If you've lived in the same town as me, you know I enjoy cooking for my friends. If you could come over tonight, here's what I'd be serving:
Dirty 007 Martinis
Tuna Steaks with tomatoes, olives, and herbs
Sweet potato Oven Fries
silhouette Fudge Bars
If you come see me soon, I'll create this just for you. Otherwise, you can recreate an evening with me as follows:
Plan on Dinner at 7.
Stand in your living room and play some sort of stimulating noise loudly for two minutes. Arriving at my house is never simple...I bluster about and talk loudly.
Put on Beck's Sea Change for background music
Necessary discussion about the corruption of Tom Delay and the abuse of Christianity's good name and message by the Radical Right, whilst you make yourself a cocktail.
007 Dirty Martini
Based upon the popular version at Moscow on the Hill in St. Paul...
1 Part Vodka (using Absolut right now since that's what I can get here)
1 Part Bombay Sapphire
dash of tobasco
1/2 part dry vermouth
splash of olive juice
Pour the above over ice and shake....sieve into glass filled with three green, pimento stuffed martini olives.
Normally we'd talk about our bad weeks while we cook...read Satan in the Office entry and write something similar for yourself. Periodically imagine me agreeing and saying something pithy. Oh. And we'd cover your love life (we know I don't have one) and my difficulty figuring out what to do next, and then maybe we'd discuss Footballer's Wives or some other tv show.
Now, time for dinner...it's probably 7:45 by now, so make another martini, or switch to a Manhattan for security. By the way, it's probably time to switch music. I'm probably going for Chet Baker or Brubeck next.
Cut up 1 smallish sweet potato per person into oven fry shape, preferably a bit thin as opposed to chunky. Toss with Penzey's Fox Point and a little olive oil, and then spread single-layer on a cookie sheet and roast in a 400F oven. (Takes about 20 minutes, but if you follow the order given here without pause, there's no need to time.) Oh. And on the other shelf, put an oven proof dish in there that can hold the tuna and some saucy bits, say a ceramic lasagna pan.
Now the tuna. Take out a fresh tuna steak and rinse it. Salt and pepper to each side. Heat a pan. Heat some olive oil in that pan. Toss in tuna steak, 3 - 5 minutes per side. You want it pretty brown seared outside, slightly pink inside. Really. That slightly pink adds to the experience.
While tuna is searing, mince two cloves of garlic, finely chop one smallish medium sweet yellow onion, and about 14 green olives (use the same ones in the martini...they'll give a vaguely caper-like flavor to the sauce.)
Put the green beans in the microwave and steam them, just under done so they can sit awhile if necessary without getting overdone.
When each side of the tuna is seared, take out the oven-proof pan, move the tuna in there and then cover loosely with foil.
Flip the oven fries now, and put back in the oven.
Now, a little more olive oil in the pan. Add the onions and garlic, make them translucent, then add one can of chopped tomatoes and the chopped olives. Fresh ground pepper to taste, no salt needed with the tinned 'maters. Simmer this until it reduces. Cover and let sit until fries are done.
Okay....we're ready to plate. Put some of that tomato ragu on the plate and place a piece of tuna on that. On the remainder of the plate you'll cover 1/3 with green beans (I don't dress mine because they're fresh and delicious plain,) and 1/3 with oven fries.
Grab a glass of red wine and enjoy.
You can dictate our dinner conversation. Here are some topics:
the new Pope and why the Catholic church makes me mad
How much I hate the weather
Books I've read or am reading: Sharon and my Mother-In-Law, The Tipping Point, Blink, Time Traveller's Wife, Sleeping Arrangements, Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith, Small Island
Music (open to lots of things)
Racism and sexism in the UK (both more prevalent than at home)
Give me something outrageous or objectionable to say once in awhile. You know I like my shock value.
When you're ready for it, grab that Silhouette bar and savor the chocolatey goodness.
See...almost like being with me.