I thought I knew how to make pesto. It’s supposed to be simple and humble preparation, making it one of the more pleasurable dishes to both cook and eat. Using a food processor, I used to throw basil leaves, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese and as Jamie Oliver would say, “whazz it”, all the while drizzling extra virgin olive oil. That’s what I thought was pesto. How romantic of me. And then I read about Ligurian pesto in Bon Appetit. It changed everything.
Let me clear up a couple of things right off the bat. I do enjoy a good slab of brisket, but I don’t eat it that often, despite this being the third recipe in a row featuring the chesty cut of beef. I am also not obsessed with sandwiches even though there is an inordinate amount of ‘sandwich-type’ recipes on this blog. And lastly, I too never had sexual relations with that woman. But, to the subject at hand, if you love brisket, specifically barbecued brisket, and you love pimento cheese, then this recipe should hit a sweet spot for you. The inspiration for this creation is courtesy of Fox Bros B-B-Q in Atlanta, Ga.
There’s a scene in the motion picture Castaway where Tom Hanks tries desperately to start a fire on his remote isle. For what seems like hours, he struggles to generate enough friction from the spinning stick into gasping flames. But he does so and moments later we watch Hanks transform the tiny spark into a raging bonfire. When he proudly beat his chest and screamed into the sky, “I made fire”, I knew exactly how he felt. It was the day I made pastrami at home.
The February issue of Bon Appétit magazine features a story about the “vibrant restaurant community” around the Carolina region authored by the Lee Brothers. One of the chefs in the regional who’s who is Ed Lee, the chef/owner of 610 Magnolia in Louisville, KY. His fame comes via Top Chef, where he was unjustly eliminated from the competition partly based on a Texas-style barbeque brisket that he pre-sliced before service. This is obviously a no-no in the barbecue world and he paid for it by losing the challenge. Personally, I thought he would go far. He had the talent, the creativity, the humor and the looks of a Colonel Sanders meets an Asian Burt Reynolds that I thought would sweep-up America. Unfortunately it didn’t work out that way.
The last time I made fried chicken, I told myself it was THE last time ever. I followed Thomas Keller’s recipe, and aside from the mess and clean-up, it just wasn’t worth it. I know others will testify to its greatness, but for various reasons, could not agree. Now THIS fried chicken recipe, courtesy of Bon Appétit, is the best fried chicken ever! It is tasty, crunchy and juicy all the same. And because it is skillet-fried, you use far less oil. It is the only fried chicken recipe I’ll ever need.