Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Made a vegetarian carbonara:
Beat two eggs with the remainder of the heavy cream (probably about 3-4 tbsp) and seasoned with a handful of chopped fresh parsley, salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Sauteed about 4 chopped Morningstar Farms breakfast strips and about 3 cloves of minced garlic. Chopped up the leftover asparagus and heated it in a pan. Boiled spaghetti, drained, then poured into a bowl on top of the egg mixture and breakfast strips, and tossed it well, sprinkling generous parmesan into it. I mixed my asparagus into it because I thought Rahul had an allergy. Then it turned out that he really just has an allergy to undercooked eggs (sunny side up, etc.) because he ate some carbonara and it made his mouth start itching and he suddenly remembered his egg allergy and concluded that he probably wasn't allergic to asparagus.
I roasted purple asparagus from the farmer's market last night--tossed in olive oil, kosher salt, and freshly ground pepper, and put into a 450 degree oven for 10 minutes. I fried two eggs sunny-side-up to go along with the asparagus, and had a messy delicious feast, dipping the sweet, juicy, sizzling asparagus spears (the thinner ones overcooked and turned back to green) into the soft runny egg yolk and wrapping the slightly browned bits of white around the stem before taking a big bite... my hands were covered in extra-virgin olive oil and salt and pepper and egg by the time I was done, but oh, it was good. (Rahul said, "You're like a little kid! You're so excited!" or something to that effect, watching me eat.)

I also made a salad with some of the half-pound bag of salad greens with edible flowers that I got at the farmer's market. Tossed it with tuna and a lemon-juice vinaigrette. Unremarkable but tasty.

And I had a slice of the frangipane strawberry tart, which surprisingly seemed better the next day--perhaps just because I wasn't so hyped up with anticipation. Michael Baker came over and deemed it my "best creation yet."

And I also had one Dreyer's coconut frozen fruit bar. Those are my new addiction--they're so rich and creamy! I hope they're not too bad for you (coconut oil medium-chain fatty acids and all that).

Monday, March 24, 2003

This recipe (from Martha Stewart via the Craigslist food forum) seems good:
Blood Orange Gelato

Makes about 1 quart

- 2 cups whole milk
- Zest of 1 blood orange, plus 1 cup freshly squeezed blood-orange juice (about 4 oranges)
- 5 large egg yolks
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 cup heavy cream

1. In a medium saucepan, combine milk and orange zest. Bring to a gentle boil, cover, and remove pan from heat. Let steep 30 minutes.

2. In a small saucepan, cook orange juice over medium-low heat until reduced by three-fourths, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove pan from heat, and let orange syrup cool completely.

3. Combine egg yolks and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Cream at medium-high speed until very thick and pale yellow, 3 to 5 minutes. Return milk to a simmer.

4. Add half of warm milk to egg-yolk mixture; whisk until blended. Return new mixture to saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until thick enough to coat back of a wooden spoon.

5. Have ready an ice-water bath. Remove saucepan from heat; immediately stir in cream. Pass mixture through a sieve set over a medium bowl. Place bowl in ice-water bath; chill. Stir in orange syrup.

6. Freeze in ice-cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Store in an airtight plastic container up to 2 weeks.

Sunday, March 23, 2003

I tried adapting the Apricot Tart recipe from Corby Kummer's book The Pleasures of Slow Food, enticed by this phrase: "This tart drove Tasha Prysi, who tested the recipes for this book, wild with desire when she worked at Chez Panisse."

1 cup flour
1/2 tsp sugar
1/8 tsp salt
6 tbsp cold unsalted butter
1/4 cup ice water

Standard pate brisee practice. Refrigerate, roll out into 14" round on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

1/3 cup (3 oz.) almond paste (this costs over $6 for 7 ounces!)
2 tsp sugar
2 tbsp unsalted butter, room temp.
2 tbsp flour
1 egg
pinch of salt

"Cream" the almond paste and sugar, then beat in the butter, then the flour, egg, and salt. This makes 1/2 cup frangipane--twice as much as the recipe calls for. I made two tarts.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Smear the frangipane onto the dough, leaving a 1 1/2" border around the edges, sprinkle the flour plus 1 tbsp sugar (and optionally 2 tbsp ground almonds) onto the frangipane, and then arrange the fruit (Kummer's recipe calls for 1 1/2 lbs apricots, but since they weren't in season, I used 2 pints strawberries, hulled and quartered, pointy edges towards the center of the tart) on the frangipane. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup sugar. Roll up the edges of the tart into a ropy border that will contain the juices from the fruit as it cooks. Brush the rim of the tart with melted butter, then sprinkle that with sugar as well.

Put into oven, rotating every 20 minutes, for about 45-55 minutes. Let cool 20 minutes, then eat.

