I’m not one prone to bragging (at least not all the time – because I’m so awesome, you see), but I consider myself something of a gourmand and an accomplished chef of sorrts. Being that I am of Italian heritage (and Irish! What a combo!), the recipes of my great-grandparents have been passed down to me through the generations. Tomato sauce with pork spare ribs and beef roast that I cook over the span of two days? Oh, you better believe it. Meatballs that are so tender they nearly fall apart once pierced with a fork? Yep (the secret is equal proportions of bread crumbs, grated Parmesan and a lot of water and eggs – and don’t forget about the very finely chopped celery leaves, among other herbs and seasonings, none of which I am willing to disclose).
With that said, I’m about set to give up all of those time-honored traditions and family recipes now that I will be able to get my hands on Diamond Dishes: From The Kitchens Of Baseball’s Biggest Stars, because when you think about it, who better to get recipes from than guys who spend months and months on the road and in clubhouses eating catered in food? It’s a no-brainer, really.
Compiled by Florida Marlins owner Jeff Loria’s wife, Julie, the recipes run the gamut and feature the culinary expertise of a bevy of baseball players.
The game and cooking both combine skillful preparation with the right ingredients and proper instruction “to produce a memorable outcome,” she said. And the two are social activities enjoyed with friends and family.
“Both have an emotional connection,” said Loria, author of “Diamond Dishes: From the Kitchens of Baseball’s Biggest Stars” (Lyons Press, 2011). “Everyone has a favorite team and everyone has a favorite food.”
The 20 players highlighted in the photo-filled book were chosen, Loria said, because “they’re all major league All Stars from different teams. Many are future Hall-of-Famers.”
Sounds like a great idea and believe you me, I’ll be picking up a copy toot sweet. But now, if you’ll excuse me, along with the sample Crème Brulee recipe from Pujols (which is included in the story on SJ-R.com), I’ve now got a hankering for Paul Konerko’s Cucumber and Tomato Salad with Lemon Pepper. Oh, it’s going to be scrum-diddily-icious! And I cannot wait to see what kind of culinary wizardry is behind the recipe Alex Rodriguez contributed. I bet it is so tasty that even the pickiest centaur wouldn’t even turn its nose up to it!