This is gonna be a big one.
Saturday, Jesse and I walked to the BKLYN Yard, for Parked! Since they took down the link/info page on the BKYard's website, instead please refer to the photo of the flyer. I'll sum up: the PizzaMoto truck, a taco cart from the Red Hook soccer field vendors, the Green Pirate juice truck, and the VanLeeuwen Ice Cream truck (!!!!) were all present, parked in the lot, serving up their wares and showing their stuff. Highlights included watching the PizzaMoto Dough Maven do her thing with dough until they sold straight out of it, eating the delicious Margherita from PizzaMoto, having the Espresso ice cream from Van Leeuwen which was better than anything else, which is saying something, the delicious Green Pirate Hot Pink Lemonade, which involved beet juice, ginger, cucumbers, and some other crazy stuff. Also, the lovely Rita of the Pretty Girls Use Knives crew, joined us for some fun in the sun. Unfortunately, PM sold out before she got any, and the taco cart line was just. not. moving. So that was awesome regardless. Here are some pics of the aforementioned highlights:
And then.... there was the biggest amazingness of all. This is the item that made my day, and that basically justified the sunburn that I have and the money that we spent, even more than catching the VanLeeuwen truck and finding out about the taco cart and everything:
Andrew Knowlton!!! That's Andrew Knowlton, the BA Foodist, frequent Iron Chef Judge, and all around hottie-pants. He's even hotter in person, and let me just say, he was so low-key, totally chilled out, didn't pull rank and try to jump ahead of the line for PizzaMoto, didn't get shirty when they didn't recognize him.... sigh. Andrew Knowlton, everyone.
I have some irrationalities regarding cooking. #1 - I decide, rather than plan, to bake, especially when reading about all the wondrous things that Deb from the Smitten Kitchen makes. #2 - I have a fear of cooking shrimp and scallops, as well as anything not in its shell that should be, like clams, oysters, lobster, crab, etc. I am not confident in my ability to cook them without overcooking them. Even though I'm much more likely to undercook them, since I'll take them off before they turn opaque, I still am not confident.
Tonight, I remembered one fear (that of cakes sticking to pans) and moved on my way to recovering from the other (grilling seafood).
First, the grilling seafood. Leah made a spectacular-looking grilled shrimp dish back in March, and undertook the Bon Appetit Modern Fiesta for date night the other evening. She's brave. I decided to challenge her braveness, and grill some shrimps of my own. I took a recipe from Epicurious, for grilled shrimp with a lemon-oregano dressing.
As per usual, I didn't follow the recipe entirely. However, here's the deal, here's what I did:
**De-vein 1 pound of large shrimp (if you're doing jumbo shrimp, get 2 pounds. go with what you can afford). Keep the shells on. Do this by using your kitchen shears (or whatever pair of scissors you feel like, just wash'em) to cut them open down the back, and pull the vein out. This is similar to how you'd butterfly them. Put them in the fridge.
**Mince and paste 2-4 cloves of garlic, depending on how many shrimp you're cooking with 3/4 teaspoon of salt. The easier way to do this is to microplane your garlic into the food processor and add a half-teaspoon ish of salt. Then add the juice of 1 lemon, a few shakes of black pepper, and turn on the foodpro/blender. Drizzle in olive oil until it's all emulsified and happy. Add a handful of chopped parsley (if you have oregano, use oregano) and mix. If it separates, you can just stir it up. No big whoop. You can also taste and mutate htis into anything you want.
**heat up your grill. Put 1/4 cup of the dressing over the shrimp, and after a few minutes, put your shrimp on some skewers and put them on the grill. I did not skewer mine, and I can tell you for sure that this is not a good idea. I lost 3 good shrimp to the gods of the grill. Don't make my mistake.
After a few minutes, the shrimpies are done, and you can take them off, serve the rest of the dressing in a bowl along iwth either rice or bread, and do peel-and-eat shrimps. Paper towels for everybody!!! Yay!!!
The cake tastes delicious. It does not look as awesome as Deb's, but then again, mine never do. The grocery store didn't have raspberries, and while raspberry-lemon is a gorgeous combination, I had to go with blueberries. And I like blueberry-orange, so I added orange zest instead of lemon zest. Also, no vanilla because our store doesn't carry it.
The cake is delicious. And when it came out of the oven it looked..... too good to be true:
It was. When I tried to turn it out and cool it on the rack, the cake stuck, except for the center of the cake, which fell out onto the rack. It was sad. However, this cake is delicious and I think with about 3 more minutes of baking time, it will work brilliantly. Next time. Which might be tomorrow. Just sayin'.
In general, it's been a great food weekend, and it's got one more day, one more lovely day, and summer is here and I've finally learned when to turn over my charcoal chimbley to get the most use out of my coals, and basically..... It's been lovely.