Tessipes

My name is Tess and I eat.

I also blog at Wipe Your Feet and The Emperor of Ice Cream.

Nov 8

the bossiest!!


Jul 1
If you don’t want to hear every single thing I put in my mouth during dinner at The Dining Room in Pasadena, Michael Voltaggio’s (Top Chef season 6 champion) current (but not for long! He leaves July 18th) restaurant, I apologize, because that’s exactly what I’m going to tell you.
Damn. This is going to be long, you guys.
Thing one was that everyone at this restaurant makes you feel like you want to tell them everything. I’m an overchatter, especially in formal settings, and you better believe I made everyone including myself uncomfortable at times by saying things like, “Wow, this water is truly delicious.” I thought about it for ten minutes before ordering the bottled water, that’s how infrequently I put on the dog. Try to see all of this through the eyes of Augustus Gloop at Willy Wonka’s chocolate extravaganza, okay?
The bread. First, there were two breads, bacon (yes) and sourdough (yes). The bacon was a puff of bacon-tasting, non-bacon-chunky brioche that I want to make a sofa out of, take a picture of, sit on for a laugh and then eat. In one day. The bread came with three butter choices, salty Vermont, unsalty French, and Goat. A+ to butters from every corner of the globe and every kind of mammal. Another bread appeared somewhere along the way, and this bread was like a truffle popover. Goat butter was a recommended pairing, but I used all three because that’s what Jay-Z would have done. These breads were fantastic. As my grandfather used to say about (an entire) dinner, paradoxically, this bread was “a meal in itself.”
The amuse was a tomato sort of lollipop with a little sprig of microgreen (microbasil? I don’t know, what am I, a botanist?) and what I like to think of as a “caviar cream puff.” If the caviar cream puff came to you on an appetizer tray carried by a cute little child, you would beat up the child in order to bring the tray of cream puffs to some friendly local master chef who could exactly re-create the recipe. You would feel you had no other choice.
There were seven other courses so I feel the need to breeze by some of them in order to not be “that guy” about this dinner; if your curiosity is burning you should flip through the photos on The Dining Room’s Yelp page, which was what I did before I left for Pasadena tonight. I will tell you this: the foie gras terrine in a strawberry-yuzu glaze with arugula cake and what I think were maybe vinegar gel-caviar pearls was the craziest thing I’ve ever eaten. It was amazing and imaginative and bizarre; it really worked but was a little like eating a petit four of foie gras. Something fun about doing a chef like Voltaggio’s tasting menu is that you will eat things that you will almost definitely never eat anywhere else, and you trust him to know what he’s doing so you just go for it. This was the weirdest ingredient party I’ve ever been invited to, and probably the prettiest plate I’ve ever seen.
My favorite of the seven plates ended up being a tie between the halibut cheeks (baby leeks, red curry, coconut crispy-rice, which was like a crispy coconut-y pudding) and the…wait for it…suckling pig with banana polenta, ramps, and red onion. What was so perfect about these courses was how transporting they were: they were totally evocative of some other place (luau? Heaven?) while at the same time being something I’ve never come close to having tasted before. I haven’t been to culinary school, obviously, and my cooking usually amounts to throwing a ton of wine in a pot with some other stuff or cooking a huge hunk of meat at a low temperature and then stuffing it in puff pastry. I’m as evolved as, say, an iguana in terms of culinary prowess. So it’s wicked fun to see things like banana and polenta and ramps having a jam session on some suckling pig, a morel over there, a saffron-braised cippolini onion over there.
Peter and I acted like we’d never seen food before. “And here we have some sorbet.” “SHUT UP, this TEXTURE! It’s so COLD!” Dessert was insane, but not even as insane as the pre-dessert, which was a root beer float of dippin’ dots-style ice cream. There was a lot of freezing things in nitro and making jelly out of sauerkraut. I’m fascinated by molecular gastronomy-type foods because science and eating are two of my favorite things to think about, and it takes a pretty decent imagination to think of making caviar out of vinegar, pork-rind-like crisps out of gruyere. That’s why eating at these kinds of restaurants is so much fun, too: now I’m going to want to mash potatoes but make them taste like macaroni and cheese, and then I’m going to fill them with air and make them into potato macaroni meringues and jam them full of surprises!
There was a post-dessert. You can imagine my reaction. The post-dessert was a chocolate lollipop filled with Pop Rocks, a chocolate macaron, and some kind of jewel of a gummy candy in an edible rapper.
"You can EAT the WRAPPER?" I asked the sommelier as he tried to escape.
Before he could answer, I had eaten it. As I sipped my Langham bottled water in the car, I thought to myself, man, this is the best water I’ve ever had in my whole life.

