Sunday, January 3, 2010

Excuse me, do you carry dry spumante?

I've been a bad blogger this holiday. I have good excuses though, really, I do. Oh, and one of my 2010 resolutions - use more excuses. So, there you have it and I think I'm starting off on the right foot.

My inability to keep up with everyone's blogs, including my own is because of this:

I'm sure many of you watched Julie & Julia, and if you haven't - definitely add it to your list. It's a great movie that will both inspire (if you like to cook) and make you hungry. As a result, I found myself wandering the aisles at Barnes & Noble's cookbook section and rather than pick up a copy of Julia Child's Mastering French cooking I decided to stick to my husbands roots and go Italian, full on Italian.


It's 1000 pages people, written by the Academia Italiana Della Cucina. I love everything about Italy so I said f*** the French, let's do this. I'm not going to recreate the Julie & Julia scene by any means, but I did consider making it a New Year's resolution to master the art of Italian cooking, for both my husband and my kiddo's. I think it's important that we bring back the whole passing on of recipes concept so I need to master my specialties.

My husband said he wanted Veal for his first 'La Cucina' dish. I love veal too and narrowed it down to about 5 recipes for him to choose from. We agreed on Veal with Mushroom caps made with truffle potatoes. Easy enough. Loaded up and went to Central Market where I found myself asking people in the produce section if they carried 'dry spumante.' No one could help me there so on to the spices. Nada. Nothing. Pulled out the trusty iphone only to google that spumante is 'sparkling white wine' in Italian. Awesome. I clearly know what I'm doing.

Next stop. A white truffle. I knew this didn't mean truffle like I've seen in chocolates, but I honestly wasn't sure where to go. I sent the hubs on this mission since I already made his Italian grandmother roll over in her grave by thinking spumante was a vegetable. He came back with a teeny little bag with .01 ounces of truffle - totalling $1.99. If you do the math on this you will realize that truffles cost $199.00 a lb. One-hundred-and-ninety-nine-dollars!!! And you don't even get high or anything from this thing. WTF?

Okay, moving on. We got the veal cutlets, totaling about $26.00 - I only bought a pound. A few other things and we were on our way home. I couldn't wait, I was totally inspired by my new project.

I put on my new apron (Xmas present from my mama) and it was GO TIME. No need to really go into details from this point forward but the whole meal was a total f***ing disaster. FAIL. BIG TIME. VEAL FAIL. I followed the recipe like it said to but something about the way the veal was floating/boiling in about 1/2 cup of white wine and 1/4 cup of beef broth just didn't do it for us. It basically boiled veal cutlets into tiny pieces of ass that you could have made a a leather purse out of. I sat and studied the recipe over and over, made my husband read it, called my mother, and still have no real conclusion on why it turned out so incredibly inedible.

We ordered pizza that night.

La Cucina - 1
Me - 0

I took the day off yesterday from cooking and went to catch a movie with my girlfriends. we settled on grilled steaks and asparagus last night too as that falls more into my husbands department. I needed to give him an opportunity to fail too so I could potentially even the score but he cooked my steak to perfection.

So, here we are. Sunday - the day of the big meals and I'm gearing up for round 2. Literally when I close this laptop I'm venturing back into the kitchen to take on some Canneloni with meat sauce. If I screw this one up I may retire from my quest and whip up a chicken fried steak or something. Bring me back to MY roots. If I succeed we'll all raise a glass of spumante, the drinking kind. ;)

Bring it, La Cucina!


Alex said...

Oh you poor thing!

Seriously, I have a huge cookbook on my bench that I want to attack but if my food fails I will cry.

BUT I am attempting lamb shanks in a fancy shmancy sauce as we speak. Can't go wrong with a slow cooker though can you? CAN YOU?

Courtney said...

I would be so intimidated cooking italian food for AN Italian!!! lol! Good luck with the cooking adventure!

Baking Queen said...

What was the name of the dish you were making? I think I can help you understand what went wrong. I'm almost certain I know from looking, but just so I can help you for next time, I need the name of the recipe.
I will help you master Italian cooking!
Hope you had a great New Year! And, inspired me to start blogging!

OceanDreams said...

Wow, good job for picking up the cook book and giving it a great shot! I hope round 2 goes well for you! :)