Carolyn and I are suckers for cookbooks and cooking magazines (and cooking shows and cooking websites). Frankly, we have way too many, but we never stop, we can’t help it. We may be Food Porn Addicts. We probably need to seek treatment. But, as it is, we keep buying.
When we buy a cookbook, unless it is a familiar author, we are making a leap of faith. You would be surprised how many bad, and we mean bad, cookbooks are out there. But with the magazines, we start to see some predictable patterns. We know that Cook’s Illustrated will give some good tips but often adds useless steps to make their recipe seem “new and improved”, or just because they seem to all have OCD (and need to keep selling cookbooks with the same recipes rehashed ). Saveur recipes are good, but can be inconsistent and need to be thoroughly reviewed before we try them. And our friends at Sunset magazine have good, solid recipes but the dishes are almost always under-seasoned, at least to our tastes.
And this leads us to today’s recipe for Rapini Fritto Misto. The recipe is adapted from a Sunset recipe, and guess what? We added more seasoning. But it is a fun, tasty dish and since it involves frying, everyone likes it. Rapini, also known as Broccoli Rabe, is a relative of broccoli. The rapini is basically a thinner, leafier version of broccoli, with smaller “florets”. We think rapini is a bit more flavorful and easier to cook than regular broccoli and buy it at the farmers market when we can- normally fall and spring. Usually we sauté the rapini with a little bacon or pancetta, garlic, red chile flake, salt and a few splashes of wine. But we wanted to try something new, and deep-frying is always a popular way to make almost anything.
So let’s talk a bit about deep-frying, there are many reasons some cooks prefer to not deep fry at home. It can be messy. It does involve some danger of burns and fire. You need to use some specific tools. If done improperly the food will taste bad and be greasy. And, honestly, we do not deep fry all that often. But it is fun, and deep-frying is a technique that can be very useful for the home cook. (Just wait until we give you Carolyn’s recipe for home-made jelly doughnuts, yum). Continue reading