Wednesday, November 09, 2005

And a Very Good Time Was Had by All!

Yes, yes, yes, I know. I've been a terribly bad blogger this week. This has been due to an amazing array of fabulous and exciting activities that I just couldn't miss.

This week, we have had art coming out the wazoo!

On Friday, many lovely people trotted on over to USFCAM's Beautiful Losers show, which featured many interesting contemporary artists, 'zine illustrations, as well as skateboarding and street culture art. My absolute favorites were Clare Rojas (who had a twisted combination of people, animals and traditional quilt patterns on wood) and Ryan McGinness (who uses a gorgeous combination of traditional and self-designed inconography to produce swirling and organic designs). I really enjoyed the show, and the salmon mousse they served was also quite good. Later we toddled on over to John Russell's show at the alternative Kama gallery in Ybor.

Quote of the evening: "My God! I've only been here a few days, and I don't see this much art in New York City! There've been at least two shows every night! Will someone please make it stop?"

Saturday was the night for the much-awaited "A Sweet Kiss Goodnight" show at Covivant gallery. The show featured a group exhibition by artist collective Circus Posterus. The artists who participated were Brandt Peters, Kathie Olivas, Rob Schwager, Carrie Mackin and George Helmick. The show was twisted, fun and fabulous, so I recommend that people check it out. Only you're not allowed to purchase Brandt's "Here We Come Again" painting because I'm buying it first.

Bask and Tes One also had a show at the Redletter gallery that night, but we missed it because we accidentally started having red wine and brie and berries with Carlos and Britzel, who immediately started an excited conversation about Puerto Rico and naughty art. Oh well.

The next thing I knew, I had accidentally planned a tiny dinner party. I served some classic French cuisine for Carlos, Britzel, Vince (the new man), the Frog Princess and her boyfriend. Conversation ranged from photography, painting and galleries to shoes, how large Catholic families are and isn't this wine delicious? I served a roasted leg of lamb with garlic and lovely gravy, a fashionable salad, French bread, wine and a terribly delicious (yet simple!) dessert called plum clafoutis.

The recipes have been requested, and they are below:

L's Lovely Lamb

a leg of lamb large enough for 5 people
olive oil
1 - 2 very large garlic bulbs with all the cloves peeled and separated
1 tin of anchovy fillets, well drained (this sounds gross, but you can't actually taste 'em)
black pepper
1 large onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1/2 cup red wine (not cooking wine-- use the good stuff you drink!)
1 cup chicken stock
some chopped parsley bits, if you have the time

1. use a food processor to blend 5 - 7 large garlic cloves, the anchovy fillets, 1 tablespoon olive oil and black pepper until it is a smooth paste
2. place the leg of lamb in a large, shallow baking pan
3. rub the paste all over the top and sides of the leg of lamb, then let it sit at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator (preferably overnight)
4. place the onion, celery, carrot, wine and remaining garlic in a frying pan and cook for about 5 minutes (don't forget to stir)
5. pour wine mixture into baking dish around the lamb (not ON it)
6. bake at 350 degrees F until it reaches an internal temperature of 155 degrees F (approximately 20 minutes per pound)
7. check periodically and slosh more red wine on the vegetables whenever they look like they're about to dry out (this is important)
8. when lamb is finished, transfer it to a serving platter and set it aside to keep warm (put aluminum foil lightly on top)
9. pour ALL of the meat juice/wine/vegetable mixture into a blender and process until it is smooth
10. place the blender mixture into a small saucepan, add chicken stock, and simmer for about 5 or so minutes until it is reduced (please don't forget to stir). stir in parsley and black pepper.
11. carve lamb and serve with the sauce! It's terribly delicious

Yummy Plum Clafoutis

1 pound of dark sweet plums (fresh, not canned!)
1 cup of self-raising flour
3 eggs
1/2 cup of sugar
1/2 cup milk

1. cut the plums in half and remove pits
2. arrange plums, cut side down, in a lightly greased 10" flan dish or something similar
3. mix flour, eggs, sugar and milk in a bowl
4. pour batter over plums (it's perfectly fine if they aren't completely covered) and bake at 350 F for 45 minutes. It should be golden brown, and you should see the plums peeking through
5. you can serve this hot or warm as a light dessert, but you can also have it cold for breakfast! It's quite tasty.


