I just love “the holidays”, don’t you? But, sometimes, things get a little hectic — like this week when I scheduled a holiday lunch at a beachfront restaurant on the same day I was supposed to meet 4 people for an early tapas dinner in a Spanish restaurant. Feeling sorry for me? Hah, I thought not.
I pondered the calendar squeeze the day before and, on a whim, I offered (and they accepted) to do dinner at home. I thought to myself … it’s only 5 people … some family we don’t get to see that often so it would be easier to converse … mom would appreciate the lack of noise and the ability to see her food … and, overall, it would be more comfortable.
But, there wasn’t much time to plan, market, and cook so I peered around my almost empty freezer, refrigerator and pantry. And, then, I just LAUGHED OUT LOUD with glee.
“I got this,” I said to myself. With a little bit of this and little bit of that, I had a menu and I didn’t even have to go to the market for one.single.thing. Not one! Some people keep a kosher kitchen. Apparently, I keep a Spanish one.
So with a little defrosting (shrimp, salmon, chorizo) the night before and some prep in the morning, I had plenty of time to meet friends and enjoy a lobster roll lunch at 50 Ocean in Delray Beach and still be in very good shape when my guests arrived later that day.
A salad of garbanzo beans that had been cooked in chicken broth with diced chorizo, rainbow chard and garlic served with julienned radicchio, fennel, artichoke, red onions, stuffed green olives and a gorgonzola-stuffed and roasted sweet pepper on toast.
Squid ink spaghetti with salmon, shrimp and pulpo roasted with a sauce made from cuttlefish in squid ink, onion, garlic, Sazón with saffron, tomatoes, capers, white wine and clam juice. [Note: the squid ink and pulpo were canned and can be found in Latin section of supermarket.]
Scrumptious! Glad there’s a little leftover pasta – it really soaked up all the flavors and was lip-smacking good.
Note: Not recommending the wine. Beautiful bottle, but it either was on the way to turning or I didn’t like it. We drank an Italian Insolia.
A perfect meal has multiple levels of flavor and textures, bright colors and tastes, and healthy(ish) choices. It's all about enjoyment. Enjoy the process, the presentation and the just rewards...eating!
I've always been a culinary improvisor which means I get my kicks out of recipe development. In the FOODalogue kitchen each meal is an adventure and the journey is as exciting as the destination. My favorite kitchen tools are imagination and intuition. I rarely look at a recipe, not even my own!
On these pages, I suggest food pairings and techniques to be experimented with...in your own kitchen...to your own spice levels...and to your preferred portion sizes.