Sunday, October 17, 2010
I was also inspired by my good friend Katie, who really challenged herself during a food blog competition to make something near and dear to my heart and stomach, bibimbap. She was tasked with making a dish that represented a new culture to her, and she chose Korean food! She also made bulgogi, which I think of as the quintessential Korean entree. I'm really proud of her, and though I didn't get to try it I'm willing to bet money that it was delicious. Katie's a fabulous cook.
While I was searching for recipes for Katie, I kept coming across recipes for oi sobaegi (cucumber) kimchee. I couldn't believe how easy it looked! I had most of the ingredients already in my pantry, so I decided to do a little experimenting of my own. The result was great oi sobaegi kimchee, but a little stinky in my fridge. Next time I'll need to triple bag the jar before I put it in!
So today when I was thinking about lunch I decided to pull some favorites out of the fridge and make a delicious Korean fall meal. The result: Miso soup with meaty chinese mushrooms, leafy greens tossed in spicy pepper paste (gochu), anchovies stir fried in gochu, soy sauce and sugar, pickled sweet radish (taquan), and of course, cucumber kimchee. Now here I sit, stuffed to the brim after a lunch that would make my grandmother proud, make my grandfather hungry, and give my mom a headache because of all the salt!!!
10 Korean, pickling or kirby cucumbers*, with ends sliced off
1/4 cup salt
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup kochukaru (Korean chili pepper)
1/2 cup Asian chives, cut into 1 inch pieces (I used regular chives, or you can use green onions)
1/4 cup fish sauce or liquid from brined sauce
1/3 cup shredded carrots
2 Tbsp sugar
Cut the cucumbers in half lengthwise, leaving on end in tact. Rotate and cut again lengthwise, so you have four sections of the cucumber connected at the bottom. Fill a large bowl with water and dissolve the salt in it. Soak the cucumbers for 30 minutes. In the meantime, mix all other ingredients in a bow.. After 30 minutes, stuff each of the cucumbers with the mixture (there will be some leftover) and pack tightly into a glass container. Be sure to find a container that will hold all of the cucumbers but won't have too much space when full. Then put about a cup of water in the bowl that the mixture was in and dissolve the rest of the mixture. Dump that over the cucumbers, seal up the container (has to be air-tight), and keep it at roomtemp at least overnight. I kept it out for 2 days because I like my kimchee sour!!!
This is all that was left of my lunch:
Sunday, September 12, 2010
It all started with a tiny green eggplant. I spotted them in a farmer's market in Delaware. Kermit eggplants, as they're apparently called, are a frequent ingredient in thai curries, so I thought I'd give it a try. Turns out thai curry is incredibly easy to make.
3 cups water
3-5 sprigs basil
2 tbsp fish sauce
1/2 medium onion, sliced
1/2 lb eggplant
1/4 cup bamboo shoots
1 tbsp curry paste or 2 tbsp curry powder
1 cup coconut milk (can use low fat)
1 chicken breast, thin slices
cook onions until soft, remove from pan. Add chicken to pan, until barely cooked. Add onions back in, half of coconut milk, and curry. Stir until everything is combined. Add in rest of coconut milk, water, fish sauce, eggplant, bamboo shoots. simmer until curry has desired thickness. The longer it simmers, the thicker it will get. Add basil at the last minute, quickly stirring in to preserve color. Serve with rice.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Oh, guys. I just polished off a 1.25 pound, fire-grilled lobster drenched in garlic butter at the Barking Crab in Boston, the city that will become our new home at the end of the year. Husband looked on with a mixture of love, awe, and disgust as I sent butter, cracked shell, and juices flying all over the place in my attempt to dig out every last morsel of meat.
If he was baiting me, it worked. Hook, line, and sinker.
Friday, July 23, 2010
I'm indebted to Nigella Lawson's grandmother. Not only is she a crucial link in Nigella's existence on this very Earth, but she also handed down a simple recipe for creme brulee's lighter, less assuming cousin, which costars in this perfect ending to a summer meal.
Blueberries and Barbados Cream
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup Greek/strained yogurt
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 cups blueberries
The night before (or morning of) your dinner, combine the cream and yogurt in a mixing bowl and whisk until thick but not stiff. Scrape into a shallow serving bowl about 8 inches in diameter and sprinkle with enough brown sugar to cover the top of the mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 8–24 hours. When you're ready to serve, bring the cream to room temperature and dollop over blueberries.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
This recipe calls for roasted lamb loin chops, which I like because they provide a controlled, little portion of meat (and fat!) to have with a heaping salad. I usually eat just one, but if you're having friends over, plate two per person.
