Typically during the change of seasons, since I have the slightly compulsive desire to “Spring” clean (even when it is Fall or Winter), I find myself rifling through my recipe binder. Yep, recipe binder. Don’t we all have one? No, not the one with the recipes that are tried and true, but a binder dedicated to recipes that I have ripped out of magazines, copied from cookbooks, gotten emailed from friends and family, and have yet to put to the test.
Luckily because of my (minimally) quarterly “Spring” cleaning, the binder has managed to keep itself from turning into an exploding mess. But, even with tossing out the old recipes that have collected dust, I have still amassed quite the collection.
So being that it is officially Spring, I’ve decided to crack open the binder and sort through it once more. But this time before some of my recipes will hit the recycle pile, I have decided to pull out a few of the ones that I can never seem to let go of, and make a point to get cooking.
Let me start by saying that I have only had this dish once, but it was life changing. (Well, not really life changing, but it was really really good. You get the idea.) It was probably almost nine years ago when the hubby and I went to a wine and fish dinner at a restaurant in Philadelphia and I first tasted crab imperial. Although it was at a time when I was still not very adventurous with fish, I completely fell in love with this spicy creamy crab casserole. I felt like I had died and gone to heaven….crab heaven. It was amazing. Who knows how long I’ve had this recipe for (at least five years), but, it is definitely not going anywhere until I try it out.
BA Patty Melt.
First of all, the picture alone on this one gets me – gooey cheese, caramelized onions, butter grilled bread – I mean how could you not want to completely stuff yourself with this juicy burger? Funny enough, when I pulled this one out to save it, I had never actually had a patty melt; but from the picture, I just knew that it would be killer. Flash forward several years, and rest assured, while visiting my parents and subsequently our favorite burger joint (Solly’s), we ordered the patty melt…we ate the patty melt…and I’m pretty sure that we have both been dreaming about patty melts ever since.
Frank Pepe’s White Clam Pizza.
Clam pizza? Well, we all know that I am just a little obsessed with pizza (okay, actually a lot)…and clams…well, whats not to love? Although I am really excited to try out this recipe, I have had the pleasure of enjoying this famous clam pizza at Frank Pepe’s, and so I know just how absolutely delicious it is. Soft bubbly pizza crust, salty briny clams, just a sprinkle of cheese, fresh herbs and lots of garlic – this baby is what puts clam pizza on the map. So really, what’s been holding me back on making this one? That is a very good question for which I do not have the answer for.
Spaghetti with Mussels in Red Sauce.
Okay, so now as I am writing, I am starting to notice a pattern. Most of the recipes that I keep seem to hold a food memory for me in some way (seeing as I keep telling different little stories about each recipe). Well, I can’t deny it, this recipe has a story too. This recipe comes from the famous Da Adolfo in Positano – the amazing tiny restaurant on a small strip of pebbled beach, reachable only by the tiny dinghy that picks you up from the main dock in town (but only if you have a reservation).
This place is what dreams are made of – an afternoon spent eating, drinking, lying in the sun and floating in the sea…it is truly la dolce vita. But before I get sidetracked with my Da Adolfo dream here, I must admit, the food was as amazing as the experience itself. Those salty briny mussels and sweet tomatoes all tossed together with a giant bowl of pasta…now that is a dish worth making (and eating).
Truth be told, I actually had a couple of other recipes lined up to share with you here. But honestly, after Da Adolfo, I just feel like nothing could top it. Maybe you haven’t been there, maybe you have, or maybe now you will go someday…but at the very least, you can look at these pictures and just imagine the magic that it holds.
And isn’t that the amazing thing about food? When food is made with love and shared with others, it often creates an imprint on you – a special birthday cake, a surprise dinner, your favorite childhood dish…what a wonderful thing to have such joyful memories that you can share with others. Happy cooking and happy eating everyone!