Perhaps its just cabin fever, but E and I are driving each other nuts. We’re acting like two grade school kids cooped up inside on a rainy day who are bored of all of their toys. We’ve taken to picking on each other (“what’s that GROWTH on your forehead there?” he asks of my wayward pimple) tickling one another, tugging each other’s hair and poking at our imperfections. We were more Charlie Brown and Lucy van Pelt than Heathcliff and Claire Huxtable. How am I supposed to feel loving and sexy towards my man when he’s tugging my hair? Was this what counted as foreplay now? A little humor in a relationship is fine, but when I start feeling like the kid who’s always picked last for dodgeball, it’s no longer funny.
We needed to get out and act like adults. “Let’s go to Fairway. We need groceries anyway,” I suggested.
Fairway Market in Red Hook, aka, my happy place, was closed for three months after Hurricane Sandy. It’s located right on the water in an old factory, and was flooded with four feet of water when the storm hit. The owners reopened the store a few weeks ago after an extensive renovation. “It’s our neighborhood duty to spend money there and help the Red Hook economy,” I told E. Plus, we could drive there, load up groceries and drive right back to our doorstep, so we didn’t have to walk all over Brooklyn with all of our heavy bags.
It was still snowing out, so we looked for hearty meats that would keep us warm on a winter’s night. E found boneless leg of lamb in the meat department. “This would make a good sandwich,” he suggested.
I was still annoyed with E from his schoolyard antics earlier, so I let him do the heavy lifting during dinner. He cooked the vegetables and the meat, and all I did was assemble the sandwiches. I was more the creative director on the meal than the actual chef. We made it through dinner without one person getting tickled or called a silly name.
“I’m sorry if I was a jerk earlier,” E said before we ate.
Perhaps we won’t have to start drinking wine out of sippy cups after all.
1 pound boneless leg of lamb
1 baguette, cut into 4 inch sandwich pieces
2 tomatoes, skinned
1 onion, sliced in to ~1/8″ slices
1 shallot, sliced in to ~1/8″ slices
4 leaves basil, cut in to chiffonade (rolled up and cut into small strips)
2 tablespoons herbs de provence
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons spicy mustard
1 bunch greens
goat cheese (optional)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Vegetables–skin tomatoes by dunking in boiling water for a minute, shocking in cold water and peeling skin. Combine veggies in medium bowl, toss with herbs de provence, sea salt pepper, basil and olive oil, maybe pinch of cayenne on the tomatoes. Move veggies in to skillet, and pop into oven and roast for about 40 minutes (you’ll want to stir these a few times while they’re roasting, to ensure even cooking, maybe even adding a little more olive oil near the end so they don’t get too dried out).
Meat–season leg of lamb with salt, pepper and herbs de provence. In a large skillet, brown meat for about a minute on each side,or just long enough to get some color. Pop into oven, next to the vegetables, and cook for about 10 minutes. Adding a few minutes if it seems to un-done to you, but do not overcook!. Remove from oven and let rest. Slice into thin strips.
Once vegetables are done, cut a baguette into 4 inch sandwich portions, toast bread and brush on melted butter on both sides. Spread mustard on bread. If you want to, layer on cheese (goat cheese or feta are good options). Layer on lamb meat, then vegetables, then lettuce and top with other piece of bread. Yields four sandwiches.