Adam Gopnick in the New Yorker on a really local New York meal. Better than his stuff has become of late - I enjoyed him once, but have found the last couple years a tough slog through entitled yuppiedom. I am sure there are plenty of people who would put this essay in that category, too, but I can't resist the vegetables grown in manure from the Bronx Zoo.
I read so many food blogs, I've forgotten from whom I stole the idea of combining fresh corn, pancetta and sage, but whoever it was was onto something. The original version was based around butter, and lots of it, but, though I love butter with a true, deep and abiding love, I'm trying to drop a few pounds, so I went with olive oil. Of course, such dietary concerns did not prevent me from using pancetta, but one slice only, chopped tiny, browned and drained. Then four ears-worth of local corn, some minced sage, and heat. Put it to the side, then brown some scallops, and serve them on the corn. I liked this very much.
Made this summer's freezer pesto over the weekend, and threw the extra over tortellini last night. Was reminded yet again that I really prefer pesto in a secondary, not leading, role. Pesto and goat cheese as the stuffing for a chicken breast is great. But pasta with pesto-pesto-pesto is just too much pesto for me. Ah, well - it was quick.
Read Bananas last week, which I recommend. It's a quick read and pretty damned entertaining. The cultural history part is a bit weak - at points the author just lists songs with "banana" in the title and so on, but the history of the importation and selling of the fruit - the physical challenges, the political issues and the marketing aspects - was interesting and well-told. Just in case anyone doesn't know, bananas are by far the most popular fruit in the U.S. But not the most prized - people rarely cite bananas as their favorite fruit; they're just ubiquitous. People do love their banana bread, though. By far the search item that brings the most people here is "best banana bread recipe." Odd, don't you think, given how very many places on the internet likely claim the best banana bread recipe? Anyway, I finished the book with a powerful craving for banana muffins, banana cream pie, and the banana split at the East Coast Grill (roasted bananas with mango ice cream and raspberry sauce). I had to go read Fatland to prevent an outbreak of gluttony.
It worked: I ate a raw banana, then lay in bed staring at the ceiling, thinking of all the sugar I've consumed in my lifetime and waiting for the diabetes to kick in.