As a cookbook junkie, I already own more hardbacks than my single Ikea bookshelf on the south end of our dining room could possibly hold. They rotate seasonally it seems. Where I might have spent hours perusing the staff picks for poetry in years past, I can blithely spend even more hours thumbing through the lastest glossy gustatory offerings at Elliott Bay Bookstore without blinking.
Some call it food porn, but all the salivatingly beautiful culinary erotica out there is more than fiction once its makes it onto our plates & into our mouths. So be it with Suzanne Goin's Sunday Suppers at Luques, a cookbook I scoured for in the Seattle metropolitan area at Christmas time, in fact the subject of one of my very first blogs.
But the sad truth of it is (almost proving my husband right about new additions to the "library"), with so many cookbooks & so little time, it took me until June to break in the holy grail of January. But trustworthy cookbooks are something that work their way into our lives with good time--for instance, Diana Kennedy's lengthy exploits in Mexico inspired us to grow our first epazote plant as she deems it essential to any pot of black beans. Penelope Casas readied me for my career selling paella pans by giving me all the information I didn't know before scorching my first batch for a then boyfriend, boyfriend's family, & sous chef at the Union Square Grill. Not an experience I'd like to repeat, thank you.
So what you see above is the product of careful menu-planning & a chef's eye--as much as I want to eat at Luques, in all probability, I need to eat Luques' essence in my own backyard. Grilled asparagus with a mustard grain creme freiche atop prosciutto waves...
Or halibut with fingerlings, fava beans, meyer lemon, & savory creme fraiche (so good it calls for two pictures.)
Two weekends in a row, we went in search of some of the most sublime seafood in Seattle at Ballard's Fresh Fish Co. where I picked up our halibut & couldn't leave without the most gorgeous wild spot prawns I've ever seen. Then it was off to the farmer's market for veg & Tall Grass Bakery's delectable fougasse, a trio of Estrella cheese, & a visit to Portalis to splurge on more of the best bottle of rose I've had all season--Les Pallieres.
The best thing about a good cookbook is that recipes only form a template & the rest is up to your imagination. Now if only I could get away from measuring spoons... When I grow up, I want to be a real chef. Until then, I'm enjoying the ride with thumbs intact. Who needs to eat out, when you can eat in like this? C'mon over!