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Lobster Risotto
(for 2, with leftover risotto for risotto cakes)

INGREDIENTS:
2 Medium LIVE lobsters
1 pound of littleneck clams
4 cups arborio rice
1/4 cup fresh tarragon on stem, loosely packed.
chicken (3 cups) and lobster (3 cups) stock
1/4 cup marscapone cheese
1/2 cup sliced fresh leeks
1 head garlic
1 slice pancetta 1/4 inch thick
1 fresh lemon for zesting
sea salt (maldon is my favorite)
fresh pepper

1-2 Bottles of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, some for cooking, most for drinking. 🙂

INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Heat oven to 450 F. Slice top off of head of garlic to expose tips of all cloves. Place in center of square of aluminum foil. Drizzle olive oil, lightly salt and pepper. Fold up corners of foil and twist to seal in garlic. Place in lower rack and allow it to hang out there while you do everything else. The longer it roasts, the more caramelized it gets.

2. Place 2 medium-sized LIVE lobsters in large pot of cold water and bring to boil. Cook until shells turn bright red. remove lobsters from water and place in ice bath to stop cooking.

3. After lobsters are cooked, mix 3 cups Chicken broth with 3 cups reserved lobster water and half of the pancetta, chopped in large pieces, in large sauce pan. Bring to medium-low heat on back burner.

4. In a heavy bottom pan add leeks, a tbsp olive oil, a tbsp butter, salt and pepper to taste and allow to soften and lightly brown over medium low heat. Onions should become translucent. 8-10 minutes. Pull leaves off of tarragon, chop finely and put aside. With microplane or fine grater, remove the zest from one washed lemon and set aside.

5.  Add dry arborio rice to pan and stir with wooden spoon to coat with butter, oil and leeks. Cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring constantly and then add 1 cup of wine. Bring heat to medium. Continue to stir and allow for the wine to be absorbed.

6. Add one cup of broth mixture at a time, allow rice to fully absorb liquid each time. Stir frequently with wooden spoon. Salt and pepper as you go. Taste occasionally. The rice should be al dente… or firm when bitten into, not crunchy… but NOT mushy! (10-15 minutes, give or take) When it seems close to being done, stir in tarragon. (Fresh herbs should always be added towards the end. Dried in the beginning. )

7. As Rice is cooking, shell lobster. Remove as much meat as possible. Chop coarsely and set aside.

8. Remove clams from fridge. In separate pan place the clams, a tbsp olive oil, remaining chopped pancetta, couple splashes of wine (this is soooo scientific), salt and pepper, cook over medium heat until the clams open. Keep over low heat to warm.

9. When rice is firm, but cooked, remove from heat and fold in lemon zest, lobster meat, and 1/4 cup marscapone.Voila… Lobster Risotto!!!

10. Plate the risotto in center of plate with clams surrounding. Squeeze lemon over clams and serve.

11. Remove garlic from oven and serve with butter and fresh bread like french or chiabata.

12. NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM

So, there you have it, the promised recipe for Lobster Risotto. I do everything according to my own intuition and taste, so please feel free to play around with the measurements and make this recipe your own.

I had also promised an update on the men who are interested in me and what has been going on besides Brooklyn. Well, I told the Doppelganger that I am seeing someone, which was easier than fessing up about how I made out with his brother, the Peruvian, in December. The tittie slapping Turk? I also told him I was seeing someone. Easier than admitting that his make out style leaves a lot to be desired. The 25-year-old? That just fizzled. He’s so sweet and nice and young and I am just NOT there. We are friends and I suspect that we will remain as such. The assoc. prod/writer/musician guy? Well, we have become super buddies and actually talk about our crushes/dates with each other. He likes younger hipster gals and I like guys my own age who are taller than me. Someone who isn’t shorter than me when I wear heels. So, those are the guys who were kinda hanging around for the last couple of months.

New guys who are meandering into the picture: A world traveling, extreme frisbee playing, half asian hipster. A multi-racial vegan chef of sorts. A 34-year-old adrenaline junkie with the career to afford his insane hobbies.

In order of interest is the Frisbee Hipster, the adrenaline Junkie and lastly the Vegan Chef. The Vegan Chef is nice, says sweet things, BUT is not physically my type at all. Should I feel badly about this? Maybe I will go out on a lunch or coffee only date with him.

Yes, I admit that there is a lack of interest in dating anyone other than Brooklyn. I think that this is for many reasons. Firstly, I burnt out on the 4-5 dates a week with different men. The getting stood up, or stuck with the tab. Yes, I often pay for coffee or tea with Brooklyn but that is because I want to and do so without his asking. I know that with his divorce, the kids, moving, etc… that every dollar helps. So, I can pick up a couple drinks or tea now and then or even make him dinner rather than us eating out. What I didn’t like is when I would go out with someone and even after they knew that my business was struggling, they would suggest we have sushi for dinner and somehow I would get stuck with the tab. $100 sushi dinner that I hadn’t budgeted for vs. a $22 cocktail tab that I opted to pay for are huge differences. The Second reason for my general disinterest is the level of comfort I feel when I am with Brooklyn. It’s calm. It doesn’t require work. It feels genuine. Sigh. What to do, what to do. Lastly, the third reason is this email I received tonight from one of the men on a dating site I subscribe to: “My job is to make you HAPPY babe all the time.. cuz If I had the letters “HRT”, I can add “EA” to get a “HEART” or a “U” and get “HURT”. But I’d rather choose “U” and get “HURT” than have a “HEART” without “U”.”

