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In a no holds barred cage match, Captain Spiny would crush Maine Man. First, Spiny would flog Mr. Maine like a political prisoner, tie up those bulky claws with his antennae, and finally pin the scrawny beast with his strong, sharp tail.

Alas, the jet was in the garage, so I wasn’t able to fly South to pick up a few fresh Spinies. Even if the new lower emission jet engines had been installed, time was of the essence. Jennifer was on her way home with a bottle of white Bordeaux and she was famished. I had to act fast.

Grilled Maine Lobster, Grapefruit Salsa, Orange Aioli

The Aioli
1/2 cup fruity Greek olive oil
1 egg yolk
1 clove crushed garlic
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbs fresh orange juice
Zest of orange
pinch of salt

You can use a food processor, but it always looks better using a whisk when your lady walks in.

Coddle the egg for exactly one minute or if it’s fresh from your favorite farm, use it raw. Mix the egg yolk, lemon juice, orange juice and mustard in a bowl. In the tiniest, slowest stream, whisk in the olive oil. If the olive oil doesn’t completely combine with the egg, stop pouring and keep whisking. When combined, continue whisking and pouring in a slow steady stream until thick.

Add the crushed garlic and salt. Cover and store in the fridge for at least 15 minutes or overnight. Bring to room temperature 15 minutes prior to plating.

The Lobster
You know the drill here, David. Boil water in a large pot. Bring the beasts to a quick end with your broadsword. Put the tip of the knife in the center of the head and cut the brain and central nervous system in two. Pop them into boiling water for about 4 minutes for a pound and half lobster.

Remove the lobsters from the water, allow to cool, then remove the meat from the shell. I find the easiest way to do this is with kitchen shears. Break the tail from the body. Cut the underside of the tails and cut the claws along the top and sides.

When your salsa is made and your aoli is room temp, finish the lobsters on the indoor grill of your 2,000 sq. ft. kitchen with stadium seating. You’ve ready about Danny Kay, right?

The Salsa
1 ruby red grapefruit
3 scallions
2 Tbs slivered mint
1 Tbs slivered basil
1/2 jalapeño, seed and minced
1 tsp olive oil
a pinch or two of salt
a turn of the pink peppercorn mill

Slice off the top and bottom of the grapefruit. Then, start slicing away the peel starting from top to bottom, cutting off as little flesh as possible Repeat until completely peeled. Remove any remaining bitter pith. Holding the peeled grapefruit over a small bowl, section the grapefruit by cutting between the membrane. The bowl will catch the juices.

Remove the segments and cut into 3 or 4 pieces. Squeeze the remaing juice from the grapefruit membrane. In a separate bowl add the grapefruit, the scallion, mint, basil, jalapeño and olive oil. Combine gently.

Add some of the reserved juice to the mixture. You don’t want to swamp the salsa, so save the rest for a greyhound. Taste for seasoning.

Plate it
Don’t ever let anyone catch you with a squeeze bottle. Even if you decide to use one. You can achieve sauce dots with a teaspoon just as easy. Top the lobster with the salsa, remove the wine from the ice and pour.

Tapas

March 21, 2007

These little dishes are a symbol of spontaniety and the carefree lifestyle of a playboy such as yourself, David. You can invite a gaggle of beauties to your huge loft and flit from one to the next, nibbling and chatting. Start with a glass of sherry, serrano ham and olives, then pop the vino and serve croquetas de bacalao, a classic tortilla and keep it going until the floor is littered with designer garments.

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Grilled Scallop Mofongo

This little plate is a crowd pleaser, but it will work the Puerto Rican ladies you invited into a frenzy. The plantains should be green, but just starting to ripen. Traditionally, this is made with fresh chicharones (pork crackling), but I like to replace it with ground smoked chiles.

3 green plantains
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups water
3 Tbs vegetable oil
1/2 tsp ground smoked chile
2 cloves garlic
1 Tbs olive oil
1/2 lb. fresh “dry” scallops
Light the grill. Remove the side muscle from the scallops, season with salt and pepper.

