The Dinners in Between: What Product Photography Inspires in my Own Kitchen

 

Cooking and photography inevitably leads to more cooking and photography. Yesterday afternoon was spent working on a photograph of a butter dish and another of a cake slicer [which meant we had to bake a lemon poppyseed cake for the shot]. A few hours later and the shots were done, and my creativity was gone for another day…all that I could do was to refocus my energies into cooking for fun and dinner.

One activity that few people realize is therapeutic is making your own pasta. All you need is 5 eggs and 3 1/2 Cups of flour. I use Mario Batali’s standard recipe, and I knead the dough by hand for ten minutes before letting it stand for a half hour. The final dough is then run through my Kitchen Aid Mixer roller attachment a few dozen times, until I have a lush dough. The best part is then choosing what type of pastas I want to have on hand for the next week. Last night I decided to go with a filled ravioli and three portions of linguine.

 

The ravioli was named “Ravioli of Sadness that V. is Leaving For Thunder Bay”. A non-traditional blend of duck confit, fresh dill, oatmeal and roasted garlic left me with needing a traditional tomato sauce adding ground pepperoni, sun-dried tomato and artichoke hearts to olive oil and tomatoes. The result was a beautiful pasta that reminded me of a traditional pasta one might have found in the 70s and 80s before the fancy pasta became de rigueur.

 

 

 

 

Next up, a whole pacific red snapper. The fish seemed really fresh, so I decided to go with it and try my hand at fileting the whole fish myself. I had just watched a few YouTube videos on how to filet a fish, and I was inspired by Jiro Dreams of Sushi, so I had to try it myself. I used my sashimi knife from Kyoto, and turned out a respectable pair of filets that I was able to pan fry with little trouble. I left the skin on, but next time, if I buy rainbow trout then I will try skinning it and poaching instead.

 

Using garlic, red pepper and lemon with dill, I was able to prep the fish, and the sides were a truffled cheese with frites, and honey-glazed figs. Despite all of the day’s cooking, I felt good about the food cooked in the kitchen. Cooking gives a sense of purpose and focus in an otherwise crazy world where there never seems time to do anything properly. The week will have me working on the other half of the Paderno shipment, dropping into school to finish paperwork, and I am still hoping to see Abraham Lincoln:Vampire Hunter at the movie theatre tomorrow. The sunburn is subsiding…which means that I will soon be able to get back out and do it all over again!!!

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