March 11, 2011

Hell has frozen over (so let's eat asparagus rollups)

You mean you didn't notice? You assumed that the cold weather last Saturday was just another winter's day? Well it wasn't. It was slightly colder, due to hell freezing over and all: Graybeard cooked me dinner.

Never had this been done. I didn't think it could be done. In five years it had never happened. Now, Graybeard is good at everything (except drawing, as I like to remind him in order to keep his head small enough to be supported by his neck). However, very early in our relationship he laid the groundwork for shucking all kitchen duties by asking me whether canned corn needs to be refrigerated. As in, an unopened can of corn. I was incredulous at his lack of knowledge of all things kitchen, and he has perpetuated the ruse with great tenacity, asking me questions such as "How do I heat up this soup?", "How do I defrost an English muffin?", and "Why is it cold inside of a refrigerator? And what's a refrigerator anyway?" (Though it is possible that I'm remembering that last one wrong.)

To Graybeard's credit, he has heated up frozen burritos all by himself, and occasionally he pours his own cereal.

Once, about a year ago, his facade did start to crack when we discovered Diaya. One day he decided that he wanted a grilled (vegan)cheese sandwich badly enough to make one himself when I was busy. The sandwich looked so good that I asked him to make me one too. And it was fantastic. He (vegan)buttered both sides and somehow grilled it to golden perfection. At the time I thought it was a fluke, beginner's luck, as a grilled cheese sandwich is relatively easy to make. Though it was then that I began to suspect that I was being duped...

And now I know I was. This Valentine's Day we were too busy packing for our San Francisco trip to celebrate, so we postponed it until last Saturday. Instead of taking me out to dinner, Graybeard decided to cook for me. Big mistake. The remains of the facade have crumbled. He is a fantastic cook and now I know it.

So in this installment of The Carnivorous Vegan I will be sharing Graybeard's recipes. He started with an appetizer:

Prosciutto and melon, which we ate almost every night during our honeymoon in Italy. Ingenious. Simple, yet fancy and tasty, calling to mind memories of death-defying rides up winding mountain roads in Positano, worth it to sit high in the hills overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea eating prosciutto y melon. All he needed to make this was prosciutto, cantaloupe, and a knife.

And then a second appetizer:

Asparagus rollups. There were more, but we ate them. Graybeard even adapted a recipe to make it dairy-free, which I've included below. He can't remember exactly how much he used of everything, so adjust the recipe to your own taste.

Then a salad:

You can't see them, but in the salad are cranberries and pecans.

Simple, yet delicious, marinated chicken, steamed broccoli, and a baked potato.

Best Valentine's Day ever. I felt so doted upon. It was wonderful to be cooked for by my sweetie pie. Graybeard went a little overboard with the amount of food, but that just meant leftovers to be enjoyed the next day.

Oh, Graybeard. Just keep in mind that you're not good at drawing, okay? And can Sundays be your night to cook from now on?

Asparagus Rollups

1 dozen asparagus spears
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
3 Tbsp fresh parsely
2 Tbsp fresh basil
pinch of crushed red pepper
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
12 thin slices of prosciutto

Bend the asparagus toward the end until it snaps and discard the bottom part. Steam the asparagus until tender, about 5 minutes.

In a food processor, blend garlic, parsley, basil, and crushed red pepper, adding olive oil a little at a time until the mixture becomes paste-like. Some small chunks are okay.

Lay out the slices of prosciutto, and spread about 1 tsp paste on each one. Roll one slice around each asparagus spear. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

For you dairy eaters, this recipe also called for 2 Tbsp of Parmesan cheese to be blended into the mixture, and 12 slices of provolone cheese, which you lay on top of the prosciutto and spread the paste on before rolling around the asparagus.

Lemon Chicken Marinade

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 Tbsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
4 cloves garlic, chopped

Put everything into a food processor until well blended. The mixture will be opaque and kind of thick. Marinade the chicken in the mixture for 4-8 hours. Simple, yet very flavorful.

1 comment:

  1. It's so sweet he made a meal for you and took in to consideration your dietary requirements! It looks delicious!