And the living, and cooking, is easy.
Is it divine intervention that just as restaurants opened their dining rooms, the skies darkened, the rain pelted down sending diners indoors? Oceans of rain. So much that everything was soaked in an instant. Such storms are a blessing because they break the muggy airlessness, as well as sending diners inside. Restaurateurs all look like the cat who swallowed the canary. As one said to me recently, “My restaurant isn’t full yet but it soon will be, and I don’t care – it just feels so great to work!”
It feels great to sit in a restaurant too, knowing chefs are in the kitchen unleashing all their pent-up skills and imagination. At least that is how it feels, as meals issue forth that are fresh, simple, inventive, more gorgeous than ever.
Creating at Home
It also feels great to be able to create at home, to know that friends can come without worrying about a thing. We entertained some during confinement, but the many restrictions had us doing some over-the-shoulder looking JUST IN CASE we overdid the curfew. It’s hard to stop a good time with friends to get home by…6 p.m., then 9 p.m. Now, there is no curfew and no masks on the street. Market vendors wear masks, but customers don’t. Inside shops, masks are required. Let’s say you cannot find your mask, though. Sometimes there is a cheery, “Just come in,” or a shopkeeper reaches down under the cash register and proffers one. There is a new sense of solidarity here, for certain.
I’ve used the word “great” twice now, and here’s another one: it’s great teaching live online. I love having a large group to teach to, and being able to communicate personally as we cook together. Join me at Live Cooking with Susan and tell your friends. We’re having a ball, the menus are adapted to the season, there are perks and surprises, and you’ll love it. Sign up, we’ll get you all the information you need. It’s simple, delicious, fun, and I can’t wait to see you!
Feta and Ham
Today, make these little feta and ham bites for your next dinner party, picnic, afternoon glass of wine and appetizers. They’ll be a huge hit and in case they don’t all disappear, they keep in the fridge. Just remove the herbs before refrigeration, and replace them when you re-serve!
FETA WRAPPED WITH PROSCIUTTO - LA FETA ENTOURE DE JAMBON
- 4 ounces;120g air-cured ham (such as Prosciutto), cut in 1-inch; 2.5cm wide strips
- 4 ounces;120g feta cheese, cut into 1x 1/4 x 1/4-inch (2.5 x .75 x .75 cm) pieces
- About 20 small sprigs of rosemary, or sage leaves (if using sage leaves, cut lengthwise in half)
- 1/3 cup;80 ml extra virgin olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Lay out several strips of the ham, and place cubes of feta at one end. Lay half a sage leaf across each piece of feta so the tip of the leaf sticks out beyond the edge of the strip of ham, then roll the ham around the feta and sage. Place the roll upended in a shallow bowl so that the cheese shows, and crowd the rolls together to keep them from unrolling. Continue until all of the feta and the sage are rolled inside ham strips. Pour the olive oil over the feta rolls and marinate at room temperature for 1 hour. Just before serving, sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper. Serve, using toothpicks to skewer the rolls.