Sunday, December 27, 2009

Grace Memphis

Hey all.  I'm still in Florida, with all of the country-living-spotty-internet-connection that implies.  However, since the first draft of my law review note is due tomorrow, I'm allowing myself the internet indulgences I normally self-deny...

Here's a review of a great new Memphis restaurant: Grace, in Cooper-Young.  It opened in October, and the focus is on the experience of dining out, of eating well, and of having someone else prepare a delicious meal for you.  The menu changes often, and, from what I hear and read, is consistently elegant and satisfying.  I've only gone once, but the charcuterie platter and the poached pear were memorable, as was the space itself (pale green walls, low lighting, white tablecloths, furniture straight out of an Anthropologie composition).  Make a resolution to try it during 2010!  The entrees are admittedly out of the grad-student-budget price range this blog tries to stay within, but you can make a lovely light meal out of a bottle of wine, appetizers and dessert. 

Back to cross-referencing footnotes.  When I'm done, I'll think about where I want to eat when I return to the city in January.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Barbara Kingsolver's Frijole Mole

















Oh.  Dear.  Lord.  Yall.  That was one of the crazier semesters I have ever had.  If there are any 0Ls who have somehow stumbled upon this, all I have to say to you is two numbers: 5 am.  11 pm.  Just think about it before submitting your credit card information to the LSAC.

Anyway.  So finals are over and I'm spending about a week here in Memphis before flying home, neurotic kitten tucked under my arm, to the sunny state of Florida, where updates, if they happen (we live in the country and I plead the dial-up), will showcase the incredible fortune of having two tomato seasons in one year.  My farmer's stand down there is only open in the winter--early summer, so we'll see what we can see.

I'm also spending this week writing the first draft of my law review note, so please forgive me if I seem to have completely forgotten how to write a blog post.  There shall also (scout's honor) be no usage of supras, infras, or hereinafters.  Because that is pretty lame.

These next two recipes feature out of season produce, if you live in the mid-South!  So sorry!  But maybe, just maybe, you've googled this post from somewhere sunny, like Florida, where green beans and eggplant are more than a fond memory.  Lucky you.

This is a really yummy spread.  Use the freshest basil you can get your hands on (whenever you can get your hands on it) because it really makes a difference in how "clean" the taste is.

Barbara Kingsolver's Frijole Mole
From Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

1/4 lb trimmed green beans (these came from the U of M edible garden)
2 cups fresh basil leaves (ditto)
1 onion, coarsely chopped (Bennett-Burke Farms were selling sweets, yum)
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 hard-boiled eggs
1 tablespoon lemon juice (optional)
Mayonnaise or yogurt
Salt and pepper

It has been so long since I made this that I can't remember my exact proportions, but I think I had half the green beans and basil, used a whole onion, no lemon juice, and 1 hardboiled egg... just play around.  It's just food.)
































Steam the green beans until tender

















Saute onions over medium heat until they become slightly transparent.









































Combine beans, cooked onions, eggs, basil, and lemon juice in a food processor and blend into a coarse puree.

















Remove puree to a bowl and combine with enough mayonnaise or yogurt to hold mixture together.  Add salt and pepper to taste.





















Looks like I had this on toasted Cafe Eclectic sourdough bread with a salad of market lettuce, goat cheese, and grilled pears.  Wow.  I can't wait to cook like that again.  I've been on almost first-name basis with the nice people at Pho Hoa Binh since finals started...