Saturday, May 17, 2008

Why I love going to my in-laws

About a year and a half ago, I wrote about my mother-in-law in the post Salmon a la Iolanda. (I showed her the post today and she got a real kick out of it: "Comme je suis quelqu'une importante!" ... "Like I'm someone important!" I assured her that she is.) We're back in Montreal now, chez Iolanda, and I'm still loving the food. A couple of highlights, keeping in mind we've only been here for 24 hours:

- A glorious porcini mushroom sauce with fettucine. I wrote down the recipe as Iolanda cooked, will test it at home, and post it next week. It was rich, earthy, and perfectly balanced.

- Rapini, a.k.a. broccoli rabe, sauteed with olive oil and slivered garlic. After it's cooked the rapini is left at room temperature. It almost marinates in the olive oil and garlic and becomes rich and tender. This is an incredibly simple dish to make, and one I've done at home. But I usually eat it warm; I realize now that it's even better at room temperature.

I made broccoli rabe for my parents once, and they weren't crazy about it. It is on the bitter side (which I enjoy), but with a fruity olive oil and sharp garlic it's delicious.

There's also a simple abundance of food here. At home we might have bananas and kiwi or grapes on hand (if it's soon after Fresh Direct delivered). Here Iolanda stocks bananas, peaches, cantaloupe, sweet strawberries, apples and pears. Granted I'm sure a lot of that is for our benefit, but we take advantage. There's always fresh fruit on the counter if we need a snack. So delicious.

We're going to a big Italian/Quebecois wedding reception tonight. The bride, Dave's cousin Laetitia is passionate about food, so I'm extra excited about the dinner. I will report back soon.

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