~ Everything Is Edible, Some Things Are Only Edible Once ~
Monday, October 18, 2010
Explore! Cook! Learn! Grow!
Sometimes, with a little explanation, things don't seem as complicated as they first appeared. New ingredients, new sauces and new herbs can sometimes discourage the home cook from preparing something scrumptious. Ive known a few people, who after reading Julie & Julia , decided to work there way through various cook books recipe by recipe, only to skip the ones that looked strange and foreign. It has always been my experience, that cooking once with a new ingredient, turns into a month of experimentation with the new ingredient. With the Internet, educating yourself about items like Chard , Foie gras , and Broccoli rabe are as simple as typing in the name then hitting the enter key.
Now finding the new items can be more of a hurdle then not being familiar with them. I once made a Entree that required Linguica but I had to substitute with Chorizo since not only did people not know what Linguica was, but nobody sold it in a 360 mile radius. One of the major draw backs for living in a very remote state.
Ask questions! If you know someone who's an accomplished cook or a Professional Chef, ask them questions about your new adventure. I think you will be surprised with the answers you get. Most accomplished cooks or Professional Chefs absolutely LOVE to talk food. They love to talk about food as much as your hardcore football fan loves to talk about there favorite team or super bowl game. I am never afraid to ask someone questions about a dish they made or a ingredients they have used that I'm not familiar with. You will never grow as a cook or Chef if you stop growing your skills and talents with food.
Here is one of my favorite recipes that has come from my trials and errors when learning Mediterranean foods. I hope it might inspire you to go after some ethnic fair that you have always wanted to try but was intimidated by some of the ingredients.
Crumble the bread roll (you can also use the food processor). Combine it with garlic, parsley (set aside some for later), anchovy fillets, the egg lightly beaten and ewe's cheese in a bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper (if you like) and stir very well. The filling must be soft.
Stuff the cuttlefish with this mixture and close them with toothpicks.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Pour half the oil in a deep baking pan, place the cuttlefish in the pan, sprinkle them with the remaining olive oil and parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper if you like.
Bake for about 40 minutes basting often (every 8-10 minutes) the cuttlefish with boiling fish stock.
*Time of cooking depends on the size of the cuttlefish*
If you prefer you can use anchovies in salt instead of anchovies in oil. Wash them before using.
If you don't like garlic you can substitute it with a fresh little onion, finely chopped.
If you bake the cuttlefish too long they can become tough.
Explore the world or even your own back yard. It can be exciting and challenging and the results will be tasty and rewarding.