I’m already past the halfway point. I’ve made 15 of the Minimalist’s 25 favorites. Including this bad boy:
Socca (aka. Farinata) is a chickpea-olive oil pancake. There is some deep, crispy Mediterranean magic in this one. I’m not usually a fan of rosemary, and I was concerned that a tablespoon of it would commandeer the entire dish, but in this context–kept in whole-leaf form–it was delicious. I’ve underestimated the impact of the form and shape of ingredients on texture and flavor, but I’m starting to realize it may be the most important technical consideration in a recipe. Anyway, Socca is a great appetizer. My only concern: it might be too flavorful an app to follow. Normally I can muddle through a dinner party with one or two mediocre dishes and people still think I know what I’m doing in the kitchen. But if Socca is the first thing I hand my guests, the pressure is on.
Scrambled Eggs With Shrimp. When I think about things I enjoy doing before breakfast, shelling and deveining a pile of shrimp is not on the list. Yeah, I love shrimp. And eggs. And the dish was good. It was. But it was a hassle. And sitting there eating it, I started thinking about what else I could have done with the shrimp. Or the eggs.
Pernil. These five pounds of pork took 10 minutes to prepare and 10 minutes to disappear. I made this after lunch one day, threw it in the oven, and that evening I brought it to a Cinco de Mayo party. It was a crowd pleaser. Everybody made tacos with it. And two minutes per pound later, it was gone. Would make again.
Pasta Alla Gricia. So I cheated on this one and used pancetta instead of guanciale. But it was tasty! And proof once again that a pasta sauce does not have to be thick or chunky or tomatoey at all. It is a condiment.