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Have I mentioned how insane Jason’s work has been these days? Have I bitched about the creative folks on his show that drive me bonkers? Why? Because it’s THEM who make my man live, breathe, eat, and …ekhm…release work twenty-four-seven. There’s no room for The Daily Show, no time to walk Cosmo together, NO REASON TO COOK, and no stamina for hanky-panky. Since we don’t have a child, a stack of highly classified photos in my drawer is the only reminder of that healthy and bursting with fruit flavors sex life we once had.

Can you imagine a job (a legal one) that takes away your most powerful instincts and the urge to preserve your own kind? I’ll make it easy for you. The job is called “Important Things With Demetri Martin”.

Trust me, I’m not the only one complaining. All the producers and writers are putting in an offensive number of hours for the show. They all are blessed with significant others. It’s been reported that all SOs are NOT happy. During one of those nightly brainstorming sessions (a.k.a. shooting popcorn and spitting water at each other, as who knows what exactly happens within the production chambers) the men began to recite out loud text messages from their better halves, then comparing which one was the most offensive. At that exact moment, it must have been around midnight, Jason’s iphone honked twice and the following message appeared on the screen:

I HATE DEMETRI.

He promptly shut off the phone and sank deeper into his chair. What happened?

A few days (weeks? months?) went by, and I visited Jason at work. Truthfully, I came in to rip him out of the office for a small hour so we could share a meal together in a peaceful setting. That night I met Demetri Martin for the very first time. Jason introduced us, and as we shook hands I smiled and sputtered:

AGI. NICE TO MEET YOU.

To which Demetri replied:

DEMETRI. I’M SORRY. I’M SO SORRY. FOR EVERYTHING.

Everyone burst out laughing, me including.

The guy is so sweet, so kind, so genuine, you just can’t be mad at him. Ever. He’s like this little white lamb that runs across green meadows and utters his cheerful baa-baa. When around him, you experience that instant notion to pet his warm, fuzzy mop and scratch his pink underbelly. That’s how sweet Demetri Martin is. And then he’s funny, too, in a smart-funny kind of way. You will all understand what I’m talking about when you see his show which premiers February 4th on Comedy Central. Turn the TV on, sit comfortably on your sofa, switch on “Important Things With Demetri Martin” and be ready to laugh. It may take you a second to keep up with him at times, as, you know, his jokes are not for dull saws and blunt axes. You ought to think a little, do some brain crunches. But then when it lands, when it hits home, and you GET IT, he’s FUNNY! Each sketch, each joke, keep in mind, has been marked with Jason’s sweat and blood. It’s a great show!

Wait a second. What’s the most appropriate snack to munch on during the show? What’s the best compliment you can offer to a night of such stimulating entertainment?

SUN-DRIED TOMATO AND OLIVE TAPENADE WITH ENDIVE SPEARS

All it requires is a food processor and those easily accessible ingredients:

–       6 oz drained kalamata olives, pitted

–       2 tbsp drained capers

–       2 tbsp sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, oil including

–       1 garlic clove

–       1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

–       1 cup (packed) fresh parsley

Throw everything into the machine and give it a spin back and forth. Next, add your olive oil and hit pulse once again. And again. That’s it. The TAPENADE is done in less than 5 minutes. Scoop it out and into a glass bowl, cover with cellophane and store in a refrigerator for an hour or so before consumption. The TAPENADE pairs beautifully with white and purple leaves of endives. Their bitterness simply dissolves in those salty Mediterranean flavors.

Oh, HBO called. Twelve hours later I was back at their desk. Chained and handcuffed to it. Darn it. Why did I say yes? Well, work is a good thing. Those folks there are good peeps, not to mention the routine is handy when it comes to my mental clarity. Since it’s only temporary, it does not count as slavery. As soon as I’m useless to HBO I shall be back in the kitchen with my beloved pots and pans.

Cosmo, on the other hand, is a poor loser that has to stay home all by himself, alone in his loneliness and feel very lonesome. Oy. My heart has just cringed.

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Nothing, and I mean nothing makes me happier than the smell of onion slivers sautéing with marjoram on a hot pan greased with olive oil and a touch of butter.

