What have I been up to this week? Lots of cooking, like this little buddy above, and then lots of shenanigans. Because it's the summer, it's Seattle, and it'd be a shame to waste either of these lovely things...
Before I get into Trout for Two, I suppose I owe you a bit of a recap. I won't go too far in reverse, and quite frankly I have the short term memory of a goldfish so we wouldn't get too far. However, there've been some fun activities around town, so here's how the week has been going, inclusive of some food.
Saturday was the day I fully, 100% committed to summer. I busted out the absolute, most summery thing I own (these ridiculous "shorts") and met up with one of my best partners in crime, Liz, for the annual Capitol Hill Block Party (CHBP).
Liz (on the left there, all smiles and Wayfarer Twins with me), knows her music, her food, and her way around a joke. She's a good time, and I'm pretty lucky to have her friendship. Naturally we took CHBP by storm. The people watching is hands down, epic amazement. The streets are closed, the bars are open, the bands are on stage - everyone acts a fool and it's all good.
This is the main stage (there are at least a half dozen other stages/venues where bands are playing all day and night for three solid days). Since we are all of the smart, we created a flawless schedule of sets to round out our one and only day (we're getting too old to do multiple days - it's just exhausting). We saw some killer music this year from The Dip, Katie Kate, Beat Connection, Star Slinger, and Chromeo. Everything was amazing and I didn't even get sunburned. Not sure how. The food of it all was a few drinks at Neumos (thanks to our stellar barkeep, Drew), followed by a later-than-we-should've dinner at Lost Lake Café. Alright, dinner is being generous. We essentially annihilated a bucket of tater tots and a French Dip that made me long for my mom's home cooking. She made LEGIT French Dips when I was growing up. I had completely forgotten about them until we unhinged our jaws on this most recent iteration.
Sunday was LOTS of this - laying about on the rooftop terrace, listening to my 100% Summer Playlist as it is ever evolving, and reading books. I'm currently reading Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg so I can join the heated debate of all my brilliant female friends, reading The Art of Client Service by Robert Solomon for work which has been very motivating, and then dabbling in some other stuff that can't seem to find its way off my bedside table. I also met up with a long time girlfriend of mine who is a fantastic and talented chef in this city. We talked about techniques, she helped me troubleshoot some basics, and I helped her do some fun networking. We had a great time catching up and talking about our passion for food and how glad we are the industry seems to be slowly shifting thanks to some of the incredibly hard work many female chefs are putting in around the world.
Monday was back to it and I had the great fortune to check out a Sounders FC game with my awesome friend Lori and her family (YAY! friends are awesome!). Before the game, we ate at Carmine's near the stadium. I'd never been, but Lori's raved about it for years, and with good reason. I had the Halibut special with a roasted grape tomato compote (they took a page out of my summer cooking manual I see). It was really well executed. The house made linguini was also dynamite, but I limited myself to 2 bites of that, because (1) I knew the gluten would make my joints achy the next day (and it did), and (2) because Lori and I had the beet and burrata salad, as well as the gnocchi and, damn, I need room for all that! We had a great bottle of wine with dinner and we all had two bites of a tiramisu. I don't even like dessert, and if I hadn't already heard how good it was I would've passed. But I'm glad I indulged. Best tiramisu I can remember having.
The Sounders LOST. BAD. It was brutal. The game was awful, but we had a hell of a time shouting!
Tuesday after work was more of this (boo hoo, so sad right?) except it was actually so warm I dared to throw on my bikini and read while taking in the last 90 minutes of vitamin D the day allowed. Yes, I was the only one in my swimsuit on the roof. Yes, there were MANY other people out there. But you know what? I'm a native Seattleite, and it was warm enough for me. Plus, I have actually have zero shame about being the only one brave enough to show my pale skin. It was glorious and I won Tuesday.
Wednesday was an embarrassment of "when was the last time you cleaned the windows?!" It was so nice out I could see all the hand prints and it's bad. But also, it's summer and I'm not spending my time inside, so it's really a non-issue for the foreseeable future. Plus, I really need man length arms to reach outside with a pole/squeegee situation without putting my life at risk. Is that really how we see me spending my time? I think not.
Since it was so nice, I hit the rooftop yet again. When the sun went down, I decided to spoil myself (after having gone to the dentist and receiving nothing short of a high five from her at my stellar set of chompers). I went to the store, milled about until I was inspired and ended up bringing home these two beautiful Trout.
Ideally, I would've really loved to have caught them myself. How much fun is fishing??? I've been doing it since I was a tiny little brat. See?
But, I have a job. In the city. And I have not spent time organizing a fishing trip. Instead, I'll let the fishermen help me out and take a couple fresh caught ones off their hard working hands. First person to offer up organizing a fishing trip gets dinner made by me nightly at camp. Gourmet fish dinner people. Get on it.
Anyway, I was on my way out when I passed through the wine section. We all know where this is going.
Rose is having it's moment right now, in a big way. My buddy, Mike, just returned from France and is teaching me the ropes he learned while there, which has been fun and tasty. Look at them all! So eager to go home with you and pair up with your protein for a fulfilling evening of great conversation and food memories!
Seriously. Guys, for real. Two whole rows of them. I landed on this bottle from France. It was perfect with the Trout.
I wanted to keep the integrity of the fish and compliment it with fresh, seasonal produce and flavors. Remember, food doesn't need to be fancy, to be amazing.
I left the fish whole, because why not? They taste better (much more like you roasted them on the open campfire in your cast iron skillet), it preserves all the natural oils and flavors, and they look beautiful. You basically have to do nothing, and they'll be amazing. Can you handle nothing? Thought so.
Inside I gave them salt and pepper, dill, garlic and a few panko crumbs. Outside was the same. Roasted at 400 for 20 minutes and yanked them out.
Served with a summer salad of corn, globe tomatoes, avocado, green chilies, scallions, olive oil and a dusting of smoked chili powder for a kick.
I made Trout for two, but where were you? No matter, leftovers are underrated and never go to waste at Chez Sampson.