Sunday, September 19, 2010

Foodbuzz Challenge: Next Food Blog Star

The tag line on my blog says it all: Eating well matters. Those three words define me as a blogger.  Eating well means different things to different people. For me it means eating high quality food, preferably home-made.  Eating well means additionally, that the food must not only be good food, it must taste phenomenal. Under no circumstance would I ever add some trendy grain or berry of the  week to anything I intend to consume unless it is what belongs in the recipe. Convoluting taste with extraneous junk isn't eating well.  Counting fat grams, carbs, substituting sugar for who knows what...NO THANKS! Give me the full flavor, full fat, real butter, genuine anything.  When I shop for my food, I go to the local produce market, where fruit and vegetables  come direct from the grower, and the meat is sold by the butcher, not in a styrofoam package.  If I am eating a variety of really high quality food, I know that I am doing my body right. That is eating well.

So, yes, food has to be real food, not a wannabe food like marketing tool. But, just is important is the relaxing and enjoyable dining experience.  So, I must also define myself as gluttonous. I have little or no self control when it comes to eating delicious food. I like it, I eat it. Will power? Negative.  Eating well is taking time to enjoy a meal in the company of others, preferable with music, wine, and drinks. Some of the most memorable meals I have enjoyed were at big tables, surrounded by friends or family, with lots of lively conversation. The food experience is  what you eat, and how you enjoy it.  What I love so much about blogging is sharing my recipes with others, in the hopes that in creating these dishes for their family and/or friends, they will create a memorable experience both gastronomically and socially.
My blog is unique because it is based totally on what I love to eat. No one has my same experiences or food preferences.  I worked in lots of different restaurants as a college student, spent some time abroad in Mexico City, lived in Italy for a few years, and generally travel anywhere at any given opportunity. Everywhere I ever visit gives me something lasting, a memorable food experience that inspires me, and broadens my culinary horizons.  My blog is about taking those foods that have a special place in my heart, and trying to inspire others to give them a try.  All of my recipes are pretty simple, and they are able to be made in any average home kitchen.  I want the person who might ordinarily resort to some ghastly take out or frozen entree, to think again, and say, "Hey, I think I could make that!" I am convinced that everyone would be cooking every day if they could remind their palate what home-made food tastes like.
Why should I be the next  food blog star?  Because I am the  REAL deal, real food, real taste, real authentic recipes, real flavors, real enjoyment, real simple.  I should be the next food blog star because eating well matters.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sogliola alla mugnaia

Having grown up on a city which offers a huge variety of seafood, I'm always ready for any culinary experience that involves any creatures the sea has to offer. Any city with a reputable central market will surely offer a display of colors, aromas and screaming people trying to sell their best products. Seafood markets are always an adventure, because you never know what kind of fish the local fisherman are able to provide. The challenge is for you to cook it in a way that will glorify the qualities of that particular fish, whether it is an anchovy or a giant squid. I don't need to mention the well-known nutritional properties of seafood, the more I find out about it the more surprised and pleased I am. The enjoyable part of seafood is that it is just as versatile to cook as it is meat or vegetables.
I recently came across some fresh sole, I believe not the more notorious and renowned European Dover sole, but a type of sole found in the Americas and fished both in fresh and salt water. I remember eating sole in Europe cooked in a very simple but tasty way. After talking to some friends I decided to give it a try and reproduce it.

Ingredients for 2 people
2 whole fresh soles, cleaned and de-boned
2 ounces butter
2 cups of flour
Fresh parsley finely minced
1/2 cup milk
salt to taste

Put both soles in the milk and coat them with flour on both sides. Melt the butter in a large pan. When hot, lay flat the soles, softly moving them now and then, making sure they don't burn. After three minutes, carefully turn the fish on the other side. When both sides are nice and brown, place them on the serving plate, sprinkle with some salt and add some drops of lemon juice before serving. Garnish with fresh finely chopped parsley.