My day began at 7 a.m. when the fireplace installers called to say they were at the house. They didn't tell me they'd be there that early! So I threw on some clothes and ran over there. Then the heating and air people came. And the cabinet maker wanted to discuss cabinet details. I was at the house for almost five hours this morning in the oppressive heat (minus the 15 minutes of blissful air conditioned relief when I brought Brooke to choir camp at 8 a.m.).
Then there were errands to run, work on the computer, cleaning and washing to do as always. And the horses to care for, of course.
Tonight's supper, though, was given "two thumbs up" by my resident food critic. Steve thought tonight's meal was "most excellent" and said so a number of times throughout the meal and afterward. It was a South Beach approved meal and I must agree that it was very tasty. The girls' positive opinions made it unanimous.
We started with a Balsamic Tomato and Mozzarella Salad from the South Beach Cookbook.
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp flaxseed oil (didn't have it, so I added toasted sesame oil to give it a nutty flavor)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
2 large bell peppers, halved and seeded
2 large tomatoes, cut into 1/2" thick slices
2 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into four slices (the only fresh mozzarella our grocery had was the little balls, so I measured out 2 ounces and cut each ball into three slices)
1/3 cup fresh basil leaves, julienned
Preheat the broiler. Coat a broiler pan rack with cooking spray.
In a cup, whisk together the vinegar, olive oil, flaxseed oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
Place bell peppers, skin side up, on the prepared rack. Broil without turning for 10 minutes or until the skins are blackened and blistered in spots.
Place peppers in a paper bag and seal. Let stand for 10 minutes, or until cool enough to handle. Peel the skin from peppers and discard. Cut into 1/2" wide strips.
(Now, here I must make a confession. I didn't do any of the above. I BOUGHT roasted red peppers. There. You can cheat and not add calories!)
Arrange the tomato slices on a platter. Place cheese slices over the tomatoes. Scatter the pepper strips on top and sprinkle with basil.
Drizzle the dressing over the salad. Let stand for at least 15 minutes to allow the flavors to blend. Serves 4.
I also roasted some veggies. I do this frequently. I pulled out whatever I had that I wasn't going to be using in another recipe this week and whatever struck my fancy. The colors in the picture look washed out, but it was really bright and colorful. We had yellow and red bell peppers, fresh asparagus, purple onion, crimini mushrooms, and green eggplant. I always salt my eggplant after peeling and cutting into chunks and leave it in a colander for at least 20 minutes to allow all the bitter juices to be pulled from the vegetable. Then I rinse it well. I tossed the veggies with some Pampered Chef Italian Seasoning and EVOO, as Rachel Ray calls it.
Then we also had Broiled Sea Bass Staten Island Style, from the SB Cookbook.
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic (I tossed in an extra - hey, they were small)
10-12 oz Chilean sea bass (I used fillets)
1/4 tsp salt (I used Kosher)
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp fresh chopped Italian parsley
1/2 tsp fresh basil
Preheat oven to 500°F.
In a blender, combine oil and garlic until well blended. (Or just mix it in a bowl like I did.)
Place fish in a medium bowl. Pour oil mixture over the fish. Marinate well for about 30 minutes.
Remove fish from the bowl and place on a small broiling tray. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, paprika, and red pepper.
Combine fresh parsley and basil and sprinkle over fish. Squeeze the lemon juice over the fish.
Bake for 25-30 minutes.