I finished Heat and wanted to revisit because I think I dismissed it as a high-testosterone foody dude book, which wasn’t fair, and I don’t want to go back and edit my dumb-in-public blog. To make up for my narrow commentary I went to Market of Choice and got a slab of cheap beef back ribs for ten bucks and tried to cook the shit outta them in chianti. I learned alot about patience this time around--five hours was not enough, nothing was falling apart, but I started in the afternoon rather than in the morning, or overnight. There were nibbles in there that suggested potential, but I just didn’t stick it out. I even had a misguided health kick moment and poured off the liquids because I didn’t want to deal with pouring off the pure liquified fat hanging out on top. Even so, alot of the fat had not rendered off, and it was still kind of gnarly, like an old dictator who started meditation too late. I think that on Saturday, before we take off to Saturday Market, I will pop the same set up in the oven and let it cook all day at a slightly higher temp.
On the side I had a white bean tapanade with orange zest and rosemary, that was right good.
The second half of the book, which does not concern intense apprenticeship in a hot NYC kitchen, concerns intense apprenticeship in a rustic Italian butcher shop. The bit about Tuscan “brown food” made me wonder, is that what was going on when we went to Sfizio and things seemed flat, on purpose? Because most of the stuff we get there is great (we’ve gone four times now) but occasionally we’ll get something that’s kind of Methodist Fellowship Hall potluck-y. Fennel and sausage and clam pasta w/ breadcrumbs--sounded good, but was a large pile of beige casserole. It wasn’t something I liked, but now I think I might understand it, or have an inkling about what the menu is up to. As for the crispy pork chop w/ lemon on a pile of arugula, I want that again.