Ah it’s time for new year’s goals again. Mine are pretty much the same as last year – become a better cook, learning about different cuisines, cooking seasonally, and working on more difficult recipes. Phew, a lot of stuff to cover this year. One thing I’ve been really bad about last year is diligently using my cookbooks. I think I have a few books I’ve not even cooked one recipe out of. Shame on me.
So I decided to start off the year with one of my favorite cookbooks, the Chez Panisse Cafe Cookbook. I admire Alice Waters’ dedication to seasonal and sustainable agriculture. I had dinner there once, too long ago, and the quality of the ingredients was very impressive and the food was absolutely delicious. The recipes are heavily French and Italian influenced. The Cafe Cookbook contains recipes for home-cured pancetta, various sausages, terrines,… all of which I hope to get to this year. The head cheese recipe? I might skip that one as it requires “a small pig’s head” and I’m not quite ready for a small pig head in my kitchen.
I hit up a few recipes this time around including Romaine Leaves with Anchovy Dressing, Gribiche which I paired with blanched asparagus, and last but not least Pizza with Bacon, Onions, and Greens. The pizza dough recipe is unique in that it uses a bit of rye flour. This dough received many favorable reviews. I didn’t really think of kale as a pizza topping but wow it was great! I loved how the edges of the leaves got a lil crusty. And bacon – what’s to complain? I spread the toppings sorta thin because I wanted to stretch them to make four pizzas but next time I’m loading up on the kale and bacon. Loved the combination.