If you don’t want to hear every single thing I put in my mouth during dinner at The Dining Room in Pasadena, Michael Voltaggio’s (Top Chef season 6 champion) current (but not for long! He leaves July 18th) restaurant, I apologize, because that’s exactly what I’m going to tell you.

Damn. This is going to be long, you guys.

Thing one was that everyone at this restaurant makes you feel like you want to tell them everything. I’m an overchatter, especially in formal settings, and you better believe I made everyone including myself uncomfortable at times by saying things like, “Wow, this water is truly delicious.” I thought about it for ten minutes before ordering the bottled water, that’s how infrequently I put on the dog. Try to see all of this through the eyes of Augustus Gloop at Willy Wonka’s chocolate extravaganza, okay?

The bread. First, there were two breads, bacon (yes) and sourdough (yes). The bacon was a puff of bacon-tasting, non-bacon-chunky brioche that I want to make a sofa out of, take a picture of, sit on for a laugh and then eat. In one day. The bread came with three butter choices, salty Vermont, unsalty French, and Goat. A+ to butters from every corner of the globe and every kind of mammal. Another bread appeared somewhere along the way, and this bread was like a truffle popover. Goat butter was a recommended pairing, but I used all three because that’s what Jay-Z would have done. These breads were fantastic. As my grandfather used to say about (an entire) dinner, paradoxically, this bread was “a meal in itself.”

The amuse was a tomato sort of lollipop with a little sprig of microgreen (microbasil? I don’t know, what am I, a botanist?) and what I like to think of as a “caviar cream puff.” If the caviar cream puff came to you on an appetizer tray carried by a cute little child, you would beat up the child in order to bring the tray of cream puffs to some friendly local master chef who could exactly re-create the recipe. You would feel you had no other choice.

There were seven other courses so I feel the need to breeze by some of them in order to not be “that guy” about this dinner; if your curiosity is burning you should flip through the photos on The Dining Room’s Yelp page, which was what I did before I left for Pasadena tonight. I will tell you this: the foie gras terrine in a strawberry-yuzu glaze with arugula cake and what I think were maybe vinegar gel-caviar pearls was the craziest thing I’ve ever eaten. It was amazing and imaginative and bizarre; it really worked but was a little like eating a petit four of foie gras. Something fun about doing a chef like Voltaggio’s tasting menu is that you will eat things that you will almost definitely never eat anywhere else, and you trust him to know what he’s doing so you just go for it. This was the weirdest ingredient party I’ve ever been invited to, and probably the prettiest plate I’ve ever seen.

My favorite of the seven plates ended up being a tie between the halibut cheeks (baby leeks, red curry, coconut crispy-rice, which was like a crispy coconut-y pudding) and the…wait for it…suckling pig with banana polenta, ramps, and red onion. What was so perfect about these courses was how transporting they were: they were totally evocative of some other place (luau? Heaven?) while at the same time being something I’ve never come close to having tasted before. I haven’t been to culinary school, obviously, and my cooking usually amounts to throwing a ton of wine in a pot with some other stuff or cooking a huge hunk of meat at a low temperature and then stuffing it in puff pastry. I’m as evolved as, say, an iguana in terms of culinary prowess. So it’s wicked fun to see things like banana and polenta and ramps having a jam session on some suckling pig, a morel over there, a saffron-braised cippolini onion over there.

