put it in my mouth


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.

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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.