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August 20, 2008

Food I Have Eaten

Via Paul F. and Zeebah

From Andrew Wheeler:

Here’s a chance for buy viagra soft a little interactivity for all the bloggers out there. Below is a list of 100 things that I think every good omnivore should have tried at least once in their life. The list includes fine food, strange food, everyday food and even some pretty bad food - but a good omnivore order viagra soft should really try it all. Don’t worry if you haven’t, mind you; neither have I, though I’ll be sure to work on it. Don’t worry if you don’t recognise everything in the hundred, either; Wikipedia has the answers.
Here’s what I want you to do:
1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you buy viagra soft would never consider eating.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment here at linking to your results.

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black viagra soft mastercard pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom viagra soft tabs tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka viagra soft jelly /Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin viagra soft online martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe buy viagra soft beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

So I've tried 48/100 and there are really only two things I won't try. Insects because that just grosses me out, and fugu because I really don't want to possibly die from eating a poisonous viagra soft online fish that wasn't properly prepared.

Yours, &c., LC at 03:54 PM | Food | TrackBack (0)

February 21, 2007

Holiday! Celebrate!

Back from spending a long weekend in NYC. Mainly I was there to see The Coast of Utopia, which was wonderful. There were dazzling performances and dizzying dialogue. Highlights for me were the various turns by Jennifer Ehle, especially as Natalie Herzen, Billy Crudup as Vissarion Belinsky, Martha Plimpton, and Ethan Hawke as the loud, obnoxious, unruly, undisciplined Michael Bakunin.

In the bit of spare time we had, there was a trip to MoMA, dinner at Otto (including olive oil gelato for dessert), brunch with Zeebah and Lauren, and drinks and nibbles with Paul F., who was game enough to meet up with us on a last viagra soft online minute's notice. There was also some wandering along Avenue A for shopping in little boutiques. In one of them I overheard the shopgirls talking about spotting members of The Strokes, including what appeared to be one of them with Kirsten Dunst on a double date. This is about as close as I'll get to spotting anybody famous, so it was a minor shallow vicarious thrill.

I was in the subway when I spotted someone reading the Daily News, whose front page headline was "Britney Shears." And every time we waited on the platform for the L at Sixth Avenue, there was a cute little blonde with a boombox, singing 80s Madonna songs. She had the right voice, but it drove me a little crazy that she was messing up the lyrics. But I was happy enough to give her some change, since she's much braver than I am, singing and dancing on a subway platform.

Minor travel delays. No one confiscated my toiletries and there were no unreasonable sojourns on the tarmac, so it all worked out and we made it back home Sunday night.

Had the day off on Monday, so it was good day to recuperate and do some laundry.

Yours, &c., LC at 05:33 PM | Arts , Food , New York minutes , Travel | TrackBack (0)

January 09, 2007

Thank you, Mr. Noodle

The Ramen Noodle Guy has passed on to his big bowl in the sky:

Momofuku Ando, who died in Ikeda, near Osaka, at 96, was looking for cheap, decent food for the working class when he invented ramen noodles all by himself in 1958. His product — fried, dried and sold in little viagra soft plastic-wrapped bricks or foam cups — turned the company he founded, Nissin Foods, into a global giant. According to the company’s Web site, instant ramen satisfies more than 100 million people a day. Aggregate servings of the company’s signature brand, Cup Noodles, reached 25 billion worldwide in 2006.

I've got a pack of Nissin Cup Noodles in my desk. Ando certainly has made my life easier.

Mr. Noodle [NYT]

Yours, &c., LC at 02:45 PM | Food | TrackBack (0)

September 21, 2006

Amy Sedaris' Cupcakes

Recipe here.

From the forthcoming book I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence.

As listed on

Amy Sedaris' Cupcakes

1 ½ sticks of unsalted butter
1 ¾ cups of sugar

Beat well, then add:

2 large eggs
2 Teaspoons of pure vanilla
½ teaspoon of salt
2 ½ teaspoons of baking powder
2 ½ cups of flour
1 ¼ cups of milk

Beat well, fill cups, and bake at 375 degrees for 18-20 minutes. You should get 24. I get 18, 'cause I'm doing something wrong.


1 box of Domino confectionary sugar
¼ cup half-and-half
1 teaspoon of pure vanilla
(Note from webmaster: I like to add a stick of unstalted butter to the frosting. It makes a rich buttercream, which tastes exactly like the buttercream frosting on the cupcakes order viagra soft that I bought from Amy a couple years ago {pictured on left}. While I haven't tried it myself yet, I've heard that the recipe without butter makes a thinner, more glaze-like icing.)

Whip for a while, color if you want.

