Monday, August 22, 2011

CSI: Barcelona with Detectives Membrillo & Manchego

Let me just start out by saying that it pays to enunciate when you tell your husband that you are going to a "tapas" class with your attractive neighbor and that while you are gone, he should watch the episode of  "Pawn Stars" that you saved for him.

I hate to see a grown man cry.

This class was my first solo outing with our new-ish next door neighbor -- all of our other outings have included drinking our faces off at each other's summer barbecues. It was also my first time going to our local cooking school, which is only about ten minutes from home. A couple of months ago, we signed up for the tapas class, which promised three hours of cooking instruction, dinner and wine.

What was not promised, but what we did receive, was being partnered up with Dave (aka "Senor Crankypants"). Dave was humorless, pushy, and took over cooking all of the dishes that we were most interested in making. At first it was totally annoying, then it just got funny. Even our very assertive and straightforward requests to get involved with the more interesting dishes were summarily dismissed by Dave, who would just shove ahead of us and do what he wanted. Making up for Dave was Stephanie, the hilarious instructor and Doug, the 20-something assistant who was adorable and flirted with us good-naturedly tolerated our flirting with him. Liz (my neighbor) mentioned that he would be the perfect kind of guy for her stepdaughter...(she is a planner, as her stepdaughter is eight.) She then asked me, "Do you think I should ask him how he feels about eight year olds?" (Meaning, would he wait several years for the right woman.) Although, that is a pretty good litmus test for any guy you'd want to introduce to your daughter.

Or any guy in your life, really.

My favorite dish we made, Membrillo & Manchego, sounds like the name of a Spanish crime drama, but is really a delicious cheese and quince paste concoction that I will be making the next time I need to bring an appetizer to a gathering. It is gorgeous and delicious and requires two ingredients and about ten minutes to construct, which pretty much meets all the necessary criteria to be included in my repertoire.
Other dishes we made were Tortilla a la Espanola, Meatballs in Almond Sauce, Roasted Red & Yellow Bell Peppers with Capers & Anchovies and Flan.

At the end of the three-hour class, we did get to sit down and have a glass of wine while we enjoyed the meal we (and by "we" I mean "Dave") made. We learned at that point that we could take all leftovers but the meatballs and that we could only have one glass of wine. All because of potential liability.

Damn lawyers. (Except you, of course, Liz...)


Abby said... are you gonna share what the CSI dish has in it, or are you hoarding it for yourself? Sounds like fun times with Dave!

Brutalism said...

Abby -- It was only the two ingredients I mentioned -- the Manchego cheese and the quince paste (Membrillo). That's it. Refrigerate the quince paste, then cut both that and the manchego in thin, triangular slices and stack the quince on top of the cheese. Simple perfection.

Stacey said...

Who knew meatballs could be such a liability?

Ed said...

"Waiting for them to come of age is SOOO over-rated."

----Warren Jeffs

Liz Lippy, Ass't. Director of Trial Advocacy, WCL said...

I can't believe I'm not seeing this until now!!!! I'm attractive? How much do I owe you? :) I am still wondering whether Dave (the friendliest kitchen helper) would be willing to wait 10 years for the love of his life. Is that really that wrong???? So fun. Thanks for enduring w me. Glad I made it to a blog. Mission accomplished.

Brutalism said...

Trucking T - Yeah...meatballs are going to have waiting periods, national registries and carry licenses required if we don't watch it.

Ed - So wrong. And so funny.

Liz - I'm guessing this will be the first of many blog entries. Embarrassing blog entries make good neighbors (or something like that...)

Stefanie S. said...

Whew. I saw this post and FROZE, thinking I was about to get torn apart. Thanks!! I found your blog by accident-- the day after the class-- someone left glasses where you and Liz (?) were and I tried to find you to ask. Turns out they belonged to "Dave"-- who incidentally told me he had a great time- another WHEW. My only question to you is WHY DON'T YOU HAVE YOUR OWN SHOW?? I'm forwarding the link to this snort-out-loud blog to my fellow moms-who-still-have-a life. And PS- I have a cat named Seamus too. -Stefanie

Brutalism said...

Hi, Stefanie! I actually left a message for you after your last post, but I guess you were just calling about the glasses and found the owner.

Thanks for forwarding the blog link -- I also write a weekly humor column on the Oakton Patch called At Home With Brutalism -- -- check it out.

And to think, I liked you before I knew about you having a cat named Seamus. Now I like you even more.

Stefanie S. said...

Kathleen and Liz- Re: Eye Candy Assistant. The 8 yr. old will have to run me over first-- I got first dibs, hoping he's more into women on the dark side of their 40's. (Denial ain't just a river.)Oh and, a gratuitous plug for my next class (among others!):

Thanks and hope to you see you guys again!