So far, we have had wonderful weather on our vacation. Not really been too hot most of the time. Then Monday afternoon the heavens decided to open. We were driving and about to cross one of the bridges from
Emerald Isle to the mainland and ended up having to pull over as we just couldn’t see to proceed. We were in a chain of cars pulled over, not for very long, but boy did it ever pour, buckets full. Once it eased off we went to Lowes Grocery store, first time this trip, they really do have a lot of things which one doesn’t see elsewhere. I found a jar of Kimchee which I couldn’t resist buying, haven’t eaten it in years and I used
to love it. When we got back I realised it was Mild, not what I wanted. Maybe I will try it and then go back for a hot version. They have lots of unusual things as well as every day groceries of course. I also managed to find my Butter Bud sprinkles which I use a lot instead of dolloping stuff with butter. Like asparagus!!!! One cannot buy it in Canada. Saw some horseradish, but how do I know if its really hot? Buy it, try it, if it’s no good chuck it? Not very efficient and certainly wasteful.
I mentioned Sammy’s Seafood here recently. Finally got round to driving the 20 odd miles into Morehead City and arrived at the
restaurant only to find that on Tuesdays they don’t open til 4 p.m. Every other day they appear to open at 11 a.m. So I guess that’s it again for this year. However, we went to the Sanitary Fish Market and Restaurant
where we haven’t eaten in years. We were pleasantly surprised, it has changed quite a bit. They also have a liquor license which when I last was there they didn’t have. I wondered how long it had been open, 1938 or 75 years ago. That did surprise me. I also noticed all the lunch customers were seniors which also surprised me; there must be some young people working in the area or travelling. For our lunch we had a seafood lasagne which came with a salad. It was delicious. Very little pasta, mostly seafood (shrimps and scallops, not sure what else) and spinach. Lots of cheese sauce too. I highly recommend it. I will certainly go back for that again one day although it’s not on their regular menu.
Wednesday night we went with friends to Snapp
erz Steam Bar and Grill in Morehead City. Went there last year with the same friends. Same as last year, two of us shared their Steam Pot which is a specialty. Meanwhile Matt had a huge plateful of flounder which he said was delicious. The steam pot consists of crab legs, shrimp, clams, andouille sausage, corn cobs and potatoes. Absolutely great. They serve drawn butter too,
plus give you tools to crack and then pick at your crab legs. Once we had finished this, they asked about dessert. At first no-one was interested, but they mentioned plain NY cheesecake and Matt was sold then lava cakes which peaked my interest. Our friends had a lava cake and ice cream between them. I didn’t bother with the ice cream but the lava cake was one of the best I have ever had. Matt makes them, but this was even better, lusciously scrumptious. I am still dreaming of it. No picture of theirs, but there was a dollop of cream and chocolate swirls on the plate.
Thursday saw us back at MacDaddy’s where I was tempted by the Reuben Sandwich special, Matt too, but made sure to have their homemade kettle chips too, they are sooooo good. We then went in to bowl and I did much better this week than last. I might have won the dwarf tossing contest. Admittedly I didn’t beat Matt over all three games. Talking of dwarf tossing, I was concerned about Mexico and Father Dragon’s home cave. Having emailed him he replied that so far his cave was doing fine. Thursday night I made some Jambalaya for supper which turned out very well. There will be leftovers for lunch.
So now it’s Friday, our last day, washing, packing, buying boiled peanuts, yes, for an American friend living in Ontario. Then tomorrow heading home. We’ve had a great couple of weeks even though we haven’t managed to see everyone or to see as much of others as we would have liked. Not sure when I will start regular blogging again, probably not til Tuesday.
I thought this recipe looked interesting.
Grilled Vegetable Focaccia
Source: Casual Cuisines of the World - Country Inn
Combining the taste and texture of Italy’s famed rustic flat bread with grilled seasonal vegetables yields a wealth of flavour from simple ingredients. The wholesome sandwich is wonderful served hot from the grill, but it is also excellent eaten cold, making it an ideal choice to be included in a patio menu.
1 1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic
5 fresh rosemary sprigs
1 red bell pepper
4 thin slices fennel, cut through the stem end
4 slices eggplant, cut crosswise
1 zucchini, thinly sliced lengthwise
12 asparagus spears, tough ends removed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
1 fresh portobello mushroom, brushed clean
4 slices red (Spanish) onion
4 sandwich-sized focaccias
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 cups lightly packed inner yellow frisée leaves
FOR OIL: In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the oil, garlic cloves and 3 of the rosemary sprigs and heat until the oil is too hot to touch comfortably, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool completely. Re-move and discard the rosemary sprigs. Add the remaining 2 rosemary sprigs to the oil and set aside.
FOR VEGETABLES: Prepare a fire in a charcoal grill using hardwood charcoal such as mesquite or hickory. While the coals are still glowing red, place the bell pepper on the grill rack and grill, turning as necessary, until charred on all sides. Remove and let cool for 5 minutes, then, using your fingers or a small knife, peel off the charred skin. Cut in half lengthwise and remove the seeds and ribs. Cut each half in half again. Set aside.
Bring a saucepan three-fourths full of water to a boil. Add the fennel, boil for 1 minute and drain. In a large bowl, toss together the fennel, eggplant, zucchini, asparagus, salt, pepper, thyme and garlic. Drizzle on just enough of the rosemary oil to coat everything lightly and toss again. Brush the mushroom and the onion slices with some of the remaining rosemary oil.
When the coals have burned down to a gray ash, place all the vegetables on the grill rack and grill until they begin to appear translucent. Turn the vegetables as needed and move them around on the grill to prevent burning. The fennel and eggplant will take 3 minutes on each side; the mushroom 2-3 minutes on each side; the asparagus and zucchini about 2 minutes on each side.
TO ASSEMBLE: Split the focaccias in half horizontally. Brush the cut sides lightly with the remaining rosemary oil and place, cut sides down, over the coals to toast lightly. Place the bottoms, cut sides up, on 4 plates. Divide the grilled vegetables evenly among the focaccia bottoms. Cut the mushroom into 4 slices and place a mushroom slice and a piece of roasted pepper atop each stack of vegetables. Drizzle the balsamic vinegar evenly over the tops, then cover with equal amounts of the frisée and finally the focaccia tops.
Have a great weekend.