Yours, &c., LC at 06:02 PM | Food | TrackBack (0)

August 12, 2006

Coming Soon

Coming Soon


Spotted this sign in Midtown on the way to the Landmark for a movie (Sympathy for Lady Vengeance) with Mary and Andrew. Totally uplifting movie, by the way.

Yours, &c., LC at 11:43 AM | Food | TrackBack (0)

June 02, 2006

There goes my imaginary diet.

Free Doughnut Day at Krispy Kreme! Today, people! Get yourself on over buy viagra soft there for some hot glazed goodness, or whatever other goodness you prefer.


Yours, &c., LC at 11:46 AM | Food | TrackBack (0)

March 08, 2006

Recipe via flickr!

Paul F. shows us how he makes chili, using flickr. Start here, until you end up here.


Yours, &c., LC at 05:30 PM | Food , Internet & Tech | TrackBack (0)

February 27, 2006

More on Trader Joe's

From "Trader Joe's leases 2 stores, may open 12" (Lisa R. Schoolcraft, Atlanta Business Chronicle, 2/24/06 print ed.):

Trader Joe's Co. Inc., where shoppers can find such items as hormone-free viagra soft mastercard chicken or blue cheese-stuffed olives, has signed on for 12,000-square-foot stores at Midtown Promenade shopping center, 931 Monroe Drive, and Sandy Springs Plaza, 6299 Roswell Road, according to several people close to the lease negotiations.

The California-based company also is negotiating leases on two other stores, in Buckhead and East Cobb, and may consider a total of 10 to 12 stores in metro Atlanta, those sources said.

Trader Joe's spokeswoman Alison Mochizuki declined to confirm the leases, but said the company will enter the market by year end.

Yours, &c., LC at 08:54 AM | Food | TrackBack (0)

February 24, 2006

Confirmed: Trader Joe's Coming to Atlanta

This is great news. In today's print edition of the Atlanta Business Chronicle:

Trader Joe's leases two stores, may open 12: The California-based specialty retailer's first Atlanta locations will be in Midtown and Sandy Springs

For those unfamiliar with Trader Joe's, it's like a smaller, more casual, neighborhood Whole Foods, except their prices are incredibly reasonable, or even slightly outrageous. For instance, they sell wines that have been nicknamed the Two Buck Chuck, because a bottle sells for $1.99 - and these are good table wines!

I've actually had conversations with people, salivating over rumors that Trader Joe's would come to Atlanta. So it's wonderful to find out that it's really happening.

Yours, &c., LC at 09:30 AM | Food | TrackBack (0)

December 27, 2005

Tasty? Not so much.

The company cookbook one of my sisters gave me could have used viagra soft a copy editor. Some of the recipes include "Crap Dip" and "Crackpot Chili."

Yours, &c., LC at 03:52 PM | Food | TrackBack (0)

November 03, 2005

Beer Milkshakes!

Today I learned that such a thing exists, and that Steinbeck first mentioned one in Cannery Row.

I think I'm going to have to make some, based on Schnäck's recipe:

[T]he beer milk shake is made with Chocolate or Vanilla Ice Cream mixed with Dark Stout (Chicory Stout) at a ratio of 1 oz of stout per ice cream scoop.

Yours, &c., LC at 01:15 PM | Food , New York minutes | TrackBack (0)

September 12, 2005

Someday I must try this

Deep Fried Mac & Cheese at Mo Pitkin's House of Satisfaction. Of course it's in New York on the LES so yet another reason to find a way to visit again.

[via Fat Asian Baby]

Yours, &c., LC at 02:29 PM | Food | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

June 28, 2005

Girls' Night

I went out for tapas last night with a few women. For dessert, we split a chocolate flan creme brulee, as well as bits ("nibs" according to the menu) of chocolate shortbread in which fois gras was used instead of butter in the recipe. Tasty, but butter would've been just fine.

One of the gals just turned 30. Her boyfriend gave her a car for her birthday - a Lexus SUV. The rest of us were agog, especially when we went out into the parking lot tobuy viagra soft check it out. The remote controls for the power windows and the back door elicited oohs and aahs. But she's not materialistic - she was totally surprised by the gift. Couldn't have happened to a nicer person.

I got a set of wheels for my last birthday, too. This summer, I plan to break them in.

December 26, 2004

Good Eats

Stuffed French Toast Plates plates everywhere

[Click on the images for larger versions.]

Thanks to our guests, Marco and the LTR, for bringing the rosemary, the champagne, providing general kitchen assistance, and being good company. I am particularly grateful for their patience and healthy appetites!