Or even better, if you're luckier than we are and have a grill, get a big rack of lamb rib chops and fire 'em up. Summer cooking at its finest.
Roasted Lamb Chops with Mint-Pistachio Pesto
3 cups packed mint leaves
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/4 to 1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup pistachios, shelled
half a zucchini, grated
8 small lamb loin chops, about 2 pounds total
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
To make the pesto, combine mint and garlic in a food processor. Run it while slowly pouring olive oil through the tube until pesto reaches desired consistency. Add pistachios and run processor for another 15-20 seconds. Stir in the grated zucchini.
Preheat oven to 375°. Score the fat of the lamb to prevent curling and season the chops with salt and pepper. Heat a heavy, oven-proof pan over high heat, and add oil, heating until it ripples slightly when pan is shaken. Working in two batches, sear all sides of the lamb. Remove from heat and coat chops with pesto. Move pan to oven and cook until the meat's internal temperature reaches 145° for medium-rare, or 160° for medium, about 12–15 minutes.
Saturday, July 17, 2010
My love for the season runs deep. For instance, I'm sweating my ass off as I write this, having just returned from the farmers' market, but you won't hear me complain because I'm too busy crushing on the bounty that awaits me in the kitchen. I plan to treat it well, making the most simple of meals that highlight these veggies, fruits, and herbs in their glorious, ripe state. The less cooking the better.
One of our favorite meals this season combines a beautifully basic Greek salad—which I learned to make on the island Amorgos—and roasted lamb loin chops with mint-pistachio pesto, finished off with cool blueberries topped with a dollop of Barbados cream. This menu is equally perfect for company and the weekly rotation.
Over the next few days, I'll post recipes for each dish. I'm starting with the Greek salad, which made Husband rethink his stance on salads altogether.
makes 4 side dishes
Cut two riper-than-ripe tomatoes into wedges and slice a large green pepper into thin rings. Slice a cucumber thinly. If you'd like, dice up about 1/4 cup of red onion. Mix the veggies together with Kalamata olives and drizzle with a generous helping of olive oil, then some red wine vinegar. Season with salt and your choice of dried oregano (about 1 tsp) or fresh dill (about 2 tbsp).* Then, the best part: top with a big tangy, salty slab of Feta and eat!
*Or, if you're Virginia and like neither herb, try mint.
Monday, July 5, 2010
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Monday, May 31, 2010
Homemade Tangy Frozen Yogurt. A recipe has filtered through the Internet like a game of telephone. It started with David Lebovitz, then Heidi at 101 Cookbooks posted the recipe, and commentators left all kinds of wonderful suggestions for variations. Boston Globe picked it up, playing with proportions and creating four tasty flavor combinations of its own. I've adopted the honey-lemon version as my go-to summer 2010 treat. Don't laugh: it makes the most refreshing breakfast served over berries from the market. If you love Pinkberry, Red Mango, Tangysweet, Mr. Yogato, and the like, this recipe is for you.
Potato & Vanilla Mousse with Caviar. Three weeks after tasting it, I'm still dreaming about this dish from Cafe Atlantico's latino dim sum brunch.* That, and the seared cigala with vanilla oil. Come to think of it, I'm obsessing over vanilla—this recipe from the Washington Post is next on my list.
Fried lemon slices at Palena. Really.
Farmer's Market pasta toss. Sautee 2–3 cups of veggies scored at the market in 1/4 cup of garlic-infused olive oil, liberally season with salt and crushed red pepper, toss with a pound of pasta, and top with chopped fresh herbs and citrus zest. I made a refreshing version this weekend with zucchini, ricotta-stuffed squash blossoms, celery leaves, and orange zest.
*I swear it has nothing to do with the smokin' hot Spanish waiter who served it.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
The firsts of springs are such a thrill, especially after last winter's icy, gloomier-than-usual reign. About six weeks ago, Whole Foods started selling the first halibut of the season. Fresh peas made an appearance in delicate, delicious raviolis and agnolottis on menus all over the city. Then the farmer's market opened, with its beautiful, thin stalks of asparagus, zippy greens, ripe strawberries, and peonies that bloomed for weeks. Last weekend I scored the first of the market's squash blossoms—our most rabid spring-produce obsession—and knew just what to do with them. This dish is great for company because it's a luxurious, self-contained meal that can be assembled and chilled for up to 4 hours before popping it into the oven.
