Del Campo

It had been a while since Alex and I enjoyed a night out at a fancy restaurant. Our 4th anniversary was the perfect excuse! We always trust the Washingtonian’s 100 Best Restaurant List for recommendations on where to go if we want a delicious dinner for a special occasion. You might laugh at this, but I always do a thorough investigation of many restaurants before making a reservation. I read through the menus, check locations, etc.. I think it’s fun to do, and we don’t get out as much as we used to, so I want to make sure I choose the perfect place. For our anniversary, we chose to spend the evening at Del Campo in Northwest Washington, DC.

Del Campo is a South American Restaurant specializing in steaks and slow roasted meats. Their mouth watering meats are accompanied by beautiful herb sauces; such as chimichurris and salsas. The chef/owner Victor Albisu, really lets his Peruvian roots shine through, not only on the dinner menu, but in the largely South American wine selection as well. Let me show you what Alex and I enjoyed on our wonderful evening at Del Campo.  

Del Campo

We started by ordering drinks. Alex went with his pretty standard Margarita and I asked the waiter’s recommendation for a cocktail. He suggested the Basil Mule, so that’s what I got. It’s made of basil infused Titos Vodka, raspberry – passion fruit, fresh lime juice, and ginger beer. I love this cocktail and happily sipped on it throughout our meal.

Alex's Margarita and my Basil Mule.

Alex’s Margarita and my Basil Mule.

While we looked over the menu, fresh bread was delivered to our table. This bread was delicious and had a charred smoky flavor. It was served with olive oil for dipping. I will never turn down bread!

Del Campo
 Del Campo

It’s appetizer time! We ordered the King Crab and Shrimp Empanadas and the Provoleta. The Empanadas were served on a curried squash puree and topped with a peanut cabbage slaw. These were delicious and not to mention beautiful. I loved all the different textures on the plate: the crispy empanada dough, the smooth puree, and the slight crunch of the slaw. All of those components together were the perfect bite. 

The Provoleta is seared Provolone cheese that they top with blistered Shishito peppers, charred tomatoes, and country bread. All I want in life is melted cheese and amazing bread to eat it on. Yum! This is the point in the meal when I realized a trend. The wonderful charred flavor the food was having. I was really starting to look forward to entrees we ordered.  

Del Campo

King Crab and Shrimp Empanadas.

Del Campo

Provoleta.

Del Campo

Provoleta.

Usually when we go out to eat, I have a hard time deciding on what to order for my main course. At Del Campo I knew exactly what I wanted the moment I saw it on the menu. Chorizo Crusted Lamb Rack. Let me say it again…..Chorizo Crusted Lamb Rack. That sounded incredibly intriguing to me and I couldn’t pass it up. I cannot say enough good things about that lamb. (Warning, I am going start rambling). It was cooked to perfection. The chorizo on the outside added so much extra flavor and texture. From the first bite I was in love. I started by trying to be all dainty about eating it…used my fork and knife…tried to get all the meat off…wasn’t working. I thought, there is more meat on this bone and I cannot let it go to waste. So I did it. Right there in the middle of that really nice restaurant. I picked up that rack of lamb and gnawed on it until every last morsel was gone. I looked around and no one seemed to be offended….whew!

Del Campo

Alex ordered the 18oz Prime Dry Aged Ribeye. This Ribeye was a beautiful sight and a huge piece of meat. How Alex ate all 18oz of that thing I will never know. Well, I did have a couple bites. It melted in your mouth like butter and the flavor….geez the flavor of that steak. Incredible. Can you tell I am very excited about the food at Del Campo?   

Del Campo

Del Campo

We ordered a few sides to go along with our lamb and steak. Sweet Potato Gratin with goat cheese was really creamy and the goat cheese added a nice tang. Burnt Haricots Verts had a wonderful caramelized flavor and were served with almonds. Alex also ordered the Thick Cut Wood Smoked Bacon, because when there is bacon on the menu, you kind of have to order it. Am I right?

Sweet Potato Gratin with Goat Cheese.

Sweet Potato Gratin with Goat Cheese.

Burnt Haricots Verts.

Burnt Haricots Verts.

Alex and I had a lovely meal at Del Campo. We have visited a lot of restaurants on the 100 best list and I have to say this may be my favorite one so far. I am still dreaming about that Lamb Rack. I would love to recreate it in my own kitchen. Del Campo isn’t just a place to go have a delicious meal but they also offer cooking classes with the chef/owner, Victor Albisu. Doesn’t that sound amazing? I would love love love to be in one of those classes! (hint, hint, to my husband).   

If you are looking for a nice night out, where you are sure to have great food, I would highly recommend Del Campo.

Del Campo

777 I Street NW

Washington, DC 20001

http://delcampodc.com/

 

Smoked Sausage with Cabbage and Apples

Main Dishes, Recipes, Slow Cooker | November 29, 2016 | By

As I am sitting here watching my kids eat breakfast, I find myself in deep thought about their eating habits. They are 21 months old now and getting them to eat real food can be a struggle. They love any kind of fruit (Danny is currently eating his weight in pears) but I can’t say the same for vegetables. Danny went through a phase where he loved peas, but all of sudden, when they would arrive to his plate, he would act as if they were poisoned and throw them on the floor. What happened? They pretty much love anything with cheese: pizza, grilled cheese, quesadillas, etc. but my conscience will only let me make so much of that food for them. Getting them to eat any sort of meat seems to be the real battle. I would be lying if I said it didn’t hurt my feelings a little bit when they refuse to eat my perfectly cooked chicken thighs. Many nights I make the kids one meal and my husband and I another, which is not ideal. One meal that saves me from having to do that is Smoked Sausage with Cabbage and Apples. Thank goodness for this easy meal that everyone loves!

