Sunday, November 2, 2008
My 6th Sense & A Herniated Burrito
I have a 6th sense. They say that kids who suffer trauma cope by developing hyper-awareness to undercurrents, body language, people's energy, mixed signals etcetera -- because being able to read people and predict behavior keeps them safe. For better or worse, I have that thingy - and it can be entertaining, at times.
We were at Chipotle (a burrito place) yesterday and ordering to my right was a guy around our age. Since I was standing about a foot away from him while we were both customizing our forearm-size burritos, his energy hit me full-on. For whatever reason, it felt like a bug splattered on my windshield. He annoyed me - uptight, tense, pretentious, really self-aware, snappish (though he said nothing, this is only what I felt). I know, dumb right? For me to feel that about a stranger? But I'm telling you, my radar blips with that kind of crap.
So, the gal starts rolling up this dude's burrito and at the very end of the carnal act, the bulging, gluttonous burrito splits about a 1/2 inch to relieve itself. The gal looks up at the dude and is all, "is that all-right? or do you want a new one?" -- oh hello, it's ON. At this point, the fellas in my head who run my 6th-sense radar are cracking beers, putting their feet up, and taking bets.
I can literally feel the dude's blood pressure sky rocket to about 200/120, the pulse in his carotid artery nearly punched me in the face, and I swear he almost chewed his own molars if only so he could use his mouth as a weapon of mass destruction toward the gal, his jagged teeth as the bullets (which I'm sure would be bleached and damn free of tartar). After a full 5-second pause - our contained explosion, through his clenched jaw, hissed "no, it's fine" - most likely because there were other customers of his peer group present, and after a quick, careful, internal pro-con pie chart calculation - he figured it would be less painful to accept the imperfect, herniated burrito than to blow his cool (and his teeth) in front of the INCREDIBLY cool and chic people to his left.
In the parking lot, I watched him walk away and I was thinking to myself "I bet he's parked really far away" -- and sure enough, he kept walking and walking and walking. I wanted to ask him if he needed a ride to his ride, for the love of beans. Come ON! As we were pulling away, I finally saw him arrive at his car - parked so completely by itself, so far from potentially interacting with any other entity - that he nearly worked off that burrito's calories just in the to/fro. Yep, he's that guy who parks his car that way.
I turned to Tony and said, "Thanks for not being the kind of guy who has his panties so far up his ass about A CAR that he has to park it in another county. And by the way, thanks for not driving a mid-life crisis car, for not looking like you spend more time on your hair than me, for not having an overly-worked gym body, for not wearing the same jeans you did in high school, and for not being an uptight bug. I think you deserve something REALLY special today."
A suggestive grin spreads across his face.
"I'm going to give you a....
....choice of what I shall bake today."
Suggestive grin fades significantly.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Tartlets
I know! ANOTHER chocolate peanut butter thingy! Well, this is what we all get when I ask Tony what he wants me to bake: it's either chocolate with chocolate or chocolate with peanut butter. Once, he did say cheesecake - and I started backing-up and looking around for an alien pod in which I might find his real body, I was so taken aback by the request. Anyway, these tartlets? If there is a god, then god help us all. These are INSANE. The peanut butter filling is the best I've ever had - it will almost make you tip right over the edge of the cliff; seriously, it's the best peanut butter filling I've made to date - period. If you think you can handle it, make these - otherwise - save yourself, while there's still time.
1 c. AP flour
1/8 t. salt
1/4 c. sugar
2 T. cocoa powder
1/2 c. unsalted butter, cubed
1 egg yolk
1-2 T. ice cold water
1/2 c. peanut butter
1/2 c. cream cheese, softened
2 T. unsalted butter, softened
1/4 c. sugar
1 t. vanilla
4 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/2 c. whipping cream
In medium bowl, combine flour, salt, sugar, and cocoa. To this mixture, cut in the cubed butter until it resembles a damp sand. Combine the egg with 1 T. of the ice water and pour over the mixture, stirring only until mixture becomes moistened; if mixture is too dry, add up to 1 T. of ice water. The dough should hold the form of a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 425F and place cookie sheet in oven.
Now, here's where you have choices: this recipe can make (8) 4-inch tartlets -or- around 24 mini-tartlets, which is what I made above. If making 4-inch tartlets, roll out the dough and cut out 5-inch rounds; press them into the tartlet pan, with removable bottoms. If making mini-tartlets: depending on the size of your tin, use a tsp. or tbsp. size ball of dough and press it into the tin.
Place tartlet pans on cookie sheet and bake blind (using pie weights or beans) for 5 minutes; take out of oven and remove weights. Lower the temperature to 350F and bake for up to 5 minutes more, until crust has darkened. Transfer to wire rack to cool.
Cream peanut butter, cream cheese, and butter with an electric mixer on high speed. Add sugar and beat until fluffy; add vanilla and combine. Fill tart shells generously and chill for 2 hours. After chilling, heat whipping cream in small saucepan to boiling; pour cream over the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and stir until smooth. Cool slightly (until ganache has cooled, but is still liquid enough for decorating purposes). Drizzle over tartlets and chill for at least 30 minutes. ENJOY!!
Come to Mama, baby. Get thee in my pie-hole.