Monday, July 31, 2006

THERE'S A FUNGUS AMOUNG US



Alright I’ve had it with all this snooty white truffle oil and shaved truffles and morel consomm√© crap…There must be something wrong with me ‘cause I don’t like morel mushrooms and truffles (the pig excavated kind not the luscious chocolate kind) make me want to yak. I mean that “earthy” flavor that everyone loves so much – well I usually try to wash the dirt OFF my food, so ya lost me there. I mean I gotta ask you, who really would gleefully pay hundreds of dollars a pound for well, pig chow? The truffle is a fungi, now my mom was pretty adamant about foot washing so’s you didn’t get a fungus. Okay, not very scientific, so lets get scientific

Go to Wikipedia and check out truffles I dare you…


Truffle describes a group of edible mycorrhizal (subterranean) fungi (genus Tuber, class Ascomycetes, division Mycota)…Click on ascomycetes you get… Members of the Division Ascomycota are known as the Sac Fungi and are fungi that produce spores in a distinctive type of microscopic sporangium called an ascus (Greek for a "bag" or "wineskin").
SAC!?!? Nice very nice indeed.


Back to the pigs for a minute…Do you know WHY pigs are used to find truffles? Okay so dogs are too but they need to be TRAINED to find truffles – not so pigs…read on:

“Looking for truffles in open ground is almost always carried out with specially trained pigs or dogs. Pigs were the most used in the past, but nowadays farmers prefer to use dogs, which do not eat the truffles (Dogs won’t eat them?!?! But dogs lick their butts!). Both pigs and dogs have keen senses of smell, but while dogs must be trained to the scent of truffles, female pigs or sows need no training whatsoever. This is due to a compound within the truffle which has an uncanny resemblance to the sex pheromone of male pigs or boars to which the sow is keenly attracted. It may have been the strange attraction that pigs have to these fungi which prompted its discovery by early human populations.”

EEE-YUCK!!!!!! OH-MY-GAWD!


Enough already, I can’t stand it any more!!!! Does this not look like a giant poo?

Sunday, July 30, 2006

CUTE FOOD REDUX

Okay, so I did decided on a use for the cutie pie zucchini. I went with the keep-it-simple-stupid method. Figuring that they would be rather delicate like a baby zucchini, I simply tossed them with some S&P, garlic and olive oil. I could not wait to pop them on the grill and get some itty bitty grill marks! Well, I got the grill marks (sorry no photo – it was late and we were hungry!) and yes they were really cute. We tasted them and well, what did they taste like?

Zip. Zero. Nada!

What a disappointment, they were totally lacking flavor, somehow even the garlic was diminished by the lack of - well – taste of any kind. So, next time, I’ll just take a pretty picture and leave it at that!

Saturday, July 29, 2006

CUTE FOOD


Globe Zucchini

Okay so it's been eons since I last posted - no excuse just too darned busy. But today when I was in the grocery store I saw the cutest little zucchini and well, I just couldn't resist. They we so sweet looking and tiny I just had to bring them home - kinda like a kitten! These little guys aren't much bigger than golf balls - which we have zillions of hanging around. The fabulous M being a very good golfer.

Not sure what I plan to do with them, but stay tuned I'll figure out something - well - cute - to do with them!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Shrimp with Mango Sauce


SHRIMP WITH MANGO CITRUS SAUCE RECIPE

I love to cook as you might have guessed. But I really like to cook for guests. Life being what it is – busy and completely void of time…we don’t get to entertain as much as we would like. Of course the fact that I make a huge production out of most dinner parties could be the reason. I plan way ahead, I write menus, then change them, then change them again until I have what I think is the perfect meal.

The occasion? My brother and his wife are making the trip to my place for dinner. What’s the big deal? I live a cut lunch away from everyone in my family – far enough that you can’t just drop by, yet close enough that you have no excuse to not make the journey once in a while.

Now, I have several appetizers that I rotate, and this time I have decided on one of my favorites (did I mention that my menus only contain things that I love to eat?); Seared Shrimp with wilted bitter greens and Mango Citrus Sauce. The shrimp are simple and hot while the sauce is multi layered and cold (if all goes well in the plating!). The greens add a nice greenness (is that a word) to round out the whole plate.

I know I got the idea for this sauce from a magazine, but I scribbled it in a note book and have no idea what magazine it was. I can tell you that it was at least 10 year ago that I started making this. So to give credit where credit is due, this sauce is an inspiration, not an invention. Thank you to the unknown cooking magazine Gods for the help!