On Saturday we had a large "catch up" family birthday party. We typically try to get together for everyone's birthday on hubby's side of the family - which means January - August . It's been a busy year for everyone and we were way behind - so Saturday we celebrated birthdays going back to April. So that was six family members plus our exchange student whose birthday is in three days. It looked like Christmas!
Because the weather has been so hot I knew I wanted to serve a dinner that was ready to go and wouldn't require anyone (read - me) being in the kitchen at the last minute. We decided we would do some grilling but that is something the guys always take over which works well for me!
On the menu was the following:
Red Quinoa Salad
1 box red quinoa, cooked according to package instructions
2 large tomatoes, diced
1 English cucumber, diced
1 bunch Italian parsley, chopped
Fresh lemon juice (I used at least 3 lemons)
salt and pepper to taste
Grilled Eggplant in Saffron Yogurt Sauce
This really didn't photograph well (I was in a bit of a hurry!) but tasted delicious. It was simply japanese eggplant cut in half and grilled until well browned and soft (this was done early in the day) and topped with a simple sauce of plain fat free yogurt combined with saffron infused hot water, cayenne and salt. It was topped with smoked paprika.
We also had dolmeh (store bought) that was dipped in the extra yogurt sauce, grilled corn, portobello mushrooms and red peppers. That afternoon I made a batch of gluten free bread and it was very popular with everyone.
One last popular item of the afternoon was a large pitcher of sangria. I've been making this recipe for several years and it really is the closest thing to what we had in Spain.
I had an extremely painful reminder to wear gloves when handling peppers. I bought both red bell peppers and some poblano peppers for the barbecue. I've never had a hot poblano so I didn't bother to wear gloves. Well whatever it was I cut up it was HOT and burned my hand. I think my skin was already irritated from the acid in the tomatoes and lemons I cut and when the pepper oil sunk in my hand felt like it was burning in hot acid. It was VERY painful and made it really difficult to get anything done! I looked online for remedies (typing with one hand) and tried the following; soaking my hand in yogurt, soaking it in ice cold vodka, rubbing it with a cut onion and so on. I finally popped some ibuprofen and between that and all the other things the burning eventually died down. We didn't end up grilling those peppers because I was afraid we would asphyxiate the neighborhood! Definitely a lesson learned.