Smoked Sausage with Cabbage and Apples could not be simpler to make. It starts with one and a half pounds of smoked sausage in the bottom of our trusty friend the crockpot. Then apples, red cabbage, and onions get layered on top. (Leave the ingredients layered and don’t stir.)

Smoked Sausage with Cabbage and Apples

Smoked Sausage with Cabbage and Apples

Smoked Sausage with Cabbage and Apples

Smoked Sausage with Cabbage and Apples

Next, the ingredients that make the sauce go in: brown sugar, salt, pepper, and apple juice. Guess what! That’s it! How easy was that? Now you can go about your day and come back in 6-8 hours for a delicious dinner. 

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Ciabatta and Sausage Stuffing

Recipes, Side Dishes | November 25, 2016 | By

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I spent my day surrounded by family and of course ate WAY to much food. Yesterday was quite relaxing, even with all of the food that needed to be prepared. The kitchen is my happy place; especially when I’m there with my mom and sisters. There is something wonderful about all of us being in the kitchen cooking together. You may even say there is a healthy sense of competition in the air. I love fighting over oven space, sneaking tastes of one another’s dishes (and maybe secretly adding more salt), and stirring whatever is on the stovetop just to drive the one making it crazy. It is all in good fun!  

It’s the day after Thanksgiving and I am in the midst of a household that has gone completely insane. The kiddos are extremely fussy, my house is between Fall décor coming down and Christmas décor going up, toys are everywhere, laundry is piled high (I’m working on that), and all I want to do is sit on the couch in my Lularoe leggings and get a blog post up. (It has now been 3 hours since I started this post and the kids are down for a nap. This might actually get on the blog today). I want to share a dish with you that I made this year, and last, for our Thanksgiving feast! Ciabatta and Sausage Stuffing has quickly become a family favorite. I know I missed the train on getting this to you before Thanksgiving so you could make it BUT why can’t we have stuffing any ole time we want? Make this anytime! Or if you must have a holiday to serve stuffing, you can make this for Christmas or New Years too!

Ciabatta and Sausage Stuffing

Ciabatta and Sausage Stuffing is pretty simple to make. It starts with browning one pound of breakfast sausage in a pan. You can really use any sausage you like: spicy, mild, Italian, etc. Next, the onions, carrots, and celery get sautéed in the same pan until tender.

Ciabatta and Sausage Stuffing

Ciabatta and Sausage Stuffing

Ciabatta and Sausage Stuffing

Ciabatta and Sausage Stuffing

Ciabatta and Sausage Stuffing

Put the sausage and the veggies into a big bowl and add the rosemary, parsley, sage, cubed Ciabatta, olive oil, and chicken stock. Mix everything together, making sure all of the bread is moistened. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 30-35 minutes. 

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Homemade Croissants

Breads, Breakfast, Recipes | November 18, 2016 | By

Can I have everyone’s attention please. I am very excited about what I am getting ready to type….I made homemade Croissants! Yes, homemade Croissants! They were buttery, and flaky, and totally amazing! I can’t believe they were made in my little kitchen. Now, I could never take all of the credit in making them. My husband’s Aunt Susie is a trained pastry chef and every now and then when she is off work, and feeling ever so kind, she comes over and gives me baking lessons. Isn’t that incredible!? I soak up all of her knowledge and I can’t get enough. We have made fruit tarts, meringues, cream puffs, and now croissants.    

Let me show off some of the delicious creations we have made!

Pavlova

Pavlova with Whipped Cream and Mixed Berries.

Cream Puffs.

Cream Puffs.

Cream Puffs.

Cream Puffs.

Fruit Tart with Vanilla Pastry Cream and Berries.

Fruit Tart with Vanilla Pastry Cream and Berries.

Now onto the star of this show…..Croissants!

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Honey Apple Cake

Desserts, Recipes | November 11, 2016 | By

I know I can’t be the only one that is extremely happy the presidential election is over. Yay! I am so tired of seeing the political adds all over TV and people’s opinions plastered on social media. Let’s just return to posting pictures of our adorable children, animals, and of course food! After such a stressful election, there is only one way to unwind….by eating lots of Honey Apple Cake. Trust me, it will help tremendously!

My Aunt Sharon was kind enough to share this Honey Apple Cake recipe with me last year and since then I can’t get enough. When we have local apples in the Fall, this cake is the perfect way to let them shine. Three cups of chopped apples go into this cake which means every single bite is filled with applely goodness. You can use whatever apples you like best. I always use a combination of them and probably never the same combination twice. Cameo, Fuji, Stayman, and Honey Crisp are some of my favorite apples to bake with. If it isn’t prime apple season when you make this cake no worries! You can still bake this and it will still taste amazing!   

 Honey Apple Cake

Honey Apple Cake

Honey Apple Cake is one of those desserts where you find yourself always going back for more. One slice is just not enough. A big part of what makes it so irresistible is the glaze. After the cake has baked, you poke holes throughout it and pour on the thick honey, butter, and brown sugar glaze. That hot, delicious, sticky, amazing (yes, it deserves that many adjectives) glaze seeps down into the cake making it really moist while also bumping up the honey flavor. This is a Honey Apple Cake after all.

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