Peel plantains and cut into one inch slices. Soak for 15 minutes in salt and water. Drain well.
Heat vegetable oil (350 degrees if you are using a deep fryer). Add plaintain slices and fry until golden on both sides. Do not brown. Drain on paper towel.

While the plantains are frying, put the scallops on the grill. Cook for 2 minutes per side until medium or until barely cooked through. Don’t cook to long or they’ll turn to rubber puckies.

In a mortar, crush the garlic cloves, a pinch of salt and the smoked chile. Add olive oil to the mixture and continue pounding. Add the fried plaintains and and continue pounding until smooth.

Spoon the mixture and shape into 1 inch balls. Stuff a piece of the grilled scallop into the ball. You can keep in a warm oven for up to 10 minutes until you are ready to plate and serve.

Hanbok

March 11, 2007

There’s only one way you’ll get to see what’s under the Hanbok. You’ve got to find yourself a Korean bride or at least a woman who’s not afraid of role play. Have you seen these garments David? What bride wouldn’t look delicious in those straight lines and smooth curves.

I’m not suggesting mail order. You’re going to need a woman of integrity. One who’s trained at the Institute of Etiquette and Wisdom or the Yejiwon as it’s called by families of distinction. In order to attract women of this ilk, you’ll need the foods of the Royal Court of Joseon. You’ll need jeotgukji kimchi.

A cooking book of Joseon, Joseon massangsansik yorijebeop, explains how to make jeotgukji as follows.

First, cut well-washed cabbages and radishes into small chunks and salt them. Second, mix them with chopped hot red pepper, garlic, dropwort (minari), leaf mustards (gat) and some seaweed. Third, boil fermented fish in water and cool it. Fourth, add it to the above blended stuffs. Fifth, store them in a pot and wait till they are fermented.

I have no idea what dropwort is, or where to find it. I’d like to suggest you march into your local deli and beg for a container of grandma’s homemade jeotgukji and their youngest daughter’s hand in marriage. If the negociations break down, settle for the kimchi.

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Grilled Sea Bass, Ginger Mashed Potatoes , Apple Kimchi Slaw

Season the Fish
Trim and remove the skin from 1/2 pound of sea bass or another firm, white fleshed fish. Cut in 2 pieces, season with salt and freshly ground white peppercorns. Refrigerate for 30 mins.

Prepare the Slaw
1/2 cup kimchi
1/2 an apple
1 Tbs olive oil
Squeeze of orange

Remove the kimchi from it’s marinade. Cut into thin strips. Core and finely cube the apple. Combine with the olive oil and orange. Store at room temperature for 30 minutes .

Whip the Potatoes
3 medium potatoes
1 and 1/2 inches of ginger grated with the porcelain grater you picked up on your last trip to Tokyo
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 Tbs butter
Salt to taste

Coarsely cube and boil the potatoes. until tender. Warm the milk and melt the butter. Drain and reserve the water. Place your bowl over the hot water and put the potatoes through a ricer. Add the ginger, butter, milk and whip into a frenzy. Taste for seasoning.

Grill the Fish and Plate the Dish
When the potatoes are almost tender, put the fish on the grill. Cook until just opaque. Plate and garnish with cilantro oil. Serve with Bek Se Ju. Kompai!

Earl Grey Martini

March 6, 2007

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Mr. Grey was no slouch. As a matter of fact, he was quite the ladies man. He had his fair share of Victorian beauties and married the loveliest thing in a corset, petticoats, hoops and a bodice, one Elizabeth Ponsonby. This is a man who fathered 6 daughters on the up and up, 1 on the down low, a 10 count of sons and was instrumental in the abolition of slavery in the British Empire. (Take note, David, being involved in positive social and political reform will get you some serious play.)

I think this man deserves some glass raising, don’t you?


1 part Earl Grey Tea
3 parts chilled vodka or gin
A squeeze of orange

Brew the tea like a proper gentleman, then cool. Pour the tea and the vodka over ice. Shake gently, strain into crystal and garnish with an orange twist and a fresh cherry. Keep your chin up and be gay!

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