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by Baby Huey
Ok, so I'll start this pre-Valentine's Day post by saying I fucking hate Valentine's Day. I call it Singles Awareness Day. Michele's Gauntlet article today says exactly what I want to say much more eloquently. Men, be good to your women (or men) every day. Women, same can be said for you.
That being said, I love romance. And since we Americans most associate romance with tomorrow, I will join the fun and help other people get laid (since god knows I'm not). I've put together a full romantic meal that, if you pull this off (and it's not hard -- dinner only took an hour, dessert 45 minutes) you are SO in.
Rather than give you the individual recipes, I'm going to give you a menu and an order in which to do things. It will make your life much easier.
Baby Spinach and Gorgonzola Salad with Mascerated Cherries
That sounds fancy, right? It's not that hard to make!
3 c cabernet sauvignon wine
Place an ovenproof skillet in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Place the cherries in a bowl with 1 c of the wine and put in the microwave for 2 minutes, then let it set for 10 minutes. Strain the cherries but reserve the wine.
In a large zip bag, add the cocoa, cayenne, 1 Tbsp black pepper, and 2 Tbsp salt, and mix well. Add the steaks and coat completely. Press the seasoning in. Allow them to sit for at least 20 minutes. They should be at room temperature.
Heat 1 Tbsp the olive oil in a 3 qt saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, cherries and rosemary. Add 1 Tbsp of the remaining salt and the remaining pepper. Cook this mixture for about 5 minutes, till the veggies are soft. Add the rice and toast for about 1 minute. Drop the heat a bit, add the wine, and stir until the wine is almost completely absorbed.
At this point, take the skillet out of the oven, add the peanut oil, and put it over medium high heat. Add the steaks and sear on one side for 5 minutes.
While the steaks are searing, you should be adding the water, 1/4 c at a time, to the rice. Stir until the liquid is absorbed, and then add a bit more.
After 5 minutes, flip the steaks and put in the oven for 5 minutes for medium rare. Continue adding water to the rice -- you're going to use most, if not all, of that 2 cups.
When the steaks come out, put on a plate, cover tightly with aluminum foil, and allow to rest for 15 minutes. In the skillet that you cooked the steaks in, over high heat, add the beef stock and remaining salt and boil the shit out it, till it's down to about half a cup. Add the wine and boil it down till you're back to about 3/4 c.
At this point the risotto should just be done. Add the parmesean cheese and 1 Tbsp of the butter. Add the other 2 Tbsp of the butter to the sauce.
To make the salad, Toss the spinach with the gorgonzola and remaining chopped cherries. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice.
See? That really wasn't that hard.
Pears poached in Cabernet Syrup with Cocoa Dust and Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
1 bottle cabernet sauvignon (preferably the same kind you had above)
Bring the wine, sugar, and orange juice to a simmer over medium-low heat. When the sugar's dissolved, add the peeled pears and simmer for 30 - 45 minutes, till a knife *just* goes in easily. Start testing at 30 minutes, but realize it may take longer if your pears aren't very ripe.
Cut the pears in half length-wise and remove the core with a melon baller. Place the still-warm pears over a scoop of ice cream and sprinkle with the orange zest. Add a spoonful of cocoa powder to a small strainer, and tap with a spoon to dust the pears. Garnish with fresh mint leaves.
There it is. If that doesn't get you laid, then you're as pathetic as ... well, as me.
Happy Singles Awareness Day, fuckers.
This week's album is slightly less romantic.
RIYL: Dark Tranquillity, God Dethroned, Kreator
This is the first time I've said “this album will definitely be on my Top 10 of the Year list” so far in 2007. This album is unbelievably awesome from the very beginning. A concept album about a man on a killing spree who believes he was sent by God, Holy Murder Masquerade starts with ominous church bells and a man saying “Bless me father, for I will sin” and then BOOM. Right into the music. The band is Swedish and they definitely take some influence from their countrymen, as there's definitely a Gothenburg sound to it, but it also draws heavily from European and Bay Area thrash metal too, as is evidenced by some seriously kickass solos. If you liked their last album Hellucinate, you'll probably like Holy Murder Masquerade even more.
Recommended Tracks: "Three For One", "The Confession", "Everlasting Punishment", "Bloodcraft", "Holy Murder Masquerade"