Well, the Mendon Foodie is another year older today. Ugh! Not that I mind, really. I like myself so much better as a wise (okay, wise-ass) 40 something (okay, late forty-something) than I ever did before. When I hit forty, I left behind caring what other people thought of me, (to a large extent) and decided that what I thought about myself was most important. However, I still reserve the right to judge your bad cooking. You can judge me if you want, I just won't care.
I am taking a well-deserved birthday break from cooking today. I did make eggs and toast this morning, but only because I wake up at ungodly hours of the morning and I just don't think it would be humane to force Steve to get up at 5:30 to make me breakfast when he didn't come to bed until 2:00. A wonderful friend invited me to lunch today, at the restaurant of my choosing. I chose Simply Crepes. I prefer restaurants where they actually cook the food, as opposed to heating up something frozen. And don't kid yourselves, most of the national chains cook food that comes to them pre-done in some fashion. Do you think Pizzeria Uno could make the pizza taste the same at every store if they relied on the workers to make it from scratch? Hardly. I haven't written too much about restaurants as this is really a cooking blog, but I think I may have to delve into that topic with more frequency. I don't go out to eat very often, as I usually think what I can make at home is better, but a restaurant where they really cook, and care about the quality is a treat. I shall enjoy it today.
So breakfast is over, lunch is in the bag, what about dinner?
Well, if Steve could cook ( he thinks he can cook, mostly he stirs things. And when he tries to cook he makes giant messes. He can use every dish in the kitchen to cook some pasta and heat up some leftover red sauce.) I would have him make something along these lines:
First, I would want something to start that goes well with champagne. You all know by now how I feel about champagne, or rather, sparkling wine, since champagne is out of my budget, mostly. I love Perrier Jouet and would be exceedingly happy to start out with a bottle of it. To nosh along with it, perhaps Smoked Salmon with Crispy Shallots, since it is winter and we can't use the grill. Otherwise, I would probably want some grilled shrimp with a pistachio chutney or perfectly grilled flatbread or pizza with goat cheese and kalamata olives and basil.
Next, I must have a fabulous salad. Maytag blue cheese, glazed walnuts, korean pear, and artisan baby lettuces with a honey-red wine vinaigrette. Nothing better. Ever.
For a main course, I think I would have Steve make something meaty. You can't go wrong with a nice expensive cut of meat. I am partial to rack of lamb, rib eye steak, and veal chops. With no grill available until spring, my mouth waters thinking about the juicy, buttery meat sizzling right off the grill, with a mint chimichurri sauce to really bring the flavor alive. (And yes, I know the grill still works and I not too wimpy to stand out there and grill in the cold, but experimentation has taught me that the ambient temperature needs to be at least 40 degrees in order for the grill to get hot enough to sear meat properly.)
Dessert? Hmm, creme brulée maybe?
And so, I'm also not leaving you with any recipes today, just go cook something good. And send me the recipe. Think of it as a birthday gift to me. If I like it, I'll publish it. If I don't like it, well, just this once, I won't make fun of it.
You see, I think what it boils down to is that I think good food doesn't have to be complicated. Fresh, good quality food doesn't require fancy preparations, just some care and good techniques. So skip the romaine in a bag and wash the damn artisan baby lettuce once in a while. It's worth it. Let me know how it goes.