Cookbook Survivor: The Resolution
Moro Es Un Sobreviviente
Some of the same slight roadbumps and quirks in these recipes as in the others I’ve made from the book, but a lot of likeable tastes and looks all the same.
I’m always keen for more recipes for smaller pork ribs in the winter—I have a reliable Chinese-styled roast/glaze that I like and of course there’s barbecue. This one is pretty simple but the result is good. I think it calls for a good sherry, which can be a hard thing to find in some smaller wine and liquor stores in the US. The mushroom flavor is great, but I’m not sure throwing fresh field mushrooms in at the end makes any sense—people aren’t going to be eating the ribs with fork and knife even if they’re falling off the bone, and so the mushrooms just sort of hang around—next time I might make a teeny bit of rice or polenta to receive the mushrooms and braising liquid.
The beets are simple and tasty (I had golden beets and chioggas, the latter of which aren’t ideal for this recipe because they lose their distinctive look when cooked.) I think a bit of chopped mint would do a lot for it, though, both visually and in terms of taste. Plus, if you’ve been reading this all along, look! Black nigella seeds have arrived.
(I skipped the turnips despite having a lot of them: I thought maybe they’d be quick vinegar pickles but they’re a full 7-10 day pickle. Maybe if I have time over the next few days. Always read the fine print.)
The squid is a great idea on some level but…the bulgur wheat is just too tough, I think. I’d either put it in a grinder for 10-15 seconds or I’d just use something like grits instead. The battering is especially bad for tentacled pieces of squid—they clump into giant batter-heavy pieces. It just doesn’t feel fully thought out, or there’s a level of technique beyond what’s on the page that they used in testing the recipe or making it in the restaurant.
I loved the migas. I happened to have a…rustic…bread that needed using that fit the bill (a not-successful sourdough loaf where the dough was too wet) so it was great for using some of that up. As I said, it’s not like the migas I know but it’s also recognizably related. It’s a really small thing but there’s an interesting bit in the recipe where they refer to dried Spanish peppers but the kind they call for in the migas recipe aren’t described by name in the insert (I think)—but I guessed that cascabel peppers (which I have) might be pretty close, which seems to be more or less right.
A good enough meal for me to see the book as an ongoing resource, even if I do think the flaws I’ve seen in it before are visible in these choices. Plus it’s a touchstone for a meal that’s very nearly Proustian for me.