Thursday, April 23, 2009


As it turns out, Wednesday nights are the only night that me and my live in Holly have off together without distractions. So it's every Wedensday that I do my best to cobble together a meal that looks and tastes respectable. Holly and I had a streak of dining at El Camino in Brunswick, which we love. I think (winces and braces for the impact of Joe's fist) that El Camino is the best Mexican food in Maine. Not the best I've had mind you, but the best around. That and the decor and music in there have a transportative quality. Nice job Jeff!

After breaking our chain of eat out dates, we've really tried to step up our game and have tried to make food at home. By we, of course I mean me because Holly is too busy either agonizing over which Tom Petty record to put on, showering or cleaning up Crusty Pete's poop while I cook (I'm on food detail, she does laundry. It's a good arrangement for both of us.)

A couple of weeks ago we made Wild Mushroom and Ricotta stuffed Raviolis and a traditional Marinara from scratch. The sauce took an orange-ish hue after whipping it in the blender, but it tasted amah-zing.

The next week we hosted the 7th Annual Way Too Early Bar-B-Cue (There will be a separate post on this ongoing event) which was all steaks PBRs and burgers. Any BBQ hosted without Bubbies Bread and Butter pickle slices is hardly a BBQ at all.

The next week Crusty Pete decided to cook for everyone by warming up some leftovers, which was VERY thoughtful AND delicious. How did we get so lucky? Really? Asshole.

The following meal was some sort of stuffed serrano wrapped chicken something or other which was way too heavy but delicious. This meal sent us directly to bed. Two days later I made a "pasta thingy" with ziti with sauteed cheese, shallots, garlic and orange bell peppers. Holly managed to assemble a perfect bite. We listened to Tom Petty's "Highway Companion" this night.

Last night's date night was special as we were joined by Stu who was looking forlorn and attention starved in the basement. Three's company!

We headed to Whole Paycheck and picked up the following items.

1 1/2 pounds of haddock
1/2 pound of fresh crabmeat
1 head of garlic
3 shallots
rainbow chard
a bundle of asparagus
2 lemons
2 bottles of Chateau de Flaugergues ($16.99 retail) recommended by the Mighty Jon Deitz (Thank's Jon.)

We got home, unloaded the groceries, cracked the wine and put Burt Bacharach's soundtrack for "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" on the turntable.

I halved each of the haddock fillets and placed approximately 2 ounces of crab meat mixed with sea salt, cracked pepper, minced garlic and herbs on to each fillet and rolled them up. Placed into a baking pan and added white wine (Martin Codax Alberino to be exact, not that it matters that much) a third stick of melted butter and the juice of a whole lemon. I topped them with herbs and S+P and baked them at approximately 400 degrees (kind of a mystery considering the stove is about as reliable as the slum lord we rent our house from) for about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, Stu cooked and mashed some Yukon Gold potatoes with herbs, butter, sea salt, cracked pepper, shallots and a horseradish mayonnaise (FUCKING YUM!)

Then I steamed some asparagus and sauteed the rainbow chard and watercress in a mix of olive oil, butter and balsamic vinegar with S+P until they started to wilt.

With everything timed pretty much perfectly, I placed the greens on each plate, layed the haddock atop each mound balanced up against a heap of Stu's Horseradish Mashed YGPs and arched steamed asparagus over the lot. Each plate was garnished with a warm balsamic vinegar and olive oil drizzle, lemon zest and S+P. We then put The Beatle's "Magical Mystery Tour" on the record player and cracked another bottle of wine.

Great pairings all around. I know some of you are like "a Languedoc with haddock? EEEEEWWWWWW!" To which I respond "Shut the fuck up, I've worked with David Bowie. BITCH!"

After the meal Holly had a Throat Coat tea and went to bed and Stu and I drank more wine, contemplated existence (WE ARE THE ALIENS!!!) and were joined by Ricchio around 2:00am and closed out the evening watching Yacht Rock until we all passed out.

PS: after crawling up to be Holly awoke and pulled the old sensi/emo card by asking spitefully, "Who came over?!? (implied sneer)."

*sigh* "Joe, goodnight cranky."

Apparently The Nunz had entertained in her half sleeping state that we were entertaining a bevy of beauties on the basement, when in reality I was three 30 somethings huddled around a computer screen in the basement talking about Star Trek.


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