The past few days in the D.C. area have been dismal! All I can see are charcoal skies, gray rain, ashen snow, and the dull silver outlines of barren trees.
The world needed a good jolt of color, and the one I miss the most is green - fresh and splendid spring green! That particular brilliant green when the leaves are just coming forth, with a hint of sunny yellow. Hmmm. I feel better already.
Winter time food gets humdrum too after a while. I love my chili, and homemade soups, baked pastas, all of those comforting dishes. But you know, they too lack colorful contrasts. Delicious as they may be, I want my tongue to be enlivened, and my eyes too!
A cocktail is always in order, so let's start with something snappy "A Most Lucid Frappé" employs the anise flavor of absinthe (a favorite of the Impressionist painters), with muddled mint and a splash of soda. It is a vibrant green, surely more attractive than yet another glass of dark red merlot.
Canapés always enliven conversations, and unusual ones so much more so. Today we've ผัดกระเพราไก่, no your screen is not glitching, that is a delightful Thai dish Pad Kraprow Gai - one of my personal favorites - it is simply chicken sautéed with Thai Basil leaves, minced garlic, a bit of brown sugar and a splash of fish sauce. Sweet heat, I love it!
We also have Emerald Asparagus Arrows, with a Lemony Aïoli, and a Chopped Greek Salad atop a homemade pita crisp.
The Very Greenest of Green Salads is a flavorful beginning, with a snazzy homemade Green Goddess Dressing. Bright and cheerful, this dish pops right off of the table visually!
Let's see... our entree is a perfect fillet of Wild Line-Caught Salmon (Sockeye if the fishmonger has it!). It is rosy pink and napped with a Spanish Salsa Verde. This rests upon a lovely bed of stunning Saffron Infused Jasmine Rice, surrounded by the tenderest Haricot Vert.
Ahhhh... all delectable and all so refreshing to look at.
But wait! There's more. let's splurge on an Old Fashioned Pistachio Layer cake, made modern with a Goat's Cheese Frosting - yes, please!
We've set the table almost garishly in bright linens, We reversed a contemporary baroque pattern - as it was just so much livelier! Set with gold embellished china, and our favorite matte finished gold flatware, there are a lot of soothingly reflective elements. A tall orchid plant, alas not a cymbidium, is surrounded by equally tall candlesticks.
Yes, on a gloomy grouchy day like today, it is invigorating to be surrounded by color and entertained by exciting global inspirations.
All things in good taste!