I get asked a lot about what “kind” of cooking I “do”. This question always stumps me. I have recently decided that I just don’t have a specialty cuisine at all. And I am okay with that.
I grew up in multiple places and have moved a bit with my job. None of the stops were particularly inspiring on the food circuit (San Jose, CA; Eugene, OR; Portland, OR; Sacramento, CA; Rochester, NY; and now NC). I always found fantastic food to eat, but never picked up a particular local cuisine that became MINE.
My heritage is mixed as well. I am 1/2 Portuguese, 1/6 German; 1/6 Irish, and 1/6 Swiss. All I really remember about Portuguese food growing up from the ages of 0-7 around my grandparents is Soupage. My grandfather always put in waaaaay too much mint and I could never get into the soggy bread in the middle.
So, I have basically collected my own set of recipes and a smattering of cookbooks that make up my “cuisine”. A great example is what I made last night.
The Lee Bros. ‘Fish Stew Man’s Red Fish Stew’ was a new recipe for me. Boy was it yummy. I am a HUGE Cioppino fan and wanted to try out a new version of this – Southern Style. I got this cookbook for my birthday last summer and have been a little scared of diving in for fear of being overcome with a need to buy 12 gallons of buttermilk and 10 pounds of butter. But, this recipe was delightful and healthy (except for the fried bacon cubes on top!). If you are ever looking for that ONE southern cookbook – I would highly recommend it.