Friday, September 09, 2011

Culinary Catch-up...

Between the Maine trip, the puppy, general growth and healing, and management of a pithy nine-year old, I've written a half dozen blog posts — in my head. Ah well... Friday is as good a time as any to do a little catching up.

  • The lobster in Maine was good as always, but I have to admit that I'm more a fan of crab these days. Lobster is rich and delicious, but I like the softer flavor of the peaky-toe crabs we have up there. The crab cakes are delicate, and adding crab to a lobster risotto made for a delicious rethinking of a classic.

  • The other night, I had to scrape together a quick entree for a dinner party. There would be kids involved, as well as an adult who has cut meat out of her diet. Without time to go to the store, I pulled a bag of mixed seafood — scallops, shrimp, and calimari — from Trader Joe's out of the freezer. I sauteed up a couple cloves of garlic and a small, chopped onion in olive oil, added a bit of crushed chili and paprika. I sauteed the seafood quickly and added a half cup (or so) of red wine added. That was followed by a can of diced tomatoes and a cup (or so) of vegetable stock. Simmer for 20 minutes and serve with cous cous. Call it a poor man's bouillabaisse or perhaps a scrappy Portugese seafood stew. Whatever you call it, it was great. Thank god for a well-stocked larder.

  • The kid has begun to take her own stock in cooking now. I made Penne al Tonno last night for a quick tasty dinner, and she asked to make her own pot of pasta. Why? So she could make her own pasta for the next day's lunch. On vacation, she made two excellent grilled cheese sandwiches for me. What's next? Risotto?

  • Recent beer stand-outs have included a very nice seasonal bitter at Gritty McDuff's, an excellent Scotch ale from Atlantic Brewing, the BFM merlot cask-aged Grand Cru, and enough Life and Limb to satisfy me until they release it again.