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As my good friend Margo put it so elegantly with a flick of her wrist and a wave of her hand, “Why would you use a lemon when you could use a lime.” On this particular morning, there were no limes in my pantry so I had to make do.

It’s important for a gentleman to show his appreciation, David, and this breakfast dish will insure you enjoy her company again soon. Serve the waffles with bananas you pluck from the tree outside your villa. And, since you’re in St. Barts, replace the maple syrup with the tropical fruit syrup you whipped up the day before.

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Zest of one lime
Zest of one lemon
Zest of one orange
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 tsp ground all spice
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 tablespoon raw sugar
1 large egg, room temp
3/4 cup milk, warmed but not scaled
5 Tbs butter (that’s not a typO, that’s the crispy goodness about to happen)

Plug in your Italian-made shiny chrome waffle iron. Blend the flour, salt, baking powder and sugar in a mixing bowl.

In another mixing bowl, beat the egg and stir in the warm milk. Pour the egg and milk into the flour mixture and beat with a wooden spoon until well blended.

Pour about 1/2 cup of batter into each side of the smoking hot waffle iron. Make sure all the raised parts of the bottom mold are covered with batter. This will insure your waffle will be full-shaped and crispy.

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Mango Syrup

1/2 cup raw sugar
1/2 cup mango puree
1/2 cup water
In a heavy bottomed saucepan, combine the sugar, mango puree and water. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Skim, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

Warm the syrup before you drizzle it over the waffles.

Croquetas de Bacalao

January 15, 2007

I’m not sure who came up with the idea of deep frying bechamel, but I’m now considering polygymy. The contrast of the crisp shell with the hot creamy goodness on the inside is orgasmic. It doesn’t matter which side of the tracks, on which side of the globe your date hails from, David. She’ll swoon.

The Bacalao

1 pound salted cod, preferably the lomo or center cut
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 medium onion, minced
1 serrano pepper, minced
3 Tbs chopped cilantro
2 Tbs olive oil

The first thing to remember about salt cod is that it’s salted. You need to remove the salt unless you’d like an earful of “goodnight”. Submerge the fish in spring water for 24 hours and store in refrigerator. Change the water at least 3 times during the soaking.

Flake the cod and boil in fresh spring water for 8 minutes and drain. Saute the onion in the olive oil until translucent. Add the garlic, serrano pepper and the cod. Sautee for 3 minutes. Add the cilantro, sautee a minute more and remove from the heat.

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The Bechamel

You have to make this sauce a bit thicker than usual so it doesn’t fall apart when you put it in the hot oil. The key is to refrigerate the mixture until completely cold.

3 Tbs butter
1/2 medium onion, minced
3 to 4 Tbs flour
2 1/2 cups hot milk
6 green peppercorns
3 sprigs of thyme
1 bay leaf
2 swipes of whole nutmeg on the nutmeg grater
1 small pinch of salt

Melt the butter slowly in a dutch oven enameled bottom sauce pan. Add the onion and saute on on low heat until translucent and soft.

Stir in the flour 1/2 Tbs at a time and continue cooking 2 minutes more. Whisk in the hot milk slowly until the sauce is smooth. Add the peppercorns, the thyme the bay leaf and salt. Easy on the salt. Grate in the nutmeg and continue cooking for 15 minutes stirring often.

Strain the sauce through a sieve, add the sauteed bacalao mixture and adjust salt. Spread on a cookie sheet and refrigerate.

The Croquetas

With floured hands, roll and shape the bechamel into 1/2-inch balls. Dip in a beaten egg and roll in breadcrumbs to coat.

Heat the oil in a deep skillet or deep fryer to 350 degrees. Fry the croquettes until golden. You can keep these warm in a 200 degree oven for about 30 minutes, but it’s best to eat them right away. Serve with a fino sherry.

Sangrita

January 8, 2007

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I’ve never tried the Prozac, but I imagine it’s effects to be similar. Before we flew over the mountains and past the endless lights of Mexico City, I didn’t imagine an airport to be a destination. I innocently ordered a Cazadores Reposado. The first thing that hit the table was a large cucumber hollowed and filled with a blood red concoction. The elixir was sweet, salty, sour, bitter and umami all at once. As the waiter instructed, I sipped the tequila and the sangrita alternately.

As we headed for Sala 21, a warm feeling came over me. I felt safe, secure, like I had a rocket in my pocket. It was like being in the womb, David, with tequila.

Don Miguel passed me the recipe on the way out in exchange for a big tip.

Sangrita

16 roma tomatoes boiled and peeled or 24 oz tomato puree
Juice of 6 oranges
Juice of 6 limes
1/2 small white onion
2 serrano peppers deseeded
1/2 scotch bonnet deseeded (rub the other half on your genitals)
1 heaping Tbs raw sugar
1 tsp salt

Combine all ingredients in your Oster until smooth. Don’t whip too much air into it, that’s for poofs. Strain and chill. Pour into a hollowed cucumber or mix with a 100% agave and call it a Bloody Maria.

Black Ginger Cookies

January 2, 2007

Just because you bake a few trays of cookies doesn’t mean you’re a metrosexual. It means you know the way to a woman’s heart, and with this recipe, her loins. Don’t be afraid to show sensitivity. It’ll all balance out with the hair pulling.

This recipe was handed down from a Jamaican matchmaker. Think Naomie Harris in Pirates of the Caibbean: Dead Man’s Chest.

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2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, sifted
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground gloves
1/4 tsp salt
2 sticks unsalted butter
1/3 cup packed moscovado sugar
1/4 cup black molasses
1 tsp heavy cream
Turbinado sugar for rolling

Preheat oven to 330º. Grind the spices in a mortar. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. In a bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt and spices. In a separate bowl, beat the butter until creamy. Add the brown sugar and molasses. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. You can use a handmixer or your manly red kitchenaid. Beat in the cream, then beat in the dry ingredients at low speed. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Roll tablespoons of the dough into balls. That’s right, balls. Roll the balls into the sugar. Arrange them on the baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake for 14 to 20 minutes until just set. Ovens vary, so do a test run before you invite her over. Pour 2 snifters of aged rum while the cookies cool. Feed them to her while they’re still warm.