We cooked outside today. Daniel wanted to make homemade ravioli and decided on beet and spinach as the flavors for the pasta. I mostly just assisted, but I did collect some awesome photos of the experience.
The colors were perfect. The day was fast-paced and time went by entirely too quickly (as did the light). But at the end, we looked at the disaster of a kitchen, high-fived, and blasted music while we cleaned.
My favorite quote of the day: "I don't know how I'm going to write a recipe for this, I didn't write down a god damn thing." -Daniel
We leave for Austin one week from today. To call it an adventure would be an understatement.
Scroll down for Daniel's account on the day.
There is no recipe.
This week I wanted to make soul food. Not necessarily food that comforts, but food that you invest yourself in. Food that you can see yourself in.
This week I found out my grandfather had cancer. The only way I knew how to make myself feel better, was by cooking. I wanted to do something I had never done before, something I had never thought of before. This was the result.
I wanted to make something that took time, took effort, and took thought. I wanted to make something that took care.
I've always lived under the impression that no recipe will be created the same, perfect way, twice. It's about flavors, balance, and personal tastes. So this week, there isn't a recipe. There is just taste.
The first dish is spinach pasta with nutmeg infused ricotta and oozy egg filling topped with a butter sauce. The sauce is butter.
I fried shallots in butter, added garlic puree, white wine, more butter, and finished with Parmesan. It’s salty, and hearty, and pairs against the sweetness of the nutmeg infused cheese.
I wanted the egg to accentuated the flavors of the cheese, and I wanted the sauce to balance the sweetness of the filling. I grated Parmesan and lemon over the entire dish to give it a balance of brightness and savory.
The second dish is beet pasta with a goat cheese, hazelnut, and sautéed mushroom filling and served it with a fresh spring pesto. I wanted to experiment with the pesto and bring spring flavors into a classic sauce. I used basil as a base and added mint and blanched pea puree. I also added hazelnuts instead of pine nuts. This created layers of flavor to make the dish more complex and each bite more thoughtful. I finished the plate with freshly chopped basil and raw goat cheese.
These dishes weren’t easy. They took forever. But they were fun.
There was a lot of time, energy, thought, and heart that went into each bite.
In the end, that’s exactly how food heals.