The Official MI Husband will be
getting lost attending a conference in Boston until Wednesday, possibly even sporting his sexysexy Contract Pharma sweater vest during the work day! (Or so I hope — I don’t think he believes me when I tell him a woman can’t be held responsible for the things she’ll do to a man in a sweater vest. Is it the barely concealed laughter or the rolling eyes that give me away?)
His absence leaves me roaming the halls of the palatial VM Estates by my lonesome, but instead of moping about, I plan to do stuff I don’t have the chance to when he’s around — not watch even one second of basketball or Sports Center and cook a lot of things he won’t eat. The toughest part of avoiding basketball is deciding which LOTR movie I should watch, but cooking involves a newly developed strategy for meal selection: I’ll make the most olfactorily offensive foods early in the week to give the house a chance to recover before his return. On successive days, the foods will (in theory) be less offensive to his nose, while remaining esthetically displeasing in other areas. Olives come to mind.
So last night I started my alone-time with a bagna cauda. Actually, I’m not sure how Gil feels about the taste of anchovies, but I’m pretty sure the fishy smell would leave him in a weakened state. Having a big bowl of bagna cauda around all evening would’ve been too tempting for me, so I decided to use it as a topping on grilled hearts of romaine and leave the rest as an offering to the wood gods behind the house. Instead of using raw garlic as most recipes call for, I used a head of leftover roasted garlic; I think it mellowed the sauce quite a bit, and played nicely with the mild lettuce.
Tonight there will be brussels sprouts and ROTK! Boy, don’t you wish you were here?
recipe after the jump
Grilled Romaine with Bagna Cauda
I’ve been meaning to try a grilled chicory or endive salad and planned to use the bagna cauda on that, but once again, our local grocery store stymied my plans. Curses! Foiled again!
1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium head roasted garlic (or 1/2 medium head minced raw garlic)
1/2 tin anchovies packed in olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
3 hearts of romaine (endive or chicory would make an excellent substitute)
Mash garlic and anchovies to a paste with a mortar and pestle. Heat olive oil over medium-low heat and add paste, stirring until fragrant and cooked through, about 3 minutes. Whisk in butter a tablespoon at a time until emulsified.
Cut hearts of romaine in half lengthwise and wash thoroughly. Dry well.
Oil grill grate and place romaine halves on grill cut side down. Grill for a few minutes, until romaine is charred and begins to soften. Flip with a spatula and spoon a little bagna cauda over the top. Close grill and allow to cook for a few minutes, until romaine is charred all over, but not falling apart. Serve immediately.