Culinary Art

davidhockney's mr. and mrs clark.jpg
I love this quote by Sister Wendy, "If people can look, and look, and always come away from a work of art enriched it is a great work of art." There are certain pieces of art I always come back to because they inspire me. What I love about art is that every person may see and feel differently but if you are touched by it, you feel inspired.

Two shows I loved back when I watched more T.V. were Breakfast with the Arts and Dinner and a Movie. Both shows were themed around food; watching them inspired me to be creative in the kitchen. I've paired four of my favorite paintings with four inspired courses: cocktails, appetizer, entrée, and dessert.

In the first painting, David Hockney's Mr.& Mrs. Clark and Percy, a newly married couple looks like they could enjoy a cocktail before they prepare for dinner. I love the 70's vibe and can imagine them listening to The Carpenter's, We've Only Just Begun and heading out to NYC's Monkey Bar and drinking a Harvey Wallbanger!

Harvey Wallbanger
.5 oz Galliano
4oz orange juice
1 oz vodka
Pour vodka and orange juice into a Collins glass filled with ice cubes and stir. Float Galliano on top by pouring slowly over a teaspoon turned bottom-side up.
When I first saw Pino's, Ester, my husband and I were in Santa Fe, New Mexico and I remember being mesmerized by her. She is soft yet hardworking; she is tired but willing to serve. I absolutely adore this painting! I imagine Ester starting us out with an appetizer of Fried Green Olives with Blue Cheese while we listen to Mazzy Star's Fade Into You.

Fried Green Olives Stuffed with Blue Cheese
1 ounce blue cheese
24 pitted Spanish olives
Cooking oil for frying
1 large egg, beaten
½ cup Panko bread crumbs

This is a woman who looks like she would prefer something glamorous, trendy, and sophisticated. John Currin is another artist we saw a lot of in Santa Fe. I remember eating at Santa Fe's Geronimo restaurant; it was cold and we sat by the fireplace. This lady looks like she might like to have dinner somewhere warm. I have a love/hate feeling about Currin's art. I find his technique to be exquisite but he also frightens me! He reflects beauty in an impure way that hypnotizes the viewer. He reminds me of Jeff Koons the way he is both mysterious and timeless. This image is actually the artist's wife, Rachel Feinstein; I think she might order something unique and elegant for her entrée. She might be listening to Just Call Me Angel of the Morning or maybe The Look of Love...

Sumac Sirloin Steak with Pomegranate Reduction
2 Cups bottled pomegranate juice (16 oz)
1 t sugar
1 t salt
1 T sumac
1 t pepper
2 lb Sirloin Steak
3 T butter
3 T finely chopped shallot
¼ Cup Port
1 t fresh lemon juice

I love the color of Jeff Koons' painting, tulips. It reminds me of how a tatin looks when you flip it over; it makes a beautiful design and the pears look like flowers. You might recognize this painting when you do your holiday shopping; it's on the Kiehl's body lotion! To me this painting screams finale, that's why I think of dessert! I would want to listen to something romantic like Amy Winehouse's Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?

Pear Tatin
6 T butter, room temperature
10 pretty pears, cut in half
1 ¾ Cups sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup sour cream
½ t grated lemon zest
1 t vanilla
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
½ t baking powder
¼ t salt
Confectioners' sugar

Preheat oven to 350. In a buttered pie dish, arrange pears cut side down. Combine one cup of sugar and 1/3 cup water in a small saucepan and cook over high heat until it turns a warm amber color. Pour evenly over the pears. Meanwhile, cream the 6 tablespoons of butter and the remaining ¾ cup of sugar until fluffy. Add sour cream, zest, and vanilla and mix. Slowly add the sifted flour, baking powder and salt mixture. Pour cake batter evenly over the pears and bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes, then invert the cake onto a flat plate. Dust with confectioners' sugar and edible flowers.

Do you have a work of art or song that inspires you to create? I think happiness comes sooner and stays longer for people who find inspiration more easily. That's enough to inspire me, how about you?

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