Monday, January 06, 2014

Quarterly Culinary Quests

It is no secret to anyone who knows me and my husband that we like to cook and bake. And by like I mean absolutely love. We enjoy the finding of fun recipes, we enjoy the tweaking of recipes to improve upon them, we enjoy the actual making of meals, we enjoy cooking together, and - of course - we enjoy eating delicious food.

It is also no secret to anyone who knows me and my husband that we are both a little bit, shall we say, "all or nothing" in our approach to most things in life. And by this I mean, we tend to either do something full throttle, or not at all.

Hence, the quarterly culinary quest. This has nothing to do with Harry Potter or The Hunger Games and everything to do with an intense dive into food adventures. We have been cooking quite a bit, but we decided we would like to focus our efforts on a particular cuisine and really dig into it. The soups. The salads. The meats. The breads. The desserts. And the wine and the beer for good measure. Though we will only consume, not create, those. Oh. And the cheeses, of course. Thus the invention of the Quarterly Culinary Quest. Each quarter we will choose a cuisine and cook primarily from that tradition. This also aligns nicely with my desire to get back into blogging, as I figure our quest will make for good (and hopefully occasionally hilarious and occasionally inspirational) writing material.

We have chosen Italian as our first culinary quest. Now, we are both fully aware that we cannot hope to master all of Italian cooking in three short months. We really are not that delusional. So, we may need to extend this particular quest to two quarters. Surely we can master all of Italian cooking in 6 months.

Just kidding.

But really, this is just a test drive, and we shall see where it leads, and adapt as needed. Our Culinary Quests will undoubtedly be lifelong ventures, but we need to start somewhere.

We have started a list of foods we would like to make sure we cook in our Italian quest and hope to able to compare multiple recipes of each food item. However, this is still a work in progress, and we'd love suggestions. What would you tackle if you were embarking on this quest? What foods would you like to see us cook and write about? If you live in Bellingham, what foods would you like to come over to our apartment and eat? Do you have any Italian cookbooks or websites you'd recommend? Please share in the comments!

Ciao!

9 comments:

Jon Watson said...

You should go meet Louisa and Pasquale, owners of Torre Cafe downtown. They are from Genoa italy, and would I'm sure love to discuss the Italian meals they miss most!

Dave Greene said...

Since trying good risotto, I've wanted to duplicate the proper consistency and taste. Making homemade mozzarella would be fun. Also, dishes with wild boar, which impressed us when backpacking through Italy years ago. And I've already been reading up on Italian wines after you two mentioned this quarter's quest. :)

cwatts said...

I'm going to assume that homemade pasta is on your list a couple of times. Also, arrancini and tiramisu. You could think about it in terms of the various courses or by region.

jhamirah said...

Whole roasted Branzino comes to mind. Perhaps mastering a true bolognese?

jhamirah said...

For cookbooks, I recommend Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, by Marcella Hazan

AnnaBananna said...

I'm sure the homemade pesto is already on your list! i still dream of the one Erin made in the summer

Luci said...

I know very little about Italian cooking, so I cannot help you here. However, I can say that you taught me to love risotto and prosciutto. God bless you.

Linda Boose said...

From a cooking class in Tuscany, I learned to make involtini, a roll up of bacon and beef/veal around a sage leaf and then a saute in white wine. It's a tasty appetizer. Also, Frico made with Montasio cheese is tasty and easy.

Liz Spangler said...

Thank you everyone for your comments and ideas! We are even MORE excited to walk down this culinary path!