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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Really Old Pictures of Food: How in the Who and the What Now?

Someone sent me this article about "how and why" photos of food are shared online. Probably because I eagerly snap photos of anything I come close to "making."

The upshot seems to be that most photos of food come from:

Keeping a Food Diary: 25% this lends itself to the self-tracking trend we have covered before.
Documenting the Process of Cooking: Driven by the motivation to show their creation, 22% of food photography is people self-documenting their proud foodie creation.
ETA: All this talk of food-documenting reminded me of Food Junta, which is currently under construction but a great source--in contrast to me--of professionally-presented foodie documentation. Although it is not food, I do need to make this when I get back to Arizona, because we have actual rattlesnakes there.

Self-Documenting My Proud Foodie Creation

Mostly, when I've posted recipes or food stories on this blog, they've been relatively labor-intensive. But you know, it's not every day that I sift flour and melt chocolate to make fancy cupcakes. Sometimes I'm in a hurry, and I don't want to feel nervous, and I just want some food. At that point, I usually pick up the phone and order Thai food.

You know:

But if I do try to cook, here's a simple, fuss-free recipe I developed. Oh, I'm sorry -- did I say developed? I meant to say stole. See, there's this restaurant in Tucson called Feast and they have this amazing salad with gnocchi and peas. So I basically just made an approximation of that.

Cause you know -- gnocchi. It's really good. It's not just carbohydrate-y -- it's the carbohydrate-y-ist!

But sometimes, eating a plate of gnocchi makes you feel as if you've eaten the entire world. The post-carbohydrate bloat and lethargy and regret set in.

Now, don't get wrong -- I'm not about to feed you some bullshit line about how carbs are evil and we should avoid them and eat only green vegetables or some crap. Because I love carbs. I fell in love with carbs long ago and we got married and had a delightful honeymoon and then had lots of carb-babies, which I ate, because cannibalism is totally okay when your offspring are delicious.

But because gnocchi are the carbohydrate-y-ist, the after-effect is a bit intense. So the people at Feast had the brilliant idea of putting gnocchi on a salad. You get the squishy carby goodness of the gnocchi, but it's cut a bit by the lettuce, you get some fiber, you fill up on slightly less gnocchi, you're forced to pace yourself, gnocchi-wise, and you don't feel like you've eaten the entire world and your own babies afterwards.

I'm pretty sure the folks at Feast make their own gnocchi. I've tried to make gnocchi from scratch twice. Neither time was a conspicuous success (read: conspicuous non-success! Conspicuous!).

Because basically:
Making own gnocchi from scratch = ridiculously fucking hard.
Frozen gnocchi = ridiculously fucking easy.
And, on those days when you get itchy fingers for the delivery phone, guess which option you want to take?

So, here's Easy O's ridiculously fucking easy Gnocchi (and Peas) Salad

1 packet frozen Gnocchi (can be plain or sometimes Trader Joe's only has a pretentious variant -- pretentious variants are totally fine)
Some cheese (suit yourself, I favor mozzarella)
A few cups frozen peas
Bag of pre-washed lettuce*
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

*If God had wanted us to use those ridiculous salad-spinner-things, He/She/It wouldn't have invented bags of pre-washed lettuce.

To Make:

Prepare frozen peas (suit yourself -- I favor, drizzle in a tablespoon of water and some salt, microwave six minutes. It's a family secret. You can stop halfway through and stir the peas if you feel like bein' all fancy).

Prepare frozen gnocchi. Relish how easy this is. Reflect on how you didn't peel a punch of potatoes, mash them, form them into gnocchi, and watch them fall apart into horrible, dirt-and-glue-like lumps. If you like, scoop out cooked gnocchi with a slotted spoon and fry for a minute with some olive oil and the cheese.

This is where it gets a little tricky:

Put pre-washed lettuce in a bowl.

Dump gnocchi and cheese into bowl with lettuce.

Dump in frozen peas (now non-frozen, obvs).

Drizzle a little olive oil on top.

Season with lots o' salt and pepper and any other fancy herbs 'n spices you favor.

Arrange all pretty on a plate:
Prescription medicine is not included.

I'm ready for my close-up...before you eat me.

(These gnocchi were pretentious Trader Joe's variant of spinach gnocchi, hence the green color. You can see where they are a little singed from me fryin' em, too).

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