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Whatcha Got Cookin? Ernest Samuel Llime

SERVING & PRESENTATION

For instance, if you serve bread with your meal, get a robust Lithuanian bread from your local Polish deli. Or else go to your favorite bakery and buy a baguette, or a nice semolina bread. Just before serving , (your oven is probably still hot,) slice your bread (but only 85% of the way or so,) and toast for 5 minutes.

If you are serving some kind of middle eastern dipping dish, like a hummous or baba-ganouch, make sure to sprinkle some freshly chopped dill, a little powdered cayenne pepper and a generous portion of Extra Virgin Olive Oil over each plate. The pita bread is most important for these dishes. Israelis call them wipers, because these are dishes that make you want to wipe your plate, in order to get all the little morsels that cling to it, so a nice somewhat fluffy pita bread is much superior to the packaged stuff. It is not that difficult to find. (In Manhattan, look for Pita Express, in Queens check out Main Street around Jewel Avenue looking for Kosher bakeries (make sure they're Sephardic,) and in Brooklyn cruise down Atlantic Avenue west of Flatbush and look for a nice Arab grocery. For a Romanian eggplant salad, make sure you garnish it with some tomato slices; not only are the tomatoes a pretty red color, their juices also add a lot to the way your dish tastes.

For any salad or dip that calls for olive oil, make sure it is extra virgin (EVOO
) - read the description and make sure it is first cold press. In addition to being very tasty, EVOO
 is also very healthy for you being  very rich in monounsaturated fats. In the last 10 years or so EVOO
 has even become a collectible which we find kind of funny, but it illustrates the fact that there is a multitude of available brands and flavors. A good EVOO
 is so tasty that you just want to dip your bread in it and eat it - as a matter of fact, when serving there is nothing wrong with placing little sauce bowls with EVOO
 on your table.

 

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