One of the best moments from my recent trip to Italy was exploring the Bacari in Venice and sampling the bar bites known as Cicchetti, Italy's version of tapas. My family and I basically stick out as tourists and can be spotted from a mile away. As we piled into these hole in the wall spots down the side alleys of Venice in the pouring rain we would first get interesting looks from the waiter/bartender/food preparer. Once he could tell that we sort of knew what we were doing with little things like ordering wine as "ombra" instead of asking for house red, everyone relaxed a bit. In the Venice bacari, ombra means a small glass of local wine. Once we got settled with our wine and dried off a bit, it was time to get to the food. All of the small bites would be lined up behind a glass case and it was easy to point at what we wanted. Little bit of this, couple of these, maybe one or 2 of the weird looking one, and we were ready to eat! We went to 3 or 4 bacari during our time in Venice, some more traditional, and others more modern, and we sampled tons of Cicchetti, most of which I hope to recreate for posts in the coming months.
The third and final meat at the meat slicer party this past weekend was a homemade mortadella. Making the mortadella was quite the undertaking but I had a lot of fun doing it! I used a recipe from Marco Canora that was published in Lucky Peach #4 and it came out absolutely delicious. Big thanks to Moody's Delicatessen for selling me the sausage casings in an emergency!
The second meat at my meat slicer party last weekend was roast beef. Roast beef is insanely simple to make at home, especially when you have a meat slicer to cut it paper thin. If you make this same exact recipe and try and cut it with a knife it is going to come out a little chewy unless you really are able to cut it very thin. Anyways, roast beef is roast beef right? Yea it was perfectly cooked and seasoned, and really fresh, but still just roast beef. What made these sandwiches truly memorable though, was the crispy shallots and hint of horseradish mayo, along with fresh baked onion rolls from a local bakery near my friends house who hosted the party.
These sliders are so fun, easy, and super delicious. The buffalo sauce has a nice kick and is also sour and bright and will wake your guests right up at your next party! Try my Sriracha Chicken Waffle Sliders recipe on Tablespoon.
Porchetta is normally eaten as a roast for a special occasion dinner, but when I was in Italy recently, we actually had it as a thin sliced sandwich meat. We got some porchetta, salami, and cheese for a train ride from Venice to Florence, and I was completely hooked on the porchetta. I happen to have a commercial meat slicer in my possession, so I thought it would be a fun theme for a party to make some different sliced meats for sandwiches. So here we are, lunchmeat week on TFimB! This porchetta tasted EXACTLY like the one I had in Italy which is pretty lucky because I just sort of winged the recipe. It was fairly easy to make and everyone loved it so I would consider it a big success!
I had some co-workers over for a quick bite on the way out to a "Team Building Event" (bar crawl). Had to stick to veggies because one is vegetarian, but I wanted to make something light anyways. I needed it to be really delicious because these people cook my recipes at Cafe Burrito every day and I wanted to show them that I was good at cooking other types of food too. I decided on making a simple cauliflower and chickpea curry and rolling it into some fresh rolls. I made a quick yogurt raita as a dipping sauce and the rolls were a big success.
I recently made a copy of the Taco Bell AM Crunch Wrap and I had a lot of fun testing and then recreating the recipe! It's not even that hard and would be perfect for a weekend breakfast. Try the Sausage Crunch Wrap recipe on Tablespoon.
It was a unanimous decision amongst my family that a feast we ate in Florence was the highlight of our recent trip to Italy. We sat down at a nice table in the corner of a crowded restaurant and my sister immediately charmed the waiter with her fluency in the language she was able to pick up during her semester there. She told him we were ready to eat and drink whatever they were willing to bring, and I think they took it as a challenge. We were then brought course after course of amazing food, and enough wine for easily double the amount of people. When we got home, we wanted to share the experience of the feast with other relatives and loved ones who weren't as lucky to be there with us that night. There won't be recipes here like a normal blog post, I just wanted to share scenes from that beautiful day with you all.
I had a handful of different cravings at the grocery store on my way to my friends place. I wasn't sure exactly what I wanted but I knew we were grilling. I started to go into the direction of an italian pesto-like pasta salad with some grilled sausage, but then I got the usual cravings for Vietnamese rice noodles I have all the time. I ended up sort of combining the dishes into something fun and delicious.
I thought it was pretty convenient when Pepcid wanted to do a sponsored post with me. I don't know if you guys have seen this here blog of mine, but if you have you probably can believe that I get heartburn from time to time. My plan was to make an aggressively spicy feast for my friends and see if Pepcid was strong enough to prevent everyone from getting heartburn! We started with this appetizer of Polenta Stuffed Mushrooms that I posted on Tuesday, and then we moved on to the main event, these crazy hot chile basil tofu tacos.