Halibut Fillets in Parchment with Asparagus and Stuffed Squash Blossoms*
Adapted from Bon Appetit
16–20 squash blossoms, stamens and calyxes removed
2 tablespoons butter
1 leek (white part only), finely chopped
4 15x15-inch squares parchment paper
4 5-ounce halibut fillets, rinsed and pat dry
1 large bunch asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 navel oranges, one juiced and one sliced
4 large sprigs tarragon
Preheat oven to 400°. Gently open squash blossom petals and inspect for bugs. Swish in a bowl of cold water, pat dry. Stuff each blossom with a spoonful of ricotta and set aside. Melt butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add leeks and sautee until tender, about 7 minutes. Set aside. Place parchment squares on work surface. Butter half of each parchment square; top buttered half of each with 1 fish fillet. Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper; top each fillet with a spoonful of sauteed leeks, a sprig of tarragon, and a slice of orange. Arrange asparagus and 4–5 squash blossoms around each fish fillet; pour 2 tablespoons orange juice over each. Fold parchment over fish and asparagus, folding and crimping edges tightly to seal and enclose filling completely. Place on 2 rimmed baking sheets, spacing apart.
Bake fish packets 17 minutes. Slide packets onto plates and serve.
*In the fall, we use pomegranate seeds in lieu of squash blossoms for a seasonal variation.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Thursday, May 13, 2010
After reading about Wendy's mouth-watering dinner created straight out of her fresh produce box, I was more than psyched to make my first pilgrimage of the year to our wonderful little farmer's market at 14th and U last Saturday. I picked up all kinds of goodies, including a few ingredients for last night's meal: hot! hot! hot! mustard greens, sweet Italian sausages from Truck Patch, and my favorite goat cheese, Monocacy Ash from Cherry Glen Farm. Combined with a few other elements, they came together to make one of our most beloved dishes—Red Beet Risotto with Mustard Greens and Goat Cheese—with roasted sausages* on the side. Not only is the risotto bursting with complementary flavors—sweet and earthy ones from the beets, tang from the goat cheese and balsamic vinegar, fiery spice from the mustard greens—it's also a rock-n-roll magenta color. We happily gobbled up the leftovers tonight, but that means no more for tomorrow!
Red Beet Risotto with Mustard Greens and Goat Cheese
Bon Appetit, February 2007
1/4 cup butter
2 beets, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 1/2 cups chopped white onion
1 cup arborio rice
3 cups low-salt chicken or veggie broth
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 cups chopped mustard greens
5 ounces soft fresh goat cheese, coarsely crumbled
Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add beets and onion. Cover; cook until onion is soft, about 8 minutes. Mix in rice and cook for a minute. Add broth** and vinegar. Increase heat; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer uncovered until rice and beets are just tender and risotto is creamy, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper, and mix in greens and goat cheese.
*Like, really really roasted, within an inch of their lives. Thanks a lot, Jamie Oliver. 25 minutes? Next time I'll try 15. (I still love you.)
**Add 1/2 cup of broth at a time until the rice has absorbed the liquid if you want to feel like you're completely ruling the risotto. I've made it both ways and find the end result nearly identical, I hate to say it.
Photo via La Tartine Gourmande. (Sorry, I can't bring myself to stop eating and start photographing my dinner. It just seems weird.)
Sunday, May 2, 2010
We spent weeks eating fast food while we were moving across the country and getting settled into our new house. Finally we were able to start cooking real food. Every Friday afternoon Door to Door Organics delivers a produce box and we discover the surprises inside.
This meal was Leek and Potato Soup, salad with fresh fruit and blueberry honey balsamic dressing, and a glass of Pimm's with fresh chopped fruit. After weeks of eating fake food this tasted truly divine! Even with the 25 minutes of simmering the soup was really quick to make. The only thing that could have made it better would have been regular potatoes, but the produce box had purple potatoes so the Leek and Potato Soup turned an unappetizing shade of gray. Fortunately, it tasted better than it looked!
