And On Wednesday She Cooked Two Dinners


Monday night I went to Belmont‘s book club meeting where she served an African-inspired hearty, pureed, spicy (canned) squash soup. It was the color of puke but was absolutely wonderful. Perfect for a cold, winter night. All of the bookies are waiting for her to post the semi-elaborate recipe. I do know, however, that she spiked the soup with red wine and whiskey. And right there I vowed to myself to abuse 80’s liquor cabinet on behalf of our meals, kinda like this truffle amazingness. A selfless host indeed, Belmont took the time to shake up a blood orange vinaigrette and a salad full of fresh spinach and blood orange segments and the bitch doesn’t even like fruit. She’s a real crowd pleaser. Plus the from-scratch vanilla pudding.

So that was Monday.

Tuesday I attended a press dinner at the very new Inox. It was all the way out in Tysons so I was <this close> to not trekking out there. But, good lord, I’m glad I sacrificed some oil for the tasting dinner:

  • endive salad with blood orange (two salads with blood orange in two days!) paired with the creamiest nugget of bleu cheese – and I hate that usually funky shit;
  • red snapper in a lively ginger-lemongrass curry bouillon which also had beautiful indigo colored-basil seeds floating around – had a great, and surprising, kick;
  • lobster, glorious lobster;
  • pink slices of pan seared duck downed with bites of artichoke, fennel, olives and sun dried tomato;
  • crispy, meaty skate wing and a pudgy scallop;
  • elderflower soup which scared the shit out of me because it looked exactly like a jellyfish (did anyone else get forced to watch seven pounds??);
  • a chocolate bread pudding with – GET THIS – kalamata olive oil sherbert infused in the creaminess. First you receive traditional chocolate, but then it’s salty, and tangy, and briny and holy shit it tastes like an olive, but there is no olive, just the essence of an olive. It’s a real trick on your brain. A beautiful trick that I would gladly fall for again;
  • fruity, light, juicy pineapple dessert, but I couldn’t keep my tongue away from the chocolate-oliveness;
  • ended with petits fours;
  • lots of wine throughout served by the cockiest, driest sommelier I’ve ever encountered. His demeanor was actually refreshing compared to the normal ass kissing wine expert. He was still kinda a dick though. But only in the nicest possible way.

So that was Tuesday. And sorry, Amy, for taking the LONG way home.

Anyway, I was tired from two nights out, plus I’d been living with a cold for the past few days, and I was excited to get back into the kitchen. It’s funny how much I missed it there. And this is how I know I’m really crazy. You know how everyone is like, oh, I only want to make one meal, one meal in one pot, something easy on a week night. Well, I like cooking so much that I enjoy making 80 and I different dinners. They’re usually similar in scope, but contain different ingredients.

Here goes crazy.

Well, it wasn’t that crazy but I could have made it easier on myself for a Wednesday when I didn’t get home until 7:30 and I had both LOST and Top Chef/Live Blog to tend to. We love you Carla!

Turkey-Bacon-Potato-Havarti Onesie / Sweet Potato-Spinach-Feta Onesie

I boiled one regular potato for 80 and a sweet one for me. It didn’t take as long as I thought to boil, maybe 20 minutes, so that was exciting. While that was boucing around in the hot water, I slightly charred a red pepper (which I later diced) wilted spinach, minced garlic and cooked one slice of bacon.

After I removed the bacon I swiped a silicone brush over the residual fat and greased a small pyrex with it. I diced the cooked potato and then tossed it in the bacon-greased glass dish with salt and pepper. I also tossed in there:  some of the red pepper, raw garlic, wilted spinach, smoked turkey (um, the best smoked turkey ever from the same counter as the now-famous bacon cheese) and little bits of havarti. I threw that in an oven to heat through for less than 10 minutes. I then layered a bit more of the havarti on top and threw it under the broiler for some quick melting action.

Mine was much simpler and sans bacon. I mashed up my sweet potato with spinach, raw garlic (it only slightly cooked so it kept a nice bite to contrast with the creamy potato) feta, herbs de provence, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper and threw that under the broiler to heat up as well.

Two separate dinners in under 45 minutes. Fuck that 30 minute propaganda.

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  • Maids February 26, 2009  

    Ya know, I was encouraging the BF to read Endless Simmer this morning, an idea he scoffed at because, although he loves many of the contributors, he says he finds cooking boring (diagnosis ADD). Anyway, now I’m kinda glad he doesn’t read ES. Cooking a separate meal for your honey, gansie, chock full of ingredients he will eat but you will not? Way to make the rest of us look bad. If the BF read this post I’d never hear the end of it.

  • BS February 26, 2009  

    1 – that tasting menu sounds A-MAZING. I think I would even drive to NoVa for that.
    2- If you just got over it and learned to love the bacon you wouldn’t have to cook a seperate meal for the bf (same goes for him on learning to love veggies)
    3- I love that you used the term “onesie” at first I actually thought you were using some fancy French cooking term that I didn’t know — On-ee-see or something like that

  • Amy February 27, 2009  

    No worries, Gansie! I’d take trips twice as long to have that Kalamata olive dessert again.

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