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Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Dessert for breakfast
Made this galette using Lindsey Shere's Chez Panisse recipe and Frog Hollow nectarines. It was devilishly simple, with a lovely flaky crust. Lately I have been making my tart dough with various percentages of pastry flour for extra tenderness, but this recipe uses 100% AP. Good to know I can still get delicious results without the "fancy" flour.
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
Monday, June 08, 2009
I'm a little bit obsessed with orange marmalade. I blame the Tartine cookbook. They propose the idea that zucchini bread and orange marmalade are a natural fit. After I read that recipe, it was all over.
What isn't a natural fit with orange marmalade, I ask you? I know a lot of people hate it, but they're sickies. Learn to love the bitter, people. Bitter is your friend. Smear it on muffins, toast, scones, brioche. Plop some in your tea, or your cocktail. Slather it on pork, or chicken, or shellfish before roasting or searing. Maybe after searing, so it doesn't scorch. I love it mixed with yogurt. I love it mixed with chocolate. I love it mixed with buttery shortbread, or peanut butter. It plays well with ginger, and herbs (rosemary?), and I bet you could mix it with certain cheeses (hard? nutty?) for a delightful taste sensation.
I haven't tried it yet, but you could probably work it into salad. Fennel, vinaigrette, radishes? Pair it with something with a nice crispy texture that tastes fresh and clean?
I'm glad I have so many ideas, because I have a LOT of orange marmalade. A LOT. Additional suggestions welcome.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Prunes, prisms, Pastilla Nash
One of my favorite discoveries at last week's Fancy Food Show resembled blood sausage from afar, but was in fact a "sugar plum and walnut log" made by an Australian company called Pastilla Nash. It's a dense roll of toasty nuts and fruit paste that can be sliced into pretty little rounds and served with cheese; I sampled a bit with blue cheese and it was very tasty indeed. It's like membrillo in that it offers a thick, mildly sweet dose of fruit that tempers the intensity of certain cheeses.
It seems that the term "sugar plum" can be applied to a variety of foodstuffs, but in this case the log appears to be made of good old-fashioned prunes. A Mason jar of Armagnac that's been piled high with plump, boozy prunes presently occupies a proud position on my pantry shelf, so I consider myself to be part of the pro-prune posse, as it were, but I understand why they might not want to market their product as a "prune log" in the U.S., where poor, put-upon prunes still suffer from unfortunate geriatric associations.
I'm too lazy to keep the "P" words going much longer (thankfully, right?), but if you ever see the Pastilla Nash plum/prune logs in a shop near you, you might want to pick one up and pair it with a pungent piece of cheese. Perhaps for a party.*
*An editor I used to work with called alliteration "the last refuge of the hack writer." Positively.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
The best nectarine tart in the entire world ...
...can be found at Camino in Oakland.
The crust was crunchy and delicate and crackly and crumbly. The nectarines were perfectly ripe and glossy. They did not add pastry cream or frangipane or any other adulterous substances to distract from the perfection of the fruit. They did not mess around.
Just the way I like it.
Sunday, May 20, 2007
One recent Sunday, we headed to Dixon, CA for Strawberry Days, an annual event hosted by Eatwell Farm, the folks who provide us with our CSA box. It made me feel warm and fuzzy to see where our veggies come from, but it also afforded me the opportunity to cram ample quantities of perfectly ripe, sun-warmed ruby red organic strawberries directly into my mouth. (See also: last summer's trip to Andy's Orchard.) We picked four pounds in about twenty minutes and then spent the rest of the time lazing reverently next to the strawberry patch and soaking up the sun.
We snarfed down all our strawberries in two days.
The fruit was so perfect, it needed nothing ...but one night I felt like gilding the lily. Strawberries with Sour Cream and Brown Sugar hardly qualifies as a recipe; perhaps it deserves the lesser moniker of "preparation". My parents made this for me throughout my childhood and continue to make it for me in my non-child-but-hardly-adult-hood. Although it inspires a lot of scrunchy faces and dubious eye-narrowing from the uninitiated, I encourage you to try it. Just think of sour cream of another form of creme fraiche or whipped cream, and you can get past the hurdle. Sour cream: it's not just for potatoes and tacos anymore.
Strawberries with Sour Cream and Brown Sugar
Strawberries, as many as you like
Brown sugar, as much as you like
Sour cream, as much as you like
Trim tops and halve strawberries. Place in bowl. Sprinkle with brown sugar. Lightly dollop sour cream on top. Eat. Enjoy summer.
We must have eaten so many strawberries that we started seeing red. The next weekend, we became the proud owners of this:
Not as sweet, but just as much fun.
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