I am a bit of a food-show junkie. I can’t help it. I wish I could stop. I’ll happily tell you how much I can’t stand most of the “personalities” on most cooking shows, but while I do, I’m probably cooking you something I saw them make. Sick, I know, but for the past two straight days, I’ve been able to sleep in, thanks to school being closed for snow. By the time I get up the only things on TV that either don’t involve either Kathie Lee Gifford or sports I don’t care about are the cooking shows.
This morning in particular, I was watching one hosted by a chef I particularly don’t like (he reminds me of some of the preppy jock assholes I went to high school with), but whose recipes I am notorious for cooking anyway. And of course, it’s a “holiday special,” and I’m hooked.
A few hours later, I left the supermarket with: fingerling potatoes, carrots, cippolini onions, portobello and cremini mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, some pancetta, and a hankering for some good ol’ fashioned roasted veg – much like the ones I’d seen on the cooking show this morning.
I only cooked a handful of the veggies, since the roasting technique I copied was new to me. But it worked beautifully: crank the oven to 500, with a baking dish or roasting pan in, then pour veggies (coated in olive oil and with a sprig or two of rosemary) onto hot pan. Reduce heat to 425 and roast for about 20 minutes, shaking/stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, I fried up some polenta and started on a Dortmunder Gold from Great Lakes Brewery (Cleveland Rocks!).
The rest of the veggies will be finding their way to the roasting pan sometime this weekend. I’m keeping a simple menu this week, as I’m going to be quite busy baking holiday cookies and things – can’t wait to make (and eat) my annual Christmas gingerbread!
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As a wannabe food writer, I find myself immersed in “real” food writing much of the time (see previous post about reading Elizabeth David), most of it offline. I must’ve looked like a crazy person in Barnes & Noble today, strolling up and down the cookbook aisle. I picked out a Christmas gift there for a dear friend, and also got myself a gift – Food Matters, by Mark Bittman. I’ve been a fan of “The Minimalist” forever, and I couldn’t do much of the cooking I do without Bittman’s cookbooks. In fact, I got the inspiration for the title of my blog from a Bittman article from a couple of years ago. So, not wanting to waste a perfect opportunity to start reading, I took the book with me into the gym on my way home and started reading it on the stationary bike. Twenty-five minutes later I realized I should stop and go use a different machine, but found myself supremely disappointed that it would be impossible to read and use the strength training machines simultaneously. All of which amounts, in a far too roundabout way, to my very strong recommendation for the book. If you care at all about what you, your family, or your friends eat, buy yourself a copy (and one for them as well).