Woo – to seek favor, affection or love.
After the awarding of the super bowl championship, and the chili pot is finally scrubbed clean we will be preparing for another bowl – Valentine’s Day. This is the time to make one’s desire known to another; get down on one knee to risk the big proposal, and for others, simply a moment to reaffirm the affection that binds.
I am personally annoyed by the aggressive commercialization and the bouquets of flowers hastily bought. All this lead-up to Cupid’s fiesta is a reminder that courting and wooing the one you love should be constant, and for me, unexpected – there is the touchdown. So, for the last month I have been sneaking notes into pants and jacket pockets and, without the provocation of a fight, offered a bouquet of flowers on a random Wednesday. Mind you this has not completely allowed us to avoid a quarrel but it definitely gives us a place to return.
So, I may seem like a catch…as long as you don’t look beyond the reflective ramblings of this page. I am constantly trying my best, and offering up a line of communication. Like my mother, one of the ways I say, I love you is through food. I will cook a meal next weekend laced with subliminal hopes of seduction -- preparing poached lobster bedded on the soft, creamy chew of a mango; filling the house with the deep aromatic offering of simmering wild mushrooms that await their seared tournedos of beef. Of course, given the subtext of the day (for those of us no longer in grade school), a cocktail is in order…something a bit tangy, a bit sweet and full of potential.
I am learning to cheer one on -- and woo the heart -- that is the touchdown I would like to make.
LOBSTER MANGO SALAD
Yield: Serves 6
3 lobsters (about 1-1/2 pounds each)
2 cups water
2 cups white wine
1 vanilla bean – split lengthwise
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1 ripe mango
1 can heart of palm
1 hot house English cucumber
1. In a high-sided 12-inch pan that will accommodate the lobsters, place the water, wine, vanilla bean and peppercorns. Bring the mixture to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer and place in the lobsters. Cook the lobster for 16 minutes, covered. Remove the lobsters from the poaching liquid and let cool. With a pair of kitchen scissors split the bottom side of the lobster tails to expose its meat and gently loosen the lobsters from their shell. Remove the meat from the claws. Slice the lobster meat into about 2-inch medallions.
2. Peel the mango and remove the flesh from the seed. Slice the mango into 1/2- inch thin slices. Slice the heart of palm and cucumber on an angle into 1/2-inch thick slices.
3. Arrange the ingredients on a plate in an alternating circular pattern. Drizzle with the dressing.
1-tablespoon cilantro leaves
1-tablespoon mint leaves
1/4-cup champagne vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2-cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
To make the dressing place all the ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Correct seasoning.