June 16, 2006
It's not your fault this isn't working yet David. You just need to rethink the ladies you invite to your ultra swank bachelor pad with the pink furry bean bag and marble topped kitchen.
You meet a beautiful young lady in a fast food restaurant. Do you?
a. Ask her if you can join her at the table.
b. Invite her over for Risotto with Sweet Pea Mint Pesto
c. Pick up her tray, put it in the trash and scold her for putting toxins into her perfect specimen of the female body.
d. Ask her if she likes it super-sized.
None of the above! You shouldn't be hanging around fast food joints unless you really can't hold it any longer. Leave the ladies who shove frozen burgers into their hot apple pie holes for the Upper East Side heathens. Find yourself a fresh-faced beauty sipping café at Le Pain Quotidien and pick up a boule while you're there.
Sweet Pea Mint Pesto
1 lb farm fresh peas
1/2 cup chopped mint from your Oh So Gay Assorted Mint Garden which may include orange, spearmint, chocolate and peppermint
2 cloves garlic
2 tsp pine nuts
1/4 cup extra extra virgen olive oil
2 pinches sea salt
1/2 cup grated pecorino
Wash your molcajete or if you're pressed for time and won a bundle at the track, give me a call at 917-570-3832. I'll whip it up for you in a jiff for a healthy split of the booty. Otherwise, crush the peas, mint, pine nuts, garlic and olive oil into a summer fresh paste. Toss with fresh pasta, stir into risotto or use as a base for canapés with thinly sliced cumin roasted lamb topped with homemade harissa.
June 12, 2006
David, one day soon the battle for the earth will take place between the humans and an army of sea creatures– led by the lobsters and their fiendish friends the killer whales. Show her that you're not afraid of Armageddon and that you'll defend her to the last; she will be forever yours.
Now go forth and get your bib. Make her 'Fresh Pasta with Lobster in a Sultry Taragon Lime Cream accompanied by Shaved Beat and Sorrel Salad.' If she doesn't melt at the sight of you ripping the claws off these fearsome beasts, throw her back in the sea.
2 Lively Lobsters on Ice (approx 1.5lb)
Boil a big pot of water.
Yell, 'back to the sea, pinko' and gently toss your first lobster into the pot. You only want to blanch him (or her) for about 2 minutes so the meat is just staring to cook. You'll finish him up in the sauce to show that clawed-devil who his crawdaddy is.
After two minutes, pull him out and give him a good cold-water bath and a table shower. Repeat with the second lobster.
Whatever you do, don't dump out the cooking water in the stockpot!
Now it's dismemberment time. Rip the tail and claws off. Get all the meat out but save shells. You can dump the bit with the green goop, too. Unless you're French and you like that sort of thing, if so, bon appetite.
You'll want to do the dismembering with authority. Remember, you're showing her that you can defend the hearth from one of nature's fiercest creatures. Cut the tail meat into good-sized chunks, but leave the claws whole.
2 large onions
2 celery stalks
3 large white potatoes
1 bulb of garlic
1 bunch of parseley
2 bay leaves
10 white peppercorns1 tsp sea salt
After you've removed lobster number two and showered him off, place your stock vegetables into the stockpot. Bring them to a boil and then let simmer for 30 minutes. Add your shells to the stockpot and cook for an additional 20 minutes. Strain the stock.
The Pasta and the Sultry Sauce
Heat 1 cup of heavy cream in a small saucepan with 1⁄4 cup chopped tarragon. Sautee 3 large shallots in 3 Tbs olive oil until translucent. Stir in a small pinch of cayenne pepper. Add hot cream and bring to a simmer. Take the opportunity to say ‘hot cream’ as often as possible when your date is in earshot. Why? Well, It can’t hurt.
Reduce slightly and add 1⁄4 cup of hot stock.Bring the stock to a boil and add 1lb. fresh linguine. David, don’t let your noodles get too flaccid — 2 minutes tops. Soggy pasta is an insult to yourself and your mortal enemy, the lobster. It should be “Al Dente.”
While the pasta is boiling, add the lobster meat, the juice of one large or two small limes, more chopped tarragon and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes until the lobster is just set. Add additional stock if the sauce is too thick. It should be loose and plentiful. You don’t want things to seize up when you stick your pasta in.
Drain the pasta, but reserve the stock. This stuff is liquid gold. In northern Maine they’d stab you with a spoon if they saw you spill a single drop!
Add the pasta to the sauce and fold it in with your most gentle love caress. You are, Mr. Neumann, a lover and a fighter. Plate with a twirl. Garnish with a few tarragon leaves and top with 1⁄2 tsp of salmon row.
The Shaved Beet Salad
Shave 1 yellow and 1 red beet with a mandolin. Use the smallest setting that will allow a full slice to come through paper-thin.You may think this step is superfluous but in the seductive art of cooking every gesture has hidden meaning. In this meal you’ve already satisfied her sense of security and tenderness. Now you’ll be saying: If things go pear-shaped, I can always find work as a moyel.
Blanch for 3 to 4 minutes until softened slightly, but still snappy and crunchy. Rinse with cold water.
In a large mixing bowl add the shaved beets, 2 sliced red spring onions, 1⁄4 cup parsley, 1 cup chopped sorrel leaves (oh so lemony), 1 tsp red wine vinegar, 3 Tbs olive oil, pinch of salt, pinch of hot paprika or two and a crack of the green peppercorn mill.
Serve the meal with a couple bottles of chilled Rioja Rosado
Voila! You’ve saved the earth and hopefully you’re well on your way to planting the seeds of a new world. Sweet dreams, David.