We recently went to the land of San Francisco, where there is a lovely farmer's market and a large specialty food market.
I bought a couple things there and as I was doing so I thought in my little head that while these things are good, can't I get them at home? The truffle salt almost certainly. It comes from Italy, and I'm sure that if I got off my bum I could find some here. But there it was, and it's so good, I could barley contain myself, and then of course if I buy it on travel, it comes from the travel budget and not my monthly grocery budget. That's a tip kids, write it down. Using that salt is going to be wonderful; I can already envision the potatoes, the caprese salads, the green salads, the popcorn...
I also bought a salame pepato from Boccalone, though Salumi's is just downtown. I do have to admit, I have never been to Salumi's, even though it's owned by Mario Batali's dad. I have heard from my husband that it's wonderful. I suppose the reason we don't shop there is simply because I don't often buy cured meats.
Don't get me wrong. I love salami, pepperoni, pancetta, prosciutto, really all of these wonderful meats, but they often are very fatty. Being very fatty, you shouldn't be eating very much of them, and so we don't. Which is also why I'm willing to spend $12 (a bargain really, but then again, tasting is believing) on a six ounce sausage. If you are going to eat something that is bad for you, you shouldn't eat much of it. If you're going to eat just a little bit of something, shouldn't you get a premium quality product? I strongly think so, otherwise you end up wasting your calories on something that just doesn't taste as good, and you'll probably feel dirty inside when your done.
I know you can go down to the store and get salami from the deli for around $10 a pound. I don't know about you, but I know how to use a calculator, and the salami I bought rings up at $32 a pound. I will put money on the fact that in a fight Boccalone's salami will kick your grocery store salami's butt all up and down the block and then spit in it's eye.
I read a lot of murder mysteries. I know that sounds like a non sequitur, but it ties in. One of the authors I really like is Rex Stout, he writes about an eccentric mystery solving foodie. I have read so many of them that when I found out that there was a cook book of all this food I immediately acquired a copy. The title is "The Nero Wolf Cookbook." While this is not any sort of a healthy cookery book, I strongly suggest you purchase one, as it's very good. The recipes are simple in flavors, and they are strongly American recipes, mostly from the 1930's and 40's. They however, aren't your grandmother's recipes, they are high brow, haute cuisine and delicious. Anyhow, I was nosing through this book and found a recipe called "rice fritters", and they sounded so good. They involve heavy cream, eggs, rice and deep frying. How in the world could this be bad? The main recipe was for a sweet version, but it got the little gray cells moving. I lighten up the recipe, and removed some of the deep frying, well all of actually, and as I was munching the little cracker like rounds I made I was struck by an overwhelming question. If these things I have made are so good, would you be able to eat the real thing without fainting?
I also made a sauce to go with my little rice rounds out of cherry tomatoes, while good, I finally decided that the sauce was overpowering the wonderful taste I had created with the rice fritters. I would think that you could make a plain fritter and put whatever you want with it, sauce or jam, but I was really looking for a way to let that salami shine in the fritters. This makes enough for two people, five WW points per serving.
Salami Rice Fritters
1 C. white rice - uncooked
1 Tbs. organic Better Than Bullion chicken paste
2 C. water
1 minced clove garlic
1/4 tsp. sesame oil
1/4 C. organic farm fresh egg whites
2 Tbs. organic non-homogenized half and half
a dash of salt, a sprinkle of pepper
1 oz. high quality salami, cut into slices 1/8th of an inch thick
2 sprigs fresh oregano, leaves only
2 Tbs. high quality Parmesan cheese
In a rice cooker, combine the bullion, sesame oil and garlic with 2 C. warm water. Rinse and drain the rice in a sieve and then cook the rice in the cooker (my husband refers to this as crack rice, and if you're still cooking your rice in plain ol' water it won't be as good as mine.)
When the rice is done, let it cool completely. In a large sauce pan combine 1 C. rice, you will have left over, the egg whites, half and half and the salt and pepper.
In a small bowl put your oregano, finely minced, grated cheese and your salami, the salami needs to be slice 1/8th of an inch thick and cut into tiny cubes. These pieces should be very small, but not grated.
Over the lowest heat possible, constantly stir the rice mixture until it gets thick. Do not let the eggs cook all the way, you are just looking for it to get a bit thicker.
Remove from heat and add the contents of your small bowl. Mix well. Get out your griddle and put it on a medium high heat, about 325 would do nicely. Spray the griddle well with cooking spray. Drop scoops of the mixture by tablespoons onto the griddle, tap down a bit and push into round shapes.
Now let them cook until they are golden brown on the bottom, and this might take several minutes. Flip them over and cook them to golden brown on the other side.
Serve warm, makes around 14 rounds.