One of my favorite cookbooks is On Vegetables. Can’t recommend it enough. I also love soffritto. Only not this one. I am glad I made it and I understand direction, just not sure where I could use it.

Traditional Italian Soffritto utilizes Red Onion, Celery and Carrots. The base for this one is Pine Nuts, White Onion and Fennel.

Half way through the cooking, in go the strawberries. The structure, the sweetness… I get it. But, it just feels wrong. It’s like eating crickets. I know in the future I will be eating them, but right now it just creeps me out.

Borracho Beans

My favorite beans in Austin are served at Fresa’s. I have been working on a home version and I am getting close. Apparently it has a lot to do with lard.

Rancho Gordo is an impressive company. They sell many kinds of high quality (and highly tasty) heirloom beans. I am using Cranberry. As for the ‘soak’, there are a few directions. A quick simmer or the overnight cold soak seem to be the most common. So, of course, I opted for the middle of the road. Warm water, three hour soak. It worked out fine. There also seems to be a debate on keeping the soaking liquid or tossing it out. I tossed it, but I want to do more testing on that.

The flavor pack for cooking is bacon, onions, cilantro, chilis and tomatoes. Oh, ya, and beer. That is where the borracho comes in.

Here are the beans liquified into refried beans. Great for tacos.

Whipped Cream Pizza

Fennel Sausage, Shallots, Green Onions, Whipped Cream and Mozzarella.

Pizza steel. Game changer. Holds 20 times the energy of a pizza stone. It also doubles as a flat top when you put it on your oven burners. You can even put it in your freezer to make a cold top for ice cream production.

Cream on a pizza? Not as shocking as it may seem. Everything starts with milk. That is where we get cheese, butter and cream. Wait a second, butter pizza?

Green and Red onions, I like the contrast in both the flavor and the color. And, as always, New Jersey mozzarella.

Fried Oysters with Creamed Spinach

Central Market (North Lamar) has three or four different types of live oysters at the moment. They are all wonderful, raw or cooked.

And, CM usually throws in a couple extra with your order (incase you find one of your prized specimens had expired on the way home). The live ones are much more tasty.

Mise en place

Base layer of creamed spinach

Caramelized onions. No need for sugar or balsamic vinegar. Start with high heat, oil, salt and onions. As the edges of the onions brown, keep stirring to break down the onions and release the starch. Reduce the heat as they finish to a golden brown. It’s about time, technique and temperature. This process isn’t about adding more ingredients, it about a process to get to a precise goal: breaking down the ingredient to make a certain flavor and texture (not unlike making risotto rice).

It was lovely