Sunday, November 18, 2007

Secret Pleasures

When there's no one home but me for dinner, I get to fix myself something on the short list of things that they don't like and I adore. Last night, Ren was in Paris (as John would say, "It sucks to be Ren"), Henry was in San Francisco (probably overdrawing his account), and John was pouring wine at someone else's house in the name of Rotary.

Cheese and mushroom soufflé. Perfect, puffy, well browned and crispy on the edges, creamy and smooth, flavorful on the inside. Tossed salad with beets in balsamic dressing, a just ripe Bartlett pear, Villa Maria Sauvignon blanc, and Dave Brubeck. I light the candles when it is just me too. Why not?

Followed by a hot bath and The Snack Thief, a funny Sicilian mystery thriller by Andrea Camilleri. Recommended for foodies:
"Then eight pieces of hake arrived, enough to feed four people. they were crying out their joy - the pieces of hake, that is - at having been cooked the way God had meant them to be...."Do whatever you want, but don't talk. I'm telling you as a brother, for your own good. Don't talk for any reason in the world. If you interrupt me while I'm eating this hake, I'm liable to wring your neck."

Hake is another name for ling, and I believe we had that joyful fish just the other day.

But I digress. The question is: What do you eat when there is no one else for dinner? Please don't say pop tarts.


ren.decherney said...

When my host parents are away (like this weekend) i get little microwavable chocolate soufflés (Fondant au chocolate by GU) and eat them all myself. Because there's no one here, I don't feel guilty about not sharing and I can make them whenever I want, not just for dessert...

Anonymous said...

When I have dinner alone, I often make homemade macaroni & cheese, which Thad doesn't like. I like using penne pasta. It's a different recipe than I used to make. I used to do the creamy sauce, but this one has just some butter & flour tossed into the hot pasta, then grated cheese stirred in and the whole thing baked. It comes out very crunchy & chewy; very different from the creamy kind, which I also love.

Hunter said...

Toasted cheese sandwiches. Or not toasted cheese sandwiches. Or just standing at the counter eating honking big chunks of cheese.
N.B., I was NOT doing this when I lost those thirty pounds this past summer.

tony and lori said...

Ok, I've not made this for years: preheat broiler. Put several slices of whole wheat bread on a metal tray (I'd use white bread, but it tears too easily), spread slices evenly, crust to crust with Jiff creamy peanut butter (definitely not crunchy type). Put raw chopped bacon on top. Put under broiler till bacon is cooked: curley bacon bits swimming in a nice pool of bacon grease on slightly blackened peanut butter. Wash it down with a big glass of ice cold whole milk (definitely not 2%!!). For music- Rollling Stones, "Get your Ya-Ya's out". The whole album.

John D. said...

Bacon on peanut butter? Wow!

Part of me wants to run upstairs and try it right now and the other part of me thinks "Sure, why not just inject mayo and fois gras directly into my veins?"

How bad could ANYTHING with bacon be?
Is that the world's most perfect food or what?

When Nancy is away in the summer I like to marinate chicken breasts and the grill them with a salad on the side. In the winter it might just be rigatoni with butter and garlic or with bacon, onions and frozen peas.

Or, lots of cheap beer, and two tortillas, cheese and hot sauce fresh out of the micro wave and eaten over the sink. Usually I remember if I have given Coco a bite of the tortilla before I decide whether to put it back in my mouth or give him the rest. The Stones or ZZ Top might be the sound track. Nothing like eating in your sweats while listening to "Sharp Dressed Man".