Thursday, July 8, 2010

Recipes Not Required

A typical Saturday around here goes something like this:

First, a couple hours at the gym.  Henry will take a spin class (maybe even two, back-to-back) and I will take a sculpt class then my favorite step class.  Or maybe we will just get lazy and take only one spin class together.  Whatever.  In any case, we will sweat.  A lot.

Then showers and a bunch of boring errands.  Oh, our exciting lives.  Think dry cleaners or pet supply store for dog food (remember, we have five).  A small bankruptcy results.

Then lunch.  Not at home.  We've earned it (by our convoluted thinking), so something bad is usually involved.  Like Belgian fries from the Porter Beer Bar or bacon-in-a-glass from Leon's Full Service.  Some wine or beer might be imbibed also.  Last Saturday we went to Eclipse di Luna and shared a bottle of rose.  No wonder we aren't skinny!

After that, it's a trip to the store (or farmer's market) to decide what's for dinner.  Does my life revolve around food or what? 

We figured out a long time ago that Saturday night in an overcrowded restaurant is not for us, so dinner at home is our preference.  Henry says he lives in the best restaurant in Atlanta (flattery will get you everywhere) so I usually cook on Saturday nights.  If the weather is nice, we'll eat outside by candlelight on our front porch, on our patio or in "the Taj" which is the outside room I installed last year in commemoration of Henry's birthday.

Front porch


The "Taj"

Sometimes I get inspired and creative and spend the rest of the afternoon and evening working on dinner.  Sometimes not.  I've been sick with an upper respiratory infection for the last couple of weeks, so I didn't have a lot of energy this past Saturday night.  I came home, took a nap (not usual for me), then got up to throw dinner together.  I didn't want to "slop the hogs" but a lot of effort wasn't on the menu either.

So it ended up being a simple summer supper without a lot of work.  Here's what evolved, without recipes.  I just winged it.  You can, too!

Take cleaned soft shell crabs and rinse.  Dip in flour that has been well-seasoned with salt and pepper.  Heat some canola oil and butter in a large non-stick skillet or saute pan.  Add crabs and saute until crispy, turning once.  Drain on paper towels and serve with lemon wedges.

Rinse peas well and pick through to remove any debris.  Place in a large saucepan and cover with spring water.  Add a little salt and bring to a low boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until peas are just done.  Pour into a colander to drain, then return to pan and add butter, salt and pepper to taste. 

Shuck corn and remove silk.  Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil.  Add corn, turn heat off and cover.  Let sit until ready to serve, then remove corn and blot briefly with a paper towel.  Serve with lots of good butter and salt.

Do I need to say anything else?  Just make sure you salt your tomatoes and mozzarella VERY well.  You can also add a drizzle of good olive oil, if you like.

I even managed dessert.  A Louisana triple creme cheese from John Folse that I served with salted European butter and quince paste.  We took it, along with our leftover wine, into Henry's mancave and watched a back episode of "Treme."

A perfect day, if you ask me!

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