On Thursday nights at 1 AM, my third eye opens and I can peer into the future–at least the future as it pertains to food. For I, The Amateur Gourmet, shall now reveal myself as the world’s first food-blogging astrologer! A Flogstrologer, if you will. And won’t you? I think you will. In fact: I know it.
[WARNING: The following predictions are EXTREMELY accurate. Ignore them and suffer the consequences!]
The moon is in orbit with Mars and Mars Bars are in orbit with your ass. Go on a diet, fatty!
While preparing brownies for your cousin’s Bar Mitzvah, you will beat the batter too long and overdevelop the gluten. The brownies will be chewy and your cousin will choke during his Haftorah. Don’t worry. Now’s your moment to shine. Ascend the bema and sing: “Miracle of Miracles” in a high falsetto. You’ll be a hit.
Season your love life like you season your soup. In otherwords: oversalt it. Salt kills bacteria and most of the people you sleep with are diseased.
There’s a crumb on your chin. No, not there. There. NO. On your CHIN. Jesus, are you blind? Here, just wipe your whole chin… use a napkin. There, you got it.
Don’t bite the hand that feeds you unless the hand is Rachel Ray’s in which case bite and bite hard.
Virgo (8/23 – 9/22)
When making pesto, you tend to add the oil too rapidly. It’s because you’re ugly and no one loves you.
Libra (9/23 – 10/22)
Hey! Who’s the best cook in the world? You are!! And even if you’re not, at least you’re not a Virgo. Virgo’s are ugly and no one loves them! Plus their pesto sucks.
Scorpio (10/23 – 11/21)
A census taker will try to test you. Eat his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti. If he’s Jewish, chop the liver. It’s delicious!
Sagittarius (11/22 – 12/21)
When Frank Bruni gives your new restaurant zero stars, you may feel like your career is over. It is!
Capricorn (12/22 – 1/19)
When life throws you lemons, make lemonade. When life throws you preserved lemons, prepare Veal Shanks, Artichokes, Chick-Peas with Preserved lemon.
six to eight 2-inch-thick veal shanks (5 pounds total), each tied securely with kitchen string to keep meat attached to bone
1 1/2 cups dried chick-peas, picked over
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
two 10-ounce packages frozen artichoke hearts, thawed, halved lengthwise if large
1/4 cup packed fresh coriander sprigs, washed well, spun dry, and minced
3 tablespoons four-day preserved lemon zest slivered
For four-day preserved lemon zest
3 large lemons
2 teaspoons coarse salt
2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
Make four-day preserved lemon zest:
Scrub lemons and with a vegetable peeler remove zest in strips. In a saucepan of boiling water blanch zest 1 minute and drain in a sieve. Transfer zest to a glass jar (about 1-cup capacity). Add salt and juice, pressing zest down to keep it covered by lemon juice, and cover jar with a tight-fitting glass lid or plastic-coated lid. Let zest stand at room temperature 4 days, shaking jar each day. Preserved lemon zest keeps, covered and chilled, 6 months. Makes about 1/2 cup.
Make the veal:
Preheat oven to 275°F.
In a heavy kettle large enough to hold veal shanks in one layer without crowding arrange shanks and season with salt and pepper. Roast shanks in middle of oven, covered tightly, 3 hours, or until tender. (Meat will give off juices as it cooks.)
While shanks are roasting, in a large saucepan combine chick-peas with enough water to cover by 4 inches and simmer, covered partially, 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until tender but not falling apart. Drain chick-peas in a colander. Chick-peas may be cooked 2 days ahead, cooled, uncovered, and chilled, covered.
Transfer shanks to a deep platter and keep warm, reserving pan juices.
In a large heavy skillet heat oil over moderate heat until hot but not smoking and cook onion, stirring, until softened. Add artichoke hearts, chick-peas, and reserved pan juices and simmer, covered, until artichoke hearts are just tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer about 1/2 cup chick-peas with a slotted spoon and about 1 cup pan juices from skillet to a blender and purée. Stir purée into artichoke and chick-pea mixture to thicken and stir in coriander and salt and pepper to taste.
Spoon artichoke and chick-pea mixture over shanks and sprinkle with preserved lemon.
You will fry an egg. Right now. Go. Fry one. I predicted it.
Your lactose intolerance is just a mask for other forms of intolerence. Have a milk party and invite minorities. You’ll thank me later.
Have a great weekend, everyone!