Tuesday, December 27, 2016

prep and final things

Last night, I did the major work for a massive lasagna (it'll actually be several lasagnas, but I like to think of it as a single massive one) that I'll be serving on Wednesday to my boss and coworker when they come over. Nothing fancy: a more or less classic meat-and-tomato sauce plus a cheese layer composed of egg, ricotta, parmesan, and a very soft buffalo mozzarella, plus herbs and seasonings. The one thing I did to jazz the meat sauce up was to include chorizo, which takes the lasagna somewhat out of its normal flavor profile.

I'll register one complaint, though: High Street Market didn't have their regular brand-name Italian sausage; instead, they had a house-made sausage that looked different (grayish, not reddish), smelled different (definitely not Italian), and came loaded with an obnoxious quantity of whole peppercorns. I've been around Italian sausage enough to have seen plenty of whole fennel seeds inside the links, but in my experience, whole peppercorns are a rare thing. So I removed the peppercorns whenever I saw them, but I'm sure I didn't get them all. Here's hoping my guests have an open mind about biting into peppercorns while eating lasagna.

Lunch will include an appetizer of beer-batter shrimp and hush puppies (just because I can) with dipping sauce. There will also be a side of toasted garlic ciabatta along with a caprese salad. To top things off: a choice of "mouce" au chocolat or panna cotta (I'm using real vanilla beans[!], which turned out to be incredible last time).

My boss and coworker normally like my cooking, and at this point, I've brought around ten or twelve dishes to the office, so they have some idea what I'm capable of. I have high hopes that this lunch will go over well. Fingers and tentacles crossed.

This evening, I'm meeting the illustrious and Haaahvuhd-bound Charles for one final dinner before he heads off to the States for about a year. (Read about why he's going and what he'll be doing here and here.) We've settled on Rye Post in Itaewon as our meet-up spot; I'll likely be chowing down on too many of their small-but-delicious sandwiches in the spirit of post-Christmas comfort-foodery.

So the schedule looks like this: prep for Wednesday's lunch, a final goodbye to a good friend, Wednesday's lunch... and on Thursday, I'll be meeting up with my buddy JW and his son for dinner and an evening screening of "Rogue One." Am kind of dreading doing dinner right before the movie: I have a tendency to want to poop not long after having dinner. But JW's wife insisted that we had to meet for dinner—and that JW would be treating me—so I couldn't exactly say no. (Well, I could have said no, but...) My solution, in such cases, is to starve myself well beforehand, and to do some exercise as a way to get the peristalsis going, pushing the freight train out of the tunnel to make room for any new, incoming trains.

Sorry to end on a poop note, but this is why you visit my blog.

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