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A Little Bit About a Lot of Things

A lifestyle blog with a focus on my food adventures

If you’re looking for holiday gift ideas, I always love giving cookbooks. Pick out your favorite recipe from the book (flag the page with a post it note) and pick up the ingredients the recipient will need to make the recipe. It makes a super cute gift basket! I already owned the Michael Schlow, “It’s About Time”, cookbook and love that the recipes are so easy to make (that even this novice chef can whip them up!) I’m a fan of all of Schlow’s restaurants, my all time favorite being the now closed Radius (I still have dreams about that burger!). Have you been to Alta Strada, Tico or Doretta Taverna?

I was excited to be invited to the Chef’s table at Eataly a while back when Michael Schlow was the guest chef. The intimate two hour class had Schlow preparing three recipes (with wine pairings from the Eataly sommelier) while sharing some personal stories in between each course. First up was the crostini of creamy mushrooms with lemon and mint (page 58 in the book), which was paired with the I Clivi, RBL Brut, Friuli-Venezia Giulia. The recipe can be made with any type of mushroom you prefer and you can use the mushrooms to top any number of dishes, bot just crostini – let your imagination take you away.

The congolese in brodetto (clams in broth) (page 60 in the book)were the star of the show. The raw clams were beautiful and still alive when we got to take a peek at them (you can tell if they are still alive when you buy them if you tap them lightly and they close). That one piece of bread was not enough to soak up all that delicious broth (not kidding, I wanted to drink up every last bit). It was a simple dish with just  a handful of ingredients – a sure way to impress guests at your home. You can pick up any of the ingredients you need to make these recipes at Eataly – how convenient is that one stop shopping! The clams were paired with a Antinori, Cervaro Della Sala 2014 from Umbria.

Schlow talked about how the pasta station at any restaurant is the hardest one – so that you know that the chef who is running it is the best one in the kitchen. It is an art to get out multiple pasta dishes all perfectly al dente (especially if they are all different kinds of pasta – rigatoni cooks differently than spaghetti etc). While I wasn’t sure about the black olives in this dish when I read the description, I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. The rigatoni dish was served with white beans, tomato and black olives ( page 64 in the book). It was served with a Mastrojanni, Rosso di Montalcino 2015, from Toscana. The flavors melded so well with each other and the beans added another layer of comfort to this dish.

I highly recommend picking up Michael Schlow’s cookbook, “It’s About Time” and make sure to check out Eataly’s class schedule (you even get a coupon for 10% anything you buy at Eataly after the class!) Hint: Another great gift idea is giving a cooking class!

Disclaimer: I was invited to be a guest at the Chef’s Table, my admission was complimentary. All opinions are my own.

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