Whether you’re beating the heat on the west coast or dodging the rain out east, here are a few tasty tidbits to keep you satisfied.
Homemade Ricotta…sound daunting? Think again! A few easy steps, and ingredients from your local market, and you’re good to go. Really-it’s that easy, and oh so good. Russ Parsons, known for his thorough and expert testing of recipes, dives into the process and writes all about it in today’s LA Times. The process boils down to this (no pun intended): buttermilk and whole milk are cooked to 185 degrees (less than a boil), a bit of white vinegar is added, and after five short minutes you’re skimming gorgeous cheese out of your pot. It is heads and shoulders above the supermarket stuff. In fact it is so good it’s a shame to use it as an ingredient-it really should be elevated to the star of a dish. I like mine on toasted baguette with sliced radishes, good olive oil, and sea salt. Russ gives a few other alternatives too: Roasted Peppers Stuffed with Homemade Ricotta and Ricotta-Honey Gelato with Orange. Whatever you decide to do with it, definitely give it a try. You’ll fall in love with the results.
Seems Roman food is taking the food scene by storm. High on the critic’s lists is Maialino, Danny Meyer’s latest venture in Manhattan. I haven’t been but loved reading about Melissa Clark’s experience with an incredible bowl of seasonal Minestrone soup. In fact, she was so satisfied with her seasonal bowl of veggies and broth she tackled the recipe at home and created a more straight forward and rustic version, topped with an almond pistou (French-style pesto). She adds fresh shell beans (such as the beautiful pink spotted cranberry beans) but if you cant find them at your farmers’ market, stirring in canned beans towards the end would work in a pinch. Like Russ at the LA Times, Melissa, at the NY Times writes a thorough and fab recipe yet again.
When schnitzel is done well it is absolute perfection. Made with veal, pork, or even (bucking tradition entirely) chicken, the boneless meat is pounded thin, coated in breadcrumbs, and quickly fried. Usually served simply with a drizzle of lemon, my favorite is at Suppenkuche where it’s generous, filling, and crunchy every time. In the San Francisco Chronicle there is a simple do-it-yourself version of Wiener Schnitzel just in time for Oktoberfest. This is quick weeknight eating at its best and may just show up on my table tonight. Cheers!
Happy Reading and Happy Cooking.