Blueberry Honey Balsamic Dressing
(all amounts are approximate)
3 parts extra virgin olive oil
2 parts balsamic vinegar
1 part blueberry honey
1 part lemon juice
Leek and Potato Soup
From Jack Bishop's Vegetables Every Day - the best veggie cookbook for engineers - I love the way it's organized
4 medium leeks
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 lb. red potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1. Trim and discard the dark green tops and tough outer leaves from the leeks. Remove the roots along with a thin slice of the nearby white part. Halve the leeks lengthwise and then cut them crosswise into this strips. Wash the sliced leeks in a large bowl with several changes of clan water or until no grit falls to the bottom of the bowl.
2. Heat the oil in a large casserole or Dutch oven. Add the leeks and saute over medium heat until tender and golden, about 10 minutes (do not let the leeks brown).
3. Add potatoes, stock bay leaf, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 25 minutes.
4. Use the back of a wooden spoon to crush some of the potatoes against the side of the pot to thicken the texture of the soup [I skipped this because I think smooshed potatoes are one of the worst textures and I really didn't need it to turn even more gray]. Leave some of the potato chunks intact. Remove the bay leaf ans stir in the parsley. Adjust the seasonings and serve immediately.
Thursday, April 29, 2010
April, it's been a whirlwind romance. You whisked me off to New York, LA, and Santa Barbara and even took a little time out to meet my parents here in DC. But things are moving way too fast, and Husband is unhappy sharing me like this. Time to say goodbye; bisous! I'll remember you every time I go to:
Vinegar Hill House in DUMBO. The menu is constantly changing to reflect the seasons and local farm offerings, so I won't recommend specific dishes. Just know that everything they serve is going to be delicious and special. And by all means, order a bottle of the Pithon-Paillé Savennieres, which is killer and hard to find stateside.
Natural Cafe and Arigato Sushi in Santa Barbara. Two tasty little spots on State Street. For lunches at home, I've created my own version of Natural Cafe's Old Town salad, which combines mixed greens, brown rice, avocado, shredded carrot, cherry tomatoes, feta cheese, and a slammin' honey lemon vinaigrette (1/4 cup lemon juice, 1/3 cup olive oil, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon honey). So healthy and satisfying.
Num Pang in Manhattan. I could eat the mind-blowing Cambodian sandwiches from this gourmet hole-in-the-wall every damn day and never tire of it. So spicy, tempered by the fresh cilantro, cucumber, and sweet carrots. And the bread. My god, the bread. Get the ginger barbecue brisket if they have it on special, or the grilled king mackeral with leeks if you want to be sorta kinda healthy. The grilled asparagus is charred to perfection, and the corn on the cob is slathered in a mean chili mayo with coconut flakes. Really, get anything. It's going to be good.
Finally, April, you know I must mention the salted butter caramel ice cream. Yes, I'm prone to hyperbole, but you and I both know it is likely the best caramel ice ever invented. Thank you, David Lebovitz (and Adrienne, for suggesting the recipe).
Top photo via Patrick Andrade; bottom photo via David Lebovitz
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
In my fantasy world, I'm not sitting in my living room in Husband's flannel pajama pants, contemplating whether to turn the heat on. No. I'm back in Shenandoah, on the glorious deck at Linden Vineyards, sipping a glass of their zesty, slightly tropical Seyval and snacking on herbed goat cheese and the most perfect baguette I think I've ever tasted. Or am I more in the mood for their gigantic, earthy, tobacco-y Petit Verdot, which reminds me of Piedmont? Or the seductively floral, off-dry Riesling? Decisions, decisions.
Afterward, I'll hike Big Devil Stairs, stopping for a long picnic just above the waterfall, then turning back for an exhausting but awesome climb back to the parking lot.
You might want to do the same this Saturday, when the Eastern Seaboard gives this cold weather the boot and turns warm and sunny. It's pretty dreamy.
Monday, April 19, 2010
As the product of countless bowls of (sugar!) cereal—actually, I can guess: nearly 10,000—I've always been a little confused about what constitutes a healthy breakfast. Growing up, my brother and I would play "garbage collection" at the grocery store, throwing boxes of Lucky Charms, Super Golden Crisp, Rice Krispies, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch into our cart—aka the trash truck. We didn't realize at the time that our game was an apt metaphor.
After college—when my breakfast of choice was Cocoa Krispies mixed with the plain version for fortification—I decided it was time to switch to "adult" cereal. Yet as it had been with sugary brands, every morning around 10:30 or 11, I'd experience a blood sugar meltdown and go from satiated to starving in seconds flat.
