It’s been a quiet week here on the blog, mostly because I was out of town and, therefore, not cooking, baking or blogging! But I took mental notes of everything I ate so I could share it with the people who care about my thoughts on food. (There are some of you out there, right? 😉 Ha.)
For starters, I finally got to try the West Coast burger chain, In & Out. It wasn’t the worst fast food burger I’ve had, but I have to admit that it didn’t wow me. It definitely hit the spot on our way out to see the Hoover Dam though!
Since I don’t eat out often, I try to order new things when I do go. (Or, at the very least, things I don’t make for myself.) Which is why I ordered seafood at two of the restaurants we went to. At Bally’s, I had salmon with a black bean sauce. The sauce had a little bit of a kick and appeared to have chili oil and red pepper flakes in it. It was also my first time eating bok choy, since the fish came with a couple of tiny pieces of it. We ordered a red wine, Two Left Feet, for the table, and while it was good with my fish, I’m pretty sure it would have been great with steak!
The highlight of the trip, food-wise, was our night at a Japanese steakhouse where the chef cooked our meals right in front of us. (I told Andy that I’d like to try flipping an egg from my hat onto a griddle… he didn’t seem to think it’s a good idea.) He also made a volcano out of an onion, and was practically tossing the salt shaker in the air as he seasoned our meal.
In addition to trying sake for the first time, I also finally got to sample some sushi. I think I overdid it on the soy sauce though, since all I could taste was the sauce, and not the sushi! That just means I’ll have to try it again sometime, right?
While the chef prepared our fried rice, we enjoyed some miso soup (I need to do some research and learn how to make it myself!) and a salad with a lemony/gingery dressing. Since the menu said there was cucumber in the salad, I’m assuming it was pureed into the dressing as well. The dressing had a bright, fresh taste that felt like springtime.
While I used a soup and fork for the soup and salad, I tried my hand at chopsticks for the rest of the meal. (I succumbed to peer pressure here; everyone else was doing it!) It took a while for me to get the hang of the chopsticks (at one point, I was only getting three grains of rice into my mouth at a time!), but eventually I was able to eat the rest of the meal with them! Success!
Our group split into two camps for the main course: steaks or scallops. Since I have a 1/4 of a steer in my freezer and live thousands of miles from the ocean, I opted for the scallops. (Yes, I realize I traveled to the desert to order fish. Ah, the irony.) The chef flipped a large tray of scallops on to the hot griddle, where they sizzled and began to caramelize. Oh my goodness, when they were done, they just melted in your mouth. They were paired with a ginger dipping sauce. Yum. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it.
We wrapped up the meal with ice cream. One was a brilliant green color, and the other was a pale pink. (You’re thinking pistachio and strawberry, right? Wrong!) We had green tea ice cream and red bean ice cream. I honestly don’t know how to describe the flavor of the green tea ice cream. It’s like nothing else I’ve ever tasted before. All I know is, I want to try to make it at home! (Thankfully, Annie has a recipe for it, so I may give her version a whirl!) The red bean ice cream was sweet, although it was a little weird to have chunks of bean in the otherwise smooth ice cream.
It was a fun trip for this foodie, but I’m definitely glad to be back and cooking in my own kitchen. I made rhubarb squares today and have plans for brownies, carrot cake and squash soup this week. Like the saying goes, there’s no place like home. 🙂