It has been a weekend of good eating.
Tonight I made "succotash" (its more of a corn salad than traditional succotash), from the smitten kitchen recipe.
But I varied it a bunch. I made it for two people, so I cut down on the main ingredients but kept the rest roughly the same. I had no sherry vinegar so I used white wine vinegar and reduced the amount slightly. I used canned black beans (heresy, I know, but honestly, they are what my hubby likes) because I couldn't find any fresh beans, or even frozen ones (except limas, which I don't like or edamame, which the hubby doesn't like). I didn't use any arugula, instead I upped the basil a bit because I love basil. And I used a shallot instead of onion. Oh, and when I made the croutons I used some olive oil in the pan too, along with a little dried oregano and garlic. She says the croutons are optional, really, I think they are a vital component.
I think omitting the bacon for a vegetarian dish would work all right, just use some olive oil in the main and in making the croutons so it doesn't lack richness and maybe add a bit more salt.
I like it quite well and may make it again as long as I can get affordable cherry tomatoes (a bit more than a pint at the farmers market was 3 bucks, and I used most of it, but not all- the rest is going into a pad thai variation tomorrow).
Last night we went to Allen and Sons BBQ on Hwy 86 (new 86) on a whim coming back from the station, which is something I've been meaning to do for a very long time. Its fairly close, and I expect we'll be back there. The ambiance was typical rural greezy spoon, which was okay, because it had character (the taxidermy fox added a lot of character). Service was competent and speedy (we were bade to sit down at a table that seated six because it was available, and the two tops were full/uncleaned up, which was cool) The BBQ was succulent, not over dry in the way that I've had around here. The sides were good, especially the hush puppies. My major quibble was with their sauce, really, it could've been a bit more zippy. And I wish they had a variety of sauces, a la Voodoo BBQ in New Orleans or even, if I remember right, Que Shack in Durham. But oh well. I would like to try their BBQ chicken next time and I've heard the ribs are really good too. And I could totally see getting a pound of bbq take out and bringing it home to add my own sauce, which is also fairly economical, the prices were really reasonable, especially for take out. We had Key Lime cake for dessert, which was quite good and tart (and has me inspired to modify my favorite cake recipe
to try a variation on it). So thumbs up on Allen and Sons.