Dean Clough

August 15, 2022

Portico Darwin: Arrive SF and A Taste of The Future

TODAY'S RAMBLINGS

Flag of Ukraine.jpg

My Oceanside inspection complete, I winged it home yesterday.  I would be remiss if I didn't thank my Killer hosts:  suffice to say, you passed my rather stringent inspection with flying colors.  And you're both so nice to invite me to come down each and every month from now on!  

And speaking of travel:  now is the time I will start going on and on about our major trip to Italy and Austria, which begins September 2.  Milan.  Lake Garda.  Dolomites.  Innsbruck.  Yeah.  Baby.  Of course there will be an extravagant Travel Guide published upon my return, but I am on the fence regarding whether to publish anything while I'm away - mostly because I'm going offline otherwise.  We'll see.   

But until then and to literally whet your appetite, today I give you not one, but two pesto recipes.  Either is marvelous - of course - over just about any kind of pasta.  But if you make it to the end, I share an additional application for both . . .

Pesto
This a traditional pesto, one that has been our go-to for years.  It's even in one of my cookbooks.  But here it is for your convenience.  The freshness of its taste is a revelation, at least in this man's opinion.

1 pound Pasta
36 Basil Leaves (a minimum of 6 per person)
3 Cloves Garlic
150 grams/5 ounces Pine Nuts, Walnuts, Pecans or Blanched Almonds
100 g/4 ounces (1-1/4 cups) Freshly Grated Mixed Pecorino Romano and Parmesan Cheese
200 ml/7 fluid ounces quality Olive Oil
Salt and Black Pepper

  1. Wipe the basil leaves with a damp cloth.
  2. Place the clean, dry leaves in the food processor together with the cloves of garlic.
  3. Turn on the machine and gradually add the nuts, then cheese and olive oil; add salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  4. Cook the pasta following packet directions carefully to avoid over-cooking.

The pesto sauce is never cooked but 2 or 3 tablespoons of pasta water should be added before the sauce is stirred thoroughly into the drained pasta. 

Black Pesto
Wow wow wow.  We've become very enamored with the latest/greatest and massive America's Test Kitchen cookbook, published just this year and a giveaway at $20.  The sheer volume of recipes is impressive, but the quality and care involved with developing them is even more so.  This recipe is from the book and is so simple but so, so delicious. 

This, known in Italy as "olivada", just knocked our socks off when we first tried it.  It is pesto, but so much more.  No nuts, either, which initially confused me.  But don't worry - mangia, mangia!

1 pound Pasta
8 large Basil Leaves
3 Garlic Cloves
1 ounce (1/2 cup) Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
6 tablespoons Olive Oil
1-1/2 cups Pitted Kalamata Olives
1/4 cup packed Fresh Parsley Leaves
1 medium Shallot, chopped coarse
1 tablespoon juice from 1 Lemon
1 Anchovy Filet, rinsed
Salt and Black Pepper

  1. Toast the garlic in a small skillet over medium heat, shaking the pan occasionally, until the garlic is softened, and spotty brown, about 8 minutes; when cool, remove and discard the skins.
  2. Process all of the ingredients in a food processor until everything is blended and relatively smooth.  Transfer the mixture to a small bowl, and season with additional salt and pepper if necessary.
  3. Cook the pasta following packet directions carefully to avoid over-cooking.  Retain 2 - 3 tablespoons of the pasta water before draining.

The pesto sauce is never cooked but 1 - 2 tablespoons of pasta water should be added before the sauce is stirred thoroughly into the drained pasta.  

And Absolutely Do Try This At Home
Lately, we've been skipping the pasta, and have been using both types of pesto for pizza!  It is so simple.  First, make the pesto as above - but an important note:  you'll only need about one-half of the traditional pesto for what follows; use the leftovers in an omelet, etc.  You'll use all of the black pesto if you go that route.

Here are the additional ingredients:

1 Standard Boboli Pizza Crust (don't laugh until you make this)
2 - 3 Roma Tomatoes, thinly sliced
1/2 Pound Freshly Grated Mozzarella Cheese

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Spread the pesto of your choice all over the top of the Boboli pizza crust
  3. Place the tomatoes on the pesto
  4. Sprinkle the mozzarella on the whole thing

Bake for about 10 - 15 minutes, on the top oven rack, until the cheese is golden brown. 

Enjoy - I know I do.

FROM THE UNWASHED MASSES

Hunter Deuce, with his finger firmly on the pulse of pop culture as always, went back to the archives of the legendary Spy magazine for a great pull.

Check out this gem from "Spy" magazine (which I know you love) that dates all the way back to 1986:
Spy Trump.jpg
As I say often (as does Hunter):  anyone from New York (City or even upstate, like the both of us) has known from the get-go what a grifting charlatan Trump was and is.  That included the equally astute E. Graydon Carter and Kurt Andersen (creators and publishers of Spy) in 1986.  Pretty much from the start they accurately referred to Trump as a "short-fingered vulgarian". 

But even they couldn't have predicted the need to add the word "traitor" to their description. 

Thank you to any one that is reading this newsletter.

KLUF

Duh.  What else could be other than Cookin' with The Miles Davis Quintet?  Plus, I know a certain SoCal host favors Mr. Davis, so there's that, too.
MD Cook.jpg