Friday music – Funk

Friday music – Funk

Funk:1. Music
a. An earthy quality appreciated in music such as jazz or soul.
b. A type of popular music combining elements of jazz, blues, and soul and characterized by syncopated rhythm and a heavy, repetitive bass line.
c:..that which appears after typing ‘Jazz, Flu, Virus’ on Youtube between one cough and another because, well, you feel sort of like a pea and potato puree left outside the fridge overnight and, well again, typing Jazz, Flu, Virus on youtube at that point doesn’t seem irrational…
c…quello che appare quando digiti ‘Jazz, Flu, Virus’ su youtube tra una tosse e un’altra perché ti senti come una puree di patate lasciato fuori tutta notte e non ti va di fare qualcosa di meglio.

Advertisements

Wednesday Will: Hamlet’s Pan-Fried Sole

Wednesday Will: Hamlet’s Pan-Fried Sole


Hamlet’s Pan-Fried Sole
“I eat the air, promise-crammed. You cannot feed capons so.” Hamlet, 3.2


“To fry, or not to fry” is probably the most famous recipe line in the world and its chef perhaps the most widely interpreted. When well prepared, “Hamlet’s Fried Sole” has been described by some food critics as being a religious experience. Others note that Hamlet is fundamentally a Sophist cook, pointing to his question “what taste may come…who is to say?” They further note that the lack of specification in his ingredients, “or other herbs”, is conducive to a relativistic philosophy of cooking.
Still others like the noted Austrian chef and food commentator S. Freud place Hamlet’s dish in an overwhelming psychoanalytical sauce, usually speculating something about his mother having been a bad cook. We the editors feel that Freud overcooked and over-sauced most of his food – probably from secretly over-indulging in the Greek take-away joint near his office – and we think the flavors of “Hamlet’s Fried Sole” are more satisfyingly interpreted in a simpler, though more complex, systemically physiological manner. In this version of the dish Hamlet’s questioning and resultant inaction is interrupted by Shakespeare himself who, after all, did have a restaurant to run.

 

The Ingredients of the Recipe:
1 sole fish, filleted from itself
Milk
Grated lemon rind
Pepper & salt
Chives or other herbs
Flour
Butter or extra-virgin olive oil

The Chefs of the Dish
Hamlet – a depressed chef
Shaksper – his patient boss

Act I, sc. 1

Enter Hamlet, alone.

Hamlet: To fry, or not to fry; that is the question:
Whether ‘tis nobler that a sole be roasted
In the oven, lightly sauced with capers and
Parsley, or be breaded, laid on heated oil
And, once browned, turned over. To cook, to sizzle –
Until done, and by done I mean barely done,
Being careful not to dry the flesh, that cork
Texture that sole is prone to – ‘tis a finished
Dish devoutly to be eaten. To fry, to bread.
To bread, perchance to flavor. Ay, there’s the rub,
For in that flavored breading what taste may come
Through frying can delight us, surprise us,
Make us go m-m-m-m. Therein lies the flavor
That makes frying the sole so appealing.
But who is to say? What if the breading
Is too salty? What if you do overcook
The fish filet? Forget to put in the
Grated lemon rind? Forget to dip the fish
In milk first? Why not oven bake instead?

Enter Shakespeare

Wil: Hamlet, isn’t that fish fried up yet? Just what the heck are you waiting for, an invitation from the dead? The sweet carrot and potatoes have already been blended into a puree. Get that fish in the oil before it’s too too solid flesh melts, over thaws and resolves itself into a smelly heap. I dunno’ Hamlet, sometimes you are just such a piece of work.

Exits

Hamlet: God I’m such a looser, such a rogue, such a peasant slave. He’s right, my Will, as if I lack a will of my own. I cannot decide any thing of my own free will, cannot decide ‘this thing’s to do,’ cannot will myself…

Shakspear: (off-stage) Hamlet!

