Newly added recipe section
Unlike in Facebook where all that is needed is to take a photo of dinner and perhaps talk a bit about it, I intend to include the recipes for the pictured foods. I’m not doing this so much for you but more for me. You see I have never been one for seeking and trying recipes. Instead I have almost always looked at what is available in terms of raw ingredients and decide, based on many factors including the quality of the ingredients, my mood, my hunger, my eating companions and their specific requirements, and decide what I make. It’s not always a successful process. In fact it is a bit risky because it involves entering unknown territory. But making mistakes is the best way to learn.
I do refer to recipes when there is something about a dish that I am making that I’m not sure about. Specific aspects of cooking like temperatures, times, ratios. Once I decide what I’m going to make I have a good idea what to do but sometimes I need to know specific steps or tricks.
I cook this way because that is how people have cooked since the discovery of fire. The advent of recipes came about for primarily two reasons. One is that cooks who came up with a particularly good result want to memorialize that dish and two, people who don’t cook need step by step instructions to reproduce dishes that they like. The later has gained force because people are just too busy to spend time creating culinary masterpieces. Or just an omelet.
My hope is that readers adopt the approach of painting a picture. You could learn color theory and develop a knowledge base of how colors work together, how to mix colors to get a new and better color (with respect to the goals you are trying to achieve), how to draw figures and arrange shapes so that you have a final and rewarding composition. Or you can paint by numbers. Either way is fine. Painting by numbers, although the process has limited creativity, still allows the novice painter to get involved in the process and to learn by osmosis the process of painting. Same for cooking.
Cooking is systematic. You rarely make a complex dish in which every step is previously unknown. It is, insted a series of subroutines. The first recipe that I’m presenting, veal scallops with lemon and capers, uses the same techniques for many other dishes so once you know how to make this dish, you already know how to make many others. All that it takes is your imagination and your now expanding knowledge base.
I am still working on the format of this blog so I am not quite sure how it’s going to appear but I think what I am going to do is to discuss a food or dish in the food and wine section and then provide a link to the recipe. There will also be an index in which you could browse for what dishes have been covered. So bare with me while the blog suffers its initial growing pains. Don’t hesitate to comment and or suggest. I am not a professional chef, although I worked in a high end restaurant kitchen when I was in college (that’s another story).
To get back to my point about this being more for me than for you, I have been cooking since the birth of my brother Augie when I was a teenager. When my mother was ready to spring Augie into the world…….now that I am writing this I realize my memory is faulty. It was not my brothers birth but my sister Rossella. I was thirteen then and when my mother had to stop cooking to give birth, I was the only one in the family that could boil water without burning it. I never stopped after that. In those 50 some years I have cooked more dishes than I will ever remember. This blog will at least help me memorialize some of those dishes.
The recipe section is in the Menu at the top of the website.