Peter and I acted like we’d never seen food before. “And here we have some sorbet.” “SHUT UP, this TEXTURE! It’s so COLD!” Dessert was insane, but not even as insane as the pre-dessert, which was a root beer float of dippin’ dots-style ice cream. There was a lot of freezing things in nitro and making jelly out of sauerkraut. I’m fascinated by molecular gastronomy-type foods because science and eating are two of my favorite things to think about, and it takes a pretty decent imagination to think of making caviar out of vinegar, pork-rind-like crisps out of gruyere. That’s why eating at these kinds of restaurants is so much fun, too: now I’m going to want to mash potatoes but make them taste like macaroni and cheese, and then I’m going to fill them with air and make them into potato macaroni meringues and jam them full of surprises!

There was a post-dessert. You can imagine my reaction. The post-dessert was a chocolate lollipop filled with Pop Rocks, a chocolate macaron, and some kind of jewel of a gummy candy in an edible rapper.

"You can EAT the WRAPPER?" I asked the sommelier as he tried to escape.

Before he could answer, I had eaten it. As I sipped my Langham bottled water in the car, I thought to myself, man, this is the best water I’ve ever had in my whole life.


Jun 14
i just miss you so much

i just miss you so much


Jun 11
yipster:

completely unprofessional photograph of donuts.
gourmet  snacktime recipes
1. Ginger Ale from scratch
you  will need:
just under 2 liters of water (I used bottled  because my tap water is funkaaaay)
3/4 cup white sugar
1.5  tsp grated fresh ginger (I used WAY MORE because I love ginger. I even  love gingers)
2  Tbsp lemon juice
1/8 tsp yeast
1 2-Liter  bottle with a cap
a funnel
Combine  ginger, sugar and 1/2 cup of the water and heat over medium-low,  stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved (*I added 1/2 tsp of  vanilla as well, we’ll see how this turns out). Cover and remove from  heat and let sit while you find a 2 Liter bottle of flat soda and empty  it out and clean the bottle. SAVE THE CAP. God help you if you lose the  cap.
Now go kill an hour somehow. I don’t know, have you watched  all of the episodes of Top Chef Masters? Maybe go do that, you  master. Strain the ginger-sugar-water combo over a bowl, making sure you  press the solids into the strainer to extract all that juice. Pop the  bowl of strained liquid into a larger bowl of ice and stir it up so it  gets chilly. Funnel cooled liquid into your 2-Liter, add yeast and lemon  juice. Fill bottle almost to the top (I left a safe 2.5”) with water, screw the  cap on tight and shake. Let the bottle sit in a room-temperature place,  such as a room, for about 48 hours, until the bottle is hard to squeeze.  SERVE.
I’m waiting for my ginger ale to ferment so I’ll let you  know that I fudged the recipe a bit by substituting tangerine juice  (might be too sweet?) for the lemon and (as mentioned) adding vanilla.  There are plenty of ways to screw around with this recipe; some ideas I  had were popping a cinnamon stick into the 2-liter, substituting lime  juice (how crazy) for the lemon, and making a spice mix in my handy,  Ikea-bought mortar and pestle out of star anise, cinnamon and nutmeg. DO  YOU!
2. Homemade Donuts
WARNING: I FOUND THIS REALLY  CHALLENGING BECAUSE I’M A TERRIBLE BAKER
You will need:
1/4  cup of warm water, about the temperature of a hot bath
a  deep-fat fryer or a large, heavy pot and a deep-fat thermometer
2  eggs
Two 1/4 oz packages of yeast
1 1/2  cups buttermilk
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2  tsp salt
1/3 cup shortening
5 cups white  flour
1+ quart vegetable oil, for frying
ICING
1/3  cup butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp  vanilla
about 1/2 cup hot water and a tablespoon (you’ll  be adding it 1 T at a time)
You will also need:
so  much patience
First take a deep breath because  making donuts is freaking hard. Second, consider cutting the recipe in  half if you are not absolutely fiending for donuts/have a lot of  company.
In a bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the 1/4 cup hot water  and let stand 5 minutes. It’s ready when it’s foamy and smells like  beer.
Mix your foamy yeast with the buttermilk, eggs, salt, sugar  and shortening until combined. Add 2 cups of flour and stir until  well-blended. Now, about 1/2 cup at a time, gradually add more flour  until the dough starts to stick to itself instead of the bowl, stirring  and stirring and getting sexy arms. Stir until you can’t imagine  stirring any more, about 3 minutes. Now take a break and grease an even  larger bowl. Go back to your dough and mix mix mix, one whole minute  more. Transfer dough into greased bowl, cover with clingwrap (it doesn’t have to CLING, a little air should circulate, but be honest with yourself: your dishrag, though clean, has little linties that could fall into your donuts) and a  dishrag (on top of the cling rap) and set in a warm place to expand (you  want it to double in size). If you have a gas oven, putting the bowl on  top of the oven (and not lighting it on fire; beware pilot lights) will  expedite this.
Meanwhile, make the icing. Right now you’re  thinking sticking with regular donuts or just tossing some powdered  sugar on them would be great, because your arms hurt, but this glaze is  pretty good so I encourage you to be brave. In a small saucepan, melt  the butter over medium-low heat. When the butter is melted, whisk in  your 2 c. of powdered sugar and vanilla until well blended and  non-lumpy. Take off the heat and add your hot water, 1 TBSP at a time,  stirring between each water addition. You want the consistency to drip  off a spoon easily, but not be watery (think syrup). Cover and set it  aside.
Flour a large surface (I used a big cookie sheet) and  get out a rolling pin. Now watch another Top Chef Masters. Transfer  risen dough to floured surface and roll out to about 1/2”, and using a  donut cutter (yeah right. Use a mug for the big hole and a ramekin for  the little hole) cut out your donuts. Cover them with clean dish towels,  and watch another episode of TCM. Wow, now you’re pretty deep in that  show, right?
While the donuts are doubling in size, again,  miraculously, due to yeast, set up your fryer to heat to 350/heat your  oil in your big-ass pot. You’ll also want to set up a cookie sheet with a  metal rack above it, and get out some heat-proof metal tongs or a metal  spatula. Working in batches of 3-4 (depending on your donut size and  frying-vehicle size), slide the donuts into the hot oil (important: if  your oil isn’t 350 degrees yet, your donuts will absorb all the oil and  become way gross). Let them cook for about 2-4 minutes a side, until  golden brown, and then flip. Transfer cooked donuts to the rack over the  cookie sheet and smear ‘em with your glaze. Continue until you’re out  of donuts, genius, and then eat them.
- Tess