Hamlet: Right. (speaking very quickly) Just dip the filets in some milk then the flour seasoned with salt, pepper, lemon rind and whatever fresh herb you like and fry it in some extra virgin olive oil or good butter turn once and serve with a medium bodied white. (pause) It’s as simple as that. The rest is, ah, the rest is…

Pause. Exits with a puzzled expression in his eyes. Exit recipe


The real recipe:
The Ingredients:
Sole or other flat fish filets
Flour
Grated lemon rind
Salt and pepper
Basil, sage, parsley or other fresh herbs
Milk
Butter
EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil)
As Hamlet says above: simply season a plate of flour with grated lemon rind, salt, freshly ground black pepper, and whatever fresh herbs you like, if any, finely chopped. In a wide bowl or plate next to the flour pour in some milk. Dip the fish filets first in the milk, then the flour, then fry on each side in butter or oil until golden and cooked. Remove, lightly salt, and serve with mashed potatoes and/or a creamy vegetable-based dunking puree-sauce. Or you could decide to cook the filets in a pan with garlic-flavored extra-virgin olive oil, capers, parsley and white wine, but let’s keep our options limited.


link: A pikesauce for a Pike / Breme Perche / Roche / Carpe / Eles / floykes / and all maner of brouke fisshe: http://www.godecookery.com/trscript/trsct007.html

Wednesday Will: La sogliola di Amleto

Wednesday Will: La sogliola di Amleto

La sogliola fritta di Amleto
“Mangio l’aria, stipata con promesse. Non puoi sfamare i vostri capponi così.” Amleto, 3,2

“Friggere, o non friggere” è probabilmente la linea di ricetta più famosa del mondo e il suo cuoco e forse il più ampiamente interpretato. Se ben preparato, “La Sogliola fritta di Amleto” è stato descritto da alcuni critici gastronomici come un’esperienza religiosa. Altri osservano che Amleto è fondamentalmente un cuoco sofista, indicando la sua domanda: “che gusto può venire … chi può dire?” Altri hanno notato che la mancanza di precisione nei ingredienti, “o altre erbe”, potrebbe condurre a pensare di una filosofia relativistica della cucina. Altri ancora, come la famosa chef e commentatore austriaco S. Freud, postino Amleto in una salsa travolgente-mente psicoanalitica, di solito qualcosa tipo come sua madre e stata una cattiva cuoca. Noi gli editori qui ritengono che Freud scottava e sovra-condiva la maggior parte del suo cibo – probabilmente indulgendo toppo alla gastronomia greco take-away vicino al suo ufficio – e pensiamo che i sapori di “Amleto” sono più soddisfacente interpretati in modo dialogo-mente evoluti e fisiologici. In questa versione Amleto viene interrotta da Shakespeare stesso che, dopo tutto, aveva un ristorante da portare avanti.

Gli ingredienti della ricetta:
1 sogliola, sfilettata da se stesso
Latte
Buccia di limone grattugiata
Peppe & sale
Erba cipollina o altre erbe aromatiche
Farina
Burro o olio extra-vergine di oliva

Gli Chef del piatto:
Hamlet – un cuoco depresso
Shaksper – il suo capo comprensivo

Atto I, sc. 1
Entra Amleto, da solo.

Hamlet: Friggere o non friggere, questa è la domanda:
Se e più nobile che un unico essere viene arrostito
Nel forno, leggermente condito con capperi e
Prezzemolo, o impanato, posato su olio riscaldato
E, una volta rosata, capovolto. Cucinare, sfrigolare –
Finche sia cotto, e di cotto intendo appena cotto,
Facendo attenzione a non asciugare la carne,
Quella consistenza sugherosa a cui la soglila è incline –
E un piatto finito devotamente mangiabile.
Fritta, impanata. Impanata, forse per insaporirla.
Sì, qui sta il problema,
Poiché in quel impanatura aromatizzata che gusto può venire
Attraverso la frittura ci può piacere, stupire,
Farci dire ‘pero”. Qui sta il sapore, il perche
Friggere la sogliola e così attraente.
Ma chi può dire?
Cosa succede se l’impanatura
E ‘troppo salata? Che cosa succede se si fa stracuocere
Il filetto di pesce?
Se dimentichi di mettere la scorza di limone grattugiata?
Se dimentichi di immergere il pesce
Primo nel latte? Perché non cuocerlo al forno, invece?

