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Rants

Homemade Prosciutto

by Michael on January 31, 2013 · 5 comments

in Commentary,Rants

I don’t expect the readers of this blog to go out and make a homemade prosciutto. It might be too much, but it might make you think of  about stepping out and making more homemade  food.

I have made sausages for years. This year, I expanded out to cured meats. I use them often in cooking and at $17 to $21 a pound, it can get expensive. So make it at home. This 4 1/2 pound prosciutto cost about $16 from a local grower. I spent less than 1/2 hour in the total preparation.

I think the point is that you can make things at home. Simply. I will guarantee that my simple tomato sauce recipe blows away Ragu and costs less. The same thing goes for many other “staples.”

Let me know if you need a sauce recipe or want to learn about curing meat. Or ou could check out the great starter – Rhulman’s “Charcuterie.”

The prosciutto is fantastic by the way.

Michael

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Just in case anyone ever wondered, I do cook from cookbooks, sometimes. I am just really bad at following directions. And  I am really bad at following directions. Did I mention that? Actually if I were not able to compartmentalize my arrogance about how to cook, I would probably have had a verbal disagreement with the cookbook. Which is a very good book. Anyway, this ability keeps me from appearing absolutely crazy. Not to mention that it has also saved my marriage on more than a few occasions.

OK, so here is my problem. The recipe is fine as a nice middle of the road dish that is as bland as possible. And if this is all you serve your children, all they will eat is in most cases, is nothing. I hear parents complain all the time that Billy won’t eat anything. Well that is because it tastes like @#$%. Or worse. Even that @#$% has a taste. And this is how you trained them.

When kids come to my house and eat it’s really confusing. For their parents. I would say that about 90% of the kids that come here  eat what they are given. Their parents are shocked!

It does taste good, but I don’t think that that is the real reason. First, my kids are really happy to eat and that really compels a great attitude in the guest kids. Second, I let them taste and try along the way. And finally the house smells good. There is nothing so compelling as smelling something great cooking and having to wait.

Kids will eat. Just give them something good.

Now back to the recipe. Here is Nigella’s version. I really like the concept and the recipe. Combined with an ending about adding and exploring with your kids, this would rock.

So to that end, instead of writing my “version,” I’ll just tell you how I changed it. As my brother always points out, making changes based upon available ingredients or whims, works out pretty well. For a veggi version, leave out the salami and dice 1/2 pound of mushroom and sauté off instead of the salami.

So, I doubled the recipe  to 1 lb. of pasta. Not sure that Matt would have left anything for us with the original recipe. I started with a very hot peppered salami. Added 1/2 onion diced and 4 cloves of garlic. Then I skipped the 1/2 can of water and added a cup of wine. I also added 1/2 a can of tomato paste. And a big sprig of fresh rosemary and 3 bay leaves.And since I am becoming a blind idiot, I added a can of chick peas instead of the white beans. Depending upon your  salami, you may need to add salt. And if you don’t have peppered salami, add 1 tablespoon pepper. Yes, ONE whole tablespoon.

One thing to know about Nigella’s recipes, they do strive to be nutritional. Pasta and beans creates the most absorbable and efficient protein. If you are trying to lose weight , food can only help within reason. Exercise is key or REALLY change your diet.  A vegetarian lifestyle, will really make a difference over a few months.

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Teach Your Children Well

February 13, 2012
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I am always surprised by the look parents give me when I tell them that they should let their kids cook. I am also surprised that they think I am crazy to let my 9 and 12-year-old children have access to the stove, mixer or even a sharp knife. They are always surprised at what […]

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