Breakfast in Bed

May 29, 2006

Now that your chef's coat is embroidered with Big D on the left breast, you're going to need a few recipes for the morning after. Hot, strong coffee is a good start when she wakes up, but if you want references you're going to have to provide some delicious morsels before you hail her a cab.

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The shirred eggs are adapted from Marion Cunningham's Breakfast Book and the pear muffins were developed by Jennifer Jones.

Shirred Eggs and Pear Muffins

The Eggs
Butter 2 of your nicest ramekins and add 1 tsp of heavy cream to each. Add a pinch of lemon zest to the cream and 1/2 teaspoon of grated pecorino. break 2 eggs into each ramekin and add another pinch of lemon zest, a pinch of pecorino, a pinch of salt and a crack of the white peppercorn mill. Bake in a preheated convection oven — oh wha? you don't have a convection oven? You better pick out the embroidery on your chef's coat Mr. Big Man — preheated to 350 degress for 12 minutes. These eggs should be barely set so don't overcook them or you'll get no repeat business.

The Muffins
2.5 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 Tbs baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 stick O' butter melted — that's right a whole schtick a buttah
1 cup of whole fresh from the farm milk
2 large brown eggs just plucked from the hen house — set your alarm early
The darker the berry the sweeter the juice.
Zest of one lemon 1/2 teaspoon almond extract 1 teaspoon hung liu 5 parfums or a mixture of cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg
2 ripe red pears, cubed
Sift the dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl mix the eggs, milk, zest and almond extract. Add cooled, melted butter to the wet ingredients (that's hot). Mix the wet into the dry with a wooden spoon and fill buttered muffin tin halfway. Add the chopped pear and fill to to the rim with the remaining batter. Bake at 375 for 15 to 20 minutes and serve immediately. After she's safely in the cab, sit back and wait for the phone to ring. Don't answer it.

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The genius of a picnic is the ease of lying down next to a linen clad lovely after several glasses of white wine or strawberry infused rum and lemonade. What young lady can refuse an invite to picnic? You've got an instant leg up. No dry humping in public please.

Smoked Trout Salad

1 smoked trout fileted and deboned
1/4 cup minced red onion
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 Tbs capers
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of half a lemon
3 Tbs olive oil
Pinch of salt
3 turns of the peppermill

Break apart the trout and mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Serve with whole grain bread, picholines and a crisp white. Save the plastic cups for the BBQ, bring wine glasses and quote Leonard Cohen poems as you gaze into her eyes. She'll be sugar syrup by the second glass. Close the deal with fresh strawberries and rum soaked finger cakes.

Mortar and Pestle

May 27, 2006

Pesto

There’s nothing that turns on a woman like a man weilding a mortar and pestle. Especially, David, if you’re using your lithe muscles to crush garlic, pine nuts and basil into a sensuous paste. It’s even more sexy if you pick the basil from your fire escape garden. You don’t have to start from seeds, just head to the farmer’s market and pick up a few goodly sized basil plants, put them in clay pots and it will look like you grew them. If you can find a young lady born in Naples or the South of France to invite for dinner, this pesto is sure fire. Try to steer clear of the Italian American girls for this one, they’ll flounder about the missing red sauce and bring an over-priced, mediocre chianti.

Grilled Lobster with Pesto Mashed Potatoes

Pesto
1 1/2 cups basil leaves
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 cloves garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
Goodly pinch of sea salt
Basil tops for garnish


In your large manly man stone mortar (I use a mexican molcajete because it looks extra rugged), place the pine nuts, basil, garlic, salt and grind with the pestle until it forms a paste. Transfer to a bowl and drizzle in the olive oil, beating the mixture all the while with a wooden spoon.

Mashed Potatoes
5 of your favorite mashing potatoes like Yukon Gold, Kennebec or good ol’ Idahoes.
2 Tbs butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
Pinch of salt
Fresh pesto


Boil the potatoes until fork tender. Heat the heavy cream and melt the butter. Whatever you do, don’t go Martha and bust out the ricer. These potatoes should be smooth, but not baby food. The rough hewn quality will add to your unshaven ruggedness, so use a hand masher. Stir in the pesto.

Grilled Lobster
1 1.5lb lobster
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 Tbs chopped chives
2 Tbs olive oil
Hot Paprika
1 Tbs Butter


Keep the lobster relaxing on ice or cooling out in the fridge. While it’s still napping, push the tip of a large chef’s knife through the center of the shell of the live lobster just slightly south of the eyes. Continue down the center splitting the lobster in two halves. Do this before she arrives because it’s not exactly pretty. Remove unsavory parts and place shell side down on a sheet pan. Salt, pepper and drizzle each half with olive oil. Dust with hot paprika and chives. Add 1/2 Tbs butter pat on the tailmeat of each half. Grill shell side down for about 3 minutes or until just barely opaque. If you don’t have a grill in your Italian marble topped island, you can preheat the oven to 500 and bake shell side down for about 7 minutes. Keep a close eye, you don’t want to over cook it to a Cape Cod rubbery mass.