Entra Shakespeare

Wil: Amleto, non hai ancora fritto il pesce? Che diavolo stai aspettando, un invito dai morti? La puree di carota dolce e patate e già mescolata. Metti il pesce nell’olio prima che la sua troppo troppo solida carne si scioglie, si scioglie di più e si risolve in un mucchio puzzolente. Amleto, non so ‘, a volte sei un tale lavoro…

Esce

Hamlet: Dio mio. Sono un perdente, un ladro, un tale schiavo contadino. Ha ragione, la mia Will, come se mi manca una volontà mia. Non riesco mai a decidere qualcosa di mia spontanea volontà, non riesco a dire “questa e la cosa da fare…”

Shakspear: (fuori scena), Amleto!

Amleto: Giusto. (Parlando molto rapidamente) Basta immergere i filetti in un po di latte poi la farina condita con sale, pepe, scorzo di limone e tutto ciò che ti piace di erbe fresche e friggerla in poco olio extra vergine di oliva o burro buono girala una volta e servire con un bianco di una struttura media. (Pausa) E ‘così semplice. Il resto è, ah, il resto è…

…Pausa. Esce con un’espressione perplessa negli occhi. Fine ricetta



La ricetta vera e propria:
Gli ingredienti:
Sogliola o altri filetti di pesce piatto
Farina
Buccia di limone grattugiata
Sale e pepe
Basilico, salvia, prezzemolo o altre erbe fresche
Latte
Burro
EVOO (extra-vergine di oliva)
Come dice Amleto sopra: semplicemente insaporire un piatto di farina con buccia di limone grattugiata, sale, pepe nero macinato fresco, erbe aromatiche e tutto ciò che ti piace, se e del caso, finemente tritato. In una ciotola ampia o piastra successiva alla farina versare po ‘di latte. Immergere i filetti di pesce prima nel latte, poi la farina, poi friggere su entrambi i lati nel burro o nell’olio fino a doratura. Rimuovi il pesce, sale leggermente e servire con purè di patate e / o una crema a base vegetale ovvero purea-salsa. Oppure si potrebbe decidere di cuocere i filetti in una padella con olio extra-vergine di oliva insaporita con aglio, poi capperi, prezzemolo e vino bianco, ma teniamo sotto controllo le nostre opzioni.

link: A pikesauce for a Pike / Breme Perche / Roche / Carpe / Eles / floykes / and all maner of brouke fisshe: http://www.godecookery.com/trscript/trsct007.html

Weekend Food, Roman Delis – Antica Caciara: Small voice, Great deli

Roman Food – Small voice, Great deli – Antica Caciara

Subdued voice, Great deli: Antica Caciara in Trastevere.

 The cobble stoned streets in Rome are tricky, particularly if you’re wearing high heels, particularly if you’re a tourist. They’re lovely to look at, and since they are, well, streets, you trust you can walk over them without paying attention. But if you don’t look where you’re putting your feet, those streets can literally steal your shoes. The photo below I took a few days ago. It isn’t a set up: someone actually must have gotten stuck, tried to pull her shoe out but the stones wouldn’t give. So she lost her heal, most likely then gimping up and down on her way back to her hotel while swearing a bit under her breath.


