Sunday, June 25, 2006

scampagnata -- escape from Bologna

Instructions: Wake up all your friends as early as possible on a Saturday morning. Corrale them, some mortadella sandwiches, beachtowels and bottled water into a Fiat Panda. Drive into the Appenines as far as possible, until the backseat passengers are groaning with carsickness. Hike into some unfamiliar forest along something resembling a path, following the sound of water.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

super frittura

When I discovered that fresh anchovies cost only 2.50 euros a kilo, I decided I needed to learn to clean fresh anchovies. Cleaning fish is never a task I take lightly, and cleaning little fishes seemed even more daunting. I imagined myself starring in a 'Lucy works in a cannery' episode of "I Love Lucy". Luckily anchovies are fairly simple: snip the fins, cut the belly, gut and remove the head and bones in one clean sweep. No hilarity ensues.


I love little fishes. Smelts, sardines, fried, marinated, salted... I would keep a tank of alici, anchovies, in my kitchen if it were plausible (I have researched the possibility).

This particular anchovy was destined for a mega fritto misto at Via Broccaindosso last night. Despite the 98 degree heat we gathered around a cauldron of oil to fry up alici and totani (see holy squid!) and french fries accompanied by cold beer.

Monday, June 12, 2006

what am I eating

...salads. lots of salads.
here's a favorite, which appears on my table often and in various guises:

1 clove garlic
juice of one lemon
4-6 anchovy filets
olive oil

I play fast and loose with the porportions, depending on how I feel: more or less garlic or lemon, salt, anchovies. Crush the garlic with a swift, humane blow, remove the skin, toss into your salad bowl and cover with salt. After a few minutes under salt the garlic is easier to mash. Mash with a fork, add anchovies and mash them as well. Squeeze in lemon, generously drizzle olive oil, and whisk. Give it a generous grind of fresh pepper while you're at it.

I love this on crisp steamed green beans and flat beans, taccole. Be sure to toss in the dressing while your steamed vegetables are still warm. Boiled potatoes are also delicious added to the green bean salad. Other good options: cherry tomatoes, olives, tuna, hard boiled eggs... Let cool for an hour, and you'll find the vegetables absorb the flavors and soften a bit.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

my new favorite website: James Lilek's Gallery of Regrettable Food. for those of you who like to laugh until you cry. warning: contains bodily function humor.