Month: February 2014

The Unfinished Manuscript – Pasta al Tonno

Once again, we’re doing our part of The Unfinished Manuscript. Previously, we did a Focaccia, and this makes a fine accompaniment to it, or works well on it’s own as a one dish dinner, or a fish course for a much larger meal. As before, the author’s recipe just didn’t wow me. Not that there was something wrong with it, it was just rather pedestrian. So we’ve amped up the flavors a bit and gone head first into fishy pasta world. I think every culture has some sort of noodle-y, fishy comfort food dish, and this one is of Sicilian origin. Think of it as laborers food… dressed up a bit. It’s quick, easy, and thoroughly satisfying. This is my last recipe with THE BOOK, it’s going on the road this weekend. From here, it’s going to travel to Washington State and into the able hands of Sprung At Last. Pop on over there and give her some love, and a look. (Her posts about her dating disasters with Match.com are just too funny.) Pasta …

The Unfinished Manuscript – Focaccia

If you didn’t read about how this all came about – go back and catch up at the beginning of the story HERE. * * * Thinking I’d go for something in the beginning of the manuscript, and something tasty and easy – I picked the “Focaccia al Rosmarino” (Focaccia with Rosemary) as the first test of the manuscript’s abilities. Meh… the flatbread was tough, chewy in the center, and not terribly flavorful. The main problem with the recipe is the author has you rolling the dough – in her words – like a pizza. The thing is you never want to roll pizza dough, let along – focaccia dough. You want to pull and stretch it.  This keeps the gas pockets from the yeast high and airy which keeps the dough from being all compacted making flatbread tender, crisp and delicious. so… No Rolling… forgedaboutit! The other issue was the blandness. Bread needs seasoning. And, bread that doesn’t include much sugar, or dairy,  or egg in the mix is going to need salt… and …

The Unfinished Manuscript – Leg #1 ~ Dahlonega, Georgia

Several months ago A fellow food writer and friend – Julie @ Cookbook Fetish – found an unfinished cookbook manuscript in an “antique” store. We sort of giggled about it at the time, wondering why someone would go through the effort of writing a book…. then trashing it. We mused about the idea of cooking all the recipes in the book and – in a sense – finishing it. And… wouldn’t it be fun to send it around and let other people cook some recipes and write about their experiences with  “The Book” Julie cooked the first recipe out of  “Mr. Preliminary Version 1997” and wrote about it here >> Hunter’s Style Chicken << It was, in a word, uninspired (not the post… the recipe). Then Julie sent it on to me in November. Unfortunately things happen and life gets in the way – and I promptly lost The Book until last week. I spent the weekend thumbing the pages trying to decipher the layout and get a feeling for what the authors had in …

Buttermilk French Toast

We’ve been talking buttermilk the past couple of days, and I realize not everyone knows what I mean when I refer to “good” buttermilk. So, let’s look at the dairy counter for a bit. Undoubtedly, you’re going to see a minimum of three different kinds of buttermilk when you look at the labels – Cultured Whole Fat – Cultured Non Fat – and generic, non-specific buttermilk… let’s call it  –  FAKE. But to get a sound understanding as what it is supposed to be, we’ll go back to the very beginning, and start with the original way to get it. … is a by-product of butter production. Whole, cream top milk (meaning – milk straight out of the cow) is dumped into an earthenware churn jug and allowed to sit in a warm area for a minimum of 24 hours. This time allows the milk base to form enzymes that begin to break down the milk and causes to liquid to sour slightly and clabber (clump up a bit). Once the proper aging has happened …