Mortar and Pestle

May 27, 2006


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

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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