As an avid home cook, there is nothing more pleasurable than the discovery of a new ingredient.
Unless of course, it's the discovery of several workman finishing up my kitchen renovation. Please let it be done this week!
OK. Back on track. Except for the completion my kitchen renovation, there is nothing more delightful than discovery of a new ingredient.
Introduction to a new foodstuff can send me into a joyful tizzy. I'm like a kid with a new toy. A new kind of Heirloom Tomato at the greenmarket. Bring it on! A chance to experiment for the first time with Piment d'Espelette? I'm practically giddy!
But who knew that a boring, mainstay ingredient could suddenly make my knees wobble with heady exultation? Who knew that CELERY would be my new "It" ingredient.
Damn that Chef Michael White. He knows what he's doing. Well evidenced by a towering plate of luscious Adriatic-style Seafood Salad with olives, lemon, caper -- and celery -- from his casual Soho outpost Osteria Morini. Shockingly, celery didn't make the cut for a mention in the menu listing, but gosh darn if it didn't leave a lasting impression.
Translucent ribbons of pale green celery were sweet and lightly crunchy, a perfect foil for the moist shrimp, scallops, squid and octopus. I lapped them up with glee. In the past, I often found that chunks of stringy celery were for picking out of a dish, not for twirling and tasting with relish. Oh, how wrong I was. In the hands of a talented chef, celery is food for the G-ds!
Clearly, celery will be at the top of my shopping list, the second that my renovation is complete. Not sure what I'm going to be doing with it, but it's bound to be good, if not worth of adulation by the G-ds.
For the record: Kitchen in flux or no, you can't keep The Vamp down when she's inspired!