After satiating my lust for the rich joys of Chinese black chicken, I decided to actually be sensible for once in my life. Being sensible falls solely on one’s point of view. There in lies the beauty of being sensible. It is only regulated by your own system of justification. It is completely sensible for ScottyRockYourBody to live in the Abacos and be forced to wrangle food from the ocean because he is broke and it is illegal for him to work there. Why does he insist on living a “sensible” lifestyle where he must tie a twine around his hand and pray a fish engulfs the lure he has set forth? Love, that’s why. To drop all for love could possibly be the most sensible thing that I have ever been witness to.
Well, I love not being broke. So my next recipe took into account what was fresh and inexpensive. It serves as a great Hors D’oeuvres for some friends or a bedtime snack to share with who you are in love with. Unfortunately, you will need the slightest bit of income for this dish. Since it can’t be wrangled from the sea. How unromantic!
Crostini with peaches, salumi, home-made ricotta and balsamic syrup
Serves 2 in bed or 10 as an hors d’oeuvres for celebrating a military promotion
For the Ricotta:
½ gal whole milk
2 lemons juiced
1T white vinegar
1T fresh chopped rosemary
1T extra virgin olive oil
For the balsamic syrup:
12oz bottle of balsamic vinegar
2T dark brown sugar
1 loaf crusty sliced bread
A few local peaches
High quality salumi such as Armandino Batali in Seattle
To make the ricotta, place the milk in a pot and adjust your flame to medium heat. Raise the temperature of the milk to 170 degrees. Pour in the lemon juice and vinegar with a pinch of salt and stir for a brief second to just let it know that you haven’t abandoned its needs. Let the milk sit for a few minutes as the curds and the whey separate. Gently ladle all the curds into a cheese cloth lined colander and place that over a bowl to drip. Put it in your refrigerator for 6 hours or overnight to continue to drain a bit more. Remove the ricotta from the cheese cloth hammock and stir in the rosemary and olive oil. Taste the cheese and add some more salt as needed.
For the balsamic syrup, place the 2 ingredients into a small pot and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce the vinegar by half. The bubbles will turn large and thick. Set into a jar until needed.
To assemble the Crostini, pour a generous amount of olive oil into a skillet and heat it on medium high until it starts to smoke. Place a few of the slices of bread into the skillet and brown on both sides. Keep repeating until all the bread is gone. Maybe drink a little wine to keep your constitution happy while you preform the mundane act of repetition. Pile all the crostini onto a plate and set aside. Peel, core and slice the peaches. Set them aside and lick your fingers confirming your sexuality. Slice your salumi as paper thin as possible and dress your arugula with some olive oil and salt. There is nothing sadder than a dry green that longs for a kiss of olive oil. Lather the ricotta onto the crostini, lay a peach slice or two, a salumi slice or two, some loved on arugula and a drizzle of the balsamic syrup. Repeat as much as you like or at least until you get bored b