Friday, February 18, 2011

My Story-Cooking Book

I tremendously enjoy cooking. It is a passion that has started a few years ago and it has grew on me with time. I have learned to make cooking a creative process.

What I enjoy the most is the process of creating the next meal, coming up with ideas, searching recipes on the internet, imagining how I would surprise my fellow dinner with my next meal, imaging the wine.....and like in any creative process, the satisfaction of the final product.

All starts with the menu, like in a restaurant, daily menu posted for the dinners. Sometimes I have more than one menu, so my fellow dinner can choose according the his daily taste.

One of the aspects I like about cooking is that you always have the opportunity to improve your recipe or just change your recipe based on you palate.

Critics are part of the art of cooking. But in my opinion cooking critics can be either subjective or objective. Subjective critics are more tolerable, based more on one's taste. Objective critics really mean that your dish did not come out good.

Cooking is always nicer if you cook for someone. I am lucky that my fellow dinner, whom we shared my dishes, has an exquisite taste in food based in an acquired food knowledge. Not to mention, he is Italian ;)

A friend/colleague that loves cooking as well and with whom we shared our dishes at lunch, has suggested me today to start writing down my recipes. Great idea! I am going to write a cooking book, with stories related to each of my in the future someone maybe can use them and feel the same or not as I felt when cooking.

My first recipe is going to be the one I cooked last night, very simple. I had some fish left overs and I planned making my typical fish and tuna pie when I thought I could try something different with this cod fish. I looked on internet and I found a British recipe called "fish pie" which it's main ingredients are mash potatoes and fish. I did not like the idea of mash potatoes so I decided I was going to do a layered dish with layers of potatoes, onions, tomatoes and fish. Here is the recipe:

Potato & Fish Lasagna by Valeria Mesples

2 small potatoes
2 tomatoes
1 onion
Any left over fish
olive oil

Cut the cooked fish in pieces, not too small. Cut the onions into medium thin slices, as well as the potatoes and the tomatoes. Put just a pinch of olive oil on the bottom of a small deep pan. Alternate one layer of onion, then one layer of fish, follow by one layer of potatoes. At this point add a pinch of salt and pepper on top of the potatoes layer. Finally one layer of tomatoes. Repeat the process one more time. If you are a lover of a three layer dish, repeat the process two more times, you might need additional potatoes, onions, fish and tomotoes.

The last year should be a tomato layer. Add olive oil, and oregano dry leaves. Put in the oven, medium for at least 30 minutes. Take out of the oven and with a knife check the potatoes consistency. The potatoes need to be cooked but still a little hard. Put the dish in the oven again for 5-10 minutes, high so the top burns.

After approximately 10 minutes remove from oven and let it sit for 5 minutes. When serve on the plates, a pinch of olive oil is always a good option. (comment from my fellow dinner)

Eat this dish with a nice montepulciano wine, from the Abruzzo region.

Serves two people.