I decided to just start going through couple cookbooks, making things for Sam. I chose a bean spread, thinking that he has liked beans in the past, and I can spread it on a roll to hide it. Well, he found the spread with his nose, then his fingers, and tossed the roll into the air. I tried to talk him into it - How many words does he understand? Does he understand that this is a convincing voice? Blah blah Sam blah blah try blah blah beans blah blah bread, then he gets the objectionable thing re-offered. I'm sure he figures things out. Incidentally, the rolls I picked up at Trader Joe's molded in two days. Two! I wanted more bread, so I picked up a horrible baguette from Pike Place Market. Oh! It looked good, but was like cotton - all airy and like a Safeway baguette. You offend me!
I was prepared to use the spread for the grown-up dinner, if things didn't work out with Sam. I made bruschetta and a salad-like thing, dressed with balsamic vinegar and e.v. olive oil. Delicious. You may recall that I made an hors d'oeuvre like this, but with arugula. I did have arugula for this meal, but it rotted quickly too. Can't wait until I have my own in the garden. That is, if the raccoon doesn't eat it! Yeah! Raccoon! I scared it off the roof by hurling rocks at it. I'm sure I'll see him again. He better not eat my strawerries ... or the neighbor's raspberries, which Sam plans on eating this summer.
I made the easiset soup ever as a complement to the bruschetta: meatball. I recently got a few cookbooks from Amazon, one of them is Lydia Cooks from the Heart of Italy. I just love her show on PBS, especially when she has her mother on. Everyone deserves a cute, Italian grandmother figure. So, perusing her book for an easy soup, voila: meatballs in broth! Of course, any serious cook would have made her own broth. And I am serious, but I was seriously short on time and patience, so I made the meatballs and set them in canned broth. It was delicious!
I halved Lydia's meatball recipe, which actually called for 1&1/3 cup pork and 2/3 lb. veal, and used only pork when I did. I thought about getting good veal from WF, but decided that it wasn't worth the extra trip, since this was supposed to be easy fast dinner. Also, I decided not to saute them, opting for poaching in the interest of added calories. Also, the recipe calls for orange rind, but I didn't have any. I wonder what they would be like with the citrus ... I'll have to make it again. With homemade broth, too.
So, I'm writing out the recipes below, but I was reading another blog the other day, and the author brought up the possible ethical - at least, and legal, at most - violation that ostensibly occurs when one posts a recipe that "belongs" to someone else. That brings up the issue, for me, of How does a recipe belong to anyone? As in, Did you completely and totally make it up? I thought of Caesar dressing as an example. It appears in a million cookbooks and magazines, but no one gives the origanl Cesar credit, saying that the recipe you now see is "adapted". That, in itself, is another issue. To whit: someone commented that it grates on them when a person claims that they adapted the recipe, but really only made a couple of substitutions, or something seemingly negligent. Is anything "negligent" in cooking? If I adapt by substituting thyme for rosemary, that changes the flavors, right? Does that count? Certainly adaptation in biology leads to nothing more and nothing less than survival of the species. In my comment on said blog, I mentioned Napster, positing that perhaps all of us bloggers are a very disperse Napster to the cookbook and magazine insdustries. One day, we shall all be tried en masse. I look forward to taking it to the Supreme Court so I can meet, and by vigorously questioned by, Justice Sotomayor.
Spread: Whir together 1- 15oz. can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed; 1/4 tsp. minced rosemary; 1 garlic clove; 2 T each olive oil and water; 1 T lemon juice; salt and pepper, to taste. Salad: mix 3 oz. arugula and 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced, with 1 T each balsamic vinegar and e.v. olive oil. Bruschetta: slice your bread of choice, and toast under the broiled for a couple minutes on each side. While hot, take a clove of garlic, peeled, and rub it on the toasts. This melts the garlic onto the hot bread. You might need a couple cloves, depending on their size. Then, brush a light coat of olive oil on top of that. You now have all the parts - put them together!
Pork Meatballs (this is half of Lydia's recipe; makes about 25 small meatballs)
Mix together 1 lb. ground pork, 1T golden raisins (soaked in boiling water for 5 minutes, then chopped), 1T toasted pine nuts (chopped), 1 egg (lightly beaten), 1/4 cup bread crumbs, 1/4 cup grated Parmesan, 1 tsp orange zest. Make small, 2 tsp., meatballs, rolling them in your hands. Drop them into salted boiling water - they will sink, then rise. Cook for 5 minutes, then remove. You must discard this water. Then, make your own broth, or used canned chicken broth for the soup part. Oh, if you want to saute the meatballs, Lydia suggests you dredge them in flour, then add them to a pan that has a generous coat of oil on the bottom. Turn them to brown on all sides and cook through.