As many of you can attest, this evening is amateur night. Don’t get me wrong; I am a big fan of pub crawls, blowout restaurant meals with too many bottles of wine, and of course the obligatory cocktails before dinner, hopefully at a bar that has a real bartender. I love that stuff, but there are a few nights of the year that I much prefer to stay out of the bars and off the streets. St. Patrick’s Day is one, and tonight is another. Sloppy drunks chugging overpriced drinks while they cram steam table appetizers down their throats so they can climb into their cars to drive to the next joint is not my idea of entertaining evening companions. And let us not forget the always entertaining prospect of being on the roads with these morons as they careen from curb to curb, hopefully not killing someone in the process. And that ridiculous pressure to get blotto irritates me beyond measure. I will decide when to get drunk; I don’t need an arbitrary marking on the calendar to give me permission.
That is not to say that I will be in sweats, sitting on the couch eating leftovers. My lovely wife and I will be eating a sumptuous but simple meal; and that’s the way I like to eat on New Year’s Eve. But what to eat? Because my wife has a psychotic component to her otherwise lovely personality that only emerges during wine selection, we must have a dry white wine. And I’ll be damned if I’m going to close out the year without having a great Pinot Noir to go with my meal. The obvious — really the only — answer is crab cakes and porterhouse. I have a great recipe for crab cakes that is about 99% crab. And what’s the point of eating crab cakes if all you are really eating is breadcrumbs and other filler. As for the porterhouse? I have an incredibly complicated recipe that requires salt and pepper and…that is it. And about ten minutes on the grill. I wimped out last week and didn’t grill in the snow, but this time I won’t let the elements beat me. And the snow is only a few inches deep on the patio, so I probably won’t be lost in an avalanche. The great thing about this menu is that it’s very simple to prepare, and I have an excuse to open something special for my wife because we will both be drinking white wine and we won’t have to worry about some great bottle of wine languishing in the refrigerator overnight and becoming somewhat less great.
The moral of the story is: stay off the roads, eat great food, open your best wine, and enjoy the evening. In other words; be a professional!