Yours, &c., LC at 05:22 PM | Food | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Holiday Brunch

Typical. I decided practically at the last minute to try my hand at brunch for a few guinea pigs friends. Hopefully the sister I didn't see yesterday will come over (and supervise my cooking). This is the original menu, which will probably be edited as we see how the cooking goes. If this fails miserably, we can always pop over to the Flying Biscuit, where they expect to see us practically every weekend.

French Toast sandwiches (cream cheese and raspberry jam filling, coated with chopped pistachios)
scrambled eggs
hash browns
cheese grits
spicy Italian chicken sausage
apple sage chicken sausage

Guess I better start preparing, so I will look amazing and effortless once my guests arrive.

August 10, 2004


This, my friends, is a menu. For heaven's sake, one of the choices for Grilled Cheese is gorgonzola!

Sadly, 1500 miles one way is a bit far for going out to lunch for some of us. Guess I'll have to make my own!

[via Kottke]

June 25, 2004

Here & There

Tatertot Blue Cheese Casserole [via da*xiang] OMG. I need to attend a party so I can share this, instead of eating the whole dish by myself.

FCKeditor [via rawbrick] An online text editor. Am I the only one with a dirty mind when I see the name?

The Scribbler [via Dru Blood] Another cool online illustration toy. Upload a document or input a URL to generate an analysis of the text according to different scales of measurement. No surprise - this site is fairly easy to read.

April 27, 2004

Free Cone Day

Ben & Jerry's is offering thanks to its customers and promoting new voter registration by offering free ice cream at select locations. Here in Georgia, the only participating shop in Atlanta is the location on N. Highland. It's only until 8 tonight, so have at it.

Don't know as I'll get to stuff my face with ice cream, 'cause I'll be stuffing my face elsewhere with my book group to discuss Steinbeck's East of Eden. Am I finished with the book? Hahahahaha.

Out of curiosity, I checked out Oprah's Book Club to see what they had to offer about the novel. I was surprised to find (though I shouldn't be) that it's nicely done. There are chapter summaries, discussion questions, background on Steinbeck, family trees for the characters. There's even a Q&A section with featured questions that people have about aspects of the novel.

April 16, 2004

Very Good Chocolate Cake

On the infamous fried chicken night at Watershed, Scott and I also went for the Very Good Chocolate Cake. Perhaps I'll try my hand at the recipe at some point. Although having read Mary's experience, it looks like I need a whole afternoon, some serious equipment, and a conspirator for when things go wrong.

Yours, &c., LC at 11:13 AM | Food | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

March 17, 2004

Soul Stirring

Met for a fine dinner at Watershed with Little Toy Robot and rawbrick. Made reservations for 6:30 - yes, on a Tuesday night. But given that the special on Tuesdays is fried chicken, that Indigo Girl Emily Saliers is an owner, and Scott Peacock, co-author of The Gift of Southern Cooking, is executive chef, it was a good thing I called in.

It was fried chicken all around, accompanied by sides of biscuits, green beans and mashed potatoes - marvelous. A glass of wine, some beers, coffees and a slice of chocolate cake later, we managed to ring up an impressive tab. We had talked perhaps of making this a weekly ritual, but after we discovered that our specials cost $17 each, we realized this is a place for Mom&Dad to pick up the check. Actually, there's a variety of price ranges, so it's possible to eat there less expensively. Sunday brunch looks good; they even offer Toad in the Hole.

Yours, &c., LC at 04:52 PM | Food | TrackBack (0)

February 17, 2004

Lady Crumpet's Loving Cupcakes

I promised that I would post the recipe, which Marco got from his friend Julia. So now I offer it as a belated Valentine - these cupcakes are too good to make for just anybody. Make them for the people you love - or that special someone who hasn't yet discovered how fabulous you really are.

A few notes:

1. It's perfectly fine to use cupcake papers instead of greasing the muffin tins.
2. You don't need a double boiler - a Pyrex bowl or one little pot settled on top of another will work. I think the instructions for the chocolate I used even explain how to melt the chocolate in the microwave.
3. The frosting recipe is generous enough for two batches. Run the blender on high for short bursts, periodically scooping down the sides and bottom. Once it doesn't seem to be moving anymore in the blender, it's done. The frosting will still seem a bit thin, but it settles nicely.

Lady Crumpet's Loving Cupcakes
(or, Chocolate Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Frosting)

For the Frosting:

4 oz unsweetened chocolate
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1 cup sugar
Pinch salt

For the Cupcakes:

4 oz unsweetened chocolate
6 oz (1 1/2 cups) flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups sugar
1 cup strong, hot coffee
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs

For the frosting - In a double boiler, melt the chocolate carefully. In a blender, blend the evaporated milk, sugar, and salt until the sugar is dissolved. Add the chocolate and blend until the mixture is thick and glossy, about 3 min. Store at room temperature, covered with plastic, until ready to use. It will keep for up to two days.

