Anthony Bourdain’s Wedge with Stilton and Pancetta
One of the first things I thought about when I heard of Anthony Bourdain’s recent death was his episode of “Part’s Unknown” where he visited Congo. My daughter was adopted from the Congo 7 years ago as a toddler.
Although Congo has many redeeming qualities from it’s beautiful, friendly people to it’s rich culture and natural resources, it’s not generally displayed in a good light. Oftentimes when you hear about Congo it’s due to violence, poverty and corruption. In “Part’s Unknown”, season 1 finale, Anthony stated going there had been a lifelong dream of his. We watch this episode every 6 months or so, because to be honest, there is very little in tv or movies filmed there.
Like all episodes of “Part’s Unknown”, I felt he did a wonderful job of showing the history and culture of the country he was showcasing. He doesn’t skirt Congo’s past with Belgian colonialism and really paints a picture of where they’ve been and the resilience of the Congolese. There’s no sugarcoating the history, or even problems faced today, but I can’t help but appreciate this small view of wild Congo. Not for me exactly, but for my daughter. She will forever know you Anthony, as the one who gave her this candid video introduction into a country she only remembers from stories she’s told. Someday, we’ll go back.
News of his death inspired me to pull out one of my favorite Bourdain cookbooks, “Appetites,” which I’ve reviewed in full, along with the recipe for Macau-Style Pork Chop Sandwiches. It’s beginning to get hot here in the Pacific Northwest, so using the oven is out of the question, and eating light, flavorful meals is the preference of the season to help wear off all the bulking up many of us did during the long winter months.
This wedge salad is simple to make, delicate, and loaded with flavor. The pancetta is a wonderful alternative to bacon and the fried shallots are seriously delicious. If you choose to make this recipe, don’t skip them. The dressing is strong, but a perfect compliment to the simple iceberg lettuce. This entire recipe took me only a few minutes to prepare, with the longest aspect of the preparation being frying the shallots (around 15 minutes), which makes this a perfect weeknight meal. I hope you add it to your menu this week!
Also, make sure to check out the cookbook, “Appetites“, it’s worth the purchase!