A similar same sort of thing happens with people. Well, with men anyway. Often men with full voices inspire trust. That, our attitude regarding a well articulated, completely resonating tone of natural command comes from our evolution. Big voice = competent guy, we often assume. ‘He knows what he’s doing. Must be respected.’ Lots of executives learn that trick early on, (particularly short ones.) ‘Listen, see, I’ve got a naturally commanding voice. Follow my lead.’ They stand up straight and wear expensive, tailor-made clothes. But sometimes if you follow them without paying attention they’ll take your shirt. And your shoes. And your underwear, for that matter. Think Wall Street.

Smaller-voiced men with hunched shoulders are by contrast often neglected. You know, the pee-wee Hermans of the world. The ones that can seem to fade into the background.

In Rome there are a few well-kown, visually impressive, ‘big-voiced’ delis, particularly downtown. And some of them aren’t at all bad. Roscioli, Franchi….are the Dean and Deluca’s or Eataly’s of the eternal city. They usually have the most well-known, high-class produce and artisanal salamis and such. Snob stuff. And they make you pay very dearly for that snobbery. There are plenty of others that pretty much make you pay dearly for even mediocre stuff, pretending that they’re giving you good counsel and offering you something special. Particularly if you’re a tourist. Watch where you’re putting shoes or you’ll loose a heal. And a good chunk of whatever’s in your wallet.

In the heart of Trastevere there’s instead a small place that might appear even a bit shabby at first glance: Antica Caciara Trastverina, of Roberto Polica, in via San Francesco a Ripa. Maybe you wouldn’t even notice it if you pass by, as it sort of fades into the background of the street. But take a closer look. That sheep’s milk ricotta you see stacked up inelegantly in the window is still glistening with freshness. That was cheese was definitely done this morning. And look at the price: it’s more than a little reasonable, and so much less expensive that the Balducci-like places a bit closer to the tourist attractions. So step inside.

That guy there, the owner, is almost always behind the counter. He’s thin and sort of wiry but with a subtle, strange elegance like a young apple tree. He’ll greet you kindly, humbly, almost apologetically and ask you if he might help you in a kind wisp of a voice. Ask him. Trust him. He’s one of the most culinarily knowledgable men you’ll ever meet. Anywhere.

And his store’s produce reflects that knowledge. Every single lunch meet, or dried fish, or cheese in the store is simply remarkable. He doesn’t just have, say, a bresaola. He’ll offer you a taste if you seem uncertain, explain to you its flavor in detail, in inception when you place into your mouth, its evolution once you begin to chew and its aftertaste. And where it comes from, how it’s made. Go ahead and taste it. You’ll pause, and then remain overwhelmed. Poetry. The best. The best pecorino Romano, the best coppa, the best ricotta, the best salted herrings in Rome…can be found right there in his deceptively modest-looking store.

When the bill comes you’ll again be overwhelmed…at its smallness. Here you won’t loose your wallet, shoes, shirt, underwear or anything else. You’ll gain something instead: flavor and knowledge. And maybe next time another full-voiced, full-of-himself guy offers you his ‘follow me’ spiel on the streets or on TV while he’s running for office, you’ll reach for your pocket to make sure your wallet remains in place. And remember that sometimes smaller voices carry much greater weight.

I just wish people like Roberto would go into politics and banking. That is, finance. But, like a smart, experienced Brit once said: ‘There’s no money in poetry. Then again, there’s no poetry in money.’ Roberto, in his way, is one hell of a poet.

http://www.anticacaciara.altervista.org/index_altervista.htm

 

…if you happen to know of other great delis in Rome, let us know in the comments…

Weekend Food – Literary Recipe (pasta noir): Stephen Hawking’s Radiated Pasta Carbonara

Weekend Recipe: Stephen Hawking’s Radiated Carbonara

“In effect, we have redefined the task of science to be the discovery of laws that will enable us to predict events up to the limits set by the uncertainty principle.” A Brief History of Time. Rest in peace…

Ingredients:
One dumb undergrad*
Pasta dough (or 320 grams or so of long pasta)
200 grams of bacon (or guanciale the more so, pig cheek)
4-6 egg yolks (farm fresh, from somewhere chickens still live like, well, chickens)
1-2 egg whites
Grated Parmesan and pecorino romano, or one softly flavored, aged sheep cheese
Salt and pepper
Mint or Mentuccia (optional)
a few drops of cool milk or cream (as necessary)
*preferably without a spouse or children

Serves 4.

