I am so enjoying this cookbook challenge - browsing through book after book, seeing how much the style of writing and presentation has changed, finding old, long time neglected favorites and sometimes laughing about how we used to cook. Today's book is one of the very oldest in my collection - dating from 1984 (yes, I started cooking very young...) titled "Italian Cuisine" and I picked a real classic: Ossobucco Milanese. Had I remembered how long it takes to prep for this, believe me, I would have picked a different recipe. This should be called a chopping challenge!
the recipe: Ossobucco Milanese
Veal Shanks - one per person
chopped tomatoes (1 medium can)
tomato paste (1 tbsp)
and now the fun starts: chopped carrots (2-3)
chopped root celery (1/4)
chopped Onions (2)
chopped garlic (3cloves)
gently fry all veg in olive oil
dust shanks with a bit of flour then fry separately until nicely browned
place shanks on top of veg, cover and simmer in oven for 1 1/2 hrs
I changed one thing: Ossobucco is traditionally served with gremolata - a mix of very finely chopped flat leaf parsley, fresh garlic and lemon zest, some even add anchovies. I don't really like tasting uncooked garlic so added the garlic into the vegetables and will be serving the Ossobucco with a gremolata of parsley and lemon zest only. And I will serve it à la Française - with a crusty baguette to mop up all those delicious juices. In Lombardy where this recipe hails from it is served with risotto and a long handled spoon to dig out the bone marrow.
Good thing I dug out the vegetable cookbook I showed you in my last post - here is one recipe I have already decided will be a keeper, perfect to serve as an appetizer: Zucchini rolls filled with a mixture of fresh goat cheese, finely chopped black (pitted) olives, fresh basil, pepper, salt and a pinch of paprika plus a few tbsp of your very best olive oil. Just fry the very finely cut zucchini slices for two or so minutes each side, then leave to degrease on some paper towels for a minute. Spread the filling onto the slices and secure with a toothpick. Serve warm or at room temperature.
And this is how the recipe looked like in the book. You know what? I think mine look tastier.
I have confessed before: I am a cookbook junkie. But after salivating over the newest one, marking lots of pages with post-its, trying out one or two recipes - do I then ever use my books? Some yes, most not all that often, and some, I am ashamed to admit, not at all. So I had an acute attack of creative jealousy when I read about my fellow blogger Michel's Cookbook Challenge. Why didn't I have that idea? And I did not exactly feel better when I foundFoodfreak's Challenge from 2009"Mein Kochbuch, das unbekannte Wesen" (My Cookbook this unknown Entity) where you are asked to take a cookbook of your choice, ideally one from which you have never cooked before or haven't used for ages. Write about the book, why you bought it, where you bought it, what you like or don't like about it and what you think about it now. Prepare a recipe from the book and blog about it. Foodfreak even created a logo to go with the challenge:
Since this is such a great idea, a big thank you to Michel and to Foodfreak for the inspiration. So here we go and I'd be real happy if one or the other co-junkie out there joins me.
My unknown cookbook # 1:
This book about vegetables cost a mere 0.95 € and came as a Saturday supplement with one of the French national newspapers (I don't remember which one) when I had just started developing Cuisine de Provence cooking classes and was looking for inspiration. See all those post-its? Actually, looking at the recipes again, they are simple, straightfoward and sound rather good - which we will know once I have done some shopping and start chopping. So stay tuned!
Spring is in the air! Those lovely mimosas from the Côte d'Azur are always the first sign at our Provençal markets that the days are getting longer. That does not mean that we don't have to fear cold, icy winds, even snow - until the end of March you never know what might hit you here - weatherwise that is. So we get big armfuls of these beautiful, fluffy little flowers pretending the winter is (almost) over and it is already springtime in Provence!
Congratulations to Katherine and Küchenschabe - both correctly identified Berlin as the hometown of Currywurst and Ampelmann! With a honorary mention to Joyce of Octoberfarm who got the country right and seems to have some insider knowledge about "Pommes rot/weiss" - that is how you order French fries with ketchup and mayo in Germany.
But while the cute little Ampelmann is going from strength to strength, Berliners seem to abandon the Currywurst in favor of Turkish Kebabs or Döners. Not only did we have a real hard time finding a decent Currywurst, just look at how things are advertised to know which is the more popular streetfood. Not really a surprise as Berlin is the largest Turkish settlement outside of Turkey.