Monday, February 7, 2011

PJ's Day Off

When they find out what we do for a living, the first thing people want to know is who is in charge of the cooking in our house.  Most days it’s me, but every so often PJ has the time and inclination to make a meal and I’m the lucky one who gets to eat the delicious results of his inspiration.

Last Sunday I made a trip to the store, and he threw together a lemony seafood pasta and arugula salad with warm shitake mushrooms.

He started by soaking some cherrystone clams in salted water to remove the sand, then he extracted the liquor to use in the sauce.

With the precise cuts of a surgeon, he peeled and cleaned the shrimp in no time. 

He cooked the shrimp with garlic and chili flakes, then deglazed the pan with the clam liquor and white wine.   

He added the clams back in and garnished the sauce with fresh chopped parsley.  He finished with butter, though I couldn't say how much since I looked away when he put it in- some things are best left unknown…

Meanwhile he started the mushrooms in a hot pan, searing them to bring out their meaty flavor. 

Deglazing with sherry vinegar

When the mushrooms were ready, he added the arugula and tossed them together- the pan juices made a bright and complex dressing.

He cooked the angel hair in salted water, then added the pasta to the pan, finishing with lemon zest and juice. 

Served with a glass of Greco di Tufo that he used in the sauce, it was a simply delicious Sunday dinner.

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