For the cupcakes - Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease muffin tins. Melt the chocolate carefully in a double boiler; set aside to cool. Sift the flour, baking soda, salt, and sugar into a medium bowl. In a large bowl, whisk together the coffee, sour cream, oil, and eggs; whisk in the chocolate. Add the dry ingredients, whisking until there are no lumps. Pour the batter into the prepared muffin tins, dividing it evenly to make 16 cupcakes. Bake on the middle rack until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a cupcake comes out clean, 19-21 minutes. Cool the cupcakes for 15 min. in the pan; then remove them from the pan and cool them further. Ice generously with frosting, or pack the frosting separately.

From June/July 1997 Fine Cooking #21

Yours, &c., LC at 03:24 PM | Food | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

January 22, 2004

Happy Year of the Monkey

It's Chinese New Year, and tonight we co-host a dinner party with our neighbors. Last count is 15(!) but it's fairly casual, sorta potluck, a mix of the homemade, the storebought and the takeout. Several kinds of Asian beer, some plum wine, and a California cabernet sauvignon that I picked up simply because there were cute monkeys on the wine label.

In the past few days I've had the excuse of going to the Chinatown area and the farmers market for special ingredients. And in the process, I discovered a second source for garlic bagels and now I have access to crumpets once more (at Publix, of all places)!

What I'm contributing:

Cold Szechuan Noodles and Shredded Vegetables - I'm using udon noodles instead of dried soba because I found those first. Unfortunately they're still thawing out so I couldn't let them marinate today. Will have to do it when I get home. Stayed up late learning how to julienne carrots and red peppers. The recipe calls for green onions, but I'm using chopped up chives instead so people won't be afraid to eat the dish.

These are all ready-made and easy to cook, though I might use the microwave instead of steaming or boiling if I'm pressed for time:

vegetarian dumplings of the pouch and gyoza varieties
vegetarian mini buns
chicken egg rolls

I also thought of chopping up some cucumbers and adding a spicy pickle sauce, but I think I'll skip that and just mix up some mild and spicy dipping sauces for the dumplings.

January 15, 2004

Alive and Kicking

Today was my first payday, hurrah! During lunch I marched down to the bank branch in my building and set up my free checking and savings accounts (so long as I direct deposit my paychecks). The banker told me our workplace banking plan was better than what the bank's employees get.

Settling into the job okay. A few flubs here and there, but easily corrected and no "omigodwhathaveyoudone" responses such as I was wont to hear in regard to equally minor incidents before. Could it be that people here really are this nice? Even the banker told me his brother works in our firm's DC office and that he likes it.

Was in Nawlins over the weekend. Stayed with my friend Herman - previously known to me only online. Amusing and surreal to be acquaintances yet still meeting in person for the first time. We shook hands and proceeded to try out his vintage pinball and skeeball machines - he has this lovely house filled with all manner of old toys. As a whimsical house gift we'd found him a Herman Munster bobblehead. He's another hardcore academic, so we didn't see him much over the weekend.

We ventured on our own around the Garden District and the French Quarter.
Realized we'd passed the Anne Rice house when we saw people taking pictures of it. Covered six bookstores in two days and tried to get a good sampling of the local fare. Surprisingly enough, drinking was not the highest priority, though I should've had a daquiri just so I could walk around with an open container.

For lunch, great burgers at Port of Call - a cheeseburger is presented with a mound of shredded cheese and a baked potato on the side. Full-size bottles of Tabasco at tableside - no surprise there.

Later, met up with Herman to get our name on the list at Jacques Imo's, another famed local joint, then came back in an hour to continue the wait for perhaps another hour and a half. Fortunately, when we each checked with the hostess during the wait, we spoke with different women, so we weren't completely harassing them. Ah, the food - completely worth the wait. The appetizer, Shrimp and Alligator Sausage Cheesecake, was absolutely divine. Good green salads and hot cornbread all around. New Orleans Style BBQ Shrimp for Scott, Paneed Duck with Sweet Potato Shrimp Sauce for me, an Eggplant Pirogue with mixed Seafood and Lemon Cheese Sauce for Herman. We also split a slice of complimentary triple chocolate mousse pie, headed back to the house and passed out - it was midnight by then.

Sunday was another day in the Quarter. Beignets and cafe au lait at Cafe du Monde, bookstores, a brief ferry ride across the river and back, walking around taking pictures with the new digicam (to be posted soon). Lunch at Acme Oyster Bar (House?) - red beans & rice & sausage, some fried oysters, hushpuppies, hot sausage po-boy and gumbo between us. Late, but uneventful flight home.

