Guess what, y’all? If you haven’t heard (if I haven’t told you) already, I have an internship this fall! At ELLE Magazine! In the features department! (at least, theoretically. This is an internship, after all, so I have a feeling I’m gonna be doing whatever they ask me to do.) I am already prepping for Devil Wears Prada moments. As in, if I don’t drop a dress size and take home clothes from the sample closet and go to Paris and adopt a middle-aged gay mentor and get arch looks from
Miranda Priestly Anna Wintour Meryl Streep the editor in chief, I will be severely, severely disappointed. Because that’s really why I applied for this internship. For sure.
Anyway, to celebrate my shaky step onto the rotting ladder of magazine journalism, I made a big ol’ celebratory meal. In my opinion, these three recipes make the perfect great fancy meal — they’re fancy, they’re still crowd pleasers with ingredients that you can find in any supermarket, and they’re quick and easy to make (most abused phrase on this blog). For the lamb chops, just rub some ground fennel seed and salt over the meat, saute for five minutes, and then stick the chops in a hot oven to cook through. For the caponata, a traditional Italian dish usually served on crostini, just place your chopped vegetables and spices in a skillet and let the flavors blend together as the dish simmers. For the figs, let them soak in wine, cover with aluminum foil, and roast for 15 minutes.
Hopefully, the internship will be just as easy. In any case, at least the Harry Potter series is over so don’t have to worry about getting any unpublished manuscripts.
Ingredients for Caponata:
-3/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette
-1 onion, chopped
-1 medium to large eggplant, chopped
-2 large beefsteak tomatoes, chopped
-1 tsp cinnamon
-1 tsp cocoa powder
-1/4 cup pine nuts
-1/4 cup golden raisins
-1 tsp red pepper flakes
-2 tbsp tomato paste
-2 tsp fresh thyme
-1/2 cup water
1. Chop eggplant into cubes and let marinate in a medium bowl with 1/2 cup balsamic vinaigrette. Leave that alone for 10 minutes.
5. Stir in thyme, tomato paste, 1/2 cup water, and remaining 1/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette. Cover the pan and reduce to gentle heat. Let simmer for 15 minutes, until eggplant begins to lose its shape. Salt to taste.
Ingredients for lamb chops:
1. Grind fennel seed into a fine powder (There is probably an actual method to doing this. I did it using a coffee grinder and it worked fine.)
Ingredients for wine-roasted figs:
-2 tbsp red wine
I was a little confused when I found these yellow figs at my grocery store; I’m used to the purple kind. To be honest, these guys were a little less flavorful, but they were still delicious. And the insides look exactly the same. See?
The figs should come out warm and juicy with just a hint of a boozy tang.