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.

18 comments

  1. “My Guy Fieri squeeze bottle.” That just makes me laugh!

    I saw the movie with Mom, who said “That was so cute!” like five times. I didn’t have the heart to tell her I found it completely insipid. The series was so much better than that.

  2. Agreed. It was nice to get some closure, but for something they’ve been working on for FOUR YEARS, couldn’t they have done a little better? Yeesh.

  3. Thanks for confirming my fears about the sex and the city movie! Maybe I save the ticket money for some food related pleasures.

    Although, boiled shrimp? I really don’t think I could ever boil a shrimp. The idea of putting shellfish in water to cook it seems really alien to me….

  4. I am so with you about warm weather food and the Sex and the City movie. That shrimp looks fantastic, but the movie left me wanting more. All my girl friends loved the movie. I think they’re just under the Sex and The City spell. I love the series but felt the movie was just overly dramatic.

    BTW, can you come up with a dish to celebrate Samantha’s hot neighbor in Malibu? Now that’s a tasty dish!

  5. When it’s really hot, my favorite food is the stuff someone else makes.

  6. I agree about the SATC movie too. I wanted to love it so much, and though I enjoyed it like junk food, I kept thinking in my head “This is the best they came up with?” And in that NY Mag cover article, SJP insists that this movie is much better than the one they would have made right after the series ended. If that’s one I wouldn’t want to see.

    Another thing… why were all the characters dressed like Carrie? Miranda is much truer form when dressed like the Manhattan corporate attorney that she is. Those boots she was wearing in Central Park? Please.

  7. I’m so hesitant to see SATC: The movie. All the reviews were so critical and, apart from the always fabulous clothes, i don’t think i could handle that much melodrama for 2 hours.

    however, what’s never a let down is fresh guacamole. it’s 11:15 and you’ve got me craving mexican food now.

  8. I don’t know if you’ve read it, but the original SaTC book is cheesy and horrid with the same “Louise from St. Louis who likes Louis Vitton” types of lines.

    The show–from season 2 onward–that was a little gem that just ain’t comin’ back.

    Remember–the creator of the show also adapted the Kitchen Confidential TV flop. And that was an embarrassing portrayal of Anthony Bourdain, even if it was supposed to be a loose portrayal.

  9. Hi Adam, your “friend” here from Paris leaving you a little note. I just have to write you and ask you and everyone else who does this, please, please, please do not put garlic in your guacamole. I am Mexican, so I promise you that I am telling you the truth… There should never be garlic, or mayo (not that you put that in yours, but I have seen this horrible item added) or anything but the following :

    Avacados,

    fresh ripe and juicy tomatoes

    white onions (very, very finely diced)

    fresh jalapenos (no TABASCO SAUCE)

    and LOTS of cilantro or corriandre (not sure how you say it in NYC) finely chopped and then limes, green limes, not yellow lemons….

    and then salt…

    The best way to make it is by mashing everything in a mortar and pestle but if you dont have one, use your hands…this is what my mami does !!

    A little hint too, to cut down on the onion breathe is to soak the onions in lime juice for about 15 mm before… and then drain the lime juice and add to your guacamole…(but you probably knew that , didnt you ??

    Volià, this is a traditional Mexican Gaucamole…. Hopefully what Samantha put into her mouth to avoid putting … euh, i’ll stop there … ;)

    As always, your blog is awesome

    bisous de Paris,

    eliabeth

  10. Hi Adam, your “friend” here from Paris leaving you a little note. I just have to write you and ask you and everyone else who does this, please, please, please do not put garlic in your guacamole. I am Mexican, so I promise you that I am telling you the truth… There should never be garlic, or mayo (not that you put that in yours, but I have seen this horrible item added) or anything but the following :

    Avacados,

    fresh ripe and juicy tomatoes

    white onions (very, very finely diced)

    fresh jalapenos (no TABASCO SAUCE)

    and LOTS of cilantro or corriandre (not sure how you say it in NYC) finely chopped and then limes, green limes, not yellow lemons….

    and then salt…

    The best way to make it is by mashing everything in a mortar and pestle but if you dont have one, use your hands…this is what my mami does !!

