Have you ever wondered why they call cooking, “a labor of love?” Well now that I am privy to the inner sanctum of the EVOO kitchen, let me tell you, it is nothing short of a hurricane of tasks; all of which are equally important, but much like the weather here, the urgency can change at any moment. And just when you feel like you are close to reaching the end of your list, a timer buzzes, or a vendor phones to tell us the catch of the day didn’t make it to shore; or the guest list just jumped from 12 to 20. (doesn’t sound like a big deal but if we didn’t have two tenderloins in house we’d be going shopping, for example.) At this point the menu reaches out for our creativity to adapt, adapt, adapt, without straying from the course originally set to please the palate.
When we DO finally get to sit and taste the fruits of our labors, we realize that all the sweat, hard work and the standing (my goodness the STANDING) is well worth it. So you might say, we love the results and the “labor” is just a necessary element of cooking for the public.
Here’s a few of the dishes we cooked this week:
Pasta fagioli- a playful rendition of a pasta primavera is a combination of 3 beans, a splash of colorful asparagus, red bell pepper and zucchini all mingling together in an amazingly flavorful broth. Fresh escarole gives the dish a light crunch, but the fresh pecorino and perfectly crisped prosciutto chip seals the deal. This bowl of goodness is like a hug from the inside!
Oh wait, there is so much more…how about freshly made ravioli filled with mushrooms and duck confit?? By the way, the answer to that question is YES! These little pillows of love are rich from the duck cooked in its own fat, earthy from the mushrooms that were quickly sauteed, and the bitter arugula pesto sauce finishes with a fresh component that balances the dish.
This was also my first time making fresh tamales! Masa harina, a fine ground cornmeal, is mixed with grilled squash, jack cheese, cumin, cayenne, paprika, and the filling is tucked sweetly into its little corn husk bed for steaming. Serve that with a fresh tomatillo and avocado salsa, and bittersweet chocolate mole and let the happiness ensue!!! Our guests seem to really enjoy the texture of these tamales, saying they are more tender than ones they have had, and a bonus, Bob makes them vegetarian.
I am running a little behind–this menu was last weekend SAVOR CANNON BEACH menu, and so next week you’ll see the menu we are really working on this week. Till then.