steal them away from their cutie-pie little boys for an evening.
Or two – we’ll all be at a neighborhood cocktail party tonight! (In fact, I’d better kick it into gear and spiff myself up at least a bit…)