And Now for Something Completely Different…

And Now for Something Completely Different…

Welcome to a new feature here at the 30 Minute Dinner Party – Tastespotting.

What is Tastespotting?

Every chef needs inspiration. But everyone finds it in different ways. One of my favorite sources of inspiration is the sides, flourishes, and accompaniments on a dish at a killer restaurant.

Sure, those lamb chops may be perfectly cooked, silky, grade-A New Zealand meat, but I care about the chickpeas in mint sauce underneath. (I’m talking to you Casa Mono. What is in that sauce??)

Instead of waiting until I find the perfect recipe to insert these babies into, I want to introduce you to these revelations as I find them.

Some of these items may be old news, and I apologize if I am occasionally woefully behind the times. But I hope you are able to find some new inspiration as well!

Today’s Featured Flavor

With judicious dosing of quality sea salt, fried sage leaves are more addicting than most salty snacks. And probably a bit healthier.

We were fighting over these like college kids and the last piece of 4am pizza. I think I need to start growing sage plants in my kitchen again.

Make ’em at Home

Here is a quick recipe to try them out (from Epicurious). I haven’t made them at home yet, so let me know if you have more tips.

Heat [extra virgin olive] oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat until it shimmers. Fry [one bunch] sage leaves in 3 batches, stirring, until they turn just a shade lighter and crisp (they will continue to crisp as they cool), about 30 seconds per batch. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Season lightly with salt.

For optimum fried sage:

  • The leaves need to be crispy. Don’t add them to the dish until you are ready to serve and make sure to blot them on paper towels to remove excess oil.
  • Larger leaves are better. They hold up better during frying and drying and make for a more satisfying munchie.

One Final Note

Like any good thing, it is possible to have too many sage leaves. While sage has a host of health benefits, including helping with Alzheimer’s management, there may be issues combining it with stimulents of depressants.