Speaking of Martha

I couldn’t for the life of me finish a post I was working on yesterday (not the one that actually got posted).  What brought me out of the funk?  Cookbooks, of course.  The new books cart rolled on by, and I snagged not one, but two cookbooks to keep me busy for the next few weeks.  If all else fails, food helps me feel good about life every time.

Winning book number one is Two Dudes, One Pan: Maximum flavor from a minimalist kitchen. It looks like something I might want to keep around for longer than the one-month library loan period.  One of the recipes that made me want to head towards the closest kitchen is Grouper with Lemon-Caper Butter.  Have I mentioned that I think butter should be a food group (and not that stinky tiny one at the top of the pyramid)?

Winner number two is Martha Stewart’s Dinner at Home: 52 quick meals to cook for family and friends.

Now, I don’t believe Martha for a second when she says “quick meals.”  I’ve been through this issue with her before.  Her idea of quick, according to this cookbook, includes menus like this:

Baby lamb chops with lemon strips

Asparagus with aioli

Quinoa, pea, and mint salad

Vanilla-poached rhubarb

My idea of quick usually includes cereal or leftovers.  If Martha wanted to turn my love-hate relationship with her into a love-love relationship, all she would have to do is change the names of her cookbooks.  Instead of defining her meals as quick, she could call them complex or dinner-party-worthy.  In my opinion, both of those are more accurate descriptions than “quick.”  I love her recipes.  They tend to be well-written and have delicious results.  It’s just her assumption that anybody can make vanilla-poached rhubarb in a flash that bothers me.  If I’m going to make something like that, Martha had better acknowledge that it’s a special occasion.

And finally, on this day-o-recipes, I’ll leave you with an idea that a co-worker passed along to me.  Her husband cooks for her, and he made grilled lettuce the other day.  Sounded sketchy at first, then quickly transitioned to the tasty category.  Now this is quick, Martha:

Ingredients

1 head of Romaine lettuce

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

Chevre (a.k.a. goat cheese)

Homemade vinaigrette dressing

Instructions

Okay, first you slice the lettuce in half (vertically), then you drizzle some olive oil on the sliced side of both halves.  Next you place the lettuce on the grill sliced-side down, drizzle the other side and flip when you feel the urge.  No, I don’t know what it’s supposed to look like when properly grilled.  Sorry.  I would guess sometime before it’s a drooping mess of lettuce and/or before it’s burned.

After both sides of the lettuce have been on the grill, you add salt, pepper, vinaigrette and chevre to your heart’s desire.  I’m guessing that a few crumbles of bacon and some roasted pine nuts wouldn’t hurt, either.  Mmm.  Thanks, Ron!

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