Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Apologies to The Silver Spoon

I’ve had a copy of The Silver Spoon for a couple of years. At first, I tried to use it more the way I use many cookbooks— I’d page through until I found a recipe that fit my mood, and I’d make it. Given that the damn thing is 1263 pages (including index, etc.), this was not the most effective approach to using such an encyclopedic tome.
So I took to using it more as an Italian cooking encyclopedia; if I made, say, bucatini all’amatriciana, I would check to see what The Silver Spoon had to say about it. Often, though, I would read the recipe and think: huh. And then I would make it my way, because they sometimes seem to write the blandest common denominator (and the editors weird insistence on including recipes for extremely un-Italian dishes like beef Wellington did not deepen my trust in their authority). I didn’t stop consulting it, though. There are some basic recipes that it’s handy to have reminders on the framework ingredients for, and I am now so, so, so glad, because The Silver Spoon came through for me in a big way last night.We made Round 2 of potato pancetta pizza. Round 1 did not suck, but I never, ever would have thought of using taleggio cheese on my own. I knew that a mozzarella-parmesan combo wasn’t quite the ticket, and had been thinking of noodling around with parmesan and other cheeses, so, finally, I consulted The Silver Spoon, to see if they had a recipe for it, and what they suggested. Taleggio. And a firm ordering of how to proceed. First: parboil the potatoes (we did that before, and it was clear that was the way to go). Then bake the pizza with only potatoes (ah. good one.). Then add the other stuff, drizzle with olive oil and off to the races. It’s currently about $27 for a new copy on Amazon, and I am here to tell you that this recipe alone is worth the price. Plus, when you’re not using it, it works really well as a doorstop.

6 comments:

Maryann said...

My grandmother used to make a pizza like this. Your post brought back memories :)

Meg said...

Maryann- I'm glad to hear it... if the memories are good ones. It was interesting tinkering around to try and find a formula that worked.

chris said...

That looks incredible. And I'm always on the hunt for new (to me) cookbooks.

Meg said...

Chris- the pizza recipe was worth the book price. But it can be kind of hit-and-miss with other recipes.

cook eat FRET said...

i had a mushroom taleggio pizza at mario's otto in nyc. just thought i'd throw that in there and make it all about me.

Meg said...

Claudia- if you're going to mention things as tasty as mushroom-taleggio pizza, by all means, please make it all about you. I don't know why I'd sort of been thinking of taleggio as more of an eating cheese than a cooking one, but... I guess I had been.