Roasted Okra with Guanciale, Peppers and Anchovies

Squint at this dish of roasted okra with guanciale and peppers and you might mistake it for an Italian bagna cauda. Except that okra doesn’t register on Italian culinary radar. Which is not to say that it can’t work with an Italian sensibility. Think of this as American trying on an Italian sport coat. Unexpectedly, …

Swordfish with Olive Salmoriglio

Crossword puzzle aficionados will recognize Nobody ever told me as a familiar clue. The answer is LAMEEXCUSE. That’s all I can offer for why I didn’t recognize the orange slab of swordfish Jody brought home for this week’s blog. It’s called pumpkin swordfish – new to me – and the jack o’lantern color results from …

Cheddar and Chive Soufflé

Maybe lockdown is the perfect time to bring back soufflés. If you screw it up – and you probably won’t – and who’s going to complain? A few months or a year from now you can whip one up for a special night. Then, Jeez, who knew you could make a soufflé? Plus it has tons of Parmesan and cheddar in it.

Fresh Pasta Bow Ties with Lemon and Pistachio

Long ago and in a galaxy far far away – Emilia Romagna, 2019 – a band of happy cyclists with Il Tourissimo spent an afternoon at Casa Artusi, the famous cooking school in Forlimpopoli devoted to l’arte di mangere bene, the art of eating well. Eating well, in the Casa Artusian worldview, includes preserving and …

PASSION FRUIT SPONGE CUSTARD

Passion Fruit Sponge Custard-8907

This week: Passion Fruit Sponge Custard.  Not the most elegant dessert we’ve ever made, but ignore the appearance, go for the taste, like the fruit itself.  Ripe passion fruit resemble hard-boiled eggs, after the apocalypse, wrinkly red-brown ovals.  But inside, oh…  a pucker-sweet crazy delicious psychedelic orange pulp dotted with black seeds.  (You eat that goop?!  I thought nature made things in bright colors as a warning – poison! poison! poison!?  Nope.  Nature wants you to eat that goop, to, uh, carry the seeds away.)  The flavor of passion fruit hovers somewhere between orange and mango, just as sweet, but way tarter than either.  The only exotic fruit with an equal effort/pleasure ratio, IMO, is the durian, but we’ll reserve durian for another day.  In the meantime, try this sponge custard, an antique English dessert that’s not really spongy or a custard, flavored with an intense sweet-sour taste of the tropics.

SHOOTING NAKED – CHILLED CORN, PEACH AND BASIL SOUP

Chilled Corn and Peach Soup with Basil-4421

 

Not that kind of naked.  Naked as in camera-only.  No multiple lights, no radio controls, not even a tripod.  It has been a very long month–the PanMass Challenge, loved ones off to parts known and unknown–and during our single day of work in a week of vacation the last thing I wanted to do was set up lights and softboxes in our little vacation kitchen to make it look and feel transformed.  Sometimes all you can do is just let things be.  We had barely enough plenty of light coming though the windows and I thought why not dance on the edge a little?  Back to basics: camera – light – food.  This is a Chilled Corn and Peach Soup photographed au naturel. 

SEARED HARICOTS VERTS WITH WHIPPED FETA AND PRESERVED LEMON

Seared Green Beans with Whipped Feta-3531

 

This recipe is so simple I had trouble envisioning exactly what I was going to photograph, which was fine, because given the temperatures of the last couple of weeks, who wants to spend a lot of time in the kitchen?  Seared Haricots Verts with Whipped Feta and Preserved Lemon will have you in and out in no time and then you can devote yourself to doing what everyone does in hot weather – using the grill while quaffing enormous quantities of beer.  Or, you can simply do what Jody and I did: sit down, pour yourself a glass of dry rosé, add some sliced tomatoes and crusty bread and call it lunch.