“You’re not allowed to have a carafe of wine again”.
In my defense that was said to myself and a friend about a carafe that we split, it was not me on my own. And it was also said because we were being to giggly which could have happened even without the carafe of chianti.
And what else goes with a sicilian pie from L&B Spumoni Gardens? My friends and I are exploring the great pizza places of the five boroughs. Not just the classics (Lombardi’s, Grimaldi’s) but also the newcomers (Forcella, Otto).
So on a Monday night D picked us up and we drove to L&B for their classic pie and of course spumoni. Sauce is a tad sweet and could use fresh herbs, but it was the best Sicilian I have ever had. And the regular round pie looked so good we almost had a second dinner.
So what prompted the giggles? Well, those started as soon as we got in the car. Poor D had two backseat drivers, both equipped with Google Maps that disagreed with his GPS. Between us talking at him and the GPS directions it’s no wonder we did no fewer than three drive bys of the turn. It was like a scene from “European Vacation”, except instead of passing Big Ben and Parliment we were passing the entrance to the BQE. And this amused me and A to no end, prompting unprompted giggles for the rest of the night.
It seems like a bit of a hike for those of us in Manhattan, but L&B is worth it especially if you go with friends who make you laugh.
Yes I know, I love all lobster. But I have never understood why soft shells got a bad rap. Here are the reasons I am a fan:
1) As the article says, soft shell meat is sweeter. No need for melted butter if you’re worried about calories. And if you aren’t the saltiness of the butter is a great contrast to the sweet lobster meat.
2) Although there is less meat, it’s easier to get to more of it. There is meat in the crevices of the body cavity and he spindly legs that is not accessible with hard shells. With soft shells you can break apart the shell with your hands and separate our the cavity meat with your fingers (or a lobster pick if in a nice restaurant). And you can easily suck out the tender leg meat.
3) Lobster crackers are a pain in the ass. No matter how experienced you are you one bad crack and you’re picking shell out of yummy lobster meat.
One of my old boyfriends and his roommate used to make fun of me for the precision with which I would choose ingredients when I cooked for them. My excuses are 1) that I was young and not as confident in my cooking skills and 2) that when my old boyfriend would on occasion shop for groceries he would just bring home the wrong thing – a scallion is not a small leek.
Since that time many many years ago I have gotten more confident in my cooking and have a much better sense of how calling an audible on an ingredient at the grocery store might affect the recipe. I also broke up with said boyfriend (not because of the leek incident) and do my own grocery shopping.
Well I made Spicy Buffalo Chili (Cooking Light) chose to make a switch in meat format. It’s buffalo chili so obviously the recipe calls for buffalo steak, although it offers a substitute of beef sirloin. Whole Foods didn’t have buffalo steak, but did have ground buffalo. I went for it.
The second substitution was roasted minced garlic in place of plain minced. Mainly because knife skills are my worst skill and I have a bottle of minced roasted garlic in my fridge. I defense of my laziness I could have bought pre-diced onions and carrots, but I did those myself.
Now, since I haven’t made this particular recipe before I can’t compare to following the directions exactly. But this had a rich flavor to it and is especially enjoyable outside with a big glass of red.
Don’t be afraid to make shifts if the exact ingredient isn’t available, or if you have a possible substitute already in your pantry. And even if you’re cooking for one chili freezes very well.