Well, maybe on days when Jason comes home at a civil hour from work, and we watch “Modern Family” and “The Daily Show” together while he rests his head on my lap, then I’m a little happier. New lingerie makes me super happy, too. Come to think of it, I get also fired up when I manage to touch my nose with the tip of my tongue, as it doesn’t always happen. I think it depends on humidity in the air or something.

And then, when Cosmo sings I experience the highest levels of delight. He’s not a very outspoken dog, if you know what I mean. Between the few barks here and there and an occasional “Hi, whassup”, hardly ever does he use his string cords. Hence, I’m particularly elated on those rare moments when he feels the blues and acts on it.

But those onions! When the slices hit a hot sautéing pan and utter that violent sizzle that they do, I get the chills. I instantly sprinkle them with a dash of salt and a generous serving of dry marjoram, previously crashed in my hands. The herb then opens up as a blooming flower and releases its aromatic oils, thus flavoring everything around it. Can you smell it yet? You should get the first whiff right as you stir them together with a wooden spoon. Just close your eyes and inhale… Oh…

The romance begins. The arches of the onion loosen up, as if they were melting in the arms of the marjoram, giving in, and letting the herb lead on the dance floor. Slow heat from the gentle flame beneath their feet is soothing and relaxing. The herb brings out what’s best in the onion – all its sweetness comes out for the world to see. Time stops for them and they think they could go on like that forever, but I know 10-15 minutes is all they have in them before they burn out.

Caramelized onions make the world a better place. They give any dull dish a Cinderella spin. Spread a spoonful of those onions on your boring chicken breast, and it turns into a Supermanchicken. Feed them to that dry sandwich with leftover pastrami, and it’s as if you splashed it with Redbull and gave it wings. You want to bring more vegetarian meals to your table, but you’re afraid it could be dreary and monotonous? Top your Quinoa & Brussels Sprouts with the onions, and you’ll never bitch about vegetables again. Is your ice-cream too vanilla? Give it a scoop of caramelized onions and forever change the meaning of dessert. Ok, maybe that’s going too far, but in most cases sautéed onions are the reason I get out of bed every morning.

This time I used them to kick life into my SALMON WITH LENTILS dish I made for dinner the other night.

Cooking lentils is pretty straightforward, just follow the instructions on its packaging. If you want to jazz it up like I do, get a carrot and two celery stalks. Wash ‘em, peel ‘em, and chop ‘em finely. Then sauté the veggies in a hot pan with a teaspoon or two of olive oil, and – what the hell – a little butter, too. Season it with salt and pepper, and give it 5-6 minutes. Next, add a cup of green lentils and toast them for a minute or two along with everybody else in the pan before adding any liquid. You could simply use water and 2 bay leaves, or chicken stock, or a veggie broth, about 1.5 cups of it. Clearly, you need a pan with some depth to it to fit it all in. Add more salt and pepper, maybe a dash of cayenne, maybe a teaspoon of nutmeg and cumin, cover with a lid and let it simmer over a low heat until fully cooked. You may need to add more liquid, so keep an eye on the lentils. Minutes before the legumes are done, add a splash of red wine vinegar to give them that extra zing.

On a separate pan, grill the salmon fillets seasoned with salt and black pepper. Depending on their thickness, you may need to give them 3-4 minutes per side. You never want to keep the fish over that fire till its completely cooked, because it will get dry. Turn the heat off BEFORE the fish is done, and just let it sit for another five minutes on its own. It will get there, I promise.

No dinner is complete without a fresh salad. Whisk a quick DRESSING in a cup (extra virgin olive oil + lemon juice or vinegar at 3:1 ratio, 1 tsp of Dijon mustard, 1 tbsp of honey, salt and pepper) and pour over your greens. You may want to add chopped tomatoes, cucumber, bell peppers, radishes, shallots, what have you. You may also keep it clean, if that’s your preference. All’s good as long as you get your vitamins in their natural form.

Salmon with Lentils

Tah-dah! Your dinner is ready. Scoop a little bit of lentils onto your plate. Then gently lay the grilled salmon over the kernels with the green accent of your salad to its side. DO NOT FORGET THE CARAMELIZED ONIONS! Perfection.

Happy Lentils Everybody!

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