Friday, April 6, 2012

Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette, Fundraising, and CheeseFest

I really thought that this week I would find out what my "new normal" was.  I'm beginning to think that there is no such thing and that this is the new normal.  A lack of normality is the new norm.  I can handle that.

I'm running about a thousand and twelve errands for the fundraiser tomorrow and the brunch I'm catering on Sunday, but managed to sneak away last night long enough to meet one of my dearest friends at Petite Maison.  It was too dark too photograph, but oh dear Lord, I may never be the same.  Escargot, roasted duck, and Grand Marnier Souffle.  Kill. Me. Now.  I highly, highly, highly ((very)) recommend.  I uttered words I am quite sure that have never been said after taking a bite of the souffle.  It was not appropriate.  It was not polite.  I meant it.

In between battling the Easter crowd at Walmart ((ugh, seriously)) and looking like a candidate for the Betty Ford Clinic while stocking up on beer and wine for these various events at Costco, I made a quick lunch:  Shrimp and Avocado Salad with a Citrus Lime Vinaigrette.

I really don't understand why people buy salad dressings.  Certainly, I have done it, and will do it again, but it is soooo much better when you do it yourself.  It costs about a thousandth of what you spend, it keeps for up to two weeks in the refrigerator, and it actually tastes like something other than oil and/or sugar.

What you need:

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (key limes are good)
1 small jalapeno pepper, ribs and seeds removed, coarsely chopped (leave in some seeds if heat is desired)
1 clove garlic, halved
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon sugar OR 1/8 teaspoon honey  ((I like it better with honey))
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 pinch cumin
1 pinch salt, to taste
1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro

Put everything but the cilantro in the blender and puree.  Add the cilantro and pulse.  Stick your finger in ((after it stops, please)), give it a sample, and adjust anything that you think needs adjusting.

This will keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks in a bottle with an air-tight stopper.  Just shake it well before using it.

This recipe was originally printed ((to my knowledge)) in Fitness Magazine.

I threw some on top of a salad of romaine, heirloom tomato, cold shrimp, shredded Mexican cheese, and black bean salsa.  A dollop of sour cream would have been nice...

All right, time to get back at it.  Tomorrow begins the preparation of what I am deeming CheeseFest 2012 as well as some baking for the girls' brunch on Sunday.

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