Last Supper at The Estates
March 26, 2006
Saturday, March 26, alas, our last evening with the 6 burner and I used 5 of them to prepare Ouzo Poached Shrimp and Orzo Pilaf with Feta, Grape Tomatoes and Oil Cured Morrocan Olives. Two weeks flew and it's hard to say goodbye to a sweet rangetop I've grown to know and love. I'll miss you.
Jennifer and I will celebrate our 13th wedding anniversary on August 8th so let me tell you David it's not just any dish that will make Jennifer cry BINGO! The first thing I heard this morning when we awoke from the coma was "Baby, that dinner was good . . ."
We began the evening with a pacitrón. It's all about sweet, tart and salty so we balanced that with extra salty roasted cashews from Trader Joe's. I only note from whence the cashews came due to the fact that it was my first and last time shopping at a concept grocery store. No more pirate themed grocery lists.
Juice of 2 Lemons
6 to 8 Jiggers Frozen Vodka (depending on the size of your glass)
2 Chilled Martini Glasses
Rim the glasses with lemon juice and dip in sugar to coat. In a shaker, pour the lemon juice over ice then add vodka liberally. Shake what your momma gave ya vigorously. Pour into chilled glasses and drop a lemon slice on top. Pucker up.
After the candles were lit and the cocktails were poured, I put the stockpot on the stove. Jennifer sipped her cocktail and plucked cilantro while enjoying South Park season 7 "South Park is Gay". The pantry was looking a bit scant, but I did find a few potatoes, onions and a bulb of garlic which I added to the stockpot with thyme, parsley, a half teaspoon of salt, 10 peppercorns and a couple of laurel leaves.
While the stock was bubbling, I chopped 1/2 an onion for the orzo pilaf, 3 cloves of garlic for the shrimp and shook another pacitrón for myself and the now tipsy and giggling Jennifer. South Park is an amaaaazing aphrodisiac.
Sadly, as I came to the end of my martini glass I suddenly felt elated with the realization that the bottle of 1996 Barbera d' Alba was breathing. I sauteed the onion with olive oil and red pepper flakes, stirred in the orzo, added white wine, reduced, added boiling stock and covered. The aroma of garlic rose from burner 4, the shrimp were tossed to coat and in went the ouzo as flames licked my eyebrows. Jennifer dashed upstairs for the camera and caught the last of them as I turned down the heat to barely a flicker.
I tested the orzo and added another cup of stock. I'm a big fan of al dente but I almost broke a tooth. After another 3 or 4 minutes I stirred in the olives, tomatoes, feta, another 1/2 cup of stock, removed the lid for and let cook for a final 3 minutes while I poured the Barbera.
We ended the last supper with a glass of ouzo and an espresso. David please note the espresso is key as you don't want your date falling asleep while you go for the gold.
This dish was inspired by Gus and Patricia Peterson's love of good food. I mutated this dish from a taverna recipe that was made popular by the influx Italian tourists to the Greek Isles in the 1950s.