Saddened to hear the loss of Anthony Bourdain. He was such an inspiration to me with food, wine, travel, people and the quirky little bits of other cultures. He has made me smile, frown, look away in disgust and laugh out loud. My favourite episodes of his shows were definitely Romania, Rome and uncannily, Paris, where his life ended. Who would've thought that someone who loved life so much could end it?!
I always said that the 'Deconstructed Dish' phase was ridiculous! Just an excuse for a cheesecake that didn't turn out. Well, Have a look at these ridiculous Decontructed Dishes:
Plums are so delicious in Sydney at the moment! Low in calories, fat and proteins yet provides Vit C and A, dietary fibre and antioxidants. I personally love the black ones. Here is my recipe from a Kitchen Jazz cooking class back in Autumn 2005. An oldie but a goodie! The chocolate yoghurt is a great alternative to cream.
This larger than life man was such an inspiration to me and it was sad news to hear of his passing. I met him a few times both in the UK and Australia and was in awe of his passion and charisma. As a tribute, I share one of my favourite pasta sauces which is my version from one of his earlier books.
Long live passion!
Carluccio’s Pasta Sauce Serves 4-6
This recipe is based on a pasta sauce created by Antonio Carluccio, an Italian chef living in London and has been modified by Kitchen Jazz. It was originally designed to be eaten with a short and textured pasta such as farfalle or spirals, but I think that it is just as good with spaghetti.
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 rashers of bacon, rind removed and bacon cut into strips
680/700 ml bottle tomato puree (with no added flavours)
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup frozen peas
½ cup basil leaves, loosely packed, no stalks
½ cup mascarpone (Italian cream cheese) / or ½ cup cream
Salt and freshly ground pepper
¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Heat the oil in a saucepan or a deepish fry-pan which has a lid. When hot, add bacon and fry until browned and lightly crisped.
Add the tomato puree and stir. Then add garlic and peas and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer with the lid on for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Rip the basil leaves in half by hand and add to the sauce together with mascarpone. Stir until combined and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Add drained hot pasta to the sauce and stir together, adding parmesan cheese.
• Note: You will need approx 400-500g of pasta to this quantity of sauce.
Pasta cooking tips:
• Have plenty of boiling water to avoid overcrowding of pasta (this will avoid sticky pasta)
• Stir every now and then to separate the pasta.
• There is no need to rinse the pasta after draining if you use a good quality pasta.
• Cook until al dente (slightly crunchy) as the pasta will continue to become softer as it absorbs the sauce.
Caviar spoons: Oh I do love a good debate. And here I have a debate with myself…..
It is said that caviar should be served with a spoon made of mother-of-pearl, horn (absolutely no-no everyone!!) or wood (a bit pedestrian). It should not be served with a metal spoon as this could react with the caviar and taint the flavour. But then again, the tins are made of metal, aren’t they? (Or a glass jar with a metal lid). Hmmm… could it be that caviar just reacts with silver? So stainless steel would be ok? Yes. But why mother-of-pearl? Well, probably because it is expensive – just like caviar! And it looks pretty. (haha, pretty expensive!) And there is less chance of breaking the delicate little orbs of caviar.
I noted that professional caviar tasters place a dollop of caviar on the side of their hands and eat straight from the hand. This avoids using a spoon and hence tainting the caviar, but how do you get the caviar from the tin to your hand. Hmmmm so many questions. And this last method requires a lot of lipstick top-up.