I was disappointed with this, although it smelled heavenly. The juices ran out and caramelized my tart to the parchment. I used the excess frangipane and strawberries in a prebaked pie crust I'd laid away in the freezer and was happier with the results, as there was no sticky paper and the crust ended up crisper. However, I think apricots might be a more natural pairing with frangipane than the strawberries, which seemed to bludgeon the delicate almond flavor into submission. Maybe juicing it up with almond extract would work.

My appetite might also have been somewhat affected by watching the pie-eating scene (aka BARF-O-RAMA) in Stand By Me as the tart baked.

Tuesday, March 18, 2003

Ate at Fatapple's last night with Mom:
Green salad with fat-free honey dijon which I quite liked (wasn't very mustardy, just tangy)
Meatloaf (no ketchup crust, disappointingly, just a light gravy)
French fries (yum)
A generous portion of roasted veggies--zucchini, red onions, etc.

Earl Grey tea.

Wednesday, March 12, 2003

chicken with ginger cream sauce:

sauteed garlic in oil, sprinkled organic chicken breasts with powdered ginger, browned them in the oil, grated on fresh ginger and sprinkled in chopped crystallized ginger and dried cranberries. poured in a whole bottle of reed's extra spicy ginger beer, covered, and let the chicken breasts cook a while. uncovered to let it evaporate, scraped the pan a little to deglaze. poured in most of a pint of heavy cream and let it evaporate and thicken. added salt and fresh black pepper. ate it over a nice crispy hash brown pancake.

Monday, March 10, 2003

I made baba ghanouj for Pei 2's sushi dinner party last night (in attendance: Pei 1, Jolie, Selena, Doug, Kyoko, Rolando, me, Rahul, Kyle, Kenny):
Thoroughly blacken 1 eggplant under the broiler, then let cool and peel off the charred skin. Don't forget to prick the skin or it will explode with steam when you try to turn it over!

Mince 2 cloves garlic and soften in a pan with olive oil over medium-low heat. (I ended up adding 1 small minced raw clove to up the garlic factor--and my mouth still tastes OK today)

Puree the eggplant pulp and garlic with about 4 tbsp tahini, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp kosher salt, 10 large basil leaves, the juice of 1 lemon, and 3 tbsp EVOO. (All measurements approximate.)

Eat with pita or veggies.

Pei supplied the chopped veggies (carrots, celery, cucumber, broccoli, blanched asparagus) along with sesame soy salad dressing and Japanese mayonnaise. Also spicy tuna rolls, California rolls, inari, gourd/pickle/avocado/cucumber rolls, and tuna sashimi. I think Selena made teriyaki chicken breasts. Pei 2 had "colonization cake"--white cake mix with white chocolate chips from a box, topped with dark chocolate chips. Yum, what a feast!

Tuesday, March 04, 2003

Best thing EVER = honey puffed kashi!!!!

Rahul made this great spicy soup last night but I forget what was in it. I made a tasty salad with blood orange vinaigrette and albacore tuna fish and avocado over mixed greens. The tomatoes were a little bit shriveled.

Sunday, March 02, 2003

made asparagus risotto last night with boxed veggie broth. cut up and blanched the asparagus tips and stirred them in. butter and parmesan and a little saffron. yum! kyle said it was one of his favorite things of all the things i'd made and even rahul liked it.

then today i made these (from epicurious)--substituting some chopped crystallized ginger and hazelnuts for the walnuts, and adding scharffen berger cocoa nibs to one of the logs. i haven't tried them post-biscotting because we went to dinner with rahul's coworkers pollyanna and anne and i ate too much sushi. but after the first baking they were quite nice.


Unlike most commercially available chocolate biscotti, these have a deep chocolaty flavor.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup walnuts, chopped
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1 tablespoon confectioners' sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F. and butter and flour a large baking sheet.

In a bowl whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl with an electric mixer beat together butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat until combined well. Stir in flour mixture to form a stiff dough. Stir in walnuts and chocolate chips.

On prepared baking sheet with floured hands form dough into two slightly flattened logs, each 12 inches long and 2 inches wide, and sprinkle with confectioners' sugar. Bake logs 35 minutes, or until slightly firm to the touch. Cool biscotti on baking sheet 5 minutes.

On a cutting board cut biscotti diagonally into 3/4-inch slices. Arrange biscotti, cut sides down, on baking sheet and bake until crisp, about 10 minutes. Cool biscotti on a rack. Biscotti keep in airtight containers 1 week and frozen, 1 month.

Makes about 30 biscotti.

December 1994

Saturday, March 01, 2003

things i need from the store:
baking soda for deodorizing and also another box for biscotti
coconut popsicles
strawberry popsicles
ben and jerry's (?) not sure if i'm caught up on the coupons from working assets yet
more of that yummy fetzer chardonnay
plans for din din:

apple pie
asparagus risotto