December 27, 2007
Great idea for a book, don't you think? I'm such a drama queen/fatalist, that this is right up my alley! Alas, it is back-ordered at Amazon, but perhaps you'll find it elsewhere. Here is a review from a favorite cookbook site...Cook's Library. http://www.cookslibrary.com/
"Have you ever wondered what Mario Batali’s last meal might be? How about what CD Gordon Ramsay would be listening to as the clock ticked?Photographer Melanie Dunea ask 50 of the world’s famous chefs what their final meals would be. My Last Supper showcases their fascinating answers alongside stunning Vanity Fair–style portraits. Their responses are surprising, refreshing, and as distinct from each other as the chefs themselves. The portraits, gorgeous, and playful, are informed by their answers and reveal the passions and personalities of the most respected names in the business.Featuring: Ferrán Adrià, José Andrés, Dan Barber, Lidia Bastianich, Rick Bayless, Daniel Boulud, Anthony Bourdain, Scott Conant, Suzanne Goin, Thomas Keller, Giorgio Locatelli, Nobu, Jamie Oliver, Jacques Pepin, Michel Richard, Eric Ripert, and more…One recipe from each landmark meal is included in the back of the book."
So. I don't know yet what my last meal would be. But I would like it to be in the company of everyone profiled in this book. Now, THAT'S a last supper!!!! It wouldn't matter what my last meal would be...it would all be good...because I'd demand all these chefs bring me their food! A pity pot-luck for a dying woman!!! I'd just lanquish away on the couch, eating every wonderful thing they'd whip up for me. Anthony Bourdain would regale me with stories of the underbelly of restaurant cooking, Eric Ripert would, well, just sit there and let me gaze upon him, and Thomas Keller would be soothing my fevered brow with some foie gras.
Nice way to go, don't you think???
December 26, 2007
But the best part of Christmas was making a special dinner for Kurt and the our “kids” on Sunday night - “Garlic-Roasted Standing Prime Rib with Cognac-Mustard Sauce”. Woo! So good!!!!! We had the best time…so rare to get all of us together for one meal, it was wonderful!
I think I’m at my very best with sauces and this is one of the best. I wasn’t able to take a picture, since it disappeared so fast! Use any good Prime Rib recipe (or any good fatty roast) and this sauce comes together fast and easy.
Ingredients: (just for sauce…use any good recipe for seared, then roasted roast)
1 tablespoon butter
4 medium shallots, minced
2 cups good beef stock (homemade if you can manage it!)
2 tablespoon Cognac
2 tablespoons Dijon style mustard
3 tablespoons minced fresh curly leafed parsley
½ cup (1 stick) butter, cut into 8 pieces
Salt and pepper
1. After searing whatever beef you choose to use, save the skillet.
2. When meat is out of oven and “resting”, begin sauce by sauteing the shallots in 1 tablespoon butter for about 5 minutes and the searing skillet.
3. Pour off fat from roasting pan. Set pan over high heat. Stir in stock, scraping up any browned bits of meat and fat. Add to shallots in saute pan. Boil until reduced by half.
4. Add Cognac and boil 1 minute. Reduce heat to low.
5. Whisk in mustard and stir in parsley. Whisk in butter, 1 piece at a time.
6. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
7. Spoon over slices of beef, and serve immediately.
December 20, 2007
I love these "little" contests. Nice people, great prizes, and little stress. Some of the "big" ones can just downright frazzle a person. The FN experience made my hair fall out. And I needed another hormone patch when I got home from Gilroy Garlic Festival.
But these cookies are SO worth it! Our family’s favorite Christmas cookie (well, Sarah would inhale them if she could!) and I’ve been baking them since I saw this recipe in Sunset magazine a few years ago.
The picture is dedicated to my sister (Lori, you’ll know what it means…). This is another super duper easy recipe. I do recommend you haul out the super duper Kitchen Aid mixer to give you a hand. To get the dough right, you really need to mix this sucker. Don’t freak out at how crumbly it seems…it’s almost like sweet pie dough and when you press it into balls, it works perfectly. When you bake them, they WON’T turn golden brown. They’ll look like…well, dough. The edges should be just barely turning brown. They will harden up while cooling. If you like a crispier cookie, bake a bit longer. These cookies are a lovely gift, along with a special tea cup or coffee mug…the cookies beg for warm goodness to wash them down.
Makes about 6 dozen cookies
1 ½ cups butter, at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cup dried cranberries
1 ½ cup sweetened flaked dried coconut
1. In a large mixing bowl, with a mixer at medium speed, beat butter, sugar, orange peel, and vanilla until smooth.
2. In another medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to butter mixture, at low speed, then continue beating at low speed until dough comes together, about 5 minutes. Mix in coconut and cranberries.
3. Shape dough in 1 inch balls and place about 2 inches apart on buttered (or parchment paper…I like that better!) baking sheets.
4. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven until cookie edges just BARELY turn brown, 8 – 11 minutes. If baking two sheets at once in one oven, switch their positions halfway through baking. Let cookies cool on sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool completely.
December 19, 2007
December 18, 2007
Shout out to Jenny Flake, whose own blog has inspired me. Thanks Jenny!http://www.pickypalate.blogspot.com
I don't think I'll have any one "theme" to this blog...just food thoughts and obsessions, recipes, cooking tips and techniques I've gleened from a variety of sources, cookbook reviews, tirades about food snobs and culinary dictators, and my admiration for people who really know how to cook and how they make people happy with their creations... everyday ramblings of someone who is a little whacked out about food and how we eat and enjoy it.
I do know that our society has complicated thoughts about food and cooking. Cultural, dietary, generational, political, .....it'll be fun to write about all of it and read your comments and suggestions - I hope you find something of value here. Enjoy!