This week I’ve been lucky enough to dine out for 3 amazing meals. Here are three great places to eat in Richmond, VA.
Peter Chang China Café
Photo by Tim Carman
Photo by Isaac Harrell
Dutch & Company
Image from Church Hill People’s News
I’ve seen so many amazing recipes on the web this week, especially as we are all anxiously awaiting warmer spring weather. If you’re not sure what to cook this weekend, try some of these great ideas.
Baked Bang Bang Shrimp
Spring-ified Miso Soup
Seared Scallops Salad with Blood Orange Vinaigrette
Peanut Butter Pretzel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bites
Spring is on the way, so you may want to freshen your table linens and kitchen decor. Here’s what I love this week.
Big, Bright Windows
Vintage Green Tableware
Fresh Flowers in Vases
What were your favorite kitchen finds this week?
Ever realize at 10:00PM that tomorrow is your work’s Thanksgiving potluck and you’ve prepared nothing? Well, hey, me too!
So I dug through the kitchen pantry and the fridge to see what sort of concoction I could throw together and came up with something I will definitely be making again because it is truly delicious – how’s that for a win-win! Luckily, we had just gotten our produce box from Dominion Harvest on Wednesday, which featured local Napa cabbage and big, beautiful radishes that I used here.
Lemongrass Pea and Napa Slaw
- 1 cup (dry) Minnesota wild rice, cooked in rice cooker with 1 tsp frozen chopped lemongrass
- 2.5 cups frozen peas, thawed
- 1/2 large red onion, chopped
- 2 large radishes, chopped
- 6 outer leaves Napa (Chinese) cabbage, shredded
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- 1 cup light Duke’s mayonnaise
- juice from 1 lemon
- 3 TBS rice wine vinegar
- 1-2 tsp garlic powder, depending on taste
- 1 TBS finely grated lemongrass (I use frozen chopped lemongrass)
- 1 TBS dill
- 1 TBS finely shopped chives
- 1 tsp toasted onion powder (I like the one from Penzey’s)
- parsley and pepper to taste
Instructions – Add all ingredients to bowl. Mix. Serve. Eat. Enjoy.
A lot of people in the city of Richmond, VA are obsessed with pizza. I am definitely one of those people and I have a batch of gluten-free pizza dough rising in the other room right now. However, there is another cult following in this town and it’s all brussels sprouts, baby! The most common obsession is the sprouts at Avalon on Main Street in the Fan District, and for good reason. They are delicious. This is the first place I had eaten them since I was a kid and I became instantly obsessed. There’s something about the way they crisp up when you roast them that I just can’t resist. It feels so homey and savory even though I don’t ever remember eating them at home as a kid. (My dad hates brussels sprouts, so I guess I got lucky?)
Brussels sprouts contain sulforaphane, a chemical believed to have potent anti-cancer properties. They are known to be super for antioxidant support! Brussels sprouts are also a source of indole-3-carbinole, a chemical which boosts DNA repair in cells and appears to block the growth of cancer cells. They are also high in fiber and may lower cholesterol and one cup of brussels sprouts boasts 161% of your daily recommended Vitamin C intake and 274% of your recommended Vitamin K. They are great for your body’s detox system, antioxidant system and anti-inflammatory system. Bonus Jonas, if I say so myself!
To prepare Brussels sprouts, remove the hard stems and any yellow or discolored leaves. The wash thoroughly. Some people cook their sprouts whole. In fact, most people probably do, but I’m not one of them. Also a lot of people steam them, but I’m not one of them either. The only preparation method I do not recommend is boiling because, while easy, it reduces a lot of the health benefits you get from eating them. And let’s be honest, how many things are good just boiled? Meh. I like to cut my sprouts in halves or quarters and roast them.