Contain an incredibly large, dense mass in your kitchen. Hide it behind a door that says ‘loo’ or ‘bathroom’. Invite a dumb undergrad over, (any faculty will do though economics would be preferable,) telling him or her you want them to take part in a revolutionary experiment. When he gets to your house, have him sit down and then slowly explain to him about black holes. (Don’t worry if you make a mistake or two. He’s dumb, so he’ll never know the difference.) Pour him plenty of beer as you do. When he asks to use the loo, show him to the door behind which you’ve hidden the black hole – but remember to give him the pasta dough before he steps inside. (Tell him it’s soap or something. As mentioned above, it won’t matter.) As soon as he enters the strong gravitational field, have some fun noting him becoming increasingly terrified, in slow motion, as he nears the event horizon. You wont hear any sounds as by the time he starts to scream the sound waves won’t be able to escape the black hole.

While the dough and undergraduate are being turned into spaghetti by the massive gravity field, boil some water and gently fry the diced bacon or pig cheek in a large pan with just a few drops of olive oil. Remove the bacon once it’s crispy. Pasteurize the egg yolks after whipping them a little by double boiling, stirring and working the yolk constantly so as not to have them turn sold, in and out of the water for about 5-6 minutes. Once the spaghetti and undergrad have been expelled from the black hole, separate them, and boil the spaghetti. Then first toss the spaghetti with the rendered pork fat and a little bit of the cooking water from the pasta, then mix the spaghetti with the raw egg yolks (removed from the heat, maybe re-place over the flame for a few seconds to get to the right texture: creamy, not watery.) Then add some grated cheese, the crispy bacon bits then finally top with freshly ground black pepper. Take the spaghettied undergrad, instead, and slide him back into the black hole.

Miraculously he’ll come out again in reverse with another package of pasta in his hand. I’ll explain that some other time. Now it’s time to eat the Carbonara while still warm.

The real recipe: 
Ingredients – see above
….see the penultimate paragraph. On low heat, slowly ‘sweat’ small pieces of bacon or pig cheek, rendering their fat, until they’re crispy, then remove onto a paper towel. It’ll take time, 10-15 minutes or so. Put 80-90 grams or so of spaghetti into boiling salted water, to cook (you can flavor the water with some mint leaves, if liked.) In a mixing bowl whisk the egg yolks, then pasteurize them by working it fluid with a whisker at first, then a spoon, in a double boiler until they have the texture of a watery mayonnaise (until just before they just begin to solidify.) Remove when ready and just add a drop of cream or milk or transfer into a cool bowl to immediately cool. Mix a little egg white as well, if you like the added texture, separately. When the pasta is almost done, scoop some of its cooking water and mix with the rendered pig fat, in the latter’s pan. Drain the noodles partially and place them into the pan as well, saute over high heat, adding more cooking water if necessary. (It’s about here, a moment before putting in the noodles, you can add a bit of mentuccia, mint leaf, but only a little.) Remove from heat, add first the egg white (one) and mix again over the heat a few seconds, remove again from heat and add the yolks (3), mix, and toss a few more seconds over the heat if you like the condiment thicker but remove before the thing turns into an omelette. Plate, then generously sprinkle with some grated, decent pecorino romano or with a soft flavored, aged sheep cheese, then some freshly grated black pepper and the crispy bacon or pig cheek bits. Goes well with a structured white or table red. Serves 4.

link – some small talk stuff about Stephen Hawking: https://science.howstuffworks.com/dictionary/famous-scientists/physicists/10-cool-things-stephen-hawking.htm

 

…if you have any other variations on carbonara, let us know in the comments….