Yours, &c., LC at 04:52 PM | Food , Slice o' Life | TrackBack (0)

December 24, 2003

Homemade Holiday Treats

Amanda Hesser encourages us to make our own eggnog, cheese balls and fruitcake.

Nigella Lawson writes about the luxury of breakfast without the stress. She has recipes for raspberry and oatmeal swirls, bacon and egg bake, and granola muffins.

Yesterday we made chocolate cupcakes with Marco - double batches so we can each bring some to our families. I'll post the recipe when I get a chance. It calls for coffee and sour cream among the more exotic ingredients, and the result is moist chocolate with a subtle taste of coffee. Today we make the frosting. Mmmmm.

Yours, &c., LC at 08:24 AM | Food | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

December 13, 2003

The Naked Blogger

Jamie Oliver, aka the Naked Chef, has been blogging since March. The site's still under renovation, but it's a visually attractive, easy-to-navigate blog. Most importantly, there's a recipe archive, although there are only a few listings, archived by month, at the moment.

Although I like the efficiency of reading blogs through aggregators, I also like reading entries in situ, depending on whether the blog is for a friend of mine or for a blog whose site is too visually appealing to miss. This might be one for the blogroll, although perhaps I should separate the civilians/vets from the celebloggers, if only because I don't want a single unwieldy blogroll.

Yours, &c., LC at 02:39 PM | Blogos , Food | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

November 28, 2003

Guacamole with Pear and Pomegranate Seeds

Omg - this recipe is too good to be true. But it is, hurrah!

The first time I had pomegranate, I was moved to write a poem. Yes, corny, but when I was a kid I devoured the Greek myths, and it was amazing to sample this mythical, magical fruit that doomed Persephone to living in the Underworld for half of every year.

Pomegranates are a tricky business. But they are so worth the effort. But be not afraid - the Pomegranate Council very kindly explains - with luscious pictures! - how to open one.

[via - bless her - Mighty Girl]


1/3 cup white onions, finely chopped
3 to 4 serrano chiles, finely chopped, with seeds
1 teaspoon coarse salt
2 pounds ripe California avocadoes (about 4 large)
2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3/4 cup pear, peeled and finely diced
3/4 cup seedless grapes, halved
3/4 cup pomegranate seeds

Special equipment: molcajete y tojolote (mexican mortar and pestle) or food processor

In a molcajete or food processor, grind onion, chiles, and salt into a rough paste. Gradually add the avocado, coarsely mashing it (you'll want it to be chunky). Stir in the lemon juice. Fold in the pear, grapes, and 1/2 cup of the pomegranate seeds. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds over the guacamole and serve.

Makes 8 servings.

December 2001
Adapted from Diana Kennedy

Yours, &c., LC at 11:03 PM | Food | TrackBack (0)

November 12, 2003

Lavender Shortbread

I need to find a decent tearoom around here. This recipe tempts me to have my own. [via da*xiang]

Lavender Shortbread (Makes about 50 cookies)

1 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons lavender blossoms (available at most natural food stores)

Preheat oven to 300 F. Use an electric mixer to cream the butter. Add the sugar and vanilla and continue beating until light and fluffy. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour and lavender. Add to the butter mixture and stir to combine.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out until about 1/4 inch thick. Use small cookie cutters to cut the dough. Place the cookies on an ungreased baking sheet. Use a small fork to make slight prick marks on the tops of the cookies.

Bake 14 to 15 minutes, or until just barely brown. Allow to cool several minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely before serving.

Yours, &c., LC at 08:38 AM | Food | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

November 05, 2003

Spag Bol

Amanda Hesser hangs out with Jamie Oliver while he makes "spag bol," or spaghetti bolognese. The adapted recipe: Pappardelle with Beef Ragu.

Yours, &c., LC at 05:59 PM | Food | TrackBack (0)

October 15, 2003

Pasta with Spinach & Blue Cheese

Mark Bittman discusses the heretic ease of cooking the spinach and pasta together in the pot, then adding the remaining ingredients (after draining). Yum.

I like gorgonzola. Not just because it's a really strong, savory blue cheese that you can eat simply smeared over good bread or crackers. I like saying the name, the syllables rolling dramatically over the tongue.

Pasta With Spinach and Blue Cheese
(NYT, Dining: October 15, 2003)

Time: 30 minutes

Salt and pepper to taste
1 pound spinach
1 pound spaghetti, linguine, or other pasta
2 tablespoons butter (preferred), or extra virgin olive oil
1/4 pound Roquefort, gorgonzola, or other good blue cheese, crumbled.

1. Set large pot of water to boil, and add salt. Remove largest, thickest stems from spinach; roughly chop leaves and remaining stems. Wash thoroughly.

