Friday, June 02, 2006

Ají & Lizard Wings

But, not together. Although, the combination would certainly not be abhorrent. J & I have had a fabulous Colombian sauce called ají at our favorite Latin restaurant, El Meson in West Carrollton, Ohio, on several occasions. She has been talking about how much she loves it & asked me to make it last night as a snack when she got home after a work day that started at 5. So, of course, I did. However, I was thinking, "This is going to be a disappointment. It won't be the same as El Meson's and it won't be as good." Half of that was true. It is not exactly the same as the ají they serve at El Meson. However, it was fantastic! Or, as J put it, "Fucking amazing!!!" I had wanted to pick up more olive oil bread to dip in it, but Giant Eagle didn't have any, so I subbed a mini Italian loaf, which worked just fine. I whipped it up lickety-split when J got home and it was gone lickity-split, too. Here's how...but, you might want to double the recipe if you're an ají piggy like we are.
3 ripe plum tomatoes, 3 thinly-sliced green onions, white part only
seeded and diced to 1/4" (I like to serve the rest whole, with dip)
1 tbsp. lemon juice 2 tbsp. white vinegar (apple cider vin's fine)
1 tsp. kosher salt 1/4 c. olive oil
1 tsp. hot sauce 1/2 c. ch. cilantro (or flat-leaf parsley if cilantro tastes like soap to you)

Whisk all ingredients together in a non-reactive bowl & serve with bread, tortilla chips, etc. for dipping. I like bread better than chips with this, though.

After catching a movie and ordering a ridiculously large tub of popcorn (At this point, I could go on a heartfelt rant about movie theater food and how damn expensive it is, but I will refrain since many of you have probably gone on similar rants) there, we went for dinner at The Winking Lizard Tavern. Because they have gone completely non-smoking inside, we were able to sit right next to the iguana tank. It was a perfect observation opportunity, between the lizard himself and the table of 19 women and 1 man seated by us. Said table caused our service to be mind-numbingly slow. Luckily, we had Mr. Lizard to focus on. He even moved around in his tank for us, causing our youngest to spend much of the meal moving from one side to to the other side of the tank in rapt attention. Three of us had boneless wings, with Pie opting for a bacon cheeseburger. We were meanies and did not allow him to get a double. A single is half a pound! I cannot, in good conscience, order my 11-year-old son a pound of meat, plus cheese and bun. I ordered my wings mild, not knowing how much of a wallop the hot would pack. I am safe in ordering hot next time. J had garlic wings, which definitely were garlicky...and good. Boot's were less tasty and too hot for me...he ordered cajun & spent the meal mooching wings off of us, who had ordered more prudently. He likes to prove his manliness by ordering really hot stuff, but usually ends up not eating it, telling us it wasn't the heat that bothered him. Perhaps not, but we are seeing a definite pattern! We also got an order, for the table, of cheesy bacon fries, which were drenched in a silken cheese sauce but were nonetheless unremarkable. The house-made root beer, though, was definitely something to be ordered again...good strong rooty flavor that I don't usually get even in braggart root beers.

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