Paesano...

Necessity is the mother of invention.

I devised this dish within weeks of our restaurant opening at Seaton Carew.
The menu included among many other things, three dishes with beef fillet as the main ingredient. Two required one eight ounce piece of fillet, known as Tournedos and one, the Bellini used three medallions.
I was left with the tail end which I could not use after slicing the fillet. So I used to quickly sauté the leftovers, cut them into strips and share them among those present.

After a few weeks I realised that those nibbles cost exactly as much as the Tournedos itself and my kitchen gross profit began suffering.
I decided to try and “invent” a dish to use them up. In food, you can be assured that everything has already been invented. It is just a question of playing about with various combinations of basic ingredients and hopefully ending up with something palatable.

Using various condiments, herbs, alcohols, etc… I experimented over a period of two or three weeks. Karen was my chief taster, my barometer not to say my guinea-pig. If she liked a dish, I knew that everyone else would. If she didn´t like it, then she pulled no punches.
For days she turned her nose up at all my early attempts. Just as I began losing hope of ever creating a new sauce, she smiled and the Paesano was born!
Why Peasano?
Krimo’s started out as an Italian restaurant also serving pastas and pizzas. Paesano is the Italian for peasant. No idea where the brainwave came from but that was all I could come up with at the time.
Karen fell in love with the dish and I put it on the menu she sold it and sold it.
Within a few weeks, the fillet ends were not enough. I began using whole fillets cut into strips to meet the demand.

To this day, it is still the most popular dish on our menu. The recipe is very simple: garlic, sage, mustard and cream.

Many local restaurants have tried but sadly failed to reproduce this simple sauce. On several menus, I have seen “Paesano” spelt various ways, pisano, passano, etc…
Imitation is the best form of flattery…

5 comments:

Zéphyr, said...

Vive Paesano !

Vive l'improvisation, vive l'inspiration, vive l'imagination !

Karen a eu raison de tomber amoureuse de "PAESANO". Qu'il soit à jamais votre porte-bonheure !

Orce Serrano Hams said...

Sounds great Krimo, yet another thumbs up!

PI said...

You've got me drooling again. How I wish you were closer.

Daphne Wayne-Bough said...

I bought a packet of Ras el Hanout from a grossiste off the Marche d'Aligre in Paris, and it had CURRY POWDER in it! The supermarket one I bought has no cumin. THEY'RE ALL WRONG! I'm sure your mixture is perfect - will you whisper it to me?

Krimo said...

Merci, Zephyr. Un de ces jours, je te le ferai gouter...

Thanks, CR. BTW, I'm loving your Spanish recipes!

Pat, you'll just have to visit your sister-in-law again...;o)

Daphnee, Ras el Hanout has around 25 different spices in it. Something similar to Garam Masala but not quite.
The main ingredients in it are: cumin, coriander, chili, caraway, cloves, bay, garlic, etc... in various proportions(?)