    A little hint too, to cut down on the onion breathe is to soak the onions in lime juice for about 15 mm before… and then drain the lime juice and add to your guacamole…(but you probably knew that , didnt you ??

    Volià, this is a traditional Mexican Gaucamole…. Hopefully what Samantha put into her mouth to avoid putting … euh, i’ll stop there … ;)

    As always, your blog is awesome

    bisous de Paris,

    eliabeth

  11. Hi Adam, your “friend” here from Paris leaving you a little note. I just have to write you and ask you and everyone else who does this, please, please, please do not put garlic in your guacamole. I am Mexican, so I promise you that I am telling you the truth… There should never be garlic, or mayo (not that you put that in yours, but I have seen this horrible item added) or anything but the following :

    Avacados,

    fresh ripe and juicy tomatoes

    white onions (very, very finely diced)

    fresh jalapenos (no TABASCO SAUCE)

    and LOTS of cilantro or corriandre (not sure how you say it in NYC) finely chopped and then limes, green limes, not yellow lemons….

    and then salt…

    The best way to make it is by mashing everything in a mortar and pestle but if you dont have one, use your hands…this is what my mami does !!

    A little hint too, to cut down on the onion breathe is to soak the onions in lime juice for about 15 mm before… and then drain the lime juice and add to your guacamole…(but you probably knew that , didnt you ??

    Volià, this is a traditional Mexican Gaucamole…. Hopefully what Samantha put into her mouth to avoid putting … euh, i’ll stop there … ;)

    As always, your blog is awesome

    bisous de Paris,

    eliabeth

  12. Lovely Adam.

    I feel embarrassed that this is the first time I’ve actually commented on your blog, but I always felt that my first comment should be something wildly spectacular. Something so big that it moved me from a position of a silent observer to an engaged participant. And I think the time has come….

    I’m sure your guacamole is quite tasty. However….Lemon juice? Really? Lime is the key ingredient to a truly splendid guac. Go half lemon and half lime if you will, but don’t leave out the lime all together. Take this from a Texan. Gauc without lime, is no guac at all.

    Love,

    R

  13. Adam – first of all, lovin’ the header!!! Very chic.

    Will have to try the shrimp salad and the Guy Fieri swag squeeze bottle *LOL* They need to hook you up with some knives or something ;)

    Finally, I loved the movie for the escapism part of it – it made me want to go back and watch the ORIGINAL series (not the TBS edited version :::shiver:::) and the fashion inspiration. But, that’s just my opinion. There were slow parts and I really didn’t understand J.Hud’s whole “St. Louise” bit but eehhhh. Can’t win ’em all, right?

  14. Adam,

    This is the sort of writing and subject matter I love about your blog! While I absolutely do not begrudge your success with the folks at FN, this is the classic Amateur Gourmet I enjoy reading the most. (I could care less about Rachel Ray and her cohorts.) Thanks!

  15. I’m sorry but I do not agree with your SATC comments. I thought it was dramatic, but Carrie is a dramatic character. Check out her love affair with shoes and NYC. Not only that, but all the history she’s had with Big (him marrying another girl, etc), and then him jilting her, it’s a perfect culmination. I’d be pissed too! I think it’s a great movie, absolutely loved it, and it isn’t just because I’m under the spell. It’s definitely not the show, but then again it’s not supposed to be. The show never really had closure, and the movie ends it. I thought of it more as an Epilogue of the show. About your guacamole, I agree with Eliabeth from France. I’m Mexican too, I’d go with her ingredients. We do prefer lime over lemon for our guacamole, but in a bind I’ve used lemon juice in the past. It’s better than not adding it in.

  16. I’m happy you feel that way about the movie. I was in a theater full of swooning girls and wanted to swat people. I have always had a love for the show, and for the Carrie Bradshaw character, but she seemed to have lost all her wit and soul in the movie.

    But back to the food…yours looks delicious. It is roasting in Toronto so tonight I made a cold curried chickpea and tofu salad with mint leaves, basil, lemon and lots of cumin. Very satisfying. Much more than that damn movie.

  17. It doesn’t look like the tomato and feta salad has any dill, should you correct the description? Looks more like basil to me.

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