Mon, Jul 12, 2010 by
The Talisman Italian Cookbook, or Il Talismano della Felicità, is perhaps the most complete, quintessential catalog of Italian specialties translated for the American kitchen. I found this in my grandmothers kitchen the last time I visited her in Florida. Originally written in 1929, the edition she had was adapted and printed by the Ronzoni Macaroni company in 1950. It was also bound backwards. This means when you open the front cover the first page you see is the last page of the recipe index upside down. Never the less, this miss print and marketing promotion aside, the book has some great traditional Italian recipes. In particular, a recipe for “Large meatball home style”. In Italian this is know as polpettone.
The polpettone is a mysterious dish because it is so huge it is quiet elusive to make well. Frank in the East Village does the absolute best one I have ever had. It is a real skill to figure out how to keep it moist, cook it through and crisp the outside all at the same time. My results were mense a mense. (mediocre in english). I kept it moist but it lacked a lot of flavor. Here is…Continue reading...
Thu, Mar 11, 2010 by
This book was send to me by my friend Allen. I met Allen in LA for the first time. I was behind the wheel of a rented black, Chevy Yukon and he was standing in front of the Roosevelt Hotel on his way to the Yahoo! Grammy party. Our short drive up the Sunset Strip solidified a few quick lessons. We were both creative guys and we both expressed it through cooking. Arguably, the single most important thing he taught me came years later as we both stood in my Brooklyn kitchen after yet another one of our Yahoo! projects wrapped. Now that might seem shallow but it’s not. The trick he showed me was how to heat up a tortilla. Put the stove top flame on med heat. Throw the tortilla directly on the flame. Flip in 5 seconds. Pull it. Stuff it. Eat it.
I had always heated my tortillas in a large hot pan. Not only did this dirty another pan in the cooking process but it took longer to heat the tortillas. So, why was this lesson so important? It is not about the tortillas as much it is about understanding a new or different way to do something. So often we look to solve problems from the perspective of what we have learned or how we were taught. Sometimes this is not the best or most logical way to do something. In this case, remove the middle man (the pan) and go directly to the source is more efficient in every way, not to mention it looks really cool. Apply this to creative thinking (in my case advertising) and watch out.
A few months back Allen took a trip to Mexico and happened upon a cooking class from famed Mexican chef Rick Bayless (Mexcian via Oklahoma). With our tortilla bond in mind, he picked up a copy of Rick’s latest book and sent it over to my BK kitchen. Inside are…Continue reading...
Mon, Feb 22, 2010 by
I met Cathy last year at SXSW in Austin. She was speaking on a panel about how to be a successful food blogger. Interestingly enough, this was before Forking Tasty had launched. After the session I went up to introduce myself because I loved her blog, we had a mutual friend and we called the same borough home. Since that moment last March I have competed against her, cooked with her and ate next to her on various occasions.
Last week…Continue reading...
Fri, Feb 19, 2010 by
But they are good for something. That something is new ideas. Recipes help me create new dishes, learn how to use new ingredients and find new cooking methods. As much as I say I never cook from a recipe I do still own several strategic cookbooks that help me get through a stumbling block when cooking. More on that in a future post.
Lately I have been given a few cookbooks because of this blog and my obvious love of food. I’ve decided that a nice way to say “Thank You” as well as learn some new methods is to try a recipe from the books I receive. Now this is not an open invite to start sending us books. My apartment, although spacious, still resides in NYC and space is at a premium. And, Ant lives on a ship. Even less room there. If you really must send us something, send a note and we will get you the address.
Of course a ‘lil series on this blog isn’t a series without a kitschy name. Just like “P.I.E. WITH” or “Forking Nasty” this series needs some playful nomenclature. I will start the series a little later today under the title; Freshipes. Get it? Fresh Recipes.Continue reading...