The Craziest Water You Should Be Cooking With
Water, 99.9 percent of the time, is not crazy. Most of the time, it’s pretty boring, save for those times you decide to toss that lemon slice or a few fruit and herbs in it. I am not talking about that kind of water. In fact, this a water you wouldn’t throw back in a tall glass (although I wouldn’t judge you if you did); it’s a cooking water that comes from a little corner of Italy and it’s in that crazy 0.1 percent.
Crazy water isn’t actually that crazy, but hey, that’s OK. The name, crazy water, translates to acqua pazza in Italian and refers to a tomato-based cooking broth that stems from the coast of the Campania region of Italy, particularly around Naples. Made by simmering fresh chopped tomatoes with garlic, herbs, and water, it’s simple Italian cooking at its best.
The Best Way to Use It
Traditionally, crazy water is used as a poaching liquid for white fish, and I think that’s really where it shines. Using peak-season tomatoes, the dish has that uncomplicated air about it where each basic ingredient speaks out individually, but marry so well together at the same time. But don’t be afraid to experiment by using the broth to poach other ingredients — shrimp or lobster would be lovely, as would a mix of vegetables, and even an egg or two. First pick up some nice flaky fish, like red snapper or tilapia, and take it for a swim in the craziest water around.