Horace Greeley is credited with originating the advice, “Go West, young man…“ In 1976 I would go West and discover the East. Prior to that my only exposure to Asian food was a dinner at the sole Chinese Restaurant in Memphis in 1967, Joy Jeung’s. I had Egg Foo Yung, hardly an authentic Asian dish. Happily geography and history would conspire to expose me to the sublime cuisine of the Orient. In 1976, my employer, the US Immigration & Naturalization Service, would move me from New York to San Francisco to deal with the refugees from South Vietnam. I would spend the next two years out in the refugee neighborhoods meeting exotic people and eating exotic food.
Sunday, June 13, 2010
I knew it was a day for a Costco assisted meal when, after an hour on the phone with my mother trying to walk her through installing antivirus software on her new notebook computer, I decided to treat myself to a Manhattan only to find that the mother of my children had decided that my dry vermouth, sweet vermouth, & bitters were taking up too much room in the refrigerator and tossed them. Note to all serious drinkers…those cute, little dorm size fridges are perfect for all the must be refrigerated bar essentials.
Friday, June 4, 2010
Although I freely admit to being an Anglophile, preferring Tudor houses, Georgian furniture, Jaguar automobiles, & Harris Tweed jackets, I have to defer to the Italians when it comes to knowing how to live. After all, when I grew up the biggest sex symbols were Elizabeth Taylor, Bridget Bardot, & Sophia Loren.
Elizabeth Taylor, Bridget Bardot, & Sophia Loren in the 1960s
Elizabeth Taylor, Bridget Bardot, & Sophia Loren today.
See what I mean. So when it comes to comfort food with panache, look to the Italians. Risotto has a reputation for being difficult, but it is, in fact, very simple. It just isn’t fast. Nothing sensual is. Risotto, once learned, will yield multiple pleasures, limited only by your imagination. If you want a simple substitute for potatoes, use the basic recipe. You want a sophisticated side dish to impress the in-laws? Throw in a cup of asparagus cut in bite size pieces. How about a satisfying main dish? Add chunks of rotisserie chicken or some boiled shrimp. Whatever you add to your risotto, it helps to think of Sophia laughing, living well, and lasting long.