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If you're wondering what "my version" of Puntarelle alla Romana is, BTW, one key difference is that I include some greens from the chicory, along with the (laboriously sliced) puntarelle hearts.  Now sure, part of that is because I'm too lazy and cheap to separate them out.  But most of it is because the reason the Romans remove them is cuz they're so bitter -- but I want my salad to have some bite.  Also, I feel virtuous when I eat leafy greens.

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I read all these threads about these fabulous dinners people have at home, with photogenic, obviously labor-intensive food, and legendary bottles.   I can't speak for anybody else on this board, bu

If I'm not enjoying wine when I'm seventy, then my nieces and nephews are going to be stuck with a shitload of wine they won't know what to do with.   Or my next wife, who by then should be almost

Whaddya mean? That's more than half the meals I serve. Tossed with great care, I might add.

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6 hours ago, Sneakeater said:

Whoa!  There's actually a dedicated gadget for slicing puntarelle.

I'm not gonna get one.  My puntarelle needs are few.  But it's nice to know it exists.

Wow - I don't believe you didn't know that?!

I think quite a few Romans prefer to buy the stuff prepped, and since I've used one of those gadgets, I would prefer it prepped as well...(though it certainly jacks up the price!)


And here's the slicer (the tagliapuntarelle) Sneak is referring to...


P. S. - Soaking in ice water after slicing gets them to curl up all curly and stuff.

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On 9/6/2021 at 10:09 PM, Sneakeater said:

I did some looking around, and I found that there's a purported tradition of having salmon on Rosh Hashana. 

There is a tradition of starting the meal with the Rosh Hashanah Seder, which means eating a series of foods which are symbolic of various thing including those that are sweet tasting to indicate a sweet new year, foods that grow partly and in abundance and indicate an abundance of merits, and the names of some foods allude to the destruction and eradication of enemies. 

We eat fish because it's symbolic that we be fruitful and multiply like fish. There's are an additional custom that "the evil eye has no power over that which is hidden from the eye; since fish are hidden under water, the evil eye cannot effect them." We serve a fish head because it also has the additional meaning that we "be as the head and not the tail" (Sephardim typically serve the head of a sheep for this)

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It was a pleasure to eat at home tonight.  This was nothing spectacular or anything, but it was just nice to empty out some portions of my larder with food that turned out to be quite enjoyable.

Main dish:  the other way Romans eat puntarelle is with anchovies and garlic over long pasta (tonight, bucatini).  One version of the dish adds pancetta; another, hot pepper.  I'd probably prefer the pancetta -- but it's the end of the Summer, and what I have is hot pepper.  And let's be honest:  I really like hot pepper.

Old leftover sautéed okra and tomato on the side.  Glad to get THAT out of the fridge!

As an antipasto, my last piece of Rosh Hashana bad gefilte fish, prettily surrounded by cherry tomatoes and scallions.

I'd like to tell you I had a Frascati with this.  But I didn't.

2019 Anna Maria Abbona Nascetta "Netta"

Aside from being a nice town with good restaurants, Dogliani has the distinction of being the only major wine district I can think of where the two top winemakers are women.  Anna Maria Abbona is No. 2.

Nascetta should, I think, follow Pelaverga as the next obscure Piemontese wine that people suddenly are drinking.  The best I can describe it -- at least tonight -- is as a Pinot Grigio with more intense fruit, more herbs, and an interesting slightly bitter nut finish.

I had mainly chosen this as a pairing for the pasta.  But what's truly remarkable is that it made the bad gefilte fish taste kind of good.  Is bad gefilte fish some Piemontese specialty I didn't know about?

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When life gives you tomatoes and peppers and eggs (duck duh) and coriander, all needing to be used, and it's the height of onion/garlic season, you make . . .  Shakshuka!

(OK, life didn't give me feta cheese [much less whatever obscure Middle Eastern cheese feta subs for in domestic recipes], so I substituted ricotta salata and mozzarella.  I don't want to relitigate the Authentiicity Dispute, but you tell me what you think is better household management:  going out and buying something you don't much use and then figuring out what to do with the remnants, or using what you have that most closely approximates the result you're trying to reach?)

Shakshuka is kind of a piperade, right?

2019 Ameztoi Getariako Txakolina "Rubentis"

I mean, we've all drunk enough of this to know exactly what to expect:  that layer of chalk dust cloaking everything, the tart cranberry fruit, the sea salt tang.

And guess what?  It was all there!

A slightly fizzy rose with eggs:  YUM.

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(I mean, sure, when I got this coriander my mind immediately started whizzing around thinking about what I was going to do with it.  But I wanted that coriander.

(Wait'll you see what's next for it:  not only will it use coriander, but it will cunningly get rid of another few things lurking in my fridge and freezer.)

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Bigoli con l'Anatra!

I made it a lot closer to the authentic style this time than last, in that I heeded the instruction that you put in only a very small amount of tomato (in many recipes, there's no tomato at all).  Now if I REALLY wanted to make this the authentic way, I'd have used a lot of gizzards and giblets and not just a leg.  But, not wanting to buy a whole duck, I just don't have access (hmmmm, I wonder if Prospect Butchers would . . .).

I got caught up in work and kind of overcooked it.  I would have thought you can't overcook a ragú.  It's not that the duck meat dried out -- nothing of the sort.  It's that the aromatics just cooked too much.  (And it was on REALLY low heat.)  Live and learn.

Still tasted good.

Sautéed puntarelle on the side.

This dish would really love a Quintarelli with some Merlot in it.  But not this Monday.

2017 Ca' La Bionda Valpolicella Classico Superiore "CasalVegri"

Indeed, one of the nice things about having this dish from around Verona -- aside from how delicious it is -- is that you get to drink a Valpolicella with it.

Cherries, berries/brambles, slight savories, soil, maybe a hint of balsamic vinegar at the finish (yeah, they drink this with rich duck dishes, too).  A good bit of fruit -- but elegant and integrated.

Ca' La Bionda evidently proceeds with a lot of care:  this is a very well-made wine.

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This isn't a wine that jumps out of the glass and says, "GlouGlou let's party!" like a good Natural (and don't get me wrong, I LOVE that).

This is wine that's made with passionate attention to detail, now organically, by a family that's been making wine in the same place for generations, and knows just how to manage the grapes and terroir at its disposal.  You can taste it:  it's just right.

In the end, the Natural wines give me good times I just love -- but wines like this are why I drink wine.

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