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Brigtsen's last night

Amanda | Mar 7, 200407:44 AM

I had the Crawfish Gratin appetizer. Talk about rich!
And THEN I had the Seafood Platter with nothing deep fried, of course.

My dear, dear fiancee had the Rabbit Tenderloin appetizer and followed with the Pork loin on Dirty Rice topped with the Pork Debris, which he graciously allowed me to taste.

A bottle of Gigondas with dinner, followed by coffee and a couple of Calvados each. NO dessert and no Brocato's either.

Today I run five miles. Fittings in a couple of weeks.

Next weekend we intend to stay home. Friday and Saturday evening and I'll test cook more of Mama Gina's recipes. Next Sunday we dine at Chez Frank and Gina.

I had a great telephone discussion yesterday with Mama Gina about cooking Karduni (Cardoons, I gather) in a Bescamilla Sauce flavored with chopped bits of Prosciutto. I now know that we are presently heading into Karduini season.

Another thing that came up in our conversation was how much New Orleans Italian cooking has lost touch with the real tastes of Sicily. Mama Gina's grandmother was the cook for the noble family that owned the big estate - a latifundi - at Partinico and learned to cook when young from the chief cook from the preceeding generation.

Mama Gina inherited her culinary knowledge from her mother and grandmother (who came to New Orleans years after her children did). She says that while everyone identifies garlic and tomato as the dominant flavors of Sicilian cooking, that actually in Sicily anchovy is just as important as a seasoning and a much older flavor than tomato.

Of course, in New Orleans the importance of anchovy in Sicilian ghome cooking has fallen by the wayside and tastes have become more American. She and I have had this conversation before and I might have mentioned this in an earlier post, if I have I apologize for repeating myself.

It's just been the last 18 months or so that I've come under MG's culinary wing, so to speak, I guess she didn't really think the wedding was going to happen before that. I wish we might have connected earlier.

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