Mae tagged me. So I'm Mad and I'm It, once again. Fun!
But this is really hard to do. Is a favorite food something I turn to often? Can I afford to turn to it often? Does it have a special psychological niche in my life? Or is it just something I grew up with and loved? My tastes have changed since childhood, so what was favorite then may not be now.
Well, I'll address the "now" now. As for affordability, I'm just going to proceed on the assumption that this will be the menu for my last meal, and the governator can darn well pay for it.
So. Ten things I'd really regret not tasting one final time. (Oh, phoo. I was going to write "truffles" 10 times, but that ain't fair.)
Ready, Mr. Letterman?
My Top Ten list of why the California penal system should spring Cookiecrumb from the penitentiary, because her final meal is going to be too expensive.
10. Truffles. White Italian truffles, and too many of them, as Colette would say. Might as well shave them over, oh, say, some soft, moist, scrambled eggs, maybe with a grating of Pecorino.
9. Smoked salmon. This has got to be real outdoorsman, Pacific Northwest style. Marinated in something vaguely sweet and spicy. Smoked over alder wood. Caramelized, actually. Chunks of meat, not sissy, velvety, loxy stuff.
8. An avocado. I could halve it and fill the center with a fiery vinaigrette, kicked up a bit with something sweetish (I've done this before with ketchup, but I'm so over ketchup). A splish of balsamic is probably just the ticket.
7. Oh, well, then — all righty now: Balsamic vinegar. I guess item #8 is already kind of a two-fer, but I'd like just one more taste of a really well-aged balsamico, please, Mr. Warden. Um, I'll say sprinkled over some beef carpaccio. Yeah. And no arugula. I love arugula, but not on carpaccio.
6. Mushroom soup. Made from cremini, a teensy bit of porcini, and one or two shiitake. Some sauteed onion. Semi-salty turkey broth if you got it (we got it, this time of year). Freshly grated nutmeg. And a lovely blurp of cream. Blended.
(How'm I doing, Dave? Oh? Five more to go.)
5. Fish quenelles from Gary Danko. I'm not going to pretend I know how to make them. At the end of a meal there one night, I asked our server if I could have more fish quenelles for my dessert course. She said no!
4. The classic, signature, wood-oven roasted chicken from Zuni Cafe. I know, I'm getting kind of full. So just bring the platter, and I'll work on the arugula, bread, pine nuts and currants salad that sops up the fantastic leaking chicken juices.
3. The world's most perfect strawberries. I don't know where you're going to get them, Ahnold, but the French Fraises des Bois grown at Chino Ranch in Rancho Santa Fe are fantastic. (Hah! And expensive.) Um, could we get a little more of that aged balsamic?
2. Oysters. Hama Hamas from Hood Canal, WA, in the depth of winter. Raw, on the half shell, with a mignonette sauce for dipping (champagne, sherry vinegar, chopped shallots, white pepper). Or, oh, hell... A bottle of Trappey's hot sauce. In that case, Appalachicola oysters will be fine. Saltines, too.
1. My mom's tuna casserole made with Chicken of the Sea, a can of Campbell's mushroom soup, and a *whole* bag of crushed potato chips stirred in.
So, now I must tag. I pick:
b'gina at stalking the waiter
mcauliflower at brownie points
paz at the cooking adventures of chef paz
kathyr (for coming out of lurkhood, even if she's not a food blogger) at everybody knows
mona at mona's apple
I really gotta let these people know right away they've been tagged. These memes spread like avian flu in a Lysol-free chicken coop.