When Even A Whisk Can’t fix it…………..
When failure happens in our lives or in the kitchen there are several other messages to be found. As I have explained a little bit I am an emotional cooker! Some where their emotions on their sleeves I put mine in my food. So it makes sense to me that up until this recent time in my life my cooking has been bold, bright, acidic, spicy, garlicky and certainly vibrantly herbaceous. But as I have begin to settle down with my emotions somewhat or at least learn about how they affect me positively and negatively, my cooking has become clearer and clearer I supposed somewhat like my mind. Of course I am still bold and so is my cooking I just understand that where one uses that boldness is key, the potency of the acid is ideal and the amount of heat and what part of the tongue dictates the amount of pleasure that is extended in a spicy dish. I’m learning to use feelings as an additional part of the dish, not the dish itself, which is a reflection on how I am trying to exist in my “real” life, observing the feelings, experiencing them but separating them from my being. As I have been working on this in my personal life lately and giving it a great deal of attention I have had some amazing cooking breakthroughs, as well as some big failures, which I assume are part of the process in gaining comfort in doing something different, having a different part of my body lead me on my culinary trail.
On a recent random day at the center, with farro heavily on my mind and some gorgonzola cheese I had been nibbling on that needed a better home than the garbage which was where it was going to go if we didn’t use up soon, I had a revelation recipe. I stood up and knew exactly the dish I wanted to make it was nothing like the dishes I usually make. I had bought some amazing Satur Farms kale that morning and with some leftover grapes form a Bollywood drink we made for a class I went to work. It was if I had made this dish a million times and I knew exactly what I wanted to accomplish and the flavors which I wanted enhanced. The textures, the scents, the entire revelation including the sensory experience for the taster as well as my sensory experiences as the maker was moving to optimal experience. It was as Oprah would say an AH-HA moment for me, just cooking with no emotion somewhat robotic in a way but more like coming from deep inside, my center perhaps, on this moment in the kitchen I was connected to my center and it showed.
This is the result……..
Roasted Grape & Red Onion Kale Farro with Gorgonzola
1 medium red onion, chopped small
2 cups red grapes, halved
1 tablespoon thyme leaves
1 chicken thigh, boneless, skinless, chopped fine (optional)
1 tablespoon black pepper, freshly cracked
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons currant vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups purple and Tuscan kale, chopped small
2 cups farro, cooked
Preheat oven to 400° F. In a large bowl toss together the onions, grapes, chicken, thyme, black pepper, honey, currant vinegar, honey and season with salt. Lay out on a unlined baking sheet and cook for about 10 minutes or until the items are slightly browned and roasted. Immediately after the grape mixture has come out of the oven, place it over the kale in a large bowl and toss well allowing the kale to par cook or wilt. Add the cooked farro (which should still be warm) and toss together until well mixed. Season with salt and garnish with a few gorgonzola crumbles!
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