yipster:

completely unprofessional photograph of donuts.

gourmet snacktime recipes

1. Ginger Ale from scratch

you will need:

just under 2 liters of water (I used bottled because my tap water is funkaaaay)

3/4 cup white sugar

1.5 tsp grated fresh ginger (I used WAY MORE because I love ginger. I even love gingers)

2 Tbsp lemon juice

1/8 tsp yeast

1 2-Liter bottle with a cap

a funnel

Combine ginger, sugar and 1/2 cup of the water and heat over medium-low, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved (*I added 1/2 tsp of vanilla as well, we’ll see how this turns out). Cover and remove from heat and let sit while you find a 2 Liter bottle of flat soda and empty it out and clean the bottle. SAVE THE CAP. God help you if you lose the cap.

Now go kill an hour somehow. I don’t know, have you watched all of the episodes of Top Chef Masters? Maybe go do that, you master. Strain the ginger-sugar-water combo over a bowl, making sure you press the solids into the strainer to extract all that juice. Pop the bowl of strained liquid into a larger bowl of ice and stir it up so it gets chilly. Funnel cooled liquid into your 2-Liter, add yeast and lemon juice. Fill bottle almost to the top (I left a safe 2.5”) with water, screw the cap on tight and shake. Let the bottle sit in a room-temperature place, such as a room, for about 48 hours, until the bottle is hard to squeeze. SERVE.

I’m waiting for my ginger ale to ferment so I’ll let you know that I fudged the recipe a bit by substituting tangerine juice (might be too sweet?) for the lemon and (as mentioned) adding vanilla. There are plenty of ways to screw around with this recipe; some ideas I had were popping a cinnamon stick into the 2-liter, substituting lime juice (how crazy) for the lemon, and making a spice mix in my handy, Ikea-bought mortar and pestle out of star anise, cinnamon and nutmeg. DO YOU!

