Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Underdog Ingredient

Some food gets a bad rep. Some get no rep at all. Zucchini tends to fall in the latter category and on the categorical ladder, it's usually at the bottom (not to mention alphabetically as well). There's no underdog like zucchini. I bought some this weekend in hopes to let zucchini shine and have a leading role for once. It's won for supporting roles in ratatouille, pupusas and m├╝cver. It almost won for tempura, but has often been defeated by carrot and sweet potato.

Here, I've fried slices of said squash in bacon fat that was rendered from the finely ground bacon trailing the back of the dish. Sandwiched between slices of extra sharp white cheddar, it sits atop a sauce made from brown butter, lemon, burnt onion stock, rosemary and cocoa. I love the way the zucchini crisps up, soaks in the fat and has a Maillard crust.

What other unsung produce is out there? Cuts of meat, fruits, vegetables, herbs. Maybe the future of cuisine lies in bringing forth the ingredients behind the scenes.

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