Comment

Jim Rua’s Journal— Cook Fearless with Inspiration not Recipes

Here’s a pasta idea out of the Latino/Asian fast-food-playbook I keepin my head. Sunday family dinner included pasta with steamed cod tossed with olive tapenade.  Next day, solo, I was looking for a fast supper and found the leftovers: Bingo, let’s try refry.  This is the result and below are the steps in descending order.

IMAGE.JPG
IMAGE.JPG

A little olive oil and garlic heated for a minute in the skillet, then add the pasta leftovers.  Sauté quickly on fairly high heat to crisp the noodles, but not to over cook—not more than a couple minutes of cooking time. 

FullSizeRender.jpg

This is where we started—the virtuous leftovers. Really fast, simple, and delicious.  You can do this. Let me know. Jim

Comment

Comment

Jim Rua’s Journal — Memorable Restaurant Fare

I’m proposing that the Albany area’s best restaurants serve Asian cuisine—and there is no better local restaurant than Rain on Lark Street.  Look at yesterday’s lunch that I enjoyed with Caroline Whelehan, my granddaughter who is playing Jane Bennet in Cap Rep’s fabulous Christmas show, Christmas at Pemberly. Just last week I visited Rain with my ❤️Joanne Monagan and vowed to return often—and to shout about it.   Below, sautéed eggplant and the most delicious wanton noodle soup possible. Bravo Rain. 

IMAGE.JPG
IMAGE.JPG

Comment

Comment

Jim Rua’s Journal — Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberly Capital Repetory Theatre’s “Perfect Play for the Holidays”

All of my 9 grandchildren are brilliant and beautiful, honest! None more than Caroline Whelehan who will be playing Jane in the Rep’s fabulous Christmas show, opening Friday, Nov. 23, through Sunday, December 23.  Christmas at Pemberly, written by Laura Gusterson and Margot Melcon, imagines Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice characters happily gathered together again for a memorable holiday celebration with a magical conclusion.   Rehearsals start next week. Get your tickets early. See you there.  Jim

IMAGE.JPG

Comment

Comment

Jim Rua’s Journal What’s Cooking at the Chef’s Table

Last evening’s main courses at the Chef’s Table included this extraordinary rack of veal roasted together with a savory vegetable medley.  The occasion was a family gathering celebrating Miss Stella Armstrong’s 4th birthday.  Stella had previously dined at the Chef’s Table and implored her parents  (Joe and Andrea) to call the family together again on her special day.  We knew the dinner had to be special so Franco created this fabulous feast. 

IMAGE.JPG

Below, the veal roast on a platter headed to the table.  Truth is, Stella was so excited she didn’t eat much, but she had a great time, and her family was pleased.  Happy birthday Stella. ❤️❤️❤️

IMAGE.JPG

Franco’s cooking. 

Comment

Comment

Jim Rua’s Journal—Dinner at the Chef’s Table

Autumn Fare Served Last Evening:  Stuffed quail with sausage; Semolina gnocchi; Fried quail egg; Broccoli sauté with tomato.  Let me cook for you some time at the Chef’s Table.  Make a reservation. Dinner for 10.  Jim

IMAGE.JPG

The ripest tomatoes with burrata and basil, still from our garden. Looks like summer.   

IMAGE.JPG

Comment

Comment

Jim Rua’s Journal — Sempre Famiglia

Sunday Family Dinner, October 7, 2018

IMG_0143.JPG

Grandpa toasting cool-John Rua at the family table last Sunday while Maia, Chiara, Valentina, and James settle in together for a bountiful gathering of the clan. Sunday dinner with the family gathered is the week’s highlight occasion for this grandfather.  

Comment

Comment

Jim Rua’s Journal Report from Tuscany

His Elegance

FullSizeRender.jpg

Personal elegance is a priority and high art among Florentines.  I have for many years enjoyed this man’s aristocratic bearing, and the elegant manner with which he serves pastry and beverages at Rivoire, the most refined cafe in Florence located at one corner of the Piazza Signoria.  Note the Medici palace (Palazzo Vecchio) in the background.  And the waiter: with the effortless grace of Fred Astaire he serves this bottle of Pellegrino.  Classic beauty.  I hope you get there some time. Let me know.  Jim

Comment

Comment

Jim Rua’s Journal Report from Tuscany

The Elegant Simplicity of Lunch in Florence

 

IMG_0141.JPG

Salad with octopus & orange slices; Fennel salami, Pecorino, & chicken liver on toast (crostini, fegato di pollo); Burrata with sliced tomatoes and basil; Chianti.  You can do this at home.  Cook fearless.  Let me know. Jim

Comment

Comment

Jim Rua’s Journal Cook Fearless with Inspiration not Recipes

Birthday Turkey Roast: I observed my birthday this week by roasting a turkey for a family dinner. And here it is after 4 hours in the oven, headed for the table. 

IMAGE.JPG

Anatomy of the Stuffing: I sautéed pheasant sausage and pork sausage together with green onions, garlic and herbs, 5 to 7 minutes.

