Recipe in the Making: Starting from Scratch (Part III)

After initially sharing my Food Fail: A Recipe in the Making for Roasted Poblano Risotto with Fried Egg (Part I). I was blown away by the amazing kindness of the Food Blogger community (Part II).

Fellow Foodies, Friends and Food Bloggers openly shared support, great ideas and even went through the trouble of taking photos from old magazines to share ideas like using Cebollas Encurtidas (lime pickled onions.) Yes that’s how kind Food Bloggers are to each other!

Recipes Shared, United by Food
Recipes Shared, United by Food

After the outpour of Foodie energy I received, I was determined to incorporate as many of their ideas as I could, out of respect to the time and energy it took to send them. Cebollas Encurtidas and using Cotija Cheese were integrated in my second attempt.

  • Note: Cebollas recipe link is not the original source (which could not be found online).
Fried Cotija, Egg and Roasted Poblano with Pickled Onions
Fried Cotija, Egg and Roasted Poblano with Pickled Onions

What I plated, was a perfectly edible dinner. Yet again it was unbalanced.

  • My concept of an egg fried on top of a layer of fried cheese, didn’t work with Cotija. It was too thick and softened more than melted. Yet the salty addition was welcome.
  • I’d left out the Risotto entirely, thinking the black beans should be a keeper. While they were wonderful on the side, they overwhelmed the flavor of the Poblano.
  • The lime and grapefruit from the pickled onions was a mouthwatering flavor, one I love and will use again, just not with Roasted Poblanos.

Frustrated, I shared my thoughts with my Husband. Bello ended up telling me a story so poignant, that I began to wonder if he is, my own Obi Wan Kenobi. Help me Jedi Master Bello, I’m so confused!

Bello grew watching two strong women he admires cooking, his Momma and before she passed, his Nonna, who was a Chef in Italy. It was from these two women, he gained not just a love, but an intelligent, respect for food. They taught him well, the man can tell the different between Parmesan and Pecorino in a pasta, by taste… and taste only. Trust me I’ve tested him. He knows good food. Anyway…

Bello explained when Italians wanted to taste, really taste, an ingredient, the dish is to be simple.

Take Truffles for example. In the US, we top a complicated dish, a huge jacked up Burger with a shaving of Truffle and charge $50 extra. In Italy, during Truffle season, the only time you eat Truffles, the dishes are supremely simple. A fried egg topped with shaved truffle. A little spaghetti with olive oil and Truffle. Same concept for Bottarga. In other words:

If you cast a star ingredient in your dish, don’t cast other headliners who hog the plate. 

I’m not too proud to admit, I was running before I could walk when it comes to working with Poblanos. I knew how to roast them, peel them, definitely how to savor them, but not with how much respect I needed to treat them.

So today, I sat down at lunch and started from scratch. I had a PURE flavor revelation.

To be Continued Friday!

Recipe in Development Series: Food Fail (Part I), Kindness of Foodies (Part II)

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