Reading JMac's and Matt Paust's "final endings" in JMac's recent post and comments got me thinking of my final meal. Our local, weekly artsy newspaper recently did a series where they asked some of the best chefs in town what they would have for their final meal. So, here's mine, and I hope to read about yours. Tell us what you will eat, with whom you will eat, and where you will have this final meal. No judgements, now!
My final meal would be with my husband. We love good food and we love to eat. He grew up in New England with a pretty bland diet. The only spices in his mom's kitchen were salt and pepper. No joke. He had been on his own for several years before we met and stretched his palate a bit. We realized quickly that we both really liked great food. I've had to train his palate somewhat, but he's been an eager participant (except the time I made chile verde with Hatch chiles that were nearly too hot for me).
My first inclination is to have my final meal on a beach somewhere, probably in Key West. Key West is a special place for us. But then I think about all that sand blowing onto my plates and dishes! Anyone who has ever eaten anything at the beach as had to contend with gritty food. That can easily ruin a good meal. How about this? We're on the beach on a windless day. We're under the shade of palm trees, and the bouganvillea are in bloom. There's not even a grain of sand in our food.
Apalachicola bay oysters on the half shell with fresh limes. I've been eating these delectable morsels since I lived in north Florida. My coworkers and I would take turns driving an hour to the coast where the Apalachicola River empties into the Gulf of Mexico to buy bags of fresh oysters, right off the boat. If you love oysters but you've never had an Apalachicola oyster, well, you need to do this before you die. They're not too big, they're delicate and have just the right level of saltiness. The fresh limes squeezed over is new for me, though. Last February I had fresh oysters in Tucson at a little Mexican seafood restaurant, Mariscos Chihuahua. They serve their raw oysters with lime. It was fabulous. I'll never go back to fresh lemon if I can help it. Drink: Magic Hat #9 Beer.
Fresh baked rustic, crusty bread with roast garlic (baked in olive oil and butter) smeared on top along with an heirloom and fresh buffalo milk mozzarella caprese salad. I'm not going to be picky about where the bread comes from as there are so many great bakeries. You know the kind of bread I mean -- soft and chewy on the inside, crusty on the outside. For the salad the tomatoes would be Cherokee purple, an heirloom tomatoe so delicious it makes me want to weep, sliced on top of the fresh mozzarella, garnished with basil leaves and drizzled with aged balsamic vinegar and cold pressed extra virgin olive oil. Drink: A nice pinot grigio.
Risotto with parmesan cheese and wild morel mushrooms. A dear friend and her husband once made this for me. They picked the mushrooms themselves. To this day that was one of my favorite meals for a lot of reasons. I prefer carboli rice for my risotto, I feel it's the creamiest. Made with chicken broth, white wine, butter and olive oil. Yummy. Drink: Shasta View Winery Chardonnay, buttery and robust.
Nicely seasoned, grass-fed ribeye steak, medium rare, with garlic mashed poatoes. I just don't think you can beat a great steak. And mashed poatoes are nearly my favorite food. Add a bit of roast garlic and they are my favorite food! No gravy necessary. Drink: Marietta Estate Winery Old Vine Red. Silky, robust, yet smooth.
Frozen, chocolate covered key lime pie on a stick from Blond Giraffe in Key West. Friends, this is the real deal. An actual slice of key lime pie, complete with graham cracker crust and whipped cream topping, covered in dark chcolate and then frozen. Decadent, rich, and fun.
After Dinner Drink:
Basil Hayden bourbon, neat. Watching the sunset over the water.