Recipes »Batali Bolognese

batali bolognesefrom Molto Italiano

Mario Batali doesn’t mess around when it comes to his Ragu Bolognese. Veal, pork, and pancetta? No wonder this hearty meal filled us up so thoroughly. Mike, who was nice enough to prepare this dish for us, substituted parsnips for carrots.

The recipe comes from the Molto Italiano cookbook.

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Posted on December 13, 2009

Books »1080 Recipes

1080 recipesI recently rediscovered what is surely the most lovely cook book on my shelves, a gift from co workers a few years back, 1080 Recipes. This tome of Spanish dishes is illustrated throughout with whimsical drawings by Javier Mariscal.?I posted some of my favorites over at Rotating Corpse.

Simone and her daughter Ines Ortega are the authors and this book has been a kitchen staple in Spain for decades. I became available in this handsome package only two years ago in the US.

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Posted on August 24, 2009

Books »Liberace Cooks

liberace cooksSome time ago, when giving Mr. Showmanship credit for his bedazzling style, I mentioned that I was seeking out Liberace Cooks! I have an awesome mom, because she actually found it for me on eBay. The dusty, well loved tome, “As told to Carol Truax” (who was a native of my hometown), reads like a folky Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.

Each chapter is titled after one of the seven dining rooms he and his diamond encrusted suit enjoy. The “Indoor-Outdoor Eating” chapter, which includes recipes for spareribs, sauerkraut, and chicken in brandy and cream, is centered around the dining room he eats in the most and described this way, “The draperies are a pale tomato color, the velvety carpet is mustard-yellow – convenient if somebody spills the mustard sauce”.

Another chapter called “Do it Yourself and Eat it Yourself In the Kitchen” includes Liberace's Special 15 Minute Eggs, which take fairly healthy eggs and douse them with heavy cream, butter, and cheese.

He also has a “Beautiful Buffet by the Yard” and a room for “TV Dining”. Of course, the TV is done in golds and is adorned with onyx cherubs, but I have to say, the man gave little thought to the layout and configuration of the room: if a guest were enjoying Sunset Chef's Salad (cabbage, chicken and tongue) or Scotch Squares in here, they'd have a tough time watching Leapin' Lizards, It's Liberace.

“Cookout on the Loggia” features Liberace at his burliest, grilling steak in a chef's apron under the piano keys that adorn the grill. “The entire area is greencovered, not with grass but with outdoor carpeting, so easy to walk on, so safe for wet feet.”

The “Room with a View” and “Formal Dining Room” chapters earn no photos, but do feature more heavy cream based dishes like Canape Puffs and Green Mashed Potatoes.?The final chapter gets the best title “Sauces, Sauces everywhere” because, as the man himself declares, “It's the sauces that divide the men from the boys and separate the gourmets from the guzzlers.”

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Posted on April 13, 2009