Last Friday night we went to a friend’s house for a bbq with our small group from church and about eight Chinese students attending George Washington University. It was great! Despite the rain, despite the headache-cum-migraine I’ve been carrying around for weeks, despite everyone’s individual worries and concerns, those few hours were lovely. I got to play with one of the cutest babies ever, catch up with friends I haven’t seen in a while, and meet new people. The students were divided up between accountants and hospitality services studies and the topics under discussion were diverse to say the least. At one time I heard meningitis, George Washington, electric bikes, home-stay, and DSLR camera specs floating up from the different knots of people around the house.
Of course, being a bbq there was also food! Our small group pitched in for pot luck; Jason and I took enormous bowls of potato salad, fragrant with herbs, and fruit salad with a twist.
French potato salad
(adapted from the Barefoot Contessa)
ingredients (serves 4-6). . .we tripled it!
2 pounds small red potatoes
4 Tbs. chicken stock
3 Tbs. champagne vinegar
3/4 tsp. dijon mustard
2 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
8-10 Tbs. good extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup chopped scallions (white and green parts)
2 Tbs. minced fresh dill
2 Tbs. minced flat-leaf parsley
2 Tbs. chiffonade of fresh basil leaves
Boil potatoes in salted water until they are just cooked through. Remove potatoes to bowl and cover with a towel to steam for 10 more minutes. Halve or quarter potatoes and toss gently with chicken stock. Allow liquid to be absorbed into potatoes before proceeding.
Combine vinegar, mustard, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, and oil in mason jar and shake it! (or slowly whisk oil into other ingredients to emulsify.) Add vinaigrette to potatoes and gently toss with herbs and remaining salt and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Fruit Salad a la Oyamel
ingredients (serves 4-6)
2 pink or green apples (or pears)
1/2 cup toasted pecans, roughly chopped
2 tsp cayenne powder
1-2 limes quartered
Segment grapefruit and break segments into medium chunks. Cut apples (peel off or on) in large dice. Peel mango and cut likewise. Peel and cut banana in rounds. Squeeze 1 lime quarter and gently toss together.
Decision time: if everyone to whom you are feeding this salad likes a little spice, then toast your pecans in a dry pan over medium heat with the cayenne pepper. If you are uncertain of you fellow diner’s pepper tolerance, just toast nuts plain, and provide limes dipped in cayenne for squeezing over individual portions.