Friday, January 05, 2007

Dinner Of Champions

You know those evenings when you just barely make it home from a long day (ok, month) and you're beyond tired and your whole body hurts and the mere thought of cooking sends a crushing wave of dread over you? Well, I know those evenings. Intimately.

Since I don't much fancy a painful death by starvation while waiting for a delivery man, I go to my stand-by, my dinner of champions: bread, cheese, olives and yep, booze (you can't see the beer in the picture). No cooking required.

I just had one of those evenings, in case that wasn't made clear enough. This time though, I lucked out - the very few things I have in my fridge turned out to be really good things - very aged (read: smelly) English cheddar, good bread, pickled asparagus, and some good whole grain mustard all piled on a plate. One wouldn't think that cheese and mustard go together and yet they do, marvelously.

Pickled asparagus isn't the most common of pantry items, but it should be. I first had it in a bloody Mary in Seattle and swore I would find myself a jar. The asparagus is slightly sweet and crunchy. Tastes a little like asparagus and a lot like pickle. It's a great substitute for cornichon on a cheese plate. I highly recommend it, if you can find it. I stumbled upon it in a posh grocery store in a strikingly un-posh neighborhood.

It took me about ten of these evenings before I figured out that there are a few things that I must have in my apartment at all times: bread, tons of cheese, olives, and...yes, every grad student's best friend in a bottle. Current favorite: Smithwick's.


JC said...

Wow, your emergency dinner is much better than mine. I bought a baguette for the first time in a while last week and rediscovered how much I love bread. I need another one! I don't think they have Smithwick's here. And let me tell you, if you're trying to recover from a cold and keep yourself from coughing, Beaujolais Nouveau is not the way to do it!

Anna said...

It's not? Would a Barolo work better? :) Maybe you just didn't drink enough of it. Emergency dinner - I like that! I may have to rename it. I can't go a day without bread. It's out of the question. It's addictive. Feel better!

amanda said...

mmm pickled asparagus rocks... so do pickled green beans, okra, and mexican pickled carrots. alright. i admit it! i'm a pickloholic. i love them all, all that vinegary bitty crispy goodness. i would take this meal any time. (it definately beats my current meal of mega-processed "smoked" ham on sliced wheat) :-)

Ben Chen said...

HAHA I like it, emergency dinner. My emergency dinner was a can of white beans mixed with a can of turkey. Add pepper and jalapenos and microwave for 1 minute. Mmmm. Sort of. I should have just gone to Taco Bell. Or a grocery store and bought cheese and bread. Same thing.

Deb said...

That is the perfect dinner!

Great blog!

Anna said...

Amanda - oooh Mexican pickled carrots! What are they? I have never heard of them. Must investigate.

Ben - Your emergency dinner seems rather involved. All that can opening and microwaving... Everything is better with jalapenos.

Deb - Thank you! Glad you could come by :)