put it in my mouth


2011: THAT WAS ME SEDUCING YOU
January 1, 2011, 12:09 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

[Whipped Lightning, the world's first alcohol-infused whipped cream, and Sarah's spinach and eggplant lasagna]



CUPBOARD SOUP: TOMATO AND CHICKPEA
December 31, 2010, 2:34 pm
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This is what happens when you come home to an apartment that is basically snowed in and you are leaving again in two days and you need to make something to sustain you while you do laundry and repack your bags with only what you can find in your house. (Plus two carrots, purchased at the bodega on the corner.) It is actually pretty good.

2 large cans diced tomatoes
3 small cans chickpeas
1 large onion
2 carrots
4 cloves of garlic
A few heavy dashes of paprika
1 T. dried rosemary
4 c. chicken stock
Salt and pepper
Olive oil
* requires a blender

Dice the onion and carrots. Heat a glug of olive oil in a large soup pot, then add in carrots and onions. Add in pressed garlic. Sauté for a few minutes. Add tomatoes, one (drained) can of chickpeas, stock, paprika, rosemary, and S&P. Bring to a boil, and continue simmering for another twenty-ish minutes, until the carrots are soft. Remove from heat and blend with an immersion blender. Add in the remaining chickpeas and return to the stove, cooking until the whole chickpeas are warmed. Tinker with the seasoning and serve.



FOR MY BIFES: CHICKEN CHORIZO EMPANADAS
December 14, 2010, 10:50 am
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I think empanadas might be the pinnacle of savory baking, so I was pretty amped to try my hand at them. I tracked down a recipe with relative ease—Deb at Smitten Kitchen posted a revision of an epicurious recipe that turned out pretty awesome (though next time I would try to find a recipe for the pockets that called for a little less butter). However, the challenge of empanadas has little to do with the recipe and much to do with the process, which has always seemed hazy and difficult. I mean, how do you get those nice little braids, that decorative edge that makes the empanada look so refined? Empanadas closed with the tines of a fork seemed like something you’d make in kindergarten on Cinco de Mayo.

Who knew that About.com published anything of value? Not me! At least, not until I read this totally thorough explanation of how to make the empanadas of my dreams a reality. The braided seal? It’s called the repulgue! And closing with fork tines? That is okay if you are frying them! There’s no point in rehashing all of the really helpful pointers here, but if you ever make empanadas, do yourself a favor and read this article. Then watch the YouTube videos of the women braiding the empanadas crazy fast. Then you, too, can make the magic happen yourself.



HERE ARE SOME THINGS I HAVE RECENTLY LEARNED ABOUT QUINCES
November 29, 2010, 7:10 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

1. They cannot be eaten raw. Did you know this? I did not!

2. They are one of the few fruits I have ever kept in my kitchen that I can say have their own perfume. It’s really wondrous.

3. When baked, they’re sort of like apples. The woman at the farmers’ market suggested baking them with a little bit of cinnamon and sugar; Claudia Roden roasts them with sugar and a pat of butter. I found that it proved an excellent vessel for pomegranate molasses. You can do any of these things by baking a quince, whole, for about an hour or so in an oven heated to 375 degrees (until it is soft), and then slice it in half, remove the core, add whatever it is you would like to add, and bake for another 30 minutes to an hour. Next time, I will roast them with chicken and onions, and maybe a little bit of cinnamon and honey.



ON WHY ALL PIES SHOULD BE BAKED IN SPRINGFORM PANS: DINER’S RYE PECAN PIE
November 26, 2010, 8:29 pm
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I have been talking about this pecan pie recipe, adapted from Diner in Brooklyn, pretty much nonstop since the Times published it last week in anticipation of Thanksgiving. Let me tell you: it is legit. The recipe is solid, but what is really revolutionary here is the use of a springform pan. I mean, genius! The crust is so super high and so super impressive.

Notes for next time: It’s easier to make the crust in a food processor, if you happen to have one. The pie took a little over an hour to bake, so allow for that; it will be done once it stops being jiggly, except for maybe a little around the edges (the toothpick rule is bullshit here). Also, the bourbon could be cut by a tablespoon; as it was, I was gently accused of alcoholism.



WHITE BEAN AND ESCAROLE STEW
October 31, 2010, 6:22 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

It is the end of October, which means it’s officially soup season. And after a bit of tinkering, I think I’ve nailed the proportions on this one. The below photograph is a little bit technicolor, but I promise it looks much more homey in real life.

2 small heads escarole
3 cans cannellini beans
2 onions
3 carrots
5+ cloves garlic
4 c. chicken broth
Olive oil

Saute the garlic, onions and carrots in a little bit of olive oil in a large pot. Wash and chop escarole, and then add to the pot. Once the escarole has wilted, add the broth and the beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 – 30 minutes, until the beans are tender. If you have a blender, blend about two cups of the soup and return to the pot. If you don’t have a blender, mash up the soup a bit with a potato masher. Salt and pepper to taste.



THE IMPORTANCE OF BRANDING AND FEWER EGGS: NEIMAN MARCUS’S CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES AND MOMOFUKU’S BLUEBERRY AND CREAM COOKIES
October 24, 2010, 2:43 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Due, perhaps, to a few too many semesters at an expensive institution of higher education and capitalism, I recently had the inclination to bake two of the toniest cookies of all time: Neiman Marcus’s chocolate chip cookies and Momofuku’s blueberry and cream cookies. The cookies were pretty tasty, but the more important takeaway here has to do with metrics, not branding: You should always make cookies with fewer eggs than called for.

According to urban legend, some lady bought the recipe for Neiman Marcus’s chocolate chip cookies for $250 (originally thinking that she was going to get it for $2.50). Outraged by the rip-off, she flouted IP protocol and sent the recipe to all of her friends; there have been several variations of the recipe circulating for ages. Neiman Marcus finally decided to give the thing away for free and published their recipe online. And? It is pretty good—I like the addition of espresso powder!—but the trick here is actually that the recipe calls for one less egg than usual. (By “usual,” I mean “Tollhouse.”) This makes the cookies super thick! Plus a little crispier on the outside but still chewy on the inside.

The same can be said of Christina Tosi’s recipe for blueberry and cream cookies (Tosi is the mastermind pastry chef behind Momofuku Milk Bar). I altered the recipe, substituting blueberries with cranberries. Like the Neiman Marcus batch, these were pretty good! The secret? Not the milk crumbs, which Bon Appetit makes a big fuss about. Rather, fewer eggs!

While the recipe calls for two eggs, this is fewer than standard cookie recipes, based on the ratio of eggs-to-flour—usually, you’ll see about one egg for every cup of flour, whereas both the Tosi recipe and the NM recipe both cut this in half. Also, it should be noted that the Momofuku cookies took too long to make for what they were—making these took nearly two days from start to finish, which is way, way longer than any cookie should take.

So going forward, fewer eggs! Vegans should see this as a minor victory! And there are few victories for vegans.




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