Kristel’s Roasted Brussels Sprouts
~20 Brussels sprouts, halved or quartered depending on size
2 T EVOO
1 T Aged balsamic vinegar
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Parmigiano-Reggiano to garnish
Toss Brussels sprouts with EVOO, balsamic, salt and pepper. Spread out in a roasting dish and cover with foil. Roast in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover, continue to roast until crisp and browned, about 15-20 minutes. If the sprouts are already tender but not crisping on the outside, I may broil them instead so as not to overcook them.
Garnish by shaving some Parmigiano-Reggiano on top and adding any salt or pepper, if necessary. Enjoy!
I love summer more than anything. To me it spells fun and it means deliciously fresh, light, healthy food. It means lots of pink bubbly, heirloom tomatoes, bing cherries, soft shell crabs, watermelon shooters, ripe avocados and Napa wines. But when the breeze turns a little crisp and the leaves begin to dry out and turn the vibrant red and gold colors of a striking sunset, I can’t help but get a little bit giddy.
The fresh fruits and vegetables of autumn are some of my favorites of the entire year. Here are some of my go-to choices of the season:
Apples: I love apple crisp, apple pie, baked apples, candied apples and apple toast. Wait, apple toast, you say? Yes. I love apple toast. One of my favorite things to make for breakfast in autumn is apple toast. I make it with a live grain bread (usually from Food for Life) or locally made , toasted with farm fresh butter and then topped with slices of locally grown red apples and sharp cheddar cheese. Just toast the bread, top it with apples and cheese and throw it in the toaster oven. Delicious, hearty and full of autumn deliciousness!
Blackberries: I love blackberries almost as much as strawberries. If I’m using jam, it’s always blackberry and if I making a cobbler, it is going to be a blackberry one! In fact, I learned the easiest and most delicious cobber recipe from my ex boyfriend’s grandmother and 7 year old cousin. They taught me around Thanksgiving after we spent the afternoon picking the blackberries ourselves from their backyard in Southside Richmond. I picked so many blackberries that day, my boyfriend’s grandfather collecting them in a large basket he carried with his back hunched over. Alas, I am no longer dating said boyfriend and his sweet grandfather has since passed, but those kinds of memories are what the love of food is all about, aren’t they?
Fresh figs: One of my favorite foods of all time is the fresh fig. I was born in Southern California and one of my first childhood memories surrounds our fig tree in our backyard. We didn’t live in the greatest area of Los Angeles at the time, but we had a fenced in backyard and I had a white-painted circular iron bench that was surrounding a large fig tree. I sat out there day after day, picking figs of the branches and sitting under my tree, biting through the green exterior and into the crimson center to taste a brilliantly sweet gift from earth. One after the other, I would sit there for long periods of time just eating these precious fresh figs. After my family moved us to the East Coast, these mainstays of my childhood diet became odd rarities to be cherished when found. Recently, at the South of the James Farmer’s Market, I bought a fig tree. Yes, I live in an apartment in Carytown, in the city of Richmond, with nowhere to plant such a tree. But it lives, leaves growing proudly and soaking up the rain, in a pot on my back stoop. Every time I pass it on the way out the door, I can’t help but smile as I become nostalgic for the times of many, many autumns ago.
Brussels Sprouts: The one vegetable about 99% of us hated as children has grown a bit of a cult following in this town. I love “sprouts” with a passion, as do many of my friends, and there is oft debate on Twitter about which Richmond restaurants make the best sprouts. (Obviously, the answer is Avalon, but I digress.) Grill them, roast them, braise them, broil them. It’s hard to go wrong with good sprouts. I’ll be trying many different recipes as soon as my favorite farmer, Farmer Russell, grows his so I can buy them in bulk. I plan on being his best customer so I hope he’s ready.
Mushrooms and Onions: They are good on everything. Yep. ’Nuff said.
Beets: I like to buy them from the farmer’s market and make them myself, but some people aren’t up to the hassle and I can’t blame them. It’s a lot of work. However, if you are, throw them in a salad with either chevre or gorganzola, some mache, toasted pecans and a light honey dijon vinaigrette. Heaven.