Anonymous Professor Twain said...

Dearest L,

The Chamber of Commerce should hire you to bring in distinguished visitors from across the world to elevate the image of Tampa as a center for art, fine food, and beautiful women.

Another magnificent post and the recipes sound divine.

The very hungry Professor

9:13 PM  
Blogger L said...

Sir: thank you-- and the recipes ARE divine :)

10:10 PM  
Blogger Crazy Monkey said...

Hey L, I think your right, the plumb clafoutis would impress a woman. Might be good for breakfast, but by then, I think I would have already impressed her. =)

9:19 PM  
Blogger L said...

Crazy Monkey: and it's easy to make!

10:57 PM  
Anonymous j[r said...

anchovies AND lamb? I have to try it. Unfortunately I seem to have forgotten where my kitchen is.

10:57 PM  
Anonymous carmi said...

My Mom used to make me lamb when I was a kid. I'd come home from a workout at the pool and essentially empty the fridge. Ah, good times. Thanks for bringing back a fond memory.

10:57 PM  
Anonymous Kosh said...

Mmmm, lamb! Hey, I thought you said this is not a food blog?

10:58 PM  
Anonymous Happy and Blue said...

For the recipe could I use a tin of spam for the lamb part. There may be lamb in spam. Really who knows what's in there.
Are Captain Highliner battered fish nuggets acceptable in place of the anchovies.
And is diet cola ok in place of the wine. It's gone flat so it has a wineish taste, kind of.
Also I don't care for plums. Would watermelon work in the second recipe.
Please let me know before Friday because I have company coming over.

10:58 PM  
Anonymous mr. anigans said...

on the subject of lamb...i don't get mint jelly

also, does it hurt the wazoo to have art come out of it?

10:58 PM  
Blogger L said...

jpr: it is very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very delicious. You cannot tell that the rub has anchovies, as they only add a mildly salty flavor with the garlic-- I served it to two people who LOATHE anchovies, and they both loved the meal. I highly recommend it for dinner parties, as it is actually quite easy to do (it just takes a long time to bake in oven, that's all). And the dessert is extremely easy to do, and looks very unusual.

Carmi: you are welcome

Kosh: It's not! this is definitely not a food blog! I don't know what sort of blog it is, but it isn't about food, that's for sure.

Happy&Blue: it sounds like you need to start posting some recipes yourself, as you seem to be quite the creative cook

mr. anigans: I don't get the whole mint jelly thing either (my recipe sauce is MUCH tastier!). And yes, I would think that sometimes it could hurt to have art coming out the wazoo... that's why the lady in the picture is airing out her skirt, I think

10:58 PM  
Anonymous april said...

Both recipes were delightful; you all must try them!

10:59 PM  
Anonymous rainy pete said...

That lamb sounds absolutely amazing and when was there ever a bad clafouti? I hope your wazoo is feeling better soon.

10:59 PM  
Anonymous comfort addict said...

I love hearing about your art evenings. They remind me of my lost youth, when I did such things without a care.

As for the food, you have definitely given me a challenge, L. Being a vegan, I can imagine using seitan for the lamb, chicken stock substitute and miso for the anchovies. Yes, I know. I'm no fun anymore. Then again, as I quipped when one of my musical acquaintances told me that, I never was.

10:59 PM  
Blogger L said...

april: thank you, m'dear

rainypete: the lamb was quite Delicious

Comfort Addict: perhaps I shall try to post more vegetarian in the future.... I did previously post my lovely pesto lasagna recipe, and, of course, you could try the clafoutis - it's easy AND tasty :)

11:00 PM  
Anonymous glomgold said...

I read this after eating a full meal and yet I find myself wanting to eat again though I am not hungry. Fie!

11:00 PM  
Blogger L said...

glomgold: sorry ;)

11:00 PM  

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