Oh, cursed keys! Oh, wretched fingers! Yes, well, it seems I’ve published this week’s post a few days in advance. Haha. Guess what? It’s a Fig, Plum and Hazelnut Tart. It won’t show the usual grammatical felicity only possible when I have time to send it to the monks atop Mount Athos for a prepublication …
The barricades have come down, and the improvised memorials for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing have been moved to Copley Square park, but still, every day, fresh flowers and notes and signs appear, including the three small presents in the first photo. (And no, I didn’t look inside them.) I visited a …
Tackling your first scaloppine recipe is a bit like being handed the car keys for your first night driving solo, an event occasioning braggadocio tempered by a gruff fatherly warning, Don’t screw this up. Your skills are on display. Since the dish is cooked just a few minutes before eating, it necessarily involves a bit of brinksmanship. If it doesn’t work, well, there’s always pizzaphone. The thing is, despite appearances there’s not much chance of that happening. The risk is illusory. This week’s Pork Scaloppine with Prosciutto, Capers and Sage is guaranteed to have you home by midnight. Plus, you’re going to look really good.
“Hot-buttered groat clusters!” –Firesign Theater.
One of the pleasures of travelling is tdrawing close to the seemingly familiar only to suddenly discover it strikingly different, like this Puglian Barley Salad with Pecorino Cheese. Looks ordinary. But the taste – not like barley on this planet. Many of the more forward thinking participants in Italy’s agritourismo movement are attempting to preserve regional variations on farm products that for one reason or another have fallen from grace or never gained the favor of larger commercial ventures. Barley is a case in point–in Puglia, where it’s often hulled, rather than pearled, it’s chewy.
And chewy barley is a delight.
Okay, so this is the week without a regular posting because one or both of us was out gallivanting about the Old World. In the absence of a post from us, I have a few recommendations for recent goodies from other blogs that I follow. Nothing really connects them, except my idiosyncratic taste and great writing.
Just remember, we’ll be back next week. We know where to find you.
Jody is still in Europe, hobnobbing with her fellow wizards, while I’m back home, working on my fourth expresso of the morning since my circadian clock stubbornly refuses to acknowledge that I’m no longer in the Mezzogiorno, the land that W. H. Auden aptly dubbed the sunburnt otherwhere. I thought I’d post a few pictures of our trip (Wait! Come back!) and offer a few observations about Puglia, food and biking.
Sometimes you eat the bear and sometimes the bear eats you. That’s the way it was with Warm Radish Salad with Bacon and Pea Tips. Salad is a killer to photograph. Light glints off the dressed surfaces, producing bits of glare or “hot spots.” And if the salad is one part greens and another part something else, then while it may taste delicious to toss everything together, that homestyle approach doesn’t make for an alluring photo. The heavier components tend to weigh down the more delicate ones. What’s a guy with a camera and a chef for a wife to do?
Make the damn salad and photograph it a second time, that’s what.* The salad above is composed with a photograph, or dinner guests, in mind–radishes here, salad there, easy on the dressing. The photo shot from straight down later in the post is the way we’d normally eat the salad in all its messy collapsed glory. Different stees.
To knead, or not to knead, that is the question. Whether ’tis nobler in the dough to fold, or to grunt and sweat under a weary kneading. Perchance to sleep, and in sleeping to dream of gluten–ay, there’s the rub. At least, that’s the rub with this Easy Pizza with Sweet Onions, Spring Garlic, Cheese and Greens.
To knead or not to knead, what do you think?
It’s killing me not to title this post I want a lover with a slow lamb… But that wouldn’t reflect the drama, the intrigue, the sheer fingernail-gnawing suspense in this week’s contest of titans. Tradition versus convenience. 8-Hour Lamb with Apricots and Green Olives. In a covered roasting pan in the oven. And in a …
This post had so many potential titles–Deep Purple, Heart of Darkness, Purple Monster–all inspired by this week’s recipe of Simple Eggplant Parmesan, and the difficulty of photographing anything as dark as globe eggplant. My personal favorite was a wonderful phrase that’s been buzzing around my head for decades waiting for an opportunity to escape, from …