Lucky for me, my best friend has a nutritionist and could pass on some advice for a better morning meal. "Protein, protein, protein!" she told me, recommending two eggs any way. Since making the change, my appetite and mood have leveled out considerably, and I'm betting my blood sugar and insulin levels have, too. Some days I throw in leftover veggies or sauces from the last night's meal, but most days, I whip up an omelet with sundried tomatoes and thyme. A delicious, savory meal far better than anything that comes from a cardboard box, right?
Sundried Tomato and Thyme Omelet
2 tablespoons sundried tomatoes, minced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
pinch of salt and pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
In a small bowl, beat eggs using whisk or fork until whites and yolks are well blended. Mix in sundried tomatoes, thyme, salt, and pepper.* Heat oil in an 8-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add a little egg mixture to the pan to make sure it sizzles on contact. Once the pan is hot enough, add the rest of the egg mixture. As the edges set, lift them with a spatula to let the raw egg run underneath. Once omelet has set, fold in half, slide onto a plate, and serve.
*Purists should add a teaspoon of milk.
Photos via treehugger.com and msadventuresinitaly.com
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
My first foray with a 4 lb leg of lamb was this January. Sarah and I had a genius idea: Moroccan. Over the course of 4 days we learned everything there is to know about Moroccan flavors, including how to make the essential, the beautiful, my new favorite, harissa. A quick little lemony, harissa marinade sounded like heaven. To go along with it my thought-I’d-hate-it-but-now-I-love-it mint dressing, cous cous with figs, and plenty of wine and good friends. And had Sarah and I remembered to actually stop watching movies and start the dinner on time, we may have eaten before
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup fruity-tasting olive oil
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon harissa (Moroccan chili paste), more for serving
1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds, toasted and crushed
½ teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons chopped shallots
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
½ cup fruity-tasting olive oil
1 small clove garlic, minced
½ teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
I thought I'd bid adieu to March with a post on some of my favorite discoveries in the past 31 days.
First, CF Folks. Do you guys know about this place? It's been around forever, next the Palm on 19th Street. It's a teeny, down-home lunch counter (complete with a salty owner & sweet servers) that served a perfectly grilled duck breast the day I went, from a former Oval Room chef. I've only been once so far, but I'm nevertheless convinced it's heaven on Earth. Actually, I lie. Stay away.
Dolci Gelati. When Galileo closed for renovations a couple years ago, pastry chef Gianluigi Dellaccio started his own local gelato factory. The result—Dolci Gelati—is f*cking divine. Go grab a pint at Whole Foods, Yes!, Taylor's, Dean & Deluca, or have a cone from the gelato cart at the Zoo. Especially recommended: bacio, strawberry lavender, and creme brulee.
Meatballs in tomato sauce over polenta. Our friend Kate made this for us at the end of February, and as soon as I no longer felt too stuffed to move, I was already craving more. So I made my own, sort of, using Whole Foods meatballs (I know! But they were nearly the same (overly expensive) price as the ground beef!), and Fresh 365's "Grandma's Gravy" recipe, which is my new go-to tomato sauce. It rocks in its simplicity and flavor.
The wine bar at ACKC. Yeah. They've opened one and stocked it with wines that will pair well with their lovely chocolates. Some things in life are better than sipping champagne and eating rose-infused chocolates at a table on their sidewalk on a spring day, but are there many? I'm not so sure.
Grilled fish of the day and a Sam Smith Organic Lager at CommonWealth. The perfect meal for a weekday date night. Bonus: once you walk into CommonWealth, you'll forget you're in the Suburbs-in-the-City hell that is 14th and Irving.
This weekend, Husband and I are off to L'Auberge Provencal in Shenandoah for hiking, wining, and dining. I also visit Mashka (smooch) in New York and Danni (damn, gina!) in LA/Santa Barbara, AND host my parents (bless you) this month, so April will be adventurous.
What else should I get into?
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
In the fall, I was inducted into a royal order of princesses, presided over by two sisters: my mother-in-law Princess Madonna and the Queen Mum, aka Aunt Mickey. To give you an idea of the sassy spirit of these ladies, HRH (Her Royal Highness) Madonna got her name after she was hypnotized on a cruise ship and performed a certain non-kosher Madonna song in front of a crowd of hundreds.
Next to sisterhood and high-seas adventures, one of the best things about the Royal Order is its official cocktail, the Toasted Almond Martini. The Queen Mum introduced me to this frothy, sweet, addictive concoction earlier this month, when we were down in Birmingham celebrating Husband's grandfather's 90th birthday. Talk about a hostess with the mostess.
