y4pcT1JaIwGptQJPO6l_mZmgv34 tiffin unboxed: Labor Day Family and Foodie Weekend

Labor Day Family and Foodie Weekend

It's rather exciting to introduce my first guest post, talking about some fun meal ideas in San Diego area. This post comes from Asif Khan of The Vaporware Blog (on cloud computing), which just goes to show that techies are foodies too!                                     

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I had planned to catch up on a whole lotta nuthin over the Labor Day weekend. The wife and kid were visiting relatives and I had the whole place to myself. Then my mom and sister called me on Friday and asked if they can come over. Fine, I said. We'll make it a dominos and Netflix night.

It didn't quite turn out that way.

We decided to turn it into an epicurious weekend by using whatever random items I had left in our mostly empty fridge. I made a quick trip to Sprouts Farmers Market to pick up some steak, salmon and chicken but not much else.

Here's a taste of what we ate.


As an aperitif to kick off the weekend, I made my "cool running" agave lime cocktail.

Squeeze some lime into a cup of Pellegrino sparkling water. Add a dash of your favorite rum with blue agave nectar and hand-crush strawberries to complement the flavors.

Steak and Salmon

I wanted to break in my new grill and try out a little technique that a grilling-fanatic friend taught me to get perfect grill marks. The entree was steak or salmon.

I sauteed some onions and portobello mushrooms in garlic butter for the side dish.

The salad was whole tomatoes from our backyard vine with a splash of chili-infused olive oil and kosher salt.

Spinach, capers and goat cheese omelet

I don't eat eggs very often so when I make an omelet, I use whatever ingredients I have in the fridge.

First I lightly sauteed some spinach, onions, tomato and green chili in olive oil. The onions were sliced so thin, that they practically melted into the mix.

Next, I whipped up the egg batter.

Here's my secret to making fluffy, light and tasty omelets. Vigorously mix two brown eggs (darker yolk) with sour cream, garlic paste, kosher salt and egg beaters and pour into a stainless steel (or non-stick) pan coated with unsalted butter.

Add the sauteed mix and add cilantro and goat cheese on top of the eggs at the very end, just before folding over.

Grilled Jamaican jerk wings

This was easy to make but tastes so good...especially if you like your wings extra spicy. I buy real jerk marinade from an authentic Jamaican restaurant in Solana Beach.

Rub a small (!) amount on the wings and throw them on the extra-hot side of the grill to keep the outside crisp and to allow the inside to stay moist and juicy as it continues to slow cook on the warm side of the grill.

Dessert - Greek Yogurt with Berries
We then had greek yogurt for dessert.

Drizzle with some blue agave nectar (notice the recurring agave theme?), powdered cinnamon, blueberries, walnuts and garnish with strawberry slice (to go along with the crushed strawberry in the cocktail).

Add a splash of rum if you're feeling adventurous!

Mojarras fritas

Our final meal before we said goodbye was at one of my favorite authentic Mexican mariscos (seafood) restaurants near our house, El Rinconcito.

This place is so authentic that we practiced how to order in Spanish using Google Translate because not everybody there speaks English!

This place is so authentic that when I first looked it up, it got only one star on Yelp. OK enough of my Bourdain impersonation and onto the food.

I insisted that we get the mojarras fritas (fried whole tilapia fish). Damn this fish is so tasty. You can have it with the arroz y frijoles (rice and beans) it comes with but I prefer to make a taco out of it.

Take a flour or corn tortilla, slap some frijoles and shredded cabbage on it then add pieces of crispy fish to it.Top this bad boy with some avocado/habanero salsa and dive right in.

I strongly recommend some ice cold Mexican cerveza (beer) to wash it down.

You won't be disappointed!

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