This past Friday, being the end of the week, was rather an occasion – not a real-honest-to-goodness occasion, just a “Happy It’s Friday” type of occasion. To that end, we went out for lunch..
( I normally would try this at home and write about the recipe, but lacking the necessary ingredients, I decided just to relive the memory, and tell you about what I had for lunch the other day.
It was freaking fantastic. )
We went to A&S Fine Foods – an upscale Italian deli near where I work. As soon as I walked in, my senses were assaulted with the aromas I have come to love – garlic, onion, the oh-so-lovely smell of cooking sausages.
There was so much to choose from – Stuffed Peppers, freshly made Polenta, rice balls, orzo and pine nut salad, red pepper, roasted garlic & garbanzo sauce, 20 different salads, 15 different entrees, enough different varieties of breads to keep your lunch different every day for 2 months, fresh pasta drying on racks, aging sausages hanging, plus 100’s of Italian delicacies – Imported olive oils (of types I have never seen, hand wrapped in paper), anchovies, sauces, spreads –—you name it, it was there. There were different types of beef, chicken, lamb, and 4 or 5 different fish, all ready to eat, plus beautiful cuts of beef – porterhouse, rib eyes, strips, chops just waiting to be grilled.. I was drooling and I had only been in the place for 20 seconds.
The woman I went with, being pregnant and hungry for everything, came away with sliced Soppressata (pronounced Super Sotta), sliced provolone cheese, a 9 inch round roll of bastone bread, roasted pepper dip, baked ziti, rice balls smothered in a rich tomato sauce, and a 2 pound roll of freshly made mozzarella.
I ended up choosing a daily special for lunch – it had just come out for serving, and was steaming hot.
The bottom layer was a marinated-grilled portobello mushroom, topped with sautéed spinach and garlic. The next layer was a thick (1 inch thick), spicy Italian sausage. To top it off, was a thick slice of polenta which had been grilled with garlic & oil, and then topped with melted mozzarella. There was enough for both lunch and dinner, and once I finished every last bit, I wished I for more.
Though I probably won’t ever make this at home – not for just my son and I, I cannot get the flavor and texture of the excellent polenta out of my mind. I plan to make some polenta this week, and experiment with flavors. I’ll let you know how it turns out.