Archive | June, 2013

Purple Peruvian Goo — Mazamorra Morada

22 Jun

A while ago, it was requested that I include more vegetarian recipes here on my blog.  My best intentions to the contrary, I have utterly failed to do so.  (I suppose it’s easy enough to make my Chicago-style pizza vegetarian; just leave off the sausage.)  That request has caused me to realize just how central meat is to my cooking—at least to the cooking that I’m excited enough to write about.  Regardless of the meal or course, meat seems to factor into my recipes fairly frequently.

There is one course though into which you’d really really have to try to incorporate meat.  That course is dessert.  So, that is what I will write about today: dessert.

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This is not just any dessert mind you, this is a Peruvian dessert.  At Tania’s urging, we’ve been doing a fair bit of Peruvian cooking.  And this time, we made a dish called mazamorra morada.  Mazamorra is…well, it’s a purple goo.  With fruit in it.  It’s a purple goo with fruit in it.  I can’t really think of how better to describe it.  It’s kind of like a pudding I guess, and kinda sorta like Jello—but not really.  (Incidentally, they really like Jello in Peru.  Maybe sometime I’ll get around to writing about torta helada, or Jello cake.)

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Real Deep Dish — Now THIS is Chicago-style Pizza

16 Jun

The influence that family has had on my cooking and eating preferences has been no big secret.  As I’ve already established here on the blog, family recipes make up a significant portion of my go-to cooking repertoire.

It should therefore come as no surprise to learn then that with parents who spent significant time in Chicago, either growing up or going to school, that I’ve been influenced by the cuisine of that fine city.  And while there could perhaps be some debate about what one specific food item is most closely identified with the city (Italian beef? Chicago-style hot dogs?), no one would disagree if your pick was Chicago-style deep dish pizza.

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It certainly is mine.  I still remember my first encounter with pizza in Chicago.  While visiting my aunt in the suburbs, we had gone downtown for the day.  My folks led us to the original Gino’s East on Superior Street.  I can’t remember how old I was at the time, but what I do remember waiting in line for what seemed like forever.  And then we were led into a darkened space, with walls, tables, chairs—everything—covered in writing.  The idea that they encouraged you to write on anything your eye could see seemed so subversive to my young mind.

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A Flavor of Cincinnati — Grip a Grip of Grippos

9 Jun

Those who know me know that when it comes to Ohio cities, I’m a committed Columbus partisan.  For the longest time I considered Ohio’s oldline cities—especially the “C” denominated ones—to be well past their prime.  Regionally biased much? Perhaps.  But unabashedly so at least.

I must admit however, after several years of being prevailed upon by transplants to Columbus from some of those more far flung regions, that perhaps, perhaps, our fine capital city could learn a thing or two from those others to the north and south of us.  Would I say that I was wrong? Of course not. Never.  But, I will say without hesitation that Cleveland’s West Side Market is by far the best public market in Ohio.  And, I will, if a little more begrudgingly, say nice things about Cincinnati as well.

For example: Grippo’s potato chips are kind of awesome.  In the, if you open a bag for a snack you may mysteriously find that you’re holding an empty bag and are now covered in crumbs with no memory of the intervening 45 minutes, kind of way.  And there may or may not be an accompanying hit to your self-esteem to boot.

So yeah.  If I was listing “good” things about Cincinnati, Grippo’s would definitely be on that list.

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