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Aug 22, 2017

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Threesomes
by Bob Blumer
Magazine Issue: Online Only
In the world of numerals, one is the loneliest number. And things that come in twos are hopelessly conjugal: but groupings of three, as counterintuitive as it may seem, have a perfect symmetry. Like a triangle, they are seductively in balance. The three’s meanings are more than threefold. For starters there’s three strikes—the objective if you are a pitcher, something to avoid at all costs if you are an unrepentant felon living in the state of California. Then there are the endless triumvirates, like the Three Musketeers, the Three Stooges, the Three Blind Mice and the Three Little Pigs. Good luck and bad luck both travel in threes, the Holy Trinity makes the digit sacrosanct, and if you were granted three wishes, chances are you would use one to manifest a ménage à trios (streaming video may be sent to http://www.winexmagazine.com).

In the culinary world, three is also a magical number. Here’s where the harmonic convergence of flavors, textures and aromas can feed off one and other. Three wisely chosen ingredients can create taste sensations that truly are greater than the sum of their parts, yet less involved, less expensive and less time-consuming than infinitely more complicated dishes. And the best news is that with fewer ingredients and fewer steps, you’ll have more time for your love triangle. Now if that genie would just respond to your text messages.

Here is a succulent, sensuous, trilogy of foolproof three-ingredient recipes.

Cocktail Dates
(yields 12 bites)

In their unadorned state, Medjool dates are nicknamed “nature’s candy”. Stuff these babies with the nuttiness of Parmigiano-Reggiano, wrap them in the smoky saltiness of bacon, and bake them, and they will turn into molten balls of decadence that will explode in your mouth and blow your mind.

12 large dried Medjool dates
6 slices bacon, cut in half
4 oz. chunk Italian Parmigiano-Reggiano

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit

Slice date from top to bottom as deep as the pit. Pry open date and remove pit. Reserve dates.

Using your sharpest knife, cut Parmigiano-Reggiano into pieces that are just slightly larger than the pit you have just removed. Place cheese where the pit was and pinch the date around the cheese to seal.

Wrap each Parmigiano-stuffed date with a slice of bacon. Set dates on a baking sheet, seam-side down, and skewer with a toothpick to hold bacon in place.

Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until bacon is crispy. Caution: Let cool for a few minutes before serving.

Maple Salmon Suckers
(yields 12 suckers)

This savory sucker comes with the Surreal Gourmet’s money back guarantee. If you are not completely satisfied, we’ll refund the purchase price and transfer an undisclosed sum from the estranged wife of a deported Nigerian business tycoon directly into your bank account. Simply forward us your banking details.

1 1/2 lbs. salmon fillet, preferably wild (select thickest fillet available)
3/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 T coarsely grated black pepper (I consider pepper a condiment rather than an ingredient. If you disagree, feel free to contact my attorney)

Slice salmon into 1/4-inch-thick strips.

Place salmon slices in a resealable plastic bag along with syrup and soy. Force out the air and seal. Marinate in the refrigerator for a minimum of 4 hours, but ideally for 24 hours.

At the same time, soak 12 bamboo skewers in water (resealable plastic bags work well for this task too).

Preheat grill or broiler to high heat.

Remove salmon from marinade and skewer from the wide end.

Place pepper on a small plate and dip one edge of the salmon in it.

Grill salmon on a well-oiled BBQ grate over direct heat, or directly under a broiler for 1 minute per side, or until just cooked throughout, yet still moist. Serve immediately, or suffer the consequence of the fish drying out.

Bee Stings
(yields 12 bites)

The pigs, cows, and bees have done all the heavy lifting, making this the least amount of effort you will ever have to expend for the greatest amount of accolades.

1/4 cup best-available honey
1/2 T white truffle oil
6 oz. block Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

In a small bowl, combine honey, truffle oil, and pepper. Reserve.

Just before serving, use a paring knife to chisel cheese into irregular 1/2-inch nuggets. Drizzle truffled honey over each nugget. For added savoryness, finish with freshly ground black pepper

(To get the most Parmigiano-Reggiano for your buck, look for rindless center cuts. For the freshest Parmigiano-Reggiano, purchase from stores that move a lot of it.)

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