2. Homemade Donuts

WARNING: I FOUND THIS REALLY CHALLENGING BECAUSE I’M A TERRIBLE BAKER

You will need:

1/4 cup of warm water, about the temperature of a hot bath

a deep-fat fryer or a large, heavy pot and a deep-fat thermometer

2 eggs

Two 1/4 oz packages of yeast

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1/3 cup shortening

5 cups white flour

1+ quart vegetable oil, for frying

ICING

1/3 cup butter

2 cups powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla

about 1/2 cup hot water and a tablespoon (you’ll be adding it 1 T at a time)

You will also need:

so much patience

First take a deep breath because making donuts is freaking hard. Second, consider cutting the recipe in half if you are not absolutely fiending for donuts/have a lot of company.

In a bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the 1/4 cup hot water and let stand 5 minutes. It’s ready when it’s foamy and smells like beer.

Mix your foamy yeast with the buttermilk, eggs, salt, sugar and shortening until combined. Add 2 cups of flour and stir until well-blended. Now, about 1/2 cup at a time, gradually add more flour until the dough starts to stick to itself instead of the bowl, stirring and stirring and getting sexy arms. Stir until you can’t imagine stirring any more, about 3 minutes. Now take a break and grease an even larger bowl. Go back to your dough and mix mix mix, one whole minute more. Transfer dough into greased bowl, cover with clingwrap (it doesn’t have to CLING, a little air should circulate, but be honest with yourself: your dishrag, though clean, has little linties that could fall into your donuts) and a dishrag (on top of the cling rap) and set in a warm place to expand (you want it to double in size). If you have a gas oven, putting the bowl on top of the oven (and not lighting it on fire; beware pilot lights) will expedite this.

Meanwhile, make the icing. Right now you’re thinking sticking with regular donuts or just tossing some powdered sugar on them would be great, because your arms hurt, but this glaze is pretty good so I encourage you to be brave. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. When the butter is melted, whisk in your 2 c. of powdered sugar and vanilla until well blended and non-lumpy. Take off the heat and add your hot water, 1 TBSP at a time, stirring between each water addition. You want the consistency to drip off a spoon easily, but not be watery (think syrup). Cover and set it aside.

Flour a large surface (I used a big cookie sheet) and get out a rolling pin. Now watch another Top Chef Masters. Transfer risen dough to floured surface and roll out to about 1/2”, and using a donut cutter (yeah right. Use a mug for the big hole and a ramekin for the little hole) cut out your donuts. Cover them with clean dish towels, and watch another episode of TCM. Wow, now you’re pretty deep in that show, right?

While the donuts are doubling in size, again, miraculously, due to yeast, set up your fryer to heat to 350/heat your oil in your big-ass pot. You’ll also want to set up a cookie sheet with a metal rack above it, and get out some heat-proof metal tongs or a metal spatula. Working in batches of 3-4 (depending on your donut size and frying-vehicle size), slide the donuts into the hot oil (important: if your oil isn’t 350 degrees yet, your donuts will absorb all the oil and become way gross). Let them cook for about 2-4 minutes a side, until golden brown, and then flip. Transfer cooked donuts to the rack over the cookie sheet and smear ‘em with your glaze. Continue until you’re out of donuts, genius, and then eat them.

- Tess


Jun 7
I could eat cheesy potatoes every day.

I could eat cheesy potatoes every day.


Apr 10

Apr 8
yipster:

