quiet night

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i had one of those days. despite going about normal business, like showing up to work and buying a carton of milk, i spent most of the day inside my head, tunneling through thoughts. it was a solitary day. it was fitting, then, that at the end of it i came home to a silent apartment, bags of groceries in hand, recipe in mind, and – after some diligent chopping – made myself a simple dinner.

sometimes, when you’re young and a little bit lost, it’s best to just come home to yourself.

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the name of the recipe doesn’t quite give the right impression. but i suppose chicken-and-cherry-and-walnut-and-shallot-and-tarragon-salad sandwich would be a mouthful, and you don’t need a mouthful before you make a recipe. in any case, it was a lovely meal for a quiet night, with a glass of wine and some soft songs on the side.

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Chicken and Cherry Sandwiches
adapted ever so slightly from Self magazine
Serves 4

½ cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups cooked chicken, chopped (about 1 lb. of chicken breast, seasoned lightly with salt, and pan-fried)
2 celery stalks, chopped
1/3 cup chopped dried cherries
1/3 cup chopped walnuts, toasted (in a pan over medium-low heat until fragrant)
¼ cup chopped shallots
8 slices toasted whole-grain bread (I used dill rye)

Combine mayonnaise, tarragon, lemon juice and pepper in a bowl. Toss chicken, celery, cherries, walnuts and shallots in another bowl. Stir in mayonnaise dressing. Divide chicken salad among 4 slices of bread; top with remaining bread.

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fleur de lys

oh man, have i failed to upkeep. so much has happened just since the last time blogging – rang in the new year with a home-cooked meal and multiple bottles of champagne with friends; found out one of my dearest friends is preggos; and celebrated the end of cc’s bachelorette days with a wild weekend.

i guess i’ll back track to the time when i last updated this thing, starting with mf and i celebrating our anniversary at fleur de lys. it’s a restaurant i’ve always wanted to try, but was always lured away by the newer, trendier restaurants. this place is not trendy at all – it’s very traditional and classic french both in ambiance and cuisine.

We started off with a mini corn bread and shooter of split pea puree, butternut squash puree, and creme fraiche. the flavors of the shooter was an interesting mix, perfect for whetting our appetite!

next, we had a small dish of roasted endive with duck, mustard seed (which mf immediately recognized because of his strong aversion), chives, and a jalapeno brioche. i thought it was okay overall, but the mustard seed and endive left a funny sour aftertaste in my mouth.

for our appetizers, i had fois gras again! It came with ragout and corn and truffle popcorn! i always love me some fois gras, but i can only take it in small doses. this portion was definitely more palatable than the portion at gary danko! it also came with a cute little bucket of extra truffle popcorn! adored it!

mf always seems to gravitate towards lobster dishes, and this time was no exception. the roasted main lobster was amazing, served with lemongrass and pomegranite. the lobster was so buttery and the pomegranite seeds were like little surprise bursts of sweet/citrust in my mouth!


on to the main course. wagyu beef cheeks, picked onions, butternut squash. i liked the melt-in-your-mouth texture of the beef, but both of us felt like it tasted like some sort of asian beef stew our moms made at some point. overall it was kind of disappointing…

…which is why i kept taking bites of mf’s filet mignon with lobster claw, and mac ‘n cheese stuffed brioche. the mac ‘n cheese was delicious, but then again, it would be hard to screw up mac ‘n cheese.

the best part of dinner this time was the dessert! chocolate souffle that looks very similar to gary danko’s, but imho was no where near as good.

my dessert on the other hand, was the highlight of the meal. i knew about their fleurburger and knew i wanted it without even looking at their dessert menu! there was a mini chocolate banana “milkshake” that was sooo yummy i chugged it down in 2 seconds. okay, i left some for mf to try and he really liked it as well. the “burger” part consisted of a small beignets as buns and chocolate ganache as the “patty”. i don’t recall what the “cheese” was, but the “tomatoes” and “kiwi” were thin slices of strawberry and kiwi, respectively. and the “pommes frites”! oh my lordy – little strips of frozen fennel ice cream…. the whole thing was so divine i inhaled it even though i was STUFFED.

after dessert i felt like i had absolutely no room in my stomach, but somehow made space for a few bites of our chocolate mousse “happy anniversary” cake and tray of petits fours!

the highlight of the night? making friends with a couple sitting next to us, celebrating their thirty or forty something wedding anniversary. they were so bubbly and chatty, and even asked us which anniversary we were celebrating. i felt kind of silly when i told them, but the lady was like “puh! most people don’t even make it that long!” despite being complete strangers, they were so happy for us and gave us such encouraging words! they said they had been together since 18 and had lived together for a long time (i forgot exactly, but something like 15 years) before they got married. to see the passion so alive still was really inspiring!

i really aspire for my love to be like theirs. we are lucky in life to find great loves, but to achieve and maintain that kind of long-lasting, strong bond takes more than luck – it takes a lot of hard work over time.

muchas gracias to mf for a fab dinner, and being my great love too. :)