Place a lobster half on each plate, add a small mound of pesto mashed potatoes that were keeping warm in the oven while the lobster was cooking and garnish the lobster with cilantro and additional chives. Pour 2 glasses of rosato and contain the gloating until later. In the morning, serve hot, strong coffee in bed.

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I have a friend who's a famous musician, especially famous in the cowfunk & punkfolk world. Let's call him Pappa G or G Rogue if you prefer. Back in the day, this friend was scorned by the most beautiful girl in the entire junior high school. Her parents happened to be Korean and, thank the Lord, they happened to make the most delicious kimchi from napa cabbage they grew in the garden. I won't go into the details of Pappa G's ousting, but let's just say you should never pull your eyes taught and bow in front of your Korean girlfriend's traditional parents.

Pappa G shrugs it off like it was a childish fling, but so deep runs the wound that 30 years later the scars rear their ugly heads. Recently he was looking for a recomendation on Japanese horror films. I recommended he see Chan-Wook Park's Old Boy even though it's neither Japanese nor horror. It's powerful film making and one of my favorite films of 2003. G Rogue's review of the film was less than shining. Like it was Chan-Wook Park's fault he was shunned by Jenny? That's her American name.

Don't be a hater, woo her back with your deep knowledge of the Korean kitchen. Here's the plan:

Step 1: Go to classmates.com and do a search for both her American and Korean names.

Step 2: Invite her and the new husband for lunch on a day when you know he'll be working. For instance, Tuesday.

Step 3: Go find yourself some homemade kimchi. It has to be fresh and crunchy, no imports. I get mine from the Korean farmer at Union Square's Greenmarket. In no circumstances should you attempt to make your own kimchee. You are not Korean no matter how many Southeast Asian films you see.

Step 4: Serve a chilled bottle of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc with lunch and have extra in the fridge. The spicy salad will make her hot and thirsty and that's hot. As long as you don't mention your case of yellow fever, you're golden.

Step 5: Second date, take her and the hubby to see Chinjeolhan Geumjassi, impress her with your knowledge of Korean cinema and she'll be that weird starch jelly stuff in your hands. The Ex will be picking up the kids on weekends and you'll be waving from behind the screen door in no time.

Calamari Kimchi Salad

1 pound of fresh squid (not previously frozen) cut into rings, steamed in white wine, salt and peppercorns for no more than 100 seconds

1 cup fresh homemade Korean kimchi cut into thin strips1/2 cup of basil leaves sliced lengthwise

Juice of 1 lime

2 Tbs Greek or Southern Italian olive oil

Salt to taste, but go easy because kimchee is generally quite salty

Garnish with lime zest and lime wheel


Toss ingredients while listening to Hot Chocolate's I Believe in Miracles or anything with Rick James and Tina Marie. Let the salad rest in the refrigerator for 2 to 4 hours and bring close to room temperature before serving. You're the man Big G.

Patatanchois

May 1, 2006

Ah, the language of love. You don’t have to speak it, you just need to practice the pronunciation of potato anchovy spread. Ready? In your best sing song, “Pahtahtahnshwah”. You may want to throw in a Délicieux! Magnifique! gesture for punctuation. Ok Dave, now that you’ve got that down, hop on a plane to New York and swagger down West Broadway with abandon. The European ladies will be on your arm and in no time you’ll be at the Larchmont Estates asking, “Would you like patatanchois with your aperitif?”

Potato Anchovy Spread

3 medium potatoes. You can use any color, but the most attractive patatanchois is made with pink fleshed.

3 oil cured anchovy filets

1 clove garlic

1 teaspoon capers

1 fresh cayenne pepper, deseeded and minced

Pinch of sea salt

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil. Go all out on the olive oil, it’ll make the dish. I like to use a fruity Spanish or peppery Sicilian for this dish.

Cut the potatoes into 1/8ths and boil until fork tender. In a mortar and pestle, crush the garlic with anchovies, salt and a teaspoon of olive oil. Transfer to a bowl, add the cayenne and mash the potatoes with a fork. Stir in the olive oil a tablespoon at a time until the patatanchois is a smooth, creamy consistancy. Add salt as needed, the anchovies can be quite salty. Serve with a crusty ficelle or baguette and a glass of casanis or champagne. It will remind her of those summers Provence, Puglia or Santorini. This lusty spread makes a wonderful start to fresh pasta with wild leeks.