Monday, May 20, 2013

Sunday Dinners: Pizza in the Afternoon!

Well, times they are a changin'--and Sunday dinners at home will be moved into meals at the restaurant... And these days it's all about getting Mambo 64 up to speed so that we can open our doors and let some people in! It's an adventure every day, and a learning experience like none I've ever enjoyed before. Am I excited? Of course! Nervous? Definitely! Happy? Totally--

What I like most about it is that it's a challenging experience on all levels. After all, I've always cooked for family and friends, and welcomed them all into my home (and of course cooked at others' homes, too!). But this is different...and I know my ride has just started.

So, though I didn't cook the typical Sunday dinner, I had a great afternoon snack (thanks Petie!)--
Afternoon Snack-- of Chicken Marsala Pizza--with some hot pepper flakes--thanks to my brother, and Villaggio Pizza, next to Mambo 64! 

--and Seth sampled Chef Steph's execution of my jerk chicken, roasted tomato and black bean quinoa, sofrito, cilantro rice, some pernil...and a few other tasty treats to be featured on Mambo 64's menu...
Yes, the ride is just beginning...

Monday, May 13, 2013

Sunday Dinners: Mother's Day Dinner...Shrimp with a Blood Orange, Onion and Cilantro Sauce

It's been quite an interesting week plus, and I'm wondering if I should be calling this, "In the Restaurant with Arlen!" from now on! Well, regardless of the name, it will be a little bit of that!
The sign on the front is true: We are almost there! 
So, as of the 1st, I've been spending all my days--and evenings--getting my restaurant (YAY!) ready. We hope to open the doors to the public at 5 pm on Tuesday, May 28th (YAY again!). In the meantime, it's been a wonderful whirlwind of all kinds of activity.

Well, now I know that this is probably one of the last Sundays I'll cook at home (or in my parents' home)  for a long time, and, of course, it's Mother's Day! So, while Seth is making ribs (one of my favorite grilled treats!), I wanted to make something I thought my mom would like--and something that I might bring into Mambo 64: Shrimp with a Blood Orange, Onion, and Cilantro Sauce. Hence this dish was born!

And, since Seth, my dear husband, was in the mood for ribs (and we're ALWAYS in the mood for Seth's ribs!) he made 'em. Perfect combination. We're thinking about maybe having a Seth's Ribs Night in Mambo 64! Oh--I also made a side of mixed grains (couscous, and more!) with roasted tomatoes, toasted almonds, golden raisins, and fresh basil. That also worked well with both dishes! (And if I can write about it on Wednesday, I will!)

Oh--by the way, Mom loved it. Dad, too. Actually both dads... Well, really we were all happy!

Seth's Ribs in the Background, Shrimp in the Foreground! 

Here's the recipe for the shrimp:

Shrimp with a Blood Orange, Onion and Cilantro Sauce

Serves 8 to 10

Olive oil
2 red onions, peeled and coarsely chopped
Rosé or white wine
1 orange, peeled, pitted and diced
3/4 cup frozen blood orange purée concentrate
1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
2 pounds large shrimp (I used frozen, 20/25 count), frozen and thawed or fresh (I prefer fresh...)
Fresh asparagus from the garden!  (We were lucky!)

Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan. Add the onions and cook them until they soften, about 3 minutes. Add about 1/4 cup of  rosé (that's what I had on hand!) or white wine, and let it absorb. Add the orange and the frozen purée concentrate. Cook, stirring frequently. Add wine for more liquid as needed (you want it to be a little liquidy). Set aside. When you're about ready to serve dinner, heat a bit of olive oil in a sauté pan. Add the ginger and cook until lightly fragrant. Add the shrimp and stir.  Add the sauce, a splash or two of wine, and continue cooking for a couple of minutes. Add the fresh asparagus, and cook until the shrimp is tender (don't overcook) and the asparagus is bright green and crispy. Add the cilantro and serve!