This morning I woke up with lungs full of freshness, a perfect ray of sunshine coming through an ivy covered window, curtains blowing in the breeze, and the jackhammers tickling my ears just below the window. Sigh…almost perfect….
But even the pounding away of early morning construction elves couldn’t entirely spoil my joy. This weekend was wonderful. I spent it down in Virginia with my grandparents, Kayaking, Swimming, walking, talking, reading and drawing. It was great. So my Sunday Dinner again had a day change and took place when I was back in the city on Monday – Memorial Day. So how better to end a weekend then to have an impromptu dinner party with the family!
We celebrated Memorial Day with Grilled Lemon Tilapia, tomato kalamata rice, mozzarella salad, and a ricotta “clafouti”.
Grilled Lemon Tilapia
1 Tilapia steak per person
½ Lemon person
1 bay leaf per person
Cut the ends off of the lemon(s) and slice into ¼ thick slices. Layer the fish, bay leaves, and lemons in a large bowl, drizzle with olive oil and coat with salt pepper. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let marinate for about an hour.
Heat a griddle on the stove – or a grill – and brush with a little olive oil. When the pan is nice and hot place the fish and don’t move it, just let it go for about 4 minutes on each side, the goal is to flip only once. Also grill the lemon slices for about 2 minutes on each side – if you haven’t grilled lemon before you have to try this! It changes the flavor into an almost sweet and nutty, super tasty.
Serve the fish with the lemon slices.
and on to the sides….
Basmati Rice with Tomatoes and Kalamata Olives
2 cups cooked Basmati rice – cook according to the package
3 pints of Campania Tomatoes – or 4 pints cherry tomatoes
1 head of garlic – roughly chopped
¾ cup Kalamata Olives – roughly chopped
1 tbsp butter
¼ cup Olive oil
Heat the olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and stir continuously. After about 3 minutes add the tomatoes. Cook them for 15-20 minutes until the tomatoes have popped and the juices have released. Pour the tomatoes over the rice, stir, and add the olives. Salt and pepper to taste.
1 ball of unsalted Fresh Mozzarella – cut into 1″ cubes
1 pint of Cherry Tomatoes
1 handful of Fresh Basil – roughly chopped
1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 cup Olive Oil
Combine all ingredients and stir well. Serve chilled.
and for dessert…
Ricotta “Clafouti” with Cherries & Raspberries
1 16oz container of ricotta
½ cup tapioca flour
¼ white rice flour
½ cup sugar
½ tsp ancho chili powder
½ tsp salt
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 cup of fresh raspberries
1 cup pitted fresh cherries
Start by draining the ricotta – place a piece of cheese cloth around the opening of a bowl, secure it with a rubber band, pour the ricotta on top and allow it drain four at least 20 minutes.
Heat the oven to 350’ (f).
Beat the eggs in a stand mixer until foamy, about 3 minutes. With the mixer running slowly add the rest of the ingredients – not the drained liquid from the cheese, just the stuff on top of the cheesecloth.
Butter a baking dish – I used a 13” oval. Pour the raspberries and cherries into the baking dish and spread evenly. Next pour the batter over the top of the berries.
Place in the oven and bake until the edges are nice and brown, and the center stops shaking; approx 35 minutes.
You can dish this one out warm or cold. I served it cold, as it was 10,000 degrees in my apartment.
This has been a great week. What could be bad about good adventures, good company, and, of course, good food?! Quite a memorable Memorial Day.