With less than two months remaining in DC (I’m moving back to Atlanta at the end of May), I recently began formulating “the list.” You know, the comprehensive accounting of everything you want to do/see before you hit the road.
I actually have two lists–one is the sightseeing-focused list, and it includes things like paddleboating in the Tidal Basin, visiting Arlington Cemetery, touring the National Cathedral, and taking a nice, leisurely walk up Embassy Row. The other list, however, centers on DC food-related experiences.
I’m very lucky to have eaten at some of DC’s finest and most beloved restaurants–Minibar, Taberna del Alabardero, Vidalia, Rasika, Central, Proof, and Corduroy have already been checked off my list, and I’m heading to Ray’s the Steaks on Saturday. I’ve done Ben’s Chili Bowl and 2 Amy’s. I’ve had Salvadoran in Columbia Heights and Ethiopian in Shaw. I’ve enjoyed many an impromptu meal at farmstands around Eastern Market and Dupont Circle. I’ve hit up Colorado Kitchen and Dino and Sushi Taro and Matchbox. And, of course, I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve drunkenly eaten (and dropped, sadly) Jumbo Slice at 2 AM in Adams Morgan.
So, it’s been a good run, but now I need your help to remind me what’s left to conquer of the DC culinary scene! The places that jump out at me are CityZen, Komi, Makoto, Tosca, BlackSalt, and Palena. Due to the price tags, I clearly won’t be able to eat everywhere I’d like–but you can help me narrow the list down and get it to a more reasonable and realistic place.
Looking forward to hearing everyone’s feedback!
Here’s the recipe for the delish (and light!) dessert I prepared for the food blogger potluck. Be careful not to overcook the bottom layer, or the bars will be dry. Also, it helps to REALLY let each layer cool and set before moving on to the next–especially if you’re concerned about a uniform aesthetic (which, when it comes to chocolate, I’m definitely not). I found this one in Cooking Light magazine.
Preheat oven to 350.
To prepare the glaze, combine the chocolate chips and 3 tablespoons butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for one minute or until melted, stirring after 30 seconds. Let stand 2 minutes. Spread chocolate mixture evenly over top. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
As much as it pains the foodie in me, I have been known to turn to Let’s Dish to provide easy, fast, pre-made entrees that I can just pop in an oven or skillet when I’m feeling lazy. However, that simplicity comes with a pretty hefty price tag, and it also requires me to rent a Zipcar and head out to the ‘burbs. Bummer.
So, when I saw a recipe in Real Simple magazine for this make-ahead meal, I was really excited. Would it be easy, tasty, and affordable? Yes, yes, and yes!
To freeze: Slice the lemon into rounds. In a small bowl, combine the tomatoes and their liquid, lemon, thyme, and capers. Divide them among the 4 plastic freezer bags. Season the chicken with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add 1 leg and 1 thigh to each bag. Freeze, for up to 3 months, until ready to cook
To cook: Heat oven to 400° F. Remove the bags of chicken and tomatoes from the freezer (you’ll need 1 bag of chicken and tomatoes for each serving). Empty the contents of each bag into a baking dish. Drizzle with the oil, using 1 1/2 teaspoons for each serving. Roast until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through, about 50 minutes.
This is a great, easy recipe that actually tastes even better when you let it sit overnight. It came from Real Simple magazine, and the hardest part about it was finding the polenta (hint: at the P Street Whole Foods, it’s in a cookie-dough-esque roll/tube on the lowest shelf of one of the ethnic food aisles–I practically had to sit on the floor to see it)! Definitely spring for the crusty bread to soak up all of the juices–yum!
Heat oven to 400° F.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook, turning once, until it starts to brown, 5 minutes. Add the onions, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring, for 4 minutes. Add the bell peppers and garlic and cook until they are just soft, about 4 minutes. Stir in the wine and thyme.
Transfer the skillet to oven. Roast until the sausage is cooked through, about 15 minutes.
Heat the remaining oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the polenta in batches, turning once, until golden brown.
Place the polenta on a platter. Spoon the sausage, vegetables, and pan juices over the top. Serve with the crusty bread, if desired.
Fresh, canned, or frozen, I really like corn. Of course, it’s at its best in the summertime, when you can buy delicious just-picked ears, shuck them yourself, and serve them up boiled with salt, pepper, and a little butter.
I also love corn in soup, so it’s somewhat odd that I’ve never previously attempted corn chowder. This version came from Real Simple magazine, and it is yum yum yummy. The smoky, salty bacon balanced the sweet corn and the near-caramelized onions. Even though my blender was being persnickety and didn’t puree as well as I would have liked, the flavor of the soup made up for any textural mishaps. And it was great the next day, which is always a plus in my book. I’ll definitely make this recipe again.
Cook the bacon in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
Spoon off and discard all but 2 tablespoons of the drippings and return the pot to medium heat. Cook the onion, stirring occasionally, until soft, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic, paprika, and red pepper and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in the corn, broth, and half-and-half and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
Transfer half the soup to a blender and puree until smooth. Return to the pot, add 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and stir to combine.
Divide the soup among individual bowls and top with the scallions and reserved bacon.
When I was a kid, I looooooved my mom’s meatloaf. A traditional beef version, it was covered in bacon and usually smothered in ketchup. A true American classic! Unfortunately, my dad was NOT a fan, so we didn’t get this tasty treat very often.
I was in the mood for meatloaf the other day, but I wanted a healthier, more modern take on my mom’s version. Real Simple magazine provided the recipe (which I modified slightly), and it was REALLY good–just the right amount of spice, and SO moist. I actually put it under the broiler at the end of the bake time, just to give it a good crunchy crust on top. Leftovers were excellent, too (I recomment briefly reheating in the microwave and then broiling until firm and browned).
Heat oven to 400° F. Combine the turkey, onion, bread crumbs, egg, Parmesan, 2 tablespoons of the mustard, the parsley, red peppers, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. Press the meat into an 8-inch loaf pan.Bake until no trace of pink remains (internal temperature should be 165° F), about 45 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 15 minutes before slicing.