Strange title for a blog post?
Even stranger? I have no photos.
I KNOW! How the heck did this happen?
The term might be a strange title for a post, but the 'home chefs' in France are onto something with this term. Have you heard it before?
It's pronounced, "Oh-PEEF". And sounds a bit like someone got upset about something and is trying to refrain from straight out expletives. I might start using the term in that context. Seems convenient. And unoffensive.
Au pif roughly means that you do something using guesswork, or randomly, with no real direction. You just FEEL it or KNOW it. And in the kitchen, this translates to being intuitive with your dish, simply SMELLING, TASTING, and FEELING what ingredients you should us and how you should combine them.
I've used many recipes … at least hundreds, if not thousands, by now! I try to make them as written the first time around, but more often than not, I know what changes I want to make so that I will like it better and end up making those changes immediately. I have also found, ironically, that my family enjoys the meals I make au pif much more than the ones I make using a recipe. And sadly, I don't know that I could ever become a recipe-author because as I'm cooking 'au pif', there's no way I would know the quantities of the ingredients! The dishes are fabulous, but not duplicable. It's a one-time deal with most of these. I suppose the only way to get around it is to have a Scribe in the kitchen as I work … a Scribe who knows roughly what quantities look like and what ingredients are being added and when. A Recipe Scribe who is ever-present, knowledgeable, silent and observant. Yes … that is what I need if I am ever to write a cookbook.
My au-pif meals are often a sauce to top pasta. And they have usually included vegetables or small quantities of meat that wouldn't nearly feed an entire family-that-consists-of-mostly-full-on-adults. Tonight's nourishment was just such a meal and a lovely one, might I add. Yes, I created it. It was all my own intuition, and I will say that it was quite "yummy in my tummy". I had to force myself not to take seconds.
Here's the rough recipe for you to experiment with. Aly said I should write it down so here it is. In "Au Pif" form!
My Aly has to come to call these dishes "Mystery Pasta". It's better than "Mystery Meat" is all I gotta say!