Thursday, May 20, 2010

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's tabbouli

This is not your Tata's, or your grandmother's, tabbouli. It's mine. But I think it's better! As you can see, it's super colorful, which according to mom means it has lots of vitamins and nutrients. You're never going to see carrots, or beans, or even radishes in restaurant or Whole Foods tabbouli.

My overall advice for making tabbouli is you can never really have too much garlic. And add whatever produce you have in the fridge really. Everything tastes great with lemon juice and garlic.

This recipe is to serve about 4. My husband had one bowl, and I had three. (Side note: tabbouli stores in the fridge for a couple days because parsley doesn't wilt and only gets better because everything soaks up the juices.

Here's what you need to make the tabbouli you see here (I'm estimating just about everything here, so use your creativity and taste buds):
A bunch of parsley (curly or flat is fine)
3 cloves of garlic, not the wimpy ones
1 carrot
3 radishes
1 tomato
A few pods of fresh fava beans
1/4 bulgur wheat
A few pieces of purple cabbage, cut in slices
Dried mint
Lemon juice
Olive oil

Heat up some warm water and let the bulgur soften up for 10 minutes or so. Crush the garlic into the bottom of the bowl. Top with a few glugs of lemon juice, don't be stingy. Sprinkle with salt, about a 1/4 tsp. Chop the parsley (not too fine, but not too chunky) and add to the bowl. Add the remaining chopped veggies and beans. Drain the bulgur, pressing it to be sure little to no excess water makes it to the bowl. Sprinkle tabbouli with about a 1/4 tsp. of dried mint and a go-around or two of olive oil. Mix it all up and enjoy.

This recipe (in addition to my salad) really changes depending on what I have on hand. I like to use cucumbers, peppers and palm hearts if I have it. So play around and see what you like.

I served it with a toasted pita and halloumi cheese sandwich. 

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Diane von Furstenberg speaks in Dallas

The other day I was supremely lucky to see Diane von Furstenberg speak at a benefit for the Jewish Family Services of Dallas. She also brought her friend Andre Leon Talley, the former and very flamboyant editor-at-large for Vogue magazine, and current judge of America's Next Top Model. Unfortunately he didn't speak at all, so I only saw him eating his lunch.

As a side note, she told the story of her first ad (seen above). She said that when she arrived to the shoot and sat on the cube she decided it was too plain and stark. So she asked for a marker, and claims that on the spot came up with a line that would become her trademark: Feel like a woman, wear a dress. And wear a dress I did. 

Monday, May 17, 2010

I scream for brussel sprouts

(this butter is crack, pure unadulterated crack)

This was a weekend of amazing food. Leo made dinner for us Sunday night, and announced that it was a meat and potatoes night. No vegetables allowed. Well, that's not okay. Plus I had a bag full of vibrantly green brussel sprouts from an italian market in the refrigerator. So I asked politely if I may add these to the menu and he obliged. Since I finished the sprouts early, we sat outside with a glass of wine. We don't do this enough. The end result was a plate full of his garlic infused filet mignon, rosemary potatoes, these sprouts and a kick ass episode of Breaking Bad. 

Here's the recipe:

1/2 cup pecan halves, cut crosswise into thirds
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 pounds baby Brussels sprouts, trimmed
1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon black pepper


Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Spread pecan pieces in 1 layer in a shallow baking pan and bake until fragrant and a few shades darker, about 10 minutes. Add 1/2 tablespoon butter and 1/4 teaspoon salt to nuts and toss until butter is melted and nuts are coated. While nuts bake, cook Brussels sprouts in a 6- to 8-quart pot of boiling salted water, uncovered, until just tender, 5 to 6 minutes, then transfer to a bowl of ice and cold water to stop cooking. Drain sprouts and pat dry. Melt remaining 2 1/2 tablespoons butter (or use extra virgin olive oil, which is what I did) in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, then add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Increase heat to moderately high, then add sprouts and sauté, stirring occasionally, until browned in patches, about 5 minutes. Add lemon juice, pepper, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, then stir in pecans and serve.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

I love the theataaaaa

I had the most romantic, loverly Saturday afternoon. I love when things just come together last minute like this. We got tickets to see a matinee performance of Arthur Miller's classic Death of a Salesman at the Wyly Theatre. It's my favorite place to see performances in Dallas. And the ticket prices are incredibly reasonable (as low as $15). And side note: if you go to the box office to purchase, you forego the handling fees which are quite high.

Afterwards we strolled over to One Arts Plaza and ate at The Screen Door, an upscale southern home-cooking restaurant. I started off with a brown butter sage martini and munched on scones, carrot cake muffins and warm corn bread with apple butter. We decided to do the theatre dinner package which was 3 courses for $35 and the best deal on the menu. The first course was the salad, filled with candied pecans, dried cherries and little chunks of cheddar. We also ordered a side appetizer of fried green tomatoes (Leo's favorite). When we got married in Savannah, we ordered these every day, wherever we went. The tomatoes were probably my favorite thing because the tomatoes were warm and sweet, and the outside was crunchy and super spicy. For the main course I got shrimp and grits which was the perfect portion. Honestly after gorging on the scones and tomatoes I was already ready for dessert. But I was a warrior. Somehow I finished nearly the entire plate. We took a few breaths and rested a few minutes, and then came the strawberry shortcake. It was fate I was there that day because strawberry shortcake is my favorite childhood dessert and each bite made me so happy.

I am still full.