Archive for August, 2011

August 17, 2011

Founding Farmers, Washington DC

A long weekend in Washington brought lots of sight-seeing, shopping, museums and of course, eating. Although there were many good meals, none matched our experience at Founding Farmers. Located just 3 blocks from the White House, Founding Farmers is the first certified Green restaurant in Washington, DC. They promote sustainable agriculture and are owned by genuine American Family Farmers. From the recycled materials used for their menus to the composting in the kitchen… eco-friendliness is found throughout their operation. And everything is made from scratch, including the butter and ketchup!

“The Founding Farmers name represents a combination of ideas: it is a celebration of the land and the American family farmer; it is a nod to the founding fathers of our country, many of whom owned and farmed land that surrounds Washington, D.C.; and it is a place where true, sustainably-farmed, grown, and harvested American foods are brought to our guests.” (From http://www.wearefoundingfarmers.com)

Homemade soda for the kids, made from fresh oranges & grapefruits and microbrew beers for the adults – deciding on what to eat was a challenge. We started with deviled eggs, perfectly salty and delicious. Flatbread with figs, mascarpone and prosciutto and bacon lollipops! Bacon skewered and glazed in cinnamon brown sugar – yes! Crazy good! Like we needed more food… Plank smoked salmon with maple syrup-apricot glaze, homemade macaroni & cheese with gouda, gruyere & peas and southern fried chicken with waffles. They have seasonal sides that you can match to your meal. Carmelized cauliflower with artichokes, barley salad with roasted vegetables, asparagus with shallot vinaigrette, who can choose? I could keep going… all the food barely fit on the table. Kind of embarrassing, but oh so good! And as if we weren’t full enough, mile high carrot cake, warm homemade cookies, seasonal cobbler with cranberries and pears & a decadent bananas foster milkshake (for my husband). Whew! We probably should have skipped the cab ride to the hotel and opted for the long walk back.

You can pull up their website to read about their impressive Green mission and see their menu. I hear they have a fabulous brunch on Sundays too.

When you find yourself in DC, Founding Farmers is a must! I should mention that the service was fantastic. Affordable American comfort food at it’s best, they were awarded Best of DC 2011 – Best American Restaurant. Zagat gives it a 21 for food. Reservations are recommended.

1924 Pennsylvania Ave. NW

www.wearefoundingfarmers.com

(202)822.8783

August 15, 2011

Garlicky Summer Caesar Salad

Garlicky Summer Caesar Salad

I call this a summer Caesar because the tomatoes are so good now, I have to include them on the plate. After playing around with a couple of different dressing recipes, I came up with this one. I can’t get past the ick factor of eating raw eggs, so my version uses mayonnaise. I always use Hellmann’s light mayonnaise, but use what you have. No Miracle Whip! The Tabasco adds a little zip and the fresh lemon makes it bright and flavorful. I top my Caesar with a tower of crisped prosciutto slices and garnish with juicy wedges of summer tomatoes. Don’t forget the anchovies.

INGREDIENTS FOR DRESSING

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 6 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • 1/4 tsp Tabasco
  • 1/4 tsp Worcestershire
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 4 anchovies (tinned flat, packed in oil – drained)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend. Thin the dressing with a little more water if it’s too thick. Save remaining anchovies from the tin for the salad. Leftover dressing will store in the refrigerator for a few days. You won’t need it all for this salad recipe.

INGREDIENTS FOR SALAD (Serves 4-6)

  • 1 large head of romaine
  • 8-12 very thin slices prosciutto
  • 2 big tomatoes
  • Anchovies (left from dressing recipe)
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Fresh black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Lay prosciutto slices on a baking sheet lined with foil. Place in oven for about 6-8 minutes or so, until crisp like bacon. Lay on a paper towel to drain when done. It will crisp up more as it cools.

To make the salad, cut romaine and toss lightly with some of the dressing. Top with anchovies, additional parmesan cheese, freshly ground pepper and stack the prosciutto on top. Garnish with tomato wedges around the salad.

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