2. When water comes to boil, add pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until nearly tender. When just about done, add spinach. Stir. As soon as spinach wilts completely less than 30 seconds drain quickly.

3. Immediately return pasta and spinach to pot, with butter and cheese, over low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until cheese and butter melt, all water is absorbed, and pasta is tender. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.

Yield: 3 to 4 servings.

Yours, &c., LC at 10:40 AM | Food | TrackBack (0)

September 10, 2003

The Great Salivation

Maury Rubin's grilled chocolate sandwich. (Dan Forbes for The New York Times)

Omg, does anyone have a permalink for Michael Boodro's "Bread Alert" from the recent (9/7/03) NYT Magazine? This may be the recipe that drives me to the inaugural use of the George Foreman my sisters gave me ages ago. Of course I do have a sandwich press as well. And a huge bottle of Nutella in the pantry. Article and recipe follows below.

Bread Alert

The Atkins diet has triumphed, the French diet guru Michel Montignac is in resurgence and ''low carbs'' has become the mantra (or is it war cry?) of the fit and fabulous. So in a clever bit of adaptation, bread, once the benign starter to every restaurant meal, has migrated to the other, more sinful side of the menu. It has become dessert.

Bread pudding, of course, has long been a favorite of children of all ages. And the French have always paired bread with chocolate; pain au chocolat is now ubiquitous. But the grilled chocolate sandwich is both simpler and more decadent, a primal blast of bread and chocolate in which the two components are evenly matched -- and mutually enhancing.

In part, this new sandwich is a reflection of the popularity of panino shops around the city. And Lord knows, all those owners of George Foreman grills are always looking for something new to do with their favorite gadget. So perhaps the grilled chocolate sandwich was inevitable. What's fascinating is how varied the combination becomes in the hands of talented chefs.

At the Chickenbone Cafe in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Zakary Pelaccio grills bittersweet chocolate between slices of rich brioche, creating a density akin to the most elegant cake. 'Wichcraft bills its chocolate sandwich as a breakfast item (albeit available all day). However, melted chocolate, roasted banana and hazelnut on brioche is morning fare only for those who find Krispy Kremes a touch too ascetic.

At the City Bakery, the owner and chef Maury Rubin has come up with the simplest and most delicious variation. He uses the finest-grained white bread, lightly buttered, then filled with a ganache and batons of dark chocolate. Grilled and cut on the diagonal, it evokes the joys of that archetypal childhood treat, the peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich, but it is a far darker, more sophisticated creation. ''Most pastry looks great but never tastes quite as good as you think it will,'' Rubin says. ''This is exactly the opposite experience.''

Maury Rubin's Grilled Chocolate Sandwich
8 ounces dark (bittersweet) chocolate
1/2 cup heavy cream
12 to 16 slices of plain white bread
Handful of chocolate batons ( 1/2 inch long) or chocolate chips (about 1/3 cup)
3 to 4 tablespoons soft butter.

1. Chop the chocolate fine and set aside in a medium bowl.

2. Heat the cream in a small saucepan until just boiling and pour over the chopped chocolate. Let stand 1 minute, then whisk until smooth. Refrigerate until just slightly solid, about 30 minutes.

3. Spread a layer of the chocolate mixture 1/4-inch thick (approximately 2 to 3 tablespoons) on half the bread sides to within about 1/4 inch of the edges. Press about 2 teaspoons of the chocolate chips (or 5 or 6 pieces of batons) into the center of each filling.

4. Spread a bit of softened butter over one side of the remaining slices. Buttered side up, place the slice over each chocolate-spread slice and press lightly around the edges to seal. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes before putting on a grill or on a press. (If you are using a skillet instead, freeze the sandwich 15 minutes.)

5. Heat a grill or sandwich press (or a large griddle or skillet over medium-high heat), and add the sandwiches. Press on one side only for a minute or two (depending on the particular grill or press you're using) until the bread is nicely browned; the chocolate should be barely melted and not swimming out the side. If you are using a griddle or skillet, heat the sandwich first on the unbuttered side until lightly toasted, about 1 minute; turn the sandwich over and weight it down by placing a baking sheet or pan on top of the sandwich and placing a few soup cans on top. Toast for another minute, until golden. Cut in half and finish with a frilled toothpick.

Yield: 6 to 8 sandwiches.

Yours, &c., LC at 09:39 AM | Food | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

July 05, 2003

We Hold These Truths To Be Self Evident

Last night I sat high above the city, in a dark conference room with Jen and her colleagues, wondering when the fireworks were supposed to start. Someone called 311 to find out. At one point we heard him say to the operator, "Yes, that would be the 4th of July fireworks." Not long after, they did burst forth, and they were spectacular. It's the first year that the city also has set up fireworks at the tip of Manhattan, to drum up activity downtown, so we got to view both sets at once.

