My Inspiration? Childhood Sunday Dinners…
I would like to share with you a memory of mine that has inspired one of the new dishes on our Fall/Winter menu. Nearly every Sunday afternoon when I was growing up, my parents would get together with our neighbors from around the block and pool their resources to put together a special Sunday dinner. The men would all work together to cook a great big pot of fresh, spicy tomato sauce with sausage, onions, bell and jalapeño peppers, crab and lobster meat. You see, because the women cooked the rest of the week, it was the men who would cook on Sundays. This gave the women a break and it gave the men a chance to socialize a bit while doing something more wholesome than, say, playing cards. When the meal was ready, the men would serve up their creation with lively conversation all around, and we would all enjoy a fresh, festive dinner together with plenty of love and laughter. Those were good times.
This childhood memory is the inspiration for my new dish: Matisse’s Crab Stuffed Meatball with Spicy Italian Sausage topped with Fried Calamari. It is served with Mezza Rigatoni topped with Robiola cheese over Fra Diavolo sauce and dusted with Parmesan Reggiano cheese.
To create this tasty meatball, I combine lean chopped meat, sausage, onions, peppers, parmesan cheese, roasted garlic and lump crabmeat. As to the sauce, Fra Diavolo is a spicy sauce that can sometimes be overwhelming, so I am very careful with the amount of spice I use. My perspective is that spice should never be overwhelming. It should be subtle, like a breeze on your face, a sensation that should never knock you over. The flavors on the plate should be balanced so that the take away on one’s palette is the experience of the whole dish.
We will be running this dish on our Fall/Winter menu and welcome you to come visit us one evening to enjoy the great flavors in this combination. I hope to see you soon!
All the best,
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