Friday, April 2, 2010

cocktails alfresco

Do you ever have those perfect moments? You know that even as they are happening seem like some kind of perfect moment out of a movie? And don't mean romantic really-- just perfect and simple. Actually the more I think about it... the more I realize that nearly all of mine took place in Italy... maybe I am just biased. One of my fondest was when I last went to Praiano (2? 3? years ago?) We wound our way through the maze of little streets along the sheer cliff face down to the ocean and then spent the afternoon sunning ourselves on the beach. That wasn't it though... then we went to a little cafe on overlooking the water and shared a bottle of white wine, it was april and perfectly warm without being overwhelming and the waiter brought us a little dish of croutons. (Most likely because he didn't want the silly american girls getting sloppy... but still) The were very simple-- just good italian bread toasted in olive oil with a little salt. The wine was a grecco di tufo. There were rosemary plants lining the terrace warm and fragrant from the sun. We laid out in our deck chairs and drank wine and ate croutons and inhaled sun and rosemary. It was perfect. I know I am getting a bit flowery here, but it was. Today was the first perfect warm day of spring in Bmore. As I type this I am lounging on the deck with a cat periodically pouncing on me with a glass of grecco di tufo and a plate of roasted fingerling potatoes and rosemary and it's almost as perfect. I added a goat cheese and garlic dip that is one of the only things that could make fingerling potatoes better in my opinion. And ice cream truck drove by playing some bizarre version of "it's a small world" to remind me that I am in fact in baltimore. Less flowery- no less delicious.

Roasted Fingerling Potatoes & Goat Cheese Dip

Got some beautiful fingerlings from the coop this week and try as I might to mix it up this is nearly always how I prepare them. They are like natures french fires. Just cut in half and roast. The dip came about after I saw a recipe on martha for fingerling potatoes and goat cheese fondue- hers was hot, mine is cold. I that both the dip and the potatoes are just as good room temperature it makes them a perfect food for picking at on a lazy spring evening with a glass of wine. I don't even remember what was in her's beyond goat cheese honestly. Mine uses a base of yogurt cheese- just yogurt that has been drained in cheesecloth overnight until it becomes the consistency of cream cheese with some herbs and garlic added.
for potatoes:
  • fingerling potatoes
  • garlic
  • coarse salt
  • rosemary
  • olive oil
for dip:
  • yogurt cheese (you could probably use greek yogurt instead if you didn't feel like waiting for it to drain)
  • goat cheese (left out on the counter for a bit to soften)
  • olive oil
  • pinch of lemon zest
  • salt
  • pepper
halve the potatoes and arrange in a single layer on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil. mince the garlic, salt and rosemary together on a cutting board and the sprinkle on potatoes. toss to coat. Roast in a 425 degree oven for about 40 minutes. (depending on the size of your potatoes) Meanwhile mix the yogurt cheese and goat cheese in a bowl, add enough olive oil to make a good dipping consistency. Add lemon zest (I like just a pinch) salt and pepper to taste. I do about yogurt and goat cheese about 60/40 but use whatever tastes good to you. Serve potatoes warm or room temperature with dip and a glass of white wine.

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