Today's weather is absolutely disgusting. It feels like the inside of a botanical garden. Needless to say, it has ceased to be the weather for pot pies and roasts. I always turn to Italian food in warmer weather, so that's what I have for you, dear reader, today. You'll recall I have a copy of TimeLife's The Cooking of the British Isles. I got recipes for the following dishes from The Cooking of Italy.
First, we have Ragu Bolognese, which, unlike most bologneses here in America, is not tomato sauce-based and doesn't have any garlic in it. I started out with a saute of ham, onions, celery, and carrots, then added browned ground beef and pork. This combination is simmered in beef stock with a couple tablespoons of tomato paste. Finally, about ten minutes before the end of the cooking time, I put in chopped, sauteed chicken livers, which make the bolognese very very rich. I'm not quite sure why people are so squeamish about chicken livers. In the near future, they'll probably start breeding chickens that don't have any livers or gizzards--just huge boneless, skinless breasts and nothing else. Forget people being squeamish of livers! Why are people so afraid of dark meat and crackly skin and everything that tastes so good?
At the same time we were working on the bolognese, Paul and I made thirty-two meatballs, most of which went into the freezer, along with a majority of the bolognese and the tomato sauce (We made double recipes of bolognese and meatballs and a triple recipe of tomato sauce.) The only thing I changed in the meatball recipe was to use ground pork instead of Italian sausage. I don't really like Italian sausage--I think it's all that fennel. I dislike pretty much anything that is redolent of licorice (anyone want three-quarters of a bottle of Pernod?). Anyhow, the meatballs turned out really well and they weren't at all difficult to make.
In other news, I picked up another Back Bay edition of Evelyn Waugh at Book-a-Holic. I love the covers for the Back Bay editions. (You can look at the covers online, here. My copies below.)
To overcome the mediocrity of the 2008 Brideshead Revisited, I had to rent the 1981 miniseries again. Much better. Speaking of Granada television productions, it took me two weeks but I finished the 5-disc Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (mostly while walking on the treadmill, have to have some reason to exercise). I also saw a preview for the Guy Ritchie-directed Sherlock Holmes that's coming out in December. I remain skeptical.
Trailer for Jeremy Brett as Sherlock Holmes:
Trailer for Robert Downey, Jr. as Sherlock Holmes:
Why is he so dingy? And what's up with the designer stubble?