Warm Weather Food (A deeply focused, highly intelligent, penetrating essay and not a review of “Sex & The City: The Movie”)

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This is a post about warm weather food only I just got back from “Sex and the City: The Movie” and I’d rather write a post about that. But I will be good and stick to my subject matter, albeit a thin subject. I mean, really what’s there to say about warm weather food when I still can’t believe that movie was almost two and a half hours long? And why was it so shmaltzy and bad when the TV show is so good?

Ok, ok, I’m digressing. Warm weather food. Above you a see the plate I made on Memorial Day for our indoor Memorial Day festivities. I made the Barefoot Contessa’s shrimp salad, which basically amounts to boiling shrimp for three minutes and then tossing them with mayo, mustard, celery, red onion, salt, pepper and dill. I served it on a hot dog bun toasted in butter, the way they toast the bun at Pearl Oyster Bar. And speaking of bars, someone should be BEHIND bars for some of that dialogue. Louise from St. Louis who loves Louis Vuitton? Is this “Sex and The City” or Dr. Seuss?

Also on that plate you see The Barefoot Contessa’s potato salad which didn’t turn out very well because I under-boiled the potatoes. And the salad is another Ina recipe (gotta love that Ina): cherry tomatoes and cubes of feta tossed with olive oil, vinegar and some dill. No “Sex and The City” reference in this paragraph except…the materialism! The crass obsession with money and apartments!

Last night, I whipped up another warm-weather inspired dinner:

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I take full credit for this: the avocados at the store (in Chelsea Market, which you see on this week’s FN Dish) were brown so I knew they were ripe. What could I make with ripe avocados? Guacamole. Which led me to consider fish tacos and on that thought I figured I could make a salsa using cherry tomatoes. And a chipotle mayo using chipotles in adobo and jarred mayonnaise.

The fish store had swordfish and somehow this dinner came together. I came home and first made guacamole (guess whose recipe?): 4 avocados, one chopped red onion, one chopped clove of garlic, lemon juice from one lemon, 8 shakes of hot sauce, salt and pepper, all mushed up. Then I crafted my own salsa: I took the cherry tomatoes, cut them in half, and tossed them with more chopped red onion, another chopped clove of garlic, chopped jalapeno (just one), lime juice, salt, pepper and cilantro. Finally, I made the chipotle mayo by mixing chopped chipotles in adobo with mayonnaise. It was that easy. I even put it in my Guy Fieri squeeze bottle (which I received at a Food Network event):

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When I opened the tortillas for the taco, they smelled kind of funky so I decided to throw them out and just make a fish dish. The swordfish I patted dry, sprinkled with salt and pepper, and seared in a hot pan with olive oil. Each side for 3 minutes until done and then I plated.

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The fish went in the middle of the plate, the mayo was squirted zig-zag style on top (only some chipotles got caught in the tip so I had to use scissors to widen the hole–no dirty jokes, Samantha) then the salsa on top of that, the guacamole around the plate and some tortilla chips.

Another brilliant stroke of warm weather food. And not another word about “Sex and The City” except: (SPOILER ALERT!) I felt the entire premise of the movie was ridiculous. BIg has cold feet and Carrie has a conniption? It’d be one thing if he did something truly awful to her, but he kept calling her and calling her and then when she sees him in the street she just hits him with flowers and doesn’t listen to him. I feel like he needed to do something even worse to justify the EPIC healing process that constitutes the movie.

All the reviews have been pretty brutal, but all in all it was still nice to revisit those characters again. And as Diana and I discussed before and after the movie, it’s nice that it’s a movie about women for women–an unusual commodity in Hollywood. I just wish it were better.

And thus concludes my deeply focused, highly intelligent, penetrating essay about warm weather food.

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