Thursday, January 24, 2008

Farstucking Mario: No, Really. This is Leading Up to the Unusual Ingredient. Soon.

I don't know about you guys, but I had a Very Batali Christmas this year. Between family and friends, I got just about every utensil he puts his name on (the heat resistant spatulas and and the flat edged wooden spoon are particular favorites) to go with my deeply beloved MB enameled cast iron Dutch oven.

The NYPL should be delighted to hear I finally got my own copy of Molto Italiano. Characterizing the contents as "simple Italian recipes" is perhaps a tad optimistic about the skill level possessed by the average home cook, but almost all of the recipes I've thought my way through have been amazing. The Chicken with "Cooked Wine" on page 314 will Blow. Your. Mind.

While I'm farstucking Mario, a side note for my New York based friends. You know how you never participate in Restaurant Week anymore because your frugal-ass self gets fobbed off with inferior ingredients, or sloppy preparation, or portions you need reading glasses to find, or more surly than usual wait staff? Yeah, I was with you. Till this afternoon's Restaurant Week lunch at Del Posto.

For $24.07 per person (two people drinking tap water, adding tax, tip, and coat check, you're getting out of there for around $65) they give you three appealing choices for each of three courses. Spectacular ingredients, spot on preparation (and presentation, incidentally), as large portions as I would want at lunch, and attentive without becoming overbearing service. Plus, it's the most cost effective way to get access to that inexpressibly divine bread basket with the incomparably delicious lardo.

Coming soon: What I meant by "almost all of the recipies . . . have been amazing". AKA "How Mario Let Me Down", or "How I Let Mario Down". I'm honestly still not clear on that point.

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