IMAGE.JPG

When the meat is just cooked, I combined it with breadcrumbs, mixed everything together, and

IMAGE.JPG

Stuffed the turkey like this, seasoned it with salt,  pepper, and paprika, then  roasted it for 4 hours, until it was 160 degrees at the leg joint.

IMAGE.JPG

Here’s how it looked on the plate.  

IMAGE.JPG

You can do this. Let me know. Jim

Comment

Comment

Jim Rua’s Journal. Report from Tuscany

Just Like at Home:  Franco and I did some cooking while at the vineyard in Tuscany this summer. Here is Franco tending the wood fired barbecue. 

IMAGE.JPG

This is me juggling pots and pans on 4 burners inside.

IMAGE.JPG

And this is our Tuscan Table, 8 for dinner. Just like at home. 

FullSizeRender.jpg

Below  is the remarkable setting, you can see the back of the barbecue on the left. You may bring your family to Fattoria Lavacchio and stay at the villa named for the Miller’s wife. Tell the Lottero family we say hello and thanks for these extraordinary memories. Jim

IMAGE.JPG

Comment

Comment

Jim Rua’s Journal Cook Fearless with Inspiration not Recipes

Bucatini with Oven Roasted Roma Tomatoes. Bucatini are long, thin, tubular noodles with a hole in the middle, like a straw.  Cut the tomatoes in half, season with herbs and olive oil, then roast them at 325 degrees for about 1 1/2 hours, until they lose about 50% of their volume. Their taste will be intensified.

IMAGE.JPG

Below are tomatoes that I prepared for roasting in a muffin pan, seasoned with herbs, garlic, and drizzled with truffle oil. Usually I drizzle olive oil, but for this occasion I used truffle oil procured on our recent visit to Fattoria Lavacchio in Tuscany. 

FullSizeRender.jpg

The muffin pan provides structure and nicely contains the tomatoes. Slow cooking is essential. The tomatoes can be blistered at the end, but not burned.  

FullSizeRender.jpg

The ingredients for the finished  pasta dish shown above are on this small plate. Chop and sauté the garlic in olive oil, cook the pasta, then toss the pasta in the skillet adding the tomatoes, basil, and Parmigiana.  

 This is what it looks like in the skillet. You can do this.  Let me know.  Jim

This is what it looks like in the skillet. You can do this.  Let me know.  Jim

Comment

Comment

Jim Rua’s Journal Cook Fearless with Inspiration not Recipes

Antipasto Siciliano:  Oranges with Anchovies and Mint

54157A7A-E226-42E2-B0C3-87A3EF1C2075.JPG

Brilliant color, scintillating tastes.  When your antipasto menu calls for some variety add this burst of color and surprising combination of tastes.  Slice the oranges, add anchovies, and finely chopped mint.  Nothing else—You can do this.  Let me know. Jim

Comment

Comment

Jim Rua’s Journal. Cook Fearless with Inspiration not Recipes

Crimini Mushrooms with Mango

4E3A5F1C-63F7-4533-8B19-BF7C030899E5.JPG

You can find ripe mango in supermarkets throughout the year, and crimini mushrooms are always available.  Let’s put them together for an interesting appetizer.  Here I sautéed the mushrooms in butter and olive oil (salt and pepper), a little garlic, and  a sprig of rosemary.  The chilled mango I cut into wedges and surrounded the hot, just sautéed, mushrooms on a beautiful platter. Nothing complex, just a bright idea manifest. You can do this.  Let me know.  Jim

Comment

Comment

Jim Rua’s Journal Cook Fearless with Inspiration not Recipes

Exotic Simplicity: Garden Salad with Scungilli.  Scungilli are sea snails, aka conch.  The term Scungilli is Italian, associated with South Italian cuisine, particularly Napoli. For this simple exotica I made a fresh garden salad, then I added a small can of LaMonica sliced “snails.”  Tossed with fruity olive oil from Sicily, this was a princely lunch for me. 

IMAGE.JPG

Below, the salad mostly complete.  Epicures who think this is too easy (or cheating) are wrong. Throughout the Mediterranean fish and shellfish preserved in jars and cans are used extensively in exquisite, and exquisitely simple, preparations—Think tuna under olive oil, for example. If you find the Scungilli you can do this, enjoy and be proud of it. You can see how good it is.  Let me know.  Jim

IMAGE.JPG

Comment

Comment

JimRua’s Journal Cook Fearless with Inspiration not Recipes

Watermelon Salad. This refreshing salad will remind you of Summer throughout the year. How simple is this, and so pretty:

ED1E7A72-23B2-42F4-B096-50FCBE70CA92.JPG

Baby arugula, watermelon nuggets discretely placed, shaved Parmesan. Dress with olive oil, salt and pepper if you like. Juices from the watermelon nicely complement the olive oil.  Summer in January. You can do this.  Let me know.  Jim

Comment