That email is enough of a reason, right? So, this is my update. Enjoy the risotto and stay tuned for tomorrow’s dual posting with our syndicater… TheNewGay.Net

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2 medium-sized lobsters
1 pound of littleneck clams
arborio rice
fresh tarragon
chicken and lobster stock
marscapone cheese
frizzled leeks
roasted garlic
pancetta
lemon zest
New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc
40 yellow Daffodils from the cheap asian market
sea salt
pepper
and many many smooches.

Brooklyn has never had lobster. How is that possible?! So, I invited him to dinner at the home I am house sitting at and I plan to wow him with my culinary skills. To start? A simple arugula, pine nut, and shaved parmesan salad with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a squeeze of lemon. To end? Pate de Fruit in assorted tropical flavors. To drink? New Zealand S.Blanc from the Marlborough Region. Amazing? Yes, it will be.

I am trying to meet other people. I swear. I am corresponding with several men at the moment but they are all lackluster, or maybe the real issue is that I can’t see the forest when I am looking at this particular tree.

Check out tomorrow’s post for the actual recipe, including measurements, how the meal went AND the rundown on all the men in the periphery. At this moment, I must get into the kitchen. I’m wondering though. Is it torture to let my dog chase the lobsters around while I prep the other stuff? Hmm. That IS an ethical dilemma. Amusing , yes. Mean, maybe.

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I am NOT this high maintenance, however, these are some of the people which he is used to dealing with everyday. He fell into café ownership after college. First, a small food establishment and then a successful chain of franchised coffee shops, which he managed to break away from the corporate headquarters and create strong independent identities for. He’s impressive. A late bloomer who seems to be coming into his own personal comfort zone in his mid thirties.

We met at a small bistro. He rose from the table for a brief but friendly hug. Setting the tone. I always prefer hugs upon meeting someone. Hand shakes are so formal, they immediately create distance, a physical and emotional barrier that is impossible to break through in only 1 hour. My belief is, you have one hour to show me who you are, without pretense, without apologies. It’s like the leading paragraph of a juicy novel. Hook me. Otherwise, I won’t be interested in those other chapters. Hell, like Cormac McCarthy’s All The Pretty Horses, if you try to hard, I might just get lost in your language and writing style, finding myself circling your first sentences over and over for some sense of honest simplicity, depth and meaning. Just be YOURSELF. Don’t try to impress me and don’t assume I am going to rip out your heart and serve it up like an exotic carpaccio to my girl friends. We all have pasts, we all have baggage, or at least we should. We need to live life in order to know who we are.

Late Bloomer and I started talking about all those “off-limits” topics. The ones I like. Exes, work, sex, religion. It was easy conversation. He thought he was the wrong thing by talking about his recent break up and how heart-broken he is over it. I wanted him to talk about it. I wanted him to vocalize where he is at and how he feels, internalizing isn’t good for anyone, especially post break up. Having someone to open up too and relate too is important. He meets a disproportionate number of undergrads due to the nature of his business and those people just can’t relate.

We had 4 cocktails. A light nosh of mussels for me and chicken for him. He wanted to smell my mussels, because he had never had one. He proclaimed, “I.AM.JEW”, therefore, no swine, no shellfish. He made me laugh when he proclaimed that once life is found on Mars, he is forsaking his faith and heading right to the nearest seafood restaurant for a lobster. Cockroach of the sea. Upon the end of the date, I asked if I could walk him to his car. He laughed at that, “YOU are going to walk ME to my car? I will walk YOU to the train.”  It’s habit, taking control in romantic scenarios. It’s what a I did for all of my years with women.

As we turned the corner to the train, while making more small talk and pleasantries, I commented, off the cuff, that, “Under normal circumstances, I would kiss you, BUT, considering where you are, I am not sure it’s what you would want or need at the moment.” He mumbled that I could kiss him. So, I stopped him and for a few minutes was reminded of how short I am while I tip-toed to put my lips against his, nearly 9 inches higher than where I stood. As I walked away, I reflected on how he was my age and had far less romantic experience, but far more success. Perhaps this lack of romantic diversion in his twenties allowed him the freedom to focus and create the professional success he has now. I think it’s possible that many of us have it all wrong, the order of things. I am glad for my experience, but I often feel light years away from any professional success due to the time I spent nurturing failed relationships. What’s the answer? Maybe there is no special equation or perfect set of guidelines. Late Bloomer, he’s doing better than he thinks he is. He’ll get past this broken heart and be all the stronger for it. In the end, this doesn’t define him, because he is already clearly defined as a man, as a business person, as a brother, as a son and as a friend to many. The partner and lover, that will come and only enhance what he already has. I get on the train aware that I am a little bit envious of him and of the girl who he eventually finds.

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