Stove? What Stove?

By staff October 16, 2006

Slacker week in Judi’s kitchen.


Do you ever have a week where you just cannot get inspired in the kitchen? Yup, even chefs do, and this must have been my week.


Monday night, both my husband, Paul,and I were pooped, so off we went for comfort food at Cosimo’s Brick Oven ( might be no better comfort meal than the marinated roasted chicken at Cosimo’s. It was loaded with grilled fresh zucchini, summer squash and red potatoes; the only thing to put me even more in my happy zone would have been to wear my fuzzy slippers in the mall. On my suggestion, Paul ordered the marinated pork chops with mango chutney and the same grilled vegetables. Another comfort food fit for a king, and the queen managed to snag a few bites as well.


Tuesday night it was take-out pizza from Filippo’s Pizzeria ( at Lockwood Ridge and University, my first time in months. We went straight to carb heaven with a pepper, onion and sausage pizza and a large antipasta salad loaded with salami, Parma ham and marinated artichokes.


OK, Wednesday night I did feel a little stove withdrawal and whipped up some veal Marsala with wild mushrooms over angel hair pasta, but that didn’t really count. I had some mushrooms that needed to be used up, so chalk that meal up to just cleaning out the refrig.


Thursday night, back on slacker track—dinner at our old stand-by, Pad Thai (941-365-7799). Nothing like some garlic duck and scallops with stir-fried veggies to inspire an Asian food lover’s palate. Nice to talk to Art, the owner, who suggested we check out his new restaurant, Thai Palace on Cortez Road (see Sunday night). 


Friday night was dinner at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar ( Fulldisclosure: I am a consultant for this restaurant, but believe me, I’d be eating there even if I weren’t. If you haven’tchecked out their new menu items, you are in for a treat. I would have been content with the baked brie in pastry, warm creamy French cheese oozing out of a flaky crust with sliced apples and French bread, but oh, no, how could I be at Fleming’s and not go for something spectacular? Since my companion was having steak, and I knew I was only a reach across the table from a few good bites, I decided on the pan-seared scallops with lobster sauce, knowing that I wanted to save room for the new dessert of peach cobbler and yes, the chocolate mousse cake.


Saturday night, I attended an all-day event where I served some homemade apple crisp (remember our apple contest—send me your favorite apple recipe by October 31 if you would like to win dinner for two at 5 one 6 Burns). My jammies were waiting for me while Paul barbecued pork chops (nice thick-cut from Whole Foods) and grilled vegetables. I whipped up a chopped Greek salad and the rest is history—snoring by 9:00 p.m.


Sunday night was a special treat. Having taken Art’s advice from Pad Thai, we ventured to his new restaurant, Thai Palace (941-761-9100) on Cortez, for an exceptional Thai meal. The décor is beautiful, all hand done by Art and his charming partner, Jay. Served in a bowl of flaming aluminum foil, the monster curry is loaded with large tender shrimp and scallops with an amazingly light curry sauce and fresh stir-fried vegetables. That, along with lemongrass and coconut soup and garlic duck made for a meal in Asian heaven.


And I wonder why I can’t lose the five pounds I gained this summer!


You can send those apple recipes and any other questions, to [email protected] or post your comments online to share with other readers.


Bon appetit!
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