What do you do when your are home alone? Do you run around naked? Do you dance around to loud music? Do you throw wild parties? Do you re-paint? Or do you, in fact, cook large meals for yourself and a good friend? Can you guess into which category I fall?
Yeah. I make large meals with my friend Ben. Obviously. Ben and I got together this past Saturday night and prepared ourselves a simple meal of spice rubbed duck breast (Ben) brocolini blanched and sauted with garlic(myself) and curried saffron rice (more of myself).
And wine. And cheese. And gossip. And maybe I'm crazy, okay, I'm definitely crazy, but it was a really lovely evening! No clubs, cabs or critical hook up moments, no embarrassing statements or stranger danger, just a nice evening with a friend. Because here's the thing, most people I know? Are struggling. At least, most young people I know are struggling. I mean, obviously, I'm struggling, it's right there in the name, but I mean in terms of the nightlife. Between the job situation and the social stuff and the constant fear that you are missing something on TV, things can get a little rough out there. So while my peers may feel the need to fill every evening with a constant stream of activities and location changes (BEN), I really enjoy nights that have one, maybe two main attractions. Honestly, much more then that gives me sensory overload and the extreme need for a snack. I know we have the fountain of youth pouring through our veins and whatever Romantic era metaphor you prefer, but doesn't anyone want to save some of that up for middle age? Every night isn't New Years, guys, you can take an evening off and wear sweatpants. No one will know but me, I promise, and I wont tell. (Yes, I will. Do it anyway.) I mean, good lord, people, don't you get tired? It's all well and good to say you will sleep when you are dead but....I REALLY like sleeping.
See? Don't I look happy? All well rested and happy? And with a nice glass of wine instead of a horrible but calorically conscious vodka and soda water? Ben brought, in addition to duck breast, his usual heavy snark, which pairs excellently with my own generous helping of sarcasm, and together we gorged ourselves on olives and political commentary (read, pop culture references) until Ben had to bail to go out for the evening. And me? I nestled my way into my pajamas, curled up with some USA network shows (as one does) and enjoyed my evening off of being 23 years old.
This is how is all looks before my expert plating. The brocolini is the easiest thing in the world, blanch it, saute it with chopped garlic, sprinkle some red pepper flakes and salt and pepper over that sucker and you are DONE. Ben used a combo of spices and brown sugar with the duck breast, which we pan seared and then finished in the oven. The brown sugar gives it that deliciously crispy crust of caramelized goodness, so whatever combination of things you rub on the duck, make sure it includes brown sugar. In this case, it's like foodie crack, I swear.