brunch at mon ami gabi.

I am always on the hunt for good brunch spots, and so I was thrilled to recently experience the fantastic restaurant in Reston that is Mon Ami Gabi!  The name means “my friend Gabi” in French, after Chef (and Owner) Gabino Sotelino.  My dear friend Lauren got married two weekends ago, and her family hosted a bridal brunch at Mon Ami Gabi to kick off the festivities.  It was the perfect choice, and I still get distracted thinking about all of the delicious sweet and savory foods that made up the meal.

We were seated in a long side room, which offered us a good amount of privacy… but also enough space to really relax and celebrate!  Lauren planned out a 3-course brunch, and selected delicious options for each segment.

Lauren's Mon Ami Gabi Brunch Menu

I chose the Warm Brie (quaintly presented in a stainless steel pan), the Classic Quiche Lorraine (which was big enough to turn into my Sunday breakfast as well), and the Chocolate Mousse (so rich, I only had three bites!).

Warm Brie

Classic Quiche Lorraine

Chocolate Mousse

Who eats mousse for brunch?  I don’t know, but even from just those three bites, I find myself craving it sometimes during the mid-morning now!

I also have a picture of the Chicken, Cheese, & Broccoli Crepe option.  Crepes always take me back to sophomore year of college, when my roommate and I would throw crepe parties whenever we had a good excuse!  Crepe-makers can be such a valuable asset to any snazzy kitchen.

Chicken, Cheese, & Broccoli Crepe

Merci, Mon Ami Gabi!  I wish you weren’t so far from Arlington, but I’ll definitely be back to visit!

Advertisements

easy seafood meals.

This is a post about nothing revolutionary… just two meals I’ve made lately that are EASY and involve seafood.  First, salmon!  It is my goal to cook salmon once a week.  (We’ll see.)  Today I was skimming an article on the Spanish Mediterranean Diet (from one of Chef José Andrés’ websites), and it really affirmed me in this meal:

Salmon w/Broccoli & Brown Rice

I think I tend towards Mediterranean ways in general… it’s probably the Greek in me.  For this meal, I used organic broccoli, brown rice with NO added anything (so the rice took 45 minutes or so to cook), and Atlantic Salmon (thanks, Harris Teeter, for your half-price deal!).  The salmon marinade consisted simply of garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, sea salt, and pepper… and I cooked the salmon in 5 minutes on our George Foreman.  I finally watched Food Inc the other weekend, and it inspired me to eat as purely as possible!!

Of course, to balance out Food Inc, I suggest watching this.  The other extreme… so funny.  :)

Here is the second seafood meal I made recently:

Garlic & Basil Linguine w/Shrimp & Spicy Tomato Sauce (w/Broccoli & Squash)

The caption describes what’s going on here.  The garlic and basil linguine is from Trader Joe’s (I love it, because it cooks in just around 5 minutes or so.).  I made the spicy tomato sauce (really an “arrabiata sauce“) from tomato paste, water, and tons of different dried spices.  I was going to put ground beef in the sauce for a standard meat sauce concoction, but Chris and I had just eaten Elevation Burger for lunch (YUM!  And so in line with Food Inc… grass-fed, free range beef, and fries cooked in olive oil!), so we decided to go with fresh shrimp in the sauce instead.  It was a lot lighter, but still filling.  Delicious! :)

lazy pasta.

So we got back in town from Cape Cod Sunday night (a fun little getaway around a wedding!), and we were starving.  It’s always such a nice surprise to open up the fridge and realize you have more unspoiled food than you thought!  I love pasta dishes, because you can really throw in whatever you happen to have on hand.  (Omelets are the same way.)  I must say, pasta is sometimes my go-to carb.  If I’m ever craving carbs, and have run out of all things salty and crunchy, I generally cook some pasta!  Lather it up with some olive oil + sea salt, and I’m a happy camper.  This probably isn’t any healthier than most carb snacks, but I like it.  :)

Back to the meal.  This is nothing fancy, but here is what I used in this EASY BREEZY and QUICK-to-make pasta dish:  rotini, broccoli (cooked in the microwave, because I was tired!), goat cheese (later I realized I had some feta that might have been even more exciting!  Oh well!), and homemade pesto (which I retrieved from the freezer!  Thank you, Past Jacqueline, for thinking to make a lot of pesto!).

Pesto Pasta with Goat Cheese & Broccoli!

Like I pleaded with you last month, make your own pesto!  It’s easy, and you’ll never want to buy it again!  Yum, yum.  :)

a sediment-al night.

Monday night, we had a dear friend over for dinner to drink a special bottle of wine that he gave us for our wedding!  A 2000 Domaine Cros Minervois Vieilles Vignes.  Most wines people buy these days are made to drink right now.  This wine is unique (for modern wine-drinking), because even at 11 years old, it was still hitting its peak!  All wines were once made this way… built to grow better with time.  Very cool.

The 2000 Domaine Cros Minervois Vieilles Vignes

I didn’t do the best job of pairing the meal with the wine (steak probably would have been a better fit), but the cheese I selected for a pre-dinner appetizer matched beautifully.  I highly recommend this French Morbier cheese, bought at Trader Joe’s!  It was stinky, pungent, and it brought out lovely dark berry flavors from the wine.  The vegetable streak through the middle of the Morbier is crazy!  (Crazy good.)

The French Morbier Cheese

Even though the meal might not have been the best choice for the wine, it sure was delicious!  I served prosciutto-wrapped grilled chicken stuffed with goat cheese & herbs, along with sautéed squash, steamed broccoli, and French bread.  The chicken was as easy to make as it is to write out!  I took chicken breast fillets, made a slit with a sharp knife, then stuffed in goat cheese (this particular cheese came already mixed with fresh herbs… you could also mix in your own!).  I tried to seal up the opening as best possible, then cooked the fillets in our George Foreman counter grill for about 5 minutes.  After that, I took the chicken out and carefully wrapped each fillet in prosciutto.  I cooked the chicken for about 2 more minutes, and the result was delicious!  It was like the prosciutto had been welded on — yum!

Prosciutto-Wrapped Chicken, Stuffed with Goat Cheese & Herbs

It was a sediment-al night, because I have never seen such crazy sediment from a wine!  Truly an Old World style wine.  :)

Sediment!