At the risk of spilling family secrets, I'm going to share the recipe with you. Offer your guests a few of these, and they'll feel like royalty.
Toasted Almond Martini
1/2 shot vodka
1/2 shot Kahlua
2 shots half-and-half
Shake with cubed ice. Strain. Pour and dust with freshly grated nutmeg.
What are your favorite cocktail recipes?
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
In my version, the green beans and radishes are optional; avocado is (always) mandatory. I served this salad last night with an Alsatian tart from Trader Joe's, along with TJ's brilliant $3.99 Vinho Verde. Very Spring Is in the Air.
Some of you may find it noteworthy that this recipe urged at least one woman to jump into the lap of the chef and declare her love.
Balthazar salad with lemon truffle vinaigrette, via Orangette.
Monday, March 8, 2010
Four months into marriage, I'm finding a boatload of advantages. Somewhere between Husband doing the taxes (theoretically? please? because you're the numbers guy?) and honeymoon sex is a kitchen full of fun new gadgets. The slow cooker flexed its muscles during a snowy, dreary winter. The mini-chopper has saved many tears over onions. The mandoline, I still haven't figured out, but Husband is a whiz at it. And I was thrilled when Virginia, Patron Saint of Sunday Suppers, suggested we bring sorbet to her most recent dinner party, giving us a chance to bust out the ice-cream maker.*
The menu was Asian themed, including pot stickers, E's delicious soy-saucy kale (recipe, please?), an insane Swedish-Chinese-American pork tenderloin that I hope Virginia will share with us, and DIY summer rolls. Husband and I put our heads together: I thought of fruit; he one-upped me with chocolate; we both thought of ginger. And thus we went about making a dark chocolate ginger sorbet.
I nearly swooned when I tasted our rich, feisty, fiery concoction—only it was 4:30 pm, the day after the party. Because an hour before we were due at Virginia's, I took the ice cream maker out of the cupboard and realized I needed to freeze the FREEZER BOWL (he-llo) for 6–22 hours. Lesson learned, again: Always read the full recipe, including operating instructions for any new appliance you're using. Luckily, my raging bad mood was cured by a delicious dinner with friends, capped by Häagen-Dazs passion fruit ice cream, a kick-ass accidental discovery. Not that it beats our sorbet, which is for days when you want to just to become one with chocolate.
Dark Chocolate Ginger Sorbet
Makes 7 cups
4 cups water
1 1/2 cups pure cane sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
2–3 tablespoons crystallized ginger, minced
1 tablespoon vanilla extract.
Combine water and sugars in saucepan and dissolve sugar over medium heat. Whisk in the cocoa. Stir in 2 tablespoons ginger, taste, and add another tablespoon if you like. Bring mixture to a simmer, stirring constantly, and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, and transfer to a medium bowl. Stir in vanilla extract. Chill for 2 hours.
Stir chilled mixture, and freeze it in the ice-cream maker, following manufacturer's directions (ahem). Mine was ready to eat in 25 minutes and stored well in an air-tight container in the freezer.
*Appropriately given to us by my mom & dad, who eat ice cream every night and have cholesterol levels lower than my bowling score. (No, you're right, not that low.)
Photo via Trisha | The Zest: Cooking Like I Mean It
Sunday, March 7, 2010
During one of these surreal experiences I decided to make an oldie but a goodie. Something my grandmother would make so when I walked in the door my tongue would melt into the back of my mouth in anticipation. Something my brother taught me to make during those few months that I crashed on his couch after moving to DC. Something some would call boring, but I call heaven.
About 3 hours in I added a bunch of chopped carrots. I waited until later to add them because I didn't want them to get so mushy they'd fall apart. But see how much liquid came from the roast? I cooked it down for another hour or so, and the meat was literally falling apart. Mmmmmm.
All in all, a success. Paired it with horseradish mashed potatoes and a salad. Perfect meat and potatoes meal for this little midwestern girl! And so perfect for my first food post here. I'll have to make it for Grandma the next time I'm in St. Louis and see if it makes her proud!
I also have many friends who fancy themselves food critics. I hope you'll share your notes here on what venues proved true to the hype, which ones fell flat, and which ones are bound to be a hit so we better get in while the gettin's good.
So please, blog away. I'll share some things, I hope you'll share some things, and in the process we'll feed our obsession.