zondag 11 oktober 2009

Dinner in the Roman Empire

It's been a while since this blog had anything to eat, so I thought I'd better do something about it before I get charged with Blog cruelty.Of course I'm not the only caretaker of ths Blog. A certain ms. Egg Plant could have also fed this poor blog, but it appeares she has been a tad busy feeding human guests and creating witches with dachshunds.

Hmmmmm.... Makes you wonder what the blazes is going on there....I hope I got everything in the right order and that it's not: feeding the witches with homans and dachshunds.....

Oh well...

A few weeks ago, I had dinner at an Italian restaurant called Imperio Romano.It'sin The Hague (of course). There are 2 Imperios.One is a true restaurant as in pricey and upper crust-like. They don't serve mundane, plebean food like pizza or pasta.
That restaurant serves excellent food with more expensive ingredients, such as truffels, lobster, caviar etc. So don't forget to upgrade your Credit Card when you go to eat there.

The other Imperio is just a few metres away from the first one and does serve pizza, pasta,gnocci and all the food one normally associates with an Italian restaurant. Though we had been to Imperio 1, we had yet to visit numer 2. That was just what we did a few weeks ago.

It was absolutely great! I had a fish soup for starters and my partner had a tuna carpaccio. The soupwaswell stoicked with shellfish and prawns and had good, meaty fish in it.Just the way a soup should be. Those French would have been blasted outta the mediteranean with their bouillabaise!
To keepthings fishy, I ordered a spaghetti with vongole, tiny clams. Mmmmm. Just right.
Miek had sea bream encrusted in sea salt. Excellent as well.
Wine was a Pinot Griggio.
Desert was very un-italian like: a coffee with a liqeur, Frangelico, which is a light, caramel liqeur. Not too sweet, not too sticky.

The bill was about 45 euro PP.

Of course, you can make spaghetti al vongole and the salt encrusted sea bream at home too, because these are simple to make.

for 1 portion, take a handful of small clams and boil them in salted water until they open. Drain and cool.
Make a light tomato sauce by glazing a small finely chopped onion, likewise 1 clove of garlic and some salt/pepper in 1 tbsp of hot olive oil. Add 1 large, peeled and diced tomato and a small glass of good white wine. Let te sauce reduce to about 2/3 so that the tomatoes are soft and can be roughly crushed with a fork. Add clams and mix in with the spaghetti, which you have boiled al dente, of course. Add a bit of chopped parsely over the dish and voilá. Done.

The fish is even simpler. Take 1 small, whole, cleaned and scaled sea bream, place in an oven dish. Pack tightly with very coarse sea salt and place in a hot oven (220 degrees) for about 30 min. Take the dish out of the oven. The salt will have hardened over the fish.
Take asmall hammer and a chisel to ctack open the salt crust, remove it from the fish. The fish will be well done but still moist.
Carefully filet the flesh from the bone with a spoon and fork, taking care not to damage the fish and place on the plate. Eat with pommes duchesse or small diced, fried potatoes sprinkled with finely chopped parsely and mixed greens or a salad.

Buono apetito!

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