Sunday, June 29, 2014

Remembering parties all over the world, and my no-fail bottarga pasta


Recently, I've realized that quite a lot of our readers actually try out the recipes I occasionally print in this Travelife Magazine blog -- and apparently with great success.

So this has encouraged me to place more recipes every so often, especially of simple and pretty no-fail dishes I do when in a pinch, or in a hurry, somewhere in the world, living a Travelife.

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THE JOYS OF COOKING,
ESPECIALLY WHEN THE INGREDIENTS ARE SO GOOD

As you can imagine, a never-endingly eventful Travelife is extremely busy. There's almost no time to cook.

But interestingly, I've cooked pretty fancy dinners and prepared meals for parties in cities all over the world, while traveling. And I've loved doing so.

I actually like to cook when I'm traveling as the produce in certain cities and destinations is just so good and complete, that cooking becomes an absolute joy.



WHERE I'VE COOKED

Tokyo is one of these cities, because you can get every rare ingredient in the world you can possibly think of as long as you are prepared to pay for it.

So it's a fantastic place to whip up a meal in.

But I've also cooked in many places elsewhere around the world, as quite a number of my friends will confirm.

I've cooked for a whole week of dinners at an eight-bedroom villa in Umbria and I've also made dinner for 18 in an apartment in Paris, just two blocks down from the Elysee Palace.



DINNER FOR 30 IN LONDON

I've also made dinner for 30 in a three-floor apartment in London literally 25 steps away from St. James Palace.

I still remember that London party as I'd decided to invite all our good friends in London for a party, to celebrate something, and I'd done the entire party by myself.



I'd laid cocktails out in the living room and a buffet of hot meals in the state-of-the-art kitchen, and desserts and more drinks in the den that opened up to a rooftop terrace with a marvelous view of London.

Everyone had run of the house, save for the bedrooms, and people were going up and down all night.



However the party finally ended way past midnight with everyone on the rooftop terrace, drinking and smoking as it was a very fine evening.

Thank goodness the housekeeping crew came in the next day for clean-up.

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A HALLOWEEN PARTY IN NEW YORK,
AT THE NEW YORK PALACE TOWERS

I also loved doing parties in New York.

Once my friend A and I hosted a Halloween party in my pretty nice suite at the New York Palace.

I also cooked most of the food for this as my suite had a cozy kitchen with a great view of Midtown.



I still remember how Japan Airlines had WiFi in the sky to New York then, so I spent most of the 14 hours in the air from Narita to JFK ordering fresh foods and groceries for the party, for delivery to my suite in time for my arrival.

Friends in New York came to this party, and some people I didn't know also did -- which was fine, anyway.

And some of those friends who were at that party read this blog, so perhaps they'll have some nice memories of that New York Halloween party I hosted at the New York Palace, living a Travelife.

AN INDIAN LUNCH IN TOKYO YESTERDAY


I baked this nan myself,
and served it on a pretty handpainted plate
I'd bought on holiday in Sardinia one summer.
Living a Travelife... ;)


And yesterday in Tokyo, some friends came to lunch.

Again, I usually like pretty simple and quick dishes unless there's a special occasion, so I made an assortment of salads and several kinds of Indian curries. I also made my own nan.

And everyone was supposed to arrive at 12 noon and at 1045 AM I was still blowdrying my hair.

I only began cooking past 11 AM, but the result was a very delicious Indian lunch with my friends getting third helpings of everything.

I served a bagna cauda as a pre-appetizer
for lunch yesterday in Tokyo,
living a Travelife...


MY NO-FAIL BOTTARGA PASTA

And finally, here's my no-fail bottarga pasta, which I did in 10 minutes the other day in Tokyo, as some people suddenly came to dinner.

It's simple and ever so good, but you must use the best ingredients you can find.

WHAT YOU'LL NEED

Fresh pasta 
The angel hair variety. 
You can also use dried pasta, 
but bottarga works extremely well with fresh pasta
so the effort to get fresh or to make your own is worth it.

Good quality dried bottarga from Muggine
Good quality bottled bottarga powder from Muggine
I always keep a supply of dried bottarga in my freezers,
and bottles of bottarga powder in my fridge.

Echire butter from France
Guerande salt from France. Or any kind of good sea salt.
The best quality extra virgin olive oil you can find.
I just bought in Tokyo a bottle of organic olive oil from Lebanon,
sold by the owner himself via a pop-up shop 
at the very upscale Meidi-ya foodshop in my neighborhood.
It's the purest, most amazing olive oil I've tasted so far.

WHAT TO DO



Cook the fresh pasta to al dente.
Shave the dried bottarga with a cheese grater.
Drain the pasta quickly and then mix with lots of Echire butter.
Don't scrimp on the butter as this will keep your pasta moist.
Worry about the arteries later.... ;)

Sprinkle salt liberally on the pasta.

Mix the shaved dried bottarga with the pasta.
Sprinkle bottarga powder on top before serving.
The powder form adds depth to the flavors.

Serve with a very cold and dry white wine.

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If you think you'll like this,
click here for my no-fail recipe for pasta with oysters


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1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing this. I read your blog everyday and I can't believe you can travel, work, cook, paint, and still look so fashionable and stylish. Wow.

    ReplyDelete