27
Oct 09

An Insatiable Craving for Chicken Fried Oysters

fried oyster po'boys

The way I judge a restaurant is this: If I am satisfied at the end of my mail I call it a good restaurant. If I find myself making strange faces and noises while eating, I call it a great restaurant. For me, the sign of a truly remarkable eating establishment is when, months after eating there, I still have cravings for specific dishes that can only be satiated by a return, and re-consumption.

For me, Firefly restaurant is a remarkable place.

I last ate at Firefly in Washington, DC in May. The dishes I selected from the comfort food-inspired, local grown, earthy menu were small and simple: Perfectly deviled eggs dusted with smoked paprika, a spread of local cheese with homemade mustard, truffle oil french fries and a tuna and avocado BLT, these were all simple, well put together dishes that were executed perfectly

However the dish that stole the evening is the one I currently find myself salivating over as I write. The Chicken Fried Oysters with Po’ Boy sauce came to my table hot and crispy. The instant I popped the first one in my mouth, it was slightly salty (the way anything coming fresh from water should be), tender, buttery and deliciously savory. I found myself wondering if I should order a second round as the plate dwindled. I regretfully did not.

Although I am now 5 hours away from DC, my next visit will include a pilgrimage to Firefly, where I will hopefully find relief for an insatiable craving for Oyster Po’ Boys as only they can make them.

Tell me what you’re craving!

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01
Jul 09

“Cook-Proof”: Grilled Swordfish

swordfishgrill

Like I’ve said in previous grilling posts, I’m a huge fan of “cook-proof” recipes where timing missteps don’t land in in the crusty, dry, chewy protein zone. A few years ago for Mother’s Day I came up with this recipe for Grilled Swordfish as a meal my Dad and I could make for my mom. Since summer has kicked into high gear, here it is: 

Jalapeno Citrus Swordfish with Avocado Salsa

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, sliced into rounds
  • 2 lemons, squeezed
  • 2 limes, squeezed
  • 1 1/4 cups orange juice
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 Vidalia onion, chopped
  • 1 large avocado, cubed
  • 2 large swordfish steaks

Directions: 

  1. Combine all juices and garlic. 
  2. Place swordfish steaks in a glass baking pan. Pour 3/4 of juice mixture over the fish to marinade. Add all jalapeno slices to the marinade and let soak for at least 1 hour, turning fish occasionally. 
  3. Pour remaining juice mixture into a medium bowl, and add tomato, onion, and avocado. Stir, and season with salt and pepper to taste. 
  4. Cook swordfish over heated grill for 10-15 minutes, or until inside is no longer translucent. Grill with jalapeno slices on top. When you flip the fish, pour the rest of the juice marinade over the fish to get jalapeno slices onto the other side. 
  5. Serve fish with avocado salsa on top. 

This dish is great with simple side dishes–recently I served it with a simple baked potato and cooked veggies. The jalapeno gives the fish a slight kick without adding overwhelming heat to an already flavorful fish. The avocado salsa is a recent addition, and it really makes the dish special. Enjoy!

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27
May 09

How to feed 1,700 hungry college seniors?

Simple: Rows and Rows of grills with pork ribs and chicken halves, large metal pots of baked beans over open fires, a soda hut, and an oyster bar. 

Georgetown University knows how to treat their senior class right. I’m pretty sure the goal of the huge sendoff is to ensure that as alumni we remember these experiences, and donate to ensure that other generations receive the same treatment. 

Whatever their reasoning, it was delicious picnic perfection. 

They took us to Smokey Glen Farms in Virginia, which is an impressive facility: wide open field area, volleyball and tetherball areas, and even a mini golf range. But the most impressive part of the entire grounds is the food area. First of all, and most importantly, the house of soda where each wall is fountain-style drinks, with cup dispensers mounted on the walls next to the mounted fountain soda dispensers. Literally, all you can drink soft drinks. It was unbelievable.sgf-oysters

The oyster bar opened up an hour after the entire class of 2009 arrived, and these were no cheap oysters. There was no grit, and the oysters were plump, slightly salty, and went down easy. The sauce had just enough flavor, and with a little squeeze of lemon they were the perfect summer day cool starter. One of the ladies who was in the line of servers shucking the oysters individually told me they were only allowed to give out three oysters per person, but I talked her into letting me have a fourth! Can’t say Georgetown didn’t teach me anything! 

They oysters were the highlight of my day as far as the food was concerned, however the main meal was a fierce competitor. They had already begun to slow cook all of the meat before the busses of seniors had arrived, and so our first sights of the farm were rows and rows of barrel grills with racks and racks of meat. The cooks would go in teams to flip each grill in one motion.sgf-main-meal 

When the food was finally ready, the meat simply fell of the bone, and had a rich smoky flavor. The chicken had a crispy skin with little seasoning and preparation, and the meat was tender and juicy. The baked beans were creamy and savory, with a slight hint of sweet honey as an added bonus. The potato salad was basic, but the perfect consistency of not-too-squishy-not-too-crunchy. You knew that whoever cooked the potatoes knew exactly what they were doing. The roll and the salad were nothing, but it just didn’t matter, because everything else was that good.

Overall it was a fantastic afternoon, with great food, great weather, and all of my fantastic senior friends. I would go back to Smokey Glen Farms any day, and I will happily relive that afternoon in my mind for a very long time.

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28
Apr 09

Sustainable Sushi

This site is really fantastic and for anyone who loves seafood like I do, it is worth exploring: Sustainable Sushi

You can click on the photos of the fish to get descriptions of them and pictures of what they will look like when presented to you in a restaurant. Really fun!!! 

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You can create your own virtual sushi menu, read about the latest trends and developments in ecologically friendly fishing, and more.

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