I have been busy book-marking new blogs and mouth-watering recipes so rather than let all of these links collect ‘dust’ in my email archives, similar to my last inspiration post I thought I would share with you what I have been day-dreaming about and playing in my kitchen without blogging about it lately:
1. I have had this NY Times recipe for David Chang’s Bo Ssam (i.e. Korean pulled pork) saved since before I moved to Rome – in fact I loved the sound of this so much, I emailed it to friends and family at the time. Last weekend I told Alessandro it was time, time to buy a hunk of pork, head to the Korean supermarket (conveniently close to our house) to stock up on hard to track down Korean ingredients and invite some hungry friends over to demolish that hunk of pork. Trying to convince a bunch of Italians to come over for a Korean dinner was as tricky as I expected (“but I don’t like spicy!” / “I don’t like sweet and sour!” / “I don’t eat ginger!”) but with the promise of buying pizza in case people didn’t like it we found ourselves with a table full of hungry eaters willing to at least try the Bo Ssam. What is it? A piece of slow-roasted pork (dry-brined in sugar and salt overnight) served with plain rice, Kimchi, ginger-scallion sauce and a spicy chili sauce. You eat it in the form of lettuce wraps – start with some plain rice, some pork and top it with any or all of the sauces/dips – a complete mess to eat but absolutely delicious. Oh and me and the Italians? We demolished the hunk of pork in 20 minutes flat and the table was silent the entire time other than a few grunts of “pass me the pork” / “who has the spicy sauce?” / “is there any kimchi left?”.
2. Rhubarb season is here – I already emailed my dad this link to 15 recipes using rhubarb I came across on the Saveur website. I have yet to come across rhubarb in Rome (maybe I need to make a trip to the farmers’ market this weekend) but I like the idea of a rhubarb upside down cake served with some whipped Mascarpone or Ricotta.
3. Ever since buying Ginette Matthiot’s book on French baking, I have started bookmarking more and more French recipes. I still want to bake a twist on a classic Paris Brest (Choux Pastry filled with a rich cream made with hazelnut praline) but am waiting for the right occasion given filled Choux Pastry is best eaten when freshly made. While I wait, I am tempted to get my hands sticky and floury (and my lips covered in brown butter and sugar) by baking a Kouign Amann – a French yeasted cake with layer upon layer of butter and sugar. There are few recipes for this online, but thankfully David Leibovitz has posted a recipe with some really detailed instructions (and, from the looks of it, it cannot be harder to make than a Galette des Rois!).
4. Also, next time I get some wisdowm tooth pain, I know what I am having for dinner: this Olive Oil Custard (the recipes calls for some Meyer lemons which sadly are not available in Italy, I used oranges instead and it was wonderful). I made this custard the last time I had wisdom tooth pain and as soon as I licked the velvety custard of my spoon the pain was all but forgotten. The olive oil taste is not just a background note here but quite pronounced, yet I found that the grassy flavour of the oil together with the orange zest and acidity from the orange juice worked so so well.
5. I have been meaning to bake some cookies or biscuits that will keep well and that we can have on hand to serve when friends stop by for coffee (which many of them invariably do on Saturdays and Sundays given how close we live to Rome’s Monti neighbourhood and given that you can almost always find parking right by our house, a rarity in central Rome) – I bookmarked this recipe for some crisp and very thin almond cookies a while ago. Now I just need to find the time to bake them!
Let me know if you give any of these recipes a try!
And now you will have to excuse me, but that view below is waiting for me – time for my weekly long run in the vain hope of undoing some of the carbohydrate overload I am finding so hard to resist here …