I can’t believe I let Valentine’s Day go by without posting about this.
The other day, I was digging around in Sam’s fridge, and found a bottle of rosé wine I’d bought ages ago and never used. I opened it and poured myself a glass; it was gently floral, floaty-light, sweet without being syrupy. Then I did some more digging, and found a bag of frozen raspberries in the freezer. Then the wheels started turning…and the result was a delicious and slightly different take on raspberry sauce.
When Sam was a kid, he spent summers at his grandparents’ house in Maine. It was there that he got well and truly schooled in the art of eating lobster: the cracking of the shell, the careful extraction of the meat, the gentle dunk in a sunny pool of butter. His eyes still shine when he talks about it.
But we don’t live in Maine. Sam doesn’t often get to eat lobster anymore. Except on special occasions, like, whatever’s happening tomorrow.
It’s not really a surprise that lobster shows up often around Valentine’s Day. It’s the kind of sweet, succulent indulgence most of us only get very rarely, if at all. And very little needs to be done to it to make it sparkle.
So, in honor of my lobster-loving boyfriend, here’s a nifty twist I came up with on a classic special-occasion splurge: lobster “risotto” made with orzo pasta and lots of champagne.
Sometimes, cooking is just manipulating ingredients. And sometimes it’s thisclose to alchemy.
For example. Say, for Valentine’s Day, you decided to make chocolate mousse. You could melt chocolate, separate eggs, whip cream, beat egg whites, fold airy ingredients into melted ones, and chill for hours before serving. Or you could whip up a lush, impossibly light mousse in about five minutes, with just two ingredients: chocolate and water.
I’m astounded that this works. But it does.