Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Daytrip to Joshua Tree Nat'l. Park

Four of us drove up to Joshua Tree National Park this morning, which is only about 50 miles from Palm Springs. It's a different world up there, like being on the moon.

Instead of messing with a main course and sides, we decided to buy the main course and make the sides. The fried chicken from Stater Brothers market was really excellent, and we'd definitely buy it again. Not greasy, and it held up even after sitting in the cooler for several hours.

Also on the menu were:

Tabouleh, aka Bulgur and Mint Salad
1 cup bulgur wheat
1 cup lightly packed mint leaves
1 cup lightly packed fresh parsley
1 carrot, small dice
4 scallions, minced
1/2 medium zucchini, small dice
1/2 English cucumber, seeded, diced
1 tomato, seeded, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon Tabasco, or to taste
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

  1. Place bulgur in bowl and add about 3 cups cool water. Soak for at least 3 or 4 hours, as long as overnight.
  2. Meanwhile, coarseley chop the mint and parsley together, for a total of about 1 cup.
  3. Drain the bulgur in a sieve for about 30 minutes, until fluffy and dried.
  4. Place the drained bulgur in a bowl and add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Serve at room temperature. Tastes better the next day. Taste then for re-seasoning.

Melon and Strawberries in Honey Sauce
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon grated orange rind
2 or 3 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier
1 large cantaloupe, seeded, peeled, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 to 2 pounds strawberries, halved or quartered if large

Combine honey, orange rind, orange juice and Grand Marnier in bowl large enough to hold melon and strawberries. Add both fruits and toss.

Refrigerate until serving time, up to 6 hours ahead.

Both recipes are from Jacques Pepin's Kitchen, Cooking with Claudine.

For dessert, I made Joe's Chocolate-Banana Snack Cake, and it really was great for a picnic. Not too sweet, it traveled well, and it could be made the day before and improves with time. Excellent for using up those frozen bananas.

1 comment:

Joe said...

Glad to hear the snack cake turned out okay! I love the sound of that fruit salad type dish - it sounds like a perfect refreshing dish for summer!