Of course I don’t only cook Italian dishes!
Those of you who follow my blog will know that I simply love food, all food, from every possible culture on our wondrous earth. Sure, I’m fonder of some more than others, but we’re not going into that right now.
Some of you might know that I am the proud owner of a super-large cookbook collection. About 1500 titles line my dining room’s walls, thoughtfully arranged on shelves by subject and country. Beautiful, colorful and meaningful decorations, whose very sight warms my heart every day. I’m pretty-much in love with my cookbook collection, ecco.
There was a time (long past) when I planned meals according to my mood, and what country interested me at the moment. I would write my shopping list, then hop in the car and drive to whatever exotic shop was in the vicinity, based on what cuisine I was featuring that day – Thai, Indian, Vietnamese, French, Hungarian, Moroccan, Greek…you get the point. I even planned the décor and the musical background (if possible). I collected cooking utensils from all of those countries (does anyone know what a kadai is? Well, I own one!), and even made up little games about being, what? a housewife from Andalusia, as I whipped up Gazpacho and an eggy flan; or a baker in a tiny pâtisserie in the Pays Basque, lovingly
making the traditional pastry cream-filled gâteau. It made the whole, sometimes too routine, cooking process so much more entertaining.
So, even these days, while I’m working on a cookbook with stories from my childhood in Italy, I still take breaks, enjoying preparing dishes that have nothing to do with my native country. Here you see a hearty American beef stew, with a touch of wine and porcini; a very spicy Chili con carne (with my little secret touch), and a moist and aromatic Jewish Honey Cake, flavored with spices and tangerine zest, glazed with a quick chocolate ganache (for cake recipe, click here).
Well, yes, Neapolitan sausages and broccoli di rapa ended up here…because I just wanted to make it.
Oh, I’m temperamental all right, but in an endearing way, no?