We all have pet-peeves, right? Well, I have a real problem with elitist know-it-all attitudes.
Of course, I used to think I could manage the whole world with one hand tied behind my back. But now? Marriage, parenthood...life, have humbled me. (Thankfully.) There's a fine line between having confidence and "putting on airs". Why do we so often feel we need to prove to others that we have all the answers?
You find it in every genre of life, but food-lovers are particularly prone to this. Sprinkling frenchy lingo, hard-to-find ingredients, and foodie hot-spots in every conversation, as if to say, "Please notice that I know what I'm talking about!!!" These individuals are puffed up on culinary terms and a misled sense that they are part of some secret society. I just smile and nod...
I have come to believe we are all foodies, on some level. We all have to eat don't we? Maybe some of us pay a little more attention to what we put in our bodies and how we prepare it, but that's not a right to elevate ourselves above "the lowly pitiful masses that eat at chain restaurants and buy pre-made grocery items!"
If there is anything the cooking class girls have shown me, it's that becoming a good cook is more about will-power than about talent. Talent can only take a person so far. Think of all the talented people you know who sit around whining about how life has stifled their dream. While other, presumably less talented people, run the show!
Many food cultures world-wide believe that good SIMPLE ingredients create the best dishes. It's not that elaborate dishes aren't tasty; of course they are. They are just so often unnecessary!
If you have access to fresh local cheeses, meats, and produce that taste unfathomably delicious on their own, why would you need to doctor them? Remember, you don't have anything to prove! Sometimes the simplest combination of flavors can be the most enjoyable...and elegant!
Here is a wonderful little snack, or brunch item, that is a testament to it's ingredients--not the maker. A broiled pear slice draped across hot molten cheese toast, then topped with crispy prosciutto. So satisfying, yet so easy to prepare. It is a perfect stand-alone, or accompaniment to creamy soups!
Humility, that low, sweet root, From which all heavenly virtues shoot. ~Sir Thomas More
Broiled Pear and Prosciutto Toasts
2 English muffins, halved
1 pear sliced in 1/8 inch thick whole slices, core removed
4 Tb. brie, or soft creamy goat cheese
4 slices of prosciutto
Oil and salt
Preheat the broiler on high and set the oven rack to a high position. Lay the pear slices on a baking sheet. Brush them with oil on both sides and sprinkle them with salt. Broil the pears for 2-4 minutes--until the edges are crisp and the flesh is tender.
Smear a tablespoon of soft creamy cheese across each English muffin half. Once the pears are tender, lay one on each toast.
Place the toasts on the baking sheet and top each with a slice of prosciutto. Broil again for 2-4 minutes, until the prosciutto and muffin edges are crispy. Serve warm! Makes 4 toasts.
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