Archive for December, 2009

Go ahead, get your spoon greasy

Posted in Uncategorized on December 20, 2009 by aliaalafaireet

Observations on diner eating and aesthetics.

Click on each picture for the detailed description

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An intimate holiday moment between tomatoes

Posted in Uncategorized on December 15, 2009 by aliaalafaireet

Oeufs en cocotte

Posted in Uncategorized on December 9, 2009 by aliaalafaireet

This is Nigella Lawson, she writes great cookbooks. She uses word like “heady” and “fabulous” to describe her food and I can dig that. This recipe comes from her book, Nigella Express, a book full of quick delicious meals that involve real food. An oeuf en cocotte is an egg baked in a ramekin with cream, salt, and pepper. Then you cut toasted bread into “fingers” and dip them in the creamy, salty, baked egg.

It’s now December and today the sky decided to do what we here in the Midwest call a “wintery mix,” slushy, snowy, sleety, rain. The warm and gooey oeuf en cocotte seemed pretty perfect to me. We didn’t have any ramekins, because I forgot to bring them. We used mugs instead. I would recommend finding some ramekins if you want to try this because dipping is easier out of a ramekin. Crack and egg into each ramekin, with a tablespoon of cream, a ¼ tablespoon of salt, and a sprinkle of pepper. Nigella recommends you use “fabulous organic eggs,” and I agree. Put the ramekins in a baking pan. Pour boiling water into the pan so the water level goes about halfway up the ramekins. A water bath helps the eggs cook evenly. It’s a handy trick that also helps with custards and cheesecake as well. Bake the eggs for 15-20 minutes at 375. While the eggs were baking I drizzled a little olive oil over a couple slices of sourdough wheat bread and sprinkled them with dried rosemary. The bread takes about five minutes to toast in the 375-degree oven. We also made potato fries for dipping. Slice potatoes into classic fry shape. Cook in a skillet over medium high heat. Add salt, pepper, and any desired spices. Zack put cayenne pepper on one batch and Tim put cinnamon on the other. As Tim would say, never underestimate cinnamon as a savory spice

Kale pesto

Posted in Uncategorized on December 8, 2009 by aliaalafaireet

 

Kale Pesto

So, I am pretty sure I saw this recipe somewhere. I remember reading the title, thinking “what a fabulous idea,” and then having to go somewhere. But I can’t remember where. Was it in the New York Times? Heck, maybe it happened in a dream and that is why everything is so fuzzy. Anyway, I got some beautiful Russian kale, sort of velvety, with lovely purple veins. My mother keeps a plastic bag of pine nuts in her fridge with the sticks of butter, I have no idea why, but they are always there. I took them. Deliciousness insued.

First, put a pan of water on to boil. In comparison to basil, kale is pretty tough, it needs to be blanched for this recipe. While the water is heating toast a sprinkle of pine nuts and a thinly sliced glove of garlic a skillet with a little olive oil. After they start to get golden brown, take them off the heat so they don’t burn. When the water is boiling drop the kale in for a few minutes. Normally when a recipe calls for blanching you are supposed to remove the vegetable from the water and put it in an ice bath to stop the cooking process, blah, blah blah. Here, you can just scoop the kale out and dump it right into a blender. The water left on the kale will help it to blend. Add the pine nuts and garlic and a little salt and pepper as well. Turn the blender on and drizzle in olive oil. Blend until the mixture becomes a somewhat smooth paste. Then grate in a liberal amount of Parmesan cheese. You can serve this over rice of pasta or whatever the heck else you want. Your in charge.