Saturday, May 17, 2008

National Bike-to-Work Day

Today is National Bike-to-Work day. I've known about and even hung posters in my cubey campaigning for this day in years past, but this is the first year I've actually ridden my bike to work on this day. In years past there's always been something, inclement weather, inclement dentist appts, etc. Not this year, record breaking highs (for May) and a Friday attitude got me in gear and it was a beautiful ride. I even went out for a short jaunt on my lunch break.

When I got home I started preparing a gorgeous sockeye fillet Wife picked up. Just a quick rinse in cold water, a quick, light brush of olive oil, sprinkle some white pepper, salt and a little parsley on top. Then I set it on an alder plank NOTE: do not buy this in a kitchen store, and do not use cedar (kitchen store or otherwise, too pitchy). Just go to the lumber yard and buy an 8 foot length of untreated alder. Then lop off 18in lengths as you need them, you can generally get at least 3-4 fillets out of a single board. Set it aside until the coals are ready.

Which means I need to prepare the coals on Chewie, my grill. [Hold on a sec, You Named your Grill?! - - HellsyeahIdid!]. If you work with briquettes, throw away your lighter fluid. 1. That stuff is so safe now that it's actually difficult to alight in the slightest of breezes 2. Just buy a chimney, they are $8 at Lowes, you don't have to replace them and all you need is a little wad of newsprint.

While the coals are doing their thing, I open the fridge to what foliage I have to accompany the meal. Carrots. and that's it. That's all I got. Well, that won't do. I pack up Oldest Kid and we head to the grocery store around the block to pick up something suitable. Once there we pick up One Orange, Two Baby BokChoy, Three Zucchini. And a bottle of Cycles Gladiator Syrah. I'm always a sucker for wine with bicycles on the label and today's it's even thematic, so there you go. And one of the La Brea Rosemary Rounds (Wife's fave).

Getting back to the Hordestead, the coals are perfectly ready. Just lay the plank right on the grill, and close the top. We've got about 25-30 minutes until it's ready. Better get cracking.

Arranging the rest of the grill is a snap though. Slice the zuccis in half, dribble with a little olive oil and light dusting Old Bay seasoning (a tasty combo). Slice the bokchoy in half and dribble with a little soy sauce and black pepper. Slice the rosemary round into this slices and brush a little olive oil on one side. Then just fit it all on the grill. Dassit.

Heading back inside I grab those carrots. They have been in the fridge awhile, not too long, but long enough. I just run 5 of them up and down the box grater until they're shredded. Then rotate the grater 90 degrees, and zest the heck outa that brand new orange. Then juice it. Combine those three items with a some salt, pepper, a little honey. And the secret ingredient, Orange Flower Water. You can find it at a specialty grocer, or any Mediterranean grocer, I found mine at my local Chinese market, go figure. This stuff is crazy, it's intensely floral, so only use a smidge. About a half a capful will do for this salad. That's basically it, just toss this all together for a cool Cairo carrot salad. I originally pulled this recipe from a little North African cookbook I picked up for $1.99. One of my best kitchen purchases, I have made quite of few of the recipes.

Back at the grill, everything is done! Pull it off, platter it, top off the wine, snap a picture, Feast!

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