Food Adventures

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Another day started with my current favorite breakfast: bombolone con crema (a fresh doughnut with pastry cream) and two excellent cappuccinos. The folks at the pastry shop think it's a little strange that I ask for another cappuccino after I have finished the first one, but they indulge me and I am grateful.

Another exciting day at Apicius with several excellent recipes. My favorite for the day is the garbanzo soup with beet greens. It's light and fresh-tasting while also being quite filling. These days I don't eat too much that's green (except for the basil on my bruschetta), so having soup with greens was a nice change of pace. The eggplant timbale (filled with parmiggiano, tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, and eggplant) was interesting to make, but it did not excite my taste buds that much. In the regional Italian cooking class, we talked about Lombardy and made risotto all Milanese and costoletta alla Milanese (a veal chop breaded and fried in butter). Yes, you guessed right: both o these dishes were a little heavy for a day when the temperature in the kitchen was easily 115, but it was good to learn the traditional way of making risotto alla Milanese (let's just say it includes bone marrow, in addition to quite a bit of butter).

If my taste buds were not excited by the timbale, they certainly woke up in baking class, where we made 5 different flavors of crème brulee (plain, lavender, orange and fennel, star anise, and coffee). What a feast! I was in charge of the star anise crème brulee and that one and the orange fennel one competed for the title of my favorite crème brulee so far. One ramekin of each might not have been enough to decide though, so get ready for some crème brulee tasting and experimentation when I get back. Plain crème brulee had thus far been more than satisfying, but all of a sudden, it tasted… well, plain.

Also on the menu in baking class—three flavors of panna cotta: plain, strawberry and orange. Once again, plain tastes a little plain. Strawberry came in as the favorite.

A new word for the day: retrolfatto (retroolfactory in English). The person who guesses the correct meaning will receive a valuable prize.

Thanks for all those who have posted comments. I look forward to hearing from you.

P.S. I promise to post some pictures as soon as I spend some time in the apartment and upload them to the computer. Thanks for the patience!


At 9:53 AM CDT, Anonymous sarah said...

Hey Vik - is it possible to mail creme brulee? I'd like to get in on that tasting!

Keep the tales coming. I am green with envy.

At 9:01 PM CDT, Anonymous Brooke said...

Retroolfactory: the sense of smell that occurs after you taste a food. Is that it? Did I win?!?!?! Perhaps some creme brulee!?

Your trip thus far sounds DIVINE! I can't wait to taste your creations! Keep the pictures and stories coming!

At 10:20 AM CDT, Anonymous Erika said...

Orange and Fennel crème brulee? I never would have thought these flavors paired so well together. Wish I was still going to be in town and could be a taste-tester!

At 10:57 AM CDT, Anonymous Erika said...

I forgot 2 things:

1. Did you have to extract the marrow yourself for the risotto? Ever since I read Julia Child's description on how to do this I don't know if I could handle it. Just wondering if it's really that bad.

2. I found a place to live in SD, but the best part is that I'm 1 mile away from Extradorinary Desserts (that was the place you recommended, correct?)

At 10:49 AM CDT, Blogger Viktorija said...

Brooke, good guess! You win a prize that I will have to prepare when I come back. Thanks for playing!

At 10:50 AM CDT, Blogger Viktorija said...

Hi Erika! No we did not have to extract the marrow, but we have had to do many things that are not so much fun to talk about (gutting fish and squid, etc.).

Glad to hear you have a place to live and so close to the dessert place. Yum! I will have to share with you a couple of new recipes for pastry cream.


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