WHAT’S A HUSBAND TO DO?
LET HER EAT LOBSTER!
OK, the economy’s KO’d and my birthday was approaching… what to wish for? Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend (I certainly love them), but the price – not so friendly. I could use some reporter notebooks, but my reporter notebook store doesn’t carry them anymore, and I do need some new business cards, but can’t make up my mind what info to put on them. Clothes are out of the question. Gone are the days when I was a perfect 4/6. Now I have to try everything on. Frankly, there was really nothing I wanted or needed. I didn’t even want to go out for a ‘fancy’ dinner. So…….. What’s a husband to do? Well, he can make one of my favorite meals. And Richard did! Lobster! In this case, the hugest lobster tails I’ve ever seen.
But first we started w/ a creamy, garlicky tomato gazpacho w/ crunchy pecorino that he made from a Melissa Clark recipe he found in the NY Times (see below). Yum! This was so not Campbell’s tomato soup.
Then came the steamed lobster tails w/ clarified dipping butter, and my favorite “sides” of perfectly baked potato (crusty skin and wonderfully mushy interior) w/ butter and fresh chopped chives, and steamed asparagus w/ more butter (Julia’s right – butter, butter, butter!!!) and fresh lemon. This was not your everyday Red Lobster lobster meal, but a The Palm lobster meal w/o the outrageous check.
No birthday cake for me, however. I like a simple layer cake now and again, but I don’t love it. What I do love and what Richard served me was a thick slice of triple rich, triple creamy Le Delice de Bourgogne cheese and tantalizingly sweet strawberries w/ a balsamic reduction.
When the meal was over, he even did the dishes.
All in all – except for the ‘year older’ part, it was a wonderful birthday. Thank you, sweetheart.
Creamy, Garlicky Tomato Gazpacho w/ Crunchy Pecorino
6 tablespoons grated pecorino Romano
2 large tomatoes (about 1 pound) cored & roughly chopped
1-1/2 cups (12 oz) plain sheep’s-milk or regular yogurt
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, more for serving
12 basil leaves, roughly chopped, more for serving
2 large garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
2 scallions (white & light green parts), roughly chopped
2 ice cubes
1-3/4 teaspoons kosher salt, more to taste
1-1/2 teaspoons red wine vinegar, more to taste
A pinch cayenne pepper
Ground black pepper to taste
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.
Spread 2 tablespoons cheese into a thin layer in skillet; let melt and brown on bottom, about 30 seconds to one minute. Use a spatula to flip cheese; let cook until evenly browned on both sides, about a minute more. Transfer fried cheese to a paper-towel-lined plate. Repeat w/ remaining cheese, working 2 tablespoons at a time. Break fried cheese into large pieces.
To make soup, place tomatoes, yogurt, olive oil, basil, garlic, scallions, ice cubes, salt, vinegar, cayenne and black pepper in a blender. Puree until smooth. Taste and add more salt & vinegar, if necessary. Pour into small bowls and garnish w/ pieces of fried cheese and chopped basil. Drizzle soup liberally w/ olive oil.
Time: 20 minutes
Yield: 4 servings