I had invited her for lunch at the beginning of the week but she said her husband was going to be in miluim and she would be by family. At the park, she said she wanted to call on Thursday to try to revive the invite, but didn't. I said what a shame and somehow we got the idea to have a food pool lunch at at my house. We were into the idea and we knew the kids would love it, but somehow our husbands weren't exactly chomping at the bit to have such a spontaneous social activity. Although they weren't thrilled by the idea originally, in the end everyone had a really nice time and the whole thing really cheered me up and left me with a great feeling (I have friends and they like me so much they would come to my house for lunch on the spot!)
Usually, when I make Shabbat food I cook for at least 6-8 people even though we're only 2 adults and 2 kids who eat real food. This Shabbat, I really pared down and only made 3 chicken quarters (baked with quince, carrots, cinnamon and cumin that I adapted from a recipe in Gil Marks 'World of Jewish Cooking'.) My friend brought a drink, a chicken salad and chummus. I had brown rice and roasted cauliflower and tomato but what really made the lunch was a leftover shoulder roast I had from the night before. I sliced it into strips and made an Asian steak salad. With guacamole and cold cuts, it was quite a feast for such short notice.
Last Minute Asian Meat Salad
1 head/bag Red/Green/Baby leaf lettuce, washed and dried
1 cucumber, julienned or cut into large dice
1 red pepper, julienned or also large dice
5-6 cherry tomatoes, halved
3-4 radishes, thinly sliced
500 grams beef shoulder, sliced into strips
Dressing: (er, rough estimate because I stopped measuring my dressings a long time ago)
3 Tbs Olive Oil
1 Tbs balsamic vinegar
2 tsp soy sauce
3 tsp honey
1 tsp whole grain mustard
Mix salad ingredients in a large bowl, laying the meat on top. Mix dressing ingredients in a small jar or large teacup. Dress right before serving. Garnish ideas: Crushed roasted cashews or peanuts.