Happy Meal

dsc_0280.JPGI was reading in the Style section of the Times that one of the tricks of staying young is to be happy at least once a day. I’m almost done trying to stay young, but around the anniversery of my birth, I feel compelled to give it a girlscout try. So let’s just say that to keep from getting irritated that you now have one more thing to do, you combined getting happy with making dinner. Shellfish. Ha Ha!!! Done ahead of time. Ha Ha Ha!! Pea salad. Cute little tiny new potatoes (you can roll them around on your plate with the peas). I asked Ferdinand if he wanted some pea salad and he thought it was hysterical. Being able to spit litttle bits of your food out is always funny so fresh watermelon for dessert, and s’mores done under the broiler or over the sterno.
For your seafood, get a pot of water going with a leek, a little piece of ripe tomato, a piece of fennel, a peice of parsley, a bay leaf, a sprig of thyme, or whatever you have. Let that simmer for a few minutes. Pick out your favorite shellfish–mussels, shrimp, crab, crawfish–and drop them by type into the water, one batch at a time, covering for about three minutes, and then lifting them out with a slotted spoon. Keep going until all the seafood is done. You can hold it, separate from the cooking liquid in the fridge until you are ready to serve, then just it all come to temperature for about 20 minutes before serving. Strain the cooking liquid, add a little white wine, and simmer to reduce for about two or three minutes. Pour over the seafood with a sqeeze of lemon and a drizzle of olive oil. For the pea salad, get some scallions going in a saute pan with a little olive oil. Add the peas (frozen from the box is OK). Season with salt and black pepper. Off the heat, stir around a tablespoon of butter. Do the same with the potatoes, once they have been boiled until tender, crowded into salted water. Combine with the peas or keep separate.
To make the s’mores, lay the graham crackers out on a sheet pan with a marshmallow on top of each one. Fire up the broiler, and right before serving, watching them like a hawk, toast the marshmallows. Immediately top with a piece of your favorite flat chocolate squares.

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