Last Sunday’s Cooking

The pots were rallied and the pans were rounded up again this past weekend for some more adventures in cooking.

If you ever cook anything anywhere for anyone, always start with one of these:

No matter how badly you mess up the rest of your meal, people will remember the delicious cheese and olives.

The rest of the menu was very simple. Normally I like to cook 80,000 dishes and take over my friends’ apartments for hours on end, but this time there were only three dishes. Although they did take lots of time and space so that was good.

The simplest was a zucchini pancake:

Shredded zucchini was salted heavily and allowed to sit in a colander for twenty minutes to purge out moisture. Then it was wrapped in cloth and squeeeeeeeeezed to get more water out. Then some beaten egg whites (soft peaks) were folded in with some seasonings, flour and sugar. Finally it was pan fried in oil. Very nice. And no I don’t have a picture of the final product. That would make too much sense.

The second dish was osso buco. This sounds crazy fancy but it’s just veal shanks seasoned, dredged in some flour and seared off in oil:

These then get transferred to a dutch oven. Actually you can brown the shanks in the dutch oven to start with but there was some pan confusion so that didn’t quite happen. Anyway, deglaze what you can with chicken stock and some wine, throw in your normal trinity and some fresh herbs (rosemary makes things happy) and put into a 350 degree oven for about two hours making sure the liquid in the pan covers the shanks. Pull when fork tender.

The final dish was insane and wasn’t actually my department. My friend made raviolis. Home made raviolis. Like the pasta was from scratch.

Isn’t that pretty? Flour and eggs and a pasta roller and you get these nice sheets of pasta. They then get cut:

This basically amounts to slave labor, constant kneading and rolling and sheeting and cutting. But it’s fun. There’s a lesson there about the nature of work and your attitude towards it but never mind that because here’s the crazy part: the raviolis were BEET raviolis.

Baked beets were shredded. And yes I know this looks terrifying:

Then they were mixed with ricotta and seasonings. And yes I know this looks trippy:

Then the ravs were stuffed creating an army of scalloped pasta to do one’s bidding:

Pretty weird looking, rather labor intensive, very delicious.

A poppy butter sauce makes a nice finish.

Also you should drink wine.

Like a  lot of it.