There are primal bits of happiness in life, and seeing big pretty colored lights crackle and pop in the sky is one of them. Last year I wasn't up to it, but I won't skip them again if I can help it.

It was a date-with-the-city kind of day. Jen and I checked out Cafe Topsy on Hudson Street for brunch, a comfortable, quietly stylish Brit restaurant, where our waiter was most lovely. A cheeseburger with caramelized onions and chips for me, a salad garnished with dried figs for Jen. We shared a chilled cucumber-yogurt-mint soup, and because it was so darn hot, an iced cappuccino for me as well; Jen had wine to please her palate.

Back on the subway, down to Battery Park, where we arrived in medias res for the free Ryan Adams concert. While I'd vaguely heard of this guy, I didn't know his music. Jen assured me that I would at least know his song "New York, New York" because it was all over the place after 9/11. And yet, I must be the last person on the planet to have heard it, because I swear, I've never ever heard it before. I even went out of my way to download a copy in order to find out if I just knew it without knowing whose song it was. Nope. How utterly bizarre. It wasn't like I kept my eyes and ears away from the media at the time.

Anyway, we sat on the grass, the subway rumbling beneath, and listened to the concert, which was pretty good. (Ryan even played "New York, New York" which I at least recognize now.) People were everywhere, sitting on blankets, on bits of cardboard or plastic bags or newspapers, standing or swaying, holding up their (damn) cellphones so friends could hear. Little kids were running around, and everybody yielded yo-yos given out by one of the concert sponsors.

We proceeded to stroll from Battery Park up along the west side, welcoming the breeze coming off the Hudson. The summer heat was no longer quite so overbearing, and it was great to be exploring, walking in the balmy air, the sound of the river in our ears. Little pockets of lawn abounded, people lounging or running around with their dogs or kids. Bicyclists and roller bladers shared the way with us pedestrians and runners. Boats passed by and we waved back to the passengers.

We encountered the World Financial Center and ducked in for some ice cream, walking amongst the young palm trees and up the marble steps, the Site there before us, a construction pit where twin monoliths used to be.

Back on the street we came across the Irish Hunger Memorial, further up we stopped to watch people taking lessons at the Trapeze School. We clapped for the woman who managed to swing off of her bar and catch the hands of the instructor hanging off another. I wished at that moment it could have been me, flying through the air.

At 14th Street, we opted for other transit, hopping on the subway to Jen's office to watch the fireworks. Afterwards, dinner at Rue 57 - blue cheeseburger and frites for Jen, a salad and mountain fig turnover for me. The turnover was presented on a bed of prosciutto, garnished around the edge with bits of gorgonzola, chives, and crushed pistachio. I figured out how to make little packets with my knife and fork so as to savor all the different flavors at once. The flaky, crispy phyllodough wrapping encased the intense, rich flavor of the fig - no mere Newton, this dish.

Back home on the train, with the families and the drunks, the imprint of flashing blooms of color and light still dancing behind my eyelids.

Yours, &c., LC at 08:03 PM | Food , Music , New York minutes

June 12, 2003

Is it tea time yet?

Oh boy - NYT has a lovely article about clotted cream ("The Rich Source of Indulgence" - R.W. Apple Jr., Dining, 6/11/03). Apparently "scone" rhymes with "prawn," not "bone" according to author, and there are also differing approaches to topping one's scone - in Devon, it's cream first, then jam, as opposed to jam first, then the cream, which is how it's done in Cornwall.

Yours, &c., LC at 12:17 PM | Food

June 09, 2003

Bloodied, Not Bowed

Ok, so my apron and dishcloth was actually stained with the juice of canned tomatoes, but I got through my pizza class with my pride barely intact. Even Jen, who's no novice in the kitchen, felt a bit of pressure during the five-hour class, so I don't feel so bad. I'm rarin' to try again, in the comfort and anonymity of home.

There were different levels of experience in the class. I was probably the only true newbie. While I was still working on my first dough (thin crust), it seemed that everybody else had finished both types of dough (thin and thick) and were happily working away on their toppings, sauteeing portabello mushrooms and onions, slicing and crumbling pancetta, bacon, or anchovies, roasting peppers, grating parmesan, mozzarella or smushing strategic bits of feta. It didn't exactly boost my morale to be at the same work station as Tom&Meghan, a super-nice couple who were these creative, über-gourmands. They must've used up all their dough, they made so many varieties of pizza.

