Call it a ‘death row supper“, a ‘last supper‘ or, perhaps less harsh, your ‘favorite meal‘. That’s this month’s challenge for the Creative Cooking Crew.
I faced a dilemma because I’m not immediately taken back to a childhood meal as some people might be — or to my first, well, anything. And, I’m fickle. I have just too damn many food ‘loves’.
I love pasta.
I love fish, especially fatty salmon and seafood like lobster and shrimp.
I love decadent delicacies like foie gras and caviar.
In the meat category, I like (and eat) it all but as far as “love”, I’d have to give that up to sausage (especially Italian with fennel or Spanish chorizo).
And, yet, I love all things fresh – like crisp salads with interesting ingredients and beautifully dressed.
I love veggies, raw or roasted with olive oil and seasoned.
I love anything cooked simply, especially Asian style if flavored with sesame oil and rice vinegar.
I love umami and the yin and yang of savory, sweet, sour, bitter and salty.
I love bread, especially a good quality artisinal variety that’s been toasted or grilled.
I love cheese, olives, nuts and all type accoutrements.
And I love them all even more if they’re paired with wine.
You see my problem?
The one thing I don’t love is a smorgasbord of mixed cuisines so I had to narrow it down to one. I chose Italian. And, if it was going to be my last meal, it was going to be 3-courses. Calories be damned!
* * *
The Last Supper in 3 Courses
First Course Antipasto
broccoli rabe and white bean puree crostini
grilled shrimp and roasted tomato
fresh mozzarella with basil and rosy goat cheese
fire-roasted baby artichokes
cerignola and oil-cured olives
with my current favorite white wine (a Verdejo from Spain)
Pasta with sausage and caponata (Sicilian style with raisins, capers, orange zest), topped with a dollop of ricotta, then finished with parmigiano reggiano, toasted pignoli nuts and red chili flakes.
red wine (a Spanish reserva)
Italian Regina “S” cookie — and, just for the hell of it, a shot of Sambuca with chocolate covered expresso beans to see me off.
* * *
The Aha! Moment
Originally I couldn’t decide between caponata or broccoli rabe for the pasta so I cooked them both. But, thankfully, because this was not actually my ‘last’ meal — and I couldn’t really eat it all in one sitting as shown — I had leftovers.
So, the next day, I mixed some of the broccoli rabe with the pasta and caponata. Aha! I loved them together. Even better than individually. The broccoli rabe added a bitter note to the heat and sweet of the caponata.
So … what would you have for your last meal? Does something immediately come to mind or would you have to struggle like me?