Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Little Shoe

photo from the Houston Press

Anthony Bourdain. I'd be remiss if I didn't at least say something about him. Just this once. I've spent a lot of time watching this guy complain about globe trotting for a living- eating lavish meals at elBulli or weaving in and out of street food vendors in South East Asia. I wouldn't want his job. It's a lot of flying and being away from your family, staying in hotels (or motels, I don't know what their budget looks like). Anthony lets his viewers know, in no uncertain terms, that he doesn't always like what he's doing. And in that spirit I understand why American foodies love the guy. He talks like us, eats like us, drinks like us. And if he's uncomfortable, he tells us. I have yet to watch a cook that can complain as well as Bourdain. I like that. At first I found it annoying, but then I thought about the person I would be if I had his job. I'm glad I don't. Traveling is lonely. I've traveled for work. Even with a camera in your face and your meals paid for, it isn't traveling for pleasure. I would bitch a lot, too.

Why does Bourdain come up today? Hannah and I spent a fair amount of time watching his new show ("The Layover") last night. We ooh-ed and ahh-ed over his cynicism. We laughed at the cocky chefs he shared meals with. We admired the food he got to try- the endless amounts of pork he swallowed. Bourdain carries a torch for the armchair chef. He allows us, for a time, to feel like we know exactly what he's talking about. Like we're the ones smoking a cigarette alongside him, staring out over the vast expanse of some exotic landscape while his gritty narration floats over our heads. It's a nice escape. It's food porn at its low-fi best. And I have to watch it when it's on. I can't help myself.

Fun note, I was reminded that Scarpetta means "Little Shoe" in Italian, and is the action of mopping up your plate with a piece of bread. I am a serial scarpettan.

And for dinner last night, I came up with a sweet little dish that satisfied everyone at the table. I'm not sure what to call it. It's like steak and eggs. With cheese. And bread. I'll create a name out of that somehow. Anyways, here's what went down:

Cheesy goodness.

I made a few loaves of sourdough bread yesterday. I like to do that a couple times a week. Fresh bread goes a long way in our house. I took one of the loaves and cut it in half and dug out the insides. I had some left-over beef roast that I cubed up, then I added some Gruyere and Parmesan, some thyme, a few eggs mixed with a splash of milk, salt and pepper. I mixed it all together with the insides and poured all of that back into the bread shell and sprinkled some more cheese on top. Baked it at 350 until the egg was done, then broiled it a bit to make the top golden brown. Man alive- it was SO good! I paired it with a baby greens salad with some shaved carrot, dressed with lemon juice and olive oil. Oh, and a frosty pint of Highlife. 

The other half of the bread I did pizza style and used up some chicken that needed to get eaten. Tasty, but not as good as its counterpart. It was a good food night, for sure. It's no street food from Singapore, but it works for me. I don't need to eat the native dish of Fiji. I want to eat the food that comes out of my fridge. I want to my own native food. I'm satisfied with the food I can create and I'm happy to watch others get thrown around the planet. I'll live vicariously through them.


Eat well, ya'll. Love. xo

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