Here's for my mom who said, "Please write something so I'm not always pulling up the tomatoes." Sorry! But I'm cranky. Everyone's on vacation -- except me -- or at least it feels like that. I don't feel like battling the heat to cook most nights. Plus, with Ryan in Peru -- it's not as much fun without someone to cook for. I've been existing on Ruth Reichl's Spaghetti Carbonara. And no recipes have really pulled me in to break this mood.
That was until I was reading Anne's copy of "Julie & Julia," chronicling the adventures of New Yorker Julie Powell's attempts to cook all Julia Child's recipes in "Mastering the Art of French Cooking." Of everything she cooked, I found myself seduced by her description of beef liver. Yes, liver. Just listen to this description: "It is one of the great oddnesses of life that I have come so to love liver. I love, love, love it. It's like the silky soul of steak. You have to close your eyes, let the meat melt on your tongue, into your corpuscles."
How can you not be tempted by that? My mom would always force liver and onions on me as a child. But this recipe was liver topped with a shallot-mustard spread and breadcrumbs. And it was endorsed by both Julie and Julia.
I tried the recipe and -- unfortunately -- I still don't like liver. I barely ate any of it. And, let me tell you, rarely do I not clear my plate. I just kept thinking, "I'm eating the liver of a cow." Now, mind you, I have no problem polishing down a steak or sweetbreads or even chicken livers, for that matter. Why is it that I find beef liver so troubling?
Maybe because it looks like what it is. And even under a mustard and breadcrumb crust, it still..looks..like..a..cow.. liver.. I remember reading that a majority of times when people don't like certain foods, it's because they don't like the texture, as opposed to the taste. And I think I may also have issues with that slightly mushy, chewy texture.
Alright. Enough ranting about the liver. Let's move onto the spinach. Another recipe from the book that sounded 1) simple and 2) good was a description of washed and blanched spinach that is then mixed with swiss cheese, dolloped with cream, topped with breadcrumbs and cooked in the oven until bubbly and browned. It was good, yes, but lacked a little something..maybe cayenne? Just in need of a little pep. At least it looks more appetizing that the liver, right?
So the spinach wasn't bad at all; the liver wasn't for me. And the combination of them both was on the heavy-side. I can't imagine eating Julia Child recipes for almost a year as in the Julie/ Julia Project. Anyone else had any recipes you thought you'd adore, only to be dismally disappointed at the results?