Friday, May 11, 2007

Same time last year...

One year. I know it’s been said, and sounds awfully trite, but it doesn’t seem like one year at all. It seems both much more and much less. Much more because my life before this seems so very far away. Much less because I feel like this first year, with all its adventures, sped past me no matter how hard I tried to pull the reins in a bit.

So we are returning to the island where this all started…without the dress (although I do have a less bridal little number to take its place), without the guests, without the photographers. Just us and the beach…

Before I go, I leave you with (as promised) the first dish I tried from Chocolate & Zucchini. I was drawn to this dish as it showcased only a few flavors, letting each shine and complement the other. I had also come across some French beans in the market that were calling my name!

This isn’t Clotilde’s exact recipe as I reduced it to feed only two (something I usually have to do with most recipes). I also didn’t have any parsley (the original does and I’ll be sure to add it in next time). I didn’t have any pecans either, so I substituted walnuts (which Clotilde indicates is a fine substitution).

French Bean Salad with Walnuts and Dry-Cured Ham
(adapted from Salade de Haricots Verts, Noix de Pécan, & Jambon Cru, from Chocolate & Zucchini by Clotilde Dusoulier)
  • 150 grams French beans, trimmed
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 thin slices jamon Serrano, shredded (Clotilde uses jambon d’Ardèche, but other dry cured ham, like prosciutto or Parma, will work as well)
  • 1/8 cup walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped

- Steam the beans for 8-10 minutes, until just cooked through and still crisp. Plunge in cold water (to stop cooking) and drain.
- In a salad bowl whisk the oil and vinegar together. Add salt and pepper (remember that you will be adding ham later, which is also salty, so don’t overdo it).
- Add beans (and parsley if you are using it) and toss gently to coat with dressing. Adjust seasoning.
- Arrange ham and nuts over the beans.
- Serves 2 as a side dish.

You may serve this immediately or refrigerate for a day, just remove it from the fridge half an hour before eating. I was rushing around so I removed it only right before we were going to eat, so we had it chilled. In this heat it was actually perfect that way. Cool and crisp and refreshing. This salad is so easy to whip up, but its taste is much more luxurious then its simplicity belies. The fresh crunch of the beans with the zing of the dressing just barely clinging to it, the earthy walnuts, and the silky-salty rich jamon…the combination is delicious!

I’m off to get ready and pack…see you all when I get back! :)


wysgal said...

Happy anniversary! Have fun eating your way through Boracay! =)

Michelle said...

Happy First Anniversary!! We just had ours in April! We also returned to the place of our wedding! WOW, it does go by fast, doesn't it? You picture is just beautiful! Have a wonderful trip, and congrats again! I just love your blog! :)

Little Foodie said...

Jamon serrano has to be near the top of my list of favourite foods. This looks lovely.
Happy Anniversary, beautiful pic of your day.

Patricia Scarpin said...

Joey, what a beautiful, beautiful photo! You look so elegant, I love your dress!

Have loads of fun, we'll miss you here, sweetie!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Wysgal! Thanks! We will :)

Hi Michelle! What a great coincidence! :) It really does fly by so fast...Thanks so much for your nice words!

Hi Amanda! It's great isn't it? My husband and I ration it out to ourselves! Thank you :)

Hi Patricia! Thank you! :) We will!

ces said...


Mae said...

Yes indeed, time flew so quickly! I remember congratulating you on your wedding and now, wishing you both the happiness on your anniversary! It seems like yesterday. It's so cool cos i'll always remember this day now as it's a day after my birthday. For which, i thank you for the well wishes too. :)

Anyway, first year anniversary 'paper', i wish you both happy times rekindling in boracay. Have a wonderful trip! Pictures please cos i'd like to visit that place next year.

By the way, the photos of the beans looks exceptionally good. So fresh. I'm noticing a lot of use of natural light lately... keep up the great work, Joey!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Happy Anniversary! I know just what you mean about the more and less.
When asked how long we'd been married, for so many years my husband would answer 6 weeks ... and it always made me feel warm inside.
Now, he answers 45 years with a big smile and it makes me feel warmer inside!
Have a wonderful time ... we'll be here when you get back.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

And the beans look terrific.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Happy wedding anniversary!
That dish looks very fine and is nicely presented...

Franco said...

Happy Anniversary, Joey!

christine said...

I wish you great weather and delicious meals this weekend, and a lifetime of bliss for my two of my dearest friends. Happy Anniversary Joey and C, love you both mucho!! :)

Zita said...


Speaking of anniversary. We're celebrating our 5th anniversary today. Ok ba magka sunod tyo? (12 May).
Happy anniv to you.
Did you get a new toy (camera)?

Barbara said...

Hapyy Anniversary Joey..and may you have many more.

M.Tan said...

Happy Anniversay J and C! May the sun shine down on you both. Eat and drink well.

katrina said...

Happy 1st anniversary! You both still seem like newlyweds. I wish you perfect weather and lots to eat and drink!

Freya and Paul said...

Joey, have a wonderful anniversary and know that we all share in your celebration! I'm sure the beach will be as beautiful as it was a year ago!
Thanks for sharing the recipe too!!

Midge said...

Happy anniversary, Joey! Glad to see you made it through your first year; long may the sweetness last for both you and your better half! :3

canDIshhh said...

Happy FIRST to you and C!!

Candice said...

Happy first anniversary! Yes, I was there too, typhoon and all. It's great that you were able to have a wedding as I recalled the big waves, gusty winds, and the brown outs in Boracay. No typhoons this time, I hope :-)

ChichaJo said...

Hi Ces! Thanks you! No babies yet... :)

Hi Mae! Thank you for your warm wishes :) Now I won't forget your birthday either as it's the day before our anniversay! :) Actually, if it wasn't for the typhoon, your birthday and our anniversary would be on the same day! I'll be posting photos soon...I'm still trying to catch up with work, but if you need any info about Boracay please let me know. Thanks for the noticing the photos! I am also using my dad's camera which is much better than my little point and shoot :)

Hi Tanna! That is so sweet and you put it perfectly! :) The beans were really yummy :)

Hi Rosa! Thanks!

Thanks Franco!

Aw Nens! You are so sweet! Thanks you so know you are also one of our dearest ya too! :)

Hi Zita! Thanks! Sunod-sunod nga! Our's is May 14 :) As for the new's my dad's old camera that he is no longer using :)

Hi Barbara! Thanks you so much!

Hi M! Thanks :) The sun did shine and we did eat well (like it was going out of style)!

Hi Katrina! Thanks for the well worked because the sun didn't stop shining and we ate more than our share I think...heeheehee :)

Hi Freya (and Paul)! Thank you! :) No typhoon this time was beautiful indeed! And the recipe is simple and delicious :)

Hey Midge! Thank you, thank you! :)

Thanks so much Candishhh! :)

Hi Candice! You were there too? What a coincidence! It was a feat pulling the wedding of in a storm but our coordinator is quite skilled :) No typhoons this year though :)

in-JeN-iosiTy said...

Happy first anniversary Joey and C!!!! =) What a great way to celebrate your anniversary.

iska said...

Very beautiful photo...
happy anniversary!

drstel said...

happy anniversary joey...

Anonymous said...

Happy anniversay! The photo of you two is gorgeous, I can just feel the love. :) Have a wonderful time!

Ari (Baking and Books)

Arfi Binsted said...

Happy anniversary!! Great salad!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Jen! Thanks! I was a great anniversary :)

Hi Iska! Thank you :)

Thanks Stel!

Hi Ari! Thanks! I like that photo too :)

Thank you Arfi :)