This guy I know, henceforth known as The Hot Boyfriend, is an absolute animal, tearing into a plate of my Gruyere scalloped potatoes the same way he tears off my clothes…with lusty enthusiasm. He’s a poet and an ultra runner (no small feat in Fairbanks, Alaska) who comes to my table with seductive words and a ravenous appetite. But when I first met him, food was merely a utilitarian task to be undertaken as a matter of necessity. Pleasure was irrelevant; he thought his body a machine and food merely its fuel. I can’t tell you how much fun I’ve had disabusing him of that notion. This morning, while lying in bed, he said to me “Food, sex, and poetry” and, forming the fingers of both hands into a triangle, “This is my Holy Trinity, my triangle of pleasure. That’s where life is, right in the middle.”
Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin wrote one of the finest treatises on food and its intrinsic connection to all sensual pleasures. Of course, he also helped create the notion that for women, a love of fine cuisine is merely a sublimation for their sexual appetites, which must be denied. Well, Mr Savarin, I for one do not deny my sexual appetite and the preparing of and consuming of tasty fare is a necessary complement to sexual pleasure, not a replacement for it.
“The limits of pleasures are as yet neither known nor fixed, and we have no idea what degree of bodily bliss we are capable of attaining.” -Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, The Physiology of Taste (1826)
This is what I shall make my ravenous lover as a midnight snack, after our clothes have been replaced, the nighstand righted, and my underwear removed from the ceiling fan:
A Lusty Salad of Ginger, Campari Tomato and White Shrimp
mix, into a beautiful bowl, the following:
equal portions (about the size of the cork in that bottle of wine you just drank) of finely julienned fresh ginger root, Vidalia sweet onion, and shallots.
6 lusty Campari tomatoes (cut into eighths)
25-30 peeled, lightly sauteed, white shrimp
1/2 cup white balsamic fig infused vinegar
2 tbsp truffle infused oil
garlic/rosemary pepper to taste
fresh herbs (oregano, cilantro, or parsley)
The truffle infused oil…the smell is unique. Supposedly there is good truffle hunting ground in and around Fairbanks. I seem to recall there was even a newspaper article about it a few years ago. However, internet searches turn up nil and I’m starting to believe there is a Truffle Cabal afoot. This oil smells faintly of sex, some damp and dark crook of a knee or a salt crusted neck after a long run.
The fig infused vinegar, a lovely flavor. We don’t get figs in Fairbanks. I had fresh figs in Anchorage once, but here we have none.
Use raw, white shrimp. You want the oceany flesh of these little crustaceans to remain tender. If you don’t have time to let this salad marinate and mellow in the fridge, you can throw the onions, shallots, and ginger in the pan with the shrimp to cut the bite a bit.