I know I'm not a stupid person, but my cooking skills are extremely rudimentary. I hardly know how to prep ingredients, let alone knead dough. My evening was full of tiny mortifications. For instance, in hunting around for salt and pepper, I managed to knock down a cup full of coffee stirrers. Good going, Lady C. My lowest moment came as I struggled to peel my rolled-out dough off of the 12" cardboard round (for sizing purposes) so that I could then top the dough and then slide the pizza into the oven.

I hadn't floured the round enough. The dough wouldn't come off, and it was like a piece of gum messily stuck to one's shoe. Just as all seemed hopeless, Jen insisted we take a break. So down to the street in our dirty aprons, Jen for a much-needed smoke, and me to take some deep breaths and vigorously brush away some unexpected tears of embarrassment and frustration. Honestly, the class was really, really good, and I've learned a lot. It was simply the pressure of being surrounded by more accomplished cooks. It's one thing to make a jolly old mess in the privacy of one's kitchen; it's another to muck things up in front of others. As Darcy says to Elizabeth, and I said to Jen, "We neither of us perform to strangers." (Yes, Jane Austen comes in handy in life!)

The bit of air did wonders for my resolve. Plus, I'd completely forgotten the instruction that if one's dough is resisting handling, let it sit for a few minutes, after which it becomes much more cooperative. So I was able to rescue my mangled dough and forge ahead with my margherita pizza (tomatoes, salt, pepper, mozzarella, olive oil, then basil after baking). I gave Jen the other half of my dough, and she made a roasted pepper and feta pie. We saved the rest of our doughs for the freezer - the thick crust pizza actually seems much easier to make, because you don't have to roll it out, just press it around to fill your pan and then top it, etc.

By then, there were plenty of good smells wafting around the kitchen. We traded tips (receiving more than giving, of course), sampled other people's pizzas (Note to self: must remember to try making carmelized onion & crumbled bacon, maybe with feta, on thick crust) and drank scads of red and white wine, which had been uncorked in our absence. Yes, wine and music and the understanding company of good friends should do much to ease the pressure of cooking. Jen remarked that the best part of the evening was the elevator ride afterwards, where we shared an easy camaraderie with our classmates and ran into people who were getting out of theSouthern Cooking or Birthday Parties classes.

Ultimately, my evening was a good experience, and a fantastic birthday present. (Thanks again, Jen!) And a bruised ego is nothing next to making some really good pizza! Of course, Scott and I have yet to try my handiwork, but perhaps tonight.

Yours, &c., LC at 01:46 PM | Food | Comments (2)

June 06, 2003

"Let your dinner be a poem, like your dress."

The full quotation, as found at Food Reference:

"Enchant, stay beautiful and graceful, but do this, eat well. Bring the same consideration to the preparation of your food as you devote to your appearance. Let your dinner be a poem, like your dress." - Charles Pierre Monselet, French author (1825-1888) Letters to Emily

Convivium Artium is an electronic peer-reviewed journal devoted to food representation in world literature, film and the other arts. One of the current articles is "Samuel Pepys and his Cookbooks" by Roy Schreiber.

The Julie/Julia Project: Julie has given herself 365 days to cook the 536 recipes in Julia Child's seminal cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking (1961). Go Julie!

Amanda Hesser recommends three tools for one's kitchen: the Microplane zester (Model 40001), the OXO vegetable peeler and the Silpat mat. ("The 3 That Make a Kitchen Complete", NYTimes, Dining, 6/4/03)

Tomorrow evening I am taking a long-awaited class at the Institute of Culinary Education, a fabulous birthday gift from Jen, who's gonna flour up with me. According to the class decription:

You'll start by learning to make doughs for both thick- and thin-crusted pizzas, and while the doughs are rising, prepare various toppings. You'll learn proper baking techniques, and work hands-on to make the following pizzas: Traditional Pizza Margherita (tomatoes, basil and mozzarella); Pizza Bianco (ricotta, mozzarella, Parmigiano Reggiano and Gorgonzola); Roasted Pepper and Goat Cheese Pizza with Spicy Garlic Oil; Portobello Pizza with Balsamico; Pancetta and Cheese Pizza Topped with Arugula and Tomato Salad; Prosciutto and Ricotta Calzone; Southern Italian Home-Style Pizza; Roman Potato Pizza; Sfinciuni (the original Sicilian pizza); Barese Pizza (caramelized onions, anchovies and olives); and Focaccia.

Mmmmm. After I have absorbed the details of Best Homemade Pizza, I shall give Mario Batali a run for his money. Ok, not really, but considering how much we like pizza, this would be a huge boon to my very tiny cooking repertoire. I hope I get to take home leftovers. I hope my leftovers will be edible!

On what has turned out to be a thematic post, I have also just joined a Recipe Blog. What a great idea! Thanks to Dru and Zeebah for letting the novice chime in.

Yours, &c., LC at 01:12 PM | Food