July 12, 2009

Watcha Been Doin'?

I don't know. Watching the Tour De France, I guess...

What can I say. I've had ideas, thoughts, urges, inspirations. But nothing's been enough to get me to post anything new. Was a cooking fiend this weekend.

Just tonight made this Batali chicken dish, via Gwyneth Paltrow (via my friend/colleague Brittany) that was really quite delicious. On the side some potatoes, parboiled, tossed with olive oil, crushed fennel seed, sweet paprika, a little cumin, salt, and pepper, and finished on the grill (in a grill pan). A very nice partner for the chicken. Next time, more salt, more fennel, more paprika, cooked over higher heat to make the potatoes crispier (although I wonder if that might dry them out?).

Last night made some fish tacos, on excellent flour tortillas from Reyna's in the Strip, using the blend of fish for the fish tacos at Penn Avenue Fish Company. I purchased said fish from... Penn Avenue Fish Company. Topped with, among other things, purple cabbage from Blackberry Meadows Farm, purchased at Farmers @ Firehouse.

Friday it was finally time to cook the scallops we picked up on the way out of the Outer Banks a few weeks ago. Seared, on top of a pea puree (peas, courtesy of the farm, a little butter, a little more half-half, mint, basil, salt, pepper, a little lemon).

Speaking of tacos, Yo Rita, on the South Side, may be the place to go. Until January 2009, I believe, it was called Iguana Grill. Its food, and apparently whole way of running the operation, has been remade by Kevin Sousa, who from my reading, is as close to a "celebrity chef" as there is in Pittsburgh. Sousa is apparently doing side gigs while he waits to open up his own place, Salt of the Earth. That's the name of his blog, which is fun reading. The tacos sound like my kinda deal. I will go there soon. I hope.

I've also been working on a food-related short story -- a send-up, of sorts, of myself. I hope to publish it on this blog in several parts. I hope it's good. But who knows. I write about cancer research most of the time, and have maybe completed one or two fiction stories in all of my writing years. So it may stink.

There are numerous interesting things happening on the food policy front. I've been unable to keep up with them, except for the fact that the prez appointed a former Monsanto lobbyist to be a key advisor on food safety at the FDA. Not change I can believe in. Although some respected people don't think it's necessarily going to be a disaster. For the best policy updates, I highly recommend The Ethicurean and La Vida Locavore (note to self, that's two additions to blog roll. Get on it!)

Oh, and I got a new digital camera, one that has a setting just for food. Because there are like a million food blogs out there. Mine, no doubt, is the best. Just that nobody knows it yet...

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