Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Clearing the Slate

I've accrued a backlog of recipes from Rome that I've cooked, but haven't posted about. None were exceptional, so I'm just going to blast 'em out.

Conchiglie alla Caprese (pg 105) takes all the delicious elements of a caprese salad, adds capers, olives, and anchovies, then dilutes the whole thing with pasta. The best part of a caprese salad is the flavor union of mozzarella, basil, and tomato. It may not be impossible to get all three of those things in one forkful once pasta is thrown into the mix, but it doesn't happen organically.
Conclusion: Just okay. Bland. I bought the cute little trulli house-shaped pasta during my Columbus Day trip to Alberobello, which you can read about here.

Insalata Rossa (pg 151): snoozefest. Tomatoes, carrots, green onions, basil, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil do not come together as more than its individual pieces.
Conclusion: Just okay.

Pollo alla Romana con i Peperoni (pg 144), or Chicken with Tomatoes and Sweet Peppers, is the standout. The drumsticks didn't take on much flavor, so they were just normal drumsticks, but the sauce and the peppers were out of this world. I could have eaten a giant bowl of rice drowned in sauce (crisped prosciutto, a glug of white wine, tomatoes, oregano, with the soft peppers added in at the end), and been perfectly happy. No chicken necessary
Conclusion: Really liked the sauce and peppers.

I saw some parsnips (a rarity) at the Commissary last week, so I snagged them, without a plan. Feast has a recipe for Maple-Roast Parsnips (pg 25). Holy mother of God. These things are candy. Nigella says in her intro that she used to use honey and has changed it to maple syrup because it's "sweetness (is) less cloying." I can't even imagine how sweet the honey ones must have been, because I could barely make myself eat these. I am sure Charlie would have liked them, but he refused to put one in his mouth. I gave up after an hour and a half. He informed me he wanted to go to bed hungry, and so that is what he did. Grrrr.
Conclusion: Disliked. If Charlie had eaten them, I'd make them again in the future, but since he didn't, I won't. Too sweet.

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