Thursday, June 4, 2009

Casual Fridays

Although it's not officially summer yet, we have passed Memorial Day on the calendar and it is June. Considering all that, the weather should be somewhat summer-like. We should have sunshine and I should be able to walk around in a sundress or a pair of shorts and feel totally comfortable.

Alas, that is not to be. This "spring" and "summer" here in New York have consisted of a few warm, sometimes even hot, days scattered between long periods of cold and rain. On a particular early June day I was regretting that I didn't take a sweater to work with me. I put the heat on in my car when driving home. It doesn't not feel like summer in any way shape or form.

Still, it's Friday night and I want a nice, easy, casual dinner. I don't want to work too hard. I don't want to think too much (of course not thinking much is a habit of mine anyway). I just want to throw some food together that tastes good. I'm not averse to throwing a few health concerns out the window while I do so. Rather than look out the window at the rain, I want the kind of food that can help me imagine a summer day at the beach, eating at some little beachside dive. I wanted to eat food that evoked sitting at a picnic table overlooking the ocean with cold beer and the smell of grill smoke lingering.

We'll call it Casual Friday.

Have I ever mentioned how much I love hot dogs? I really love them. I swear one day I'm going to Coney Island and entering the annual hot dog eating contest. If people didn't stop me, I don't know how many I could eat in one sitting. As a picky child, they were often the only thing I would eat. You can tell me all of the nightmares about what's in them, and I'd still eat them. (I don't eat crustaceans because they're scary, but I'll eat hog dogs. Go figure.)

So guess what my casual Friday meal was? Dogs and Kraut of course! The dogs were cooked on the grill pan and I heated the sauerkraut in the microwave! Now that's easy living.

Of course Sir Pickypants will have none of that. He may not love the dogs, but he sure loves the rolls. He is a potato roll lover extraordinaire. Well, what goes into hot dog buns besides hot dogs and other assorted sausage-type products? Lobster!

Too bad I couldn't find any lobster meat. I could find pre-made lobster salad, but where is the fun in that? I decided to do something similar with shrimp.
No recipe necessary here. I just boiled the shrimp with some bay leaves and peppercorns. Then I mixed 1/4 cup mayo with the zest of one lemon and the juice of a half a lemon. I mixed in some chopped fresh tarragon and a little salt and pepper. I mixed this dressing with the shimp and toasted the bun with a little butter.

He is certainly getting his fill of crustaceans this week!

On the side I meant to make a potato salad, but completley forgot to buy potatoes.

I did make a nice tomato and cucumber sad. This was a mix of campari and small heirloom tomatoes and cucumbers dressed with basil, oregano, red wine vinegar and olive oil.

Dinner was delicious and the sun came out the next day. Now maybe summer will stick around a little longer.


Bunny said...

We're having the same weather here in Pa. It's so depressing to have nothing but rain for days on end and the temperature so low when you know it's suppose to (at least) be warm. Today the sun was out , I'm half afraid to see what the weather will be tomorrow! Anything tastes better on a potato roll!! I'm with you on the hot dogs, I love em!!

Sue said...

Friday night is made for pizza!!! I think it's pretty darn great that you're willing to cook ANYTHING!
And Campari with the tomatoes?!! Interesting! Gosh, that shrimp looks good!

The weather last week did stink and anything to bring us closer to summer is a good idea.

Bellini Valli said...

These could bith grace my table anytime:D

The Blonde Duck said...

I adore hot dogs. I could eat them all day.

Come to Texas! It's hotter and sunnier than hell! Take your time--it'll stay like this until November!

Darius T. Williams said...

I'm LOVING these meals - just delish.

Sara said...

Looks like a great meal! I also try to do fun meals on Fridays, it's a great way to kick off the weekend.

Emily said...

I like it! I'm craving a hot dog now. I like the idea of a shrimp roll as well. The salad looks very refreshing.

Adam said...

Dude, why do you have to have me craving shrimp rolls now? Come on, I'm at work :)

Seriously though, I feel ya on the causal friday thing. Some days it's look in the fridge and piece things together

Lo said...

Yum. I'll take one of each!
You guys and your eating adventures never cease to crack me up. :)

(oh -- and I'm right there with you on the summer thing. I hate HOT, but this cold dreary weather we're getting is a bit much)

Susan @ SGCC said...

Hot dogs are one of my guilty pleasures. I LOVE them, but they don't love me. So, it it really a treat for me to have one. Wish I could have a bite of yours!

The shrimp salad looks awesome too. I make something similar, and when I'm super lazy, I buy the shrimp already boiled from the market. ;)

noble pig said...

Hey, don't fret it's not summer yet! The dogs look delicious.

maybelle's mom said...

I love the shrimp rolls, I could eat many many of those--but no hot dogs.

The Blonde Duck said...

Don't beat up your own mama for a pie! I'll make you one!

Chaya said...

Your salad looks delicious. I have to try that combination.