The Ubiquitous Potluck
Most of my friends don’t cook. I get it. I used to hate cooking too. 
When you’re cooking for yourself, you end up with leftovers and a lot of dishes to do. When you cook for someone else, sometimes there’s pressure to wow them with something fantastic or provide them with an entree and three sides and bread and candles on the table and where are all the clean knives? What I’m saying is: you have to be in the mood. A potluck, however, is different. Your responsibility begins and ends with one dish, and you don’t have to figure out how to carve a chicken.
Without further ado, here are my favorite potluck recipes:
1. Scalloped Potatoes
Ingredients
4 large Yukon Gold potatoes (White Rose work well too)
1 pint of heavy cream
1/2 cup milk (if needed, depending on the size of your taters)
1 cup grated Gruyere cheese
2 cloves of garlic
1 tsp thyme (fresh is best, stems removed; dry will work fine as well)
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 375 (if you have a convection oven, this will work well. A normal oven does just dandy too). Get out a baking pan (I use a glass Pyrex, about 8x6x2) and rub it with a halved clove of garlic, then grease with butter on the bottom and sides. Wash, peel and slice your potatoes about 1/8” thick (a little thicker is fine, it’ll just mean more time on the stove) and keep them in a bowl of ice water while you work. When your potatoes are sliced, put them in a medium-sized pot and barely cover them with the cream (if the potatoes aren’t covered, add some milk — the liquid should ALMOST cover the potatoes). Add thyme, salt and pepper, and bring to a simmer. Keep cooking the potatoes over medium-low heat until the cream has thickened and the potato slices split when you pierce them with a fork, about 10 minutes. Add Gruyere and stir to incorporate, then transfer the contents of the pot into your baking dish. Pop into the oven for 25 - 45 minutes, until the top is golden brown and bubbly. Allow to sit for 10 minutes at room temperature before serving.
2. Summer Tomato Salad
Ingredients
6 tomatoes, preferably Heirloom because they’re the bomb, washed
2 shallots, peeled and minced
1 tsp fresh tarragon, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
salt and pepper
Chop your tomatoes into large chunks and dry them on a paper towel. Scoop out some of the seeds and goopy tomato insides and throw them away. Place tomatoes in a bowl with shallots, vinegar, tarragon, olive oil and pepper (omit the salt until the tomatoes are ready to serve — the salt will draw out too much moisture from the tomatoes as they marinate if you add it now). Let them sit, covered with saran wrap in a bowl, for about 30 minutes to an hour. Before you serve, add some coarse salt and mix well. (Also: If you have a grill pan, get some good bread and slice it about 1/2” thick. Grease your grill pan with olive oil and lightly grill the slices of bread to serve with the tomatoes.)
3. Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower
Ingredients
2 large broccoli crowns, stems trimmed, rinsed well
2 large cauliflower crowns, stems trimmed, rinsed well
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp lemon zest
1 clove of garlic, finely minced
salt and pepper
Preheat your oven to 425 and line a baking sheet with foil. In a bowl, mix the minced garlic, lemon zest, chili powder and olive oil. Break your cauliflower and broccoli into roughly same-sized florets. Toss them with the olive oil mixture, arrange them in one layer on the baking sheet, and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Roast at 425 for 15 - 30 minutes, depending on how crispy you want your veggies. 
4. Candied Maple Bacon
Ingredients
12 slices bacon (Nueske’s is the best, any thicker cut will do)
1/2 cup grade A maple syrup
1/2 cup brown sugar
Preheat your oven to 375. Line a baking sheet with foil and get out a metal rack. In a bowl, mix together the brown sugar and maple syrup. If you’re in a serious pinch about the rack, you can slice a few apples very thick and roast the bacon on top of it, but the rack is best (less moisture in the oven = crispier results). Place the bacon in a single layer on the rack (you can do this in shifts, as the bacon doesn’t take too long to cook). With the back of a large spoon, smear the maple mixture over each slice of bacon. You can play around with the amount of syrup/sugar you apply, but most of the excess will drip off, so don’t go too crazy (the sugar will smoke, so turn on a fan). Place the bacon in the oven and check on it after 10 minutes — you will be ready to flip the bacon when it has started to look slippery and translucent. Flip bacon and apply maple mixture to the other side, and continue to cook for 10-20 minutes, until bacon is crisp and dark golden brown. Allow to sit on the rack for 5 minutes, then place on a plate to harden for about 5 more minutes. The bacon is great on its own or with (or even crumbled inside) cornbread or muffins.

yipster:

The Ubiquitous Potluck

Most of my friends don’t cook. I get it. I used to hate cooking too. 

When you’re cooking for yourself, you end up with leftovers and a lot of dishes to do. When you cook for someone else, sometimes there’s pressure to wow them with something fantastic or provide them with an entree and three sides and bread and candles on the table and where are all the clean knives? What I’m saying is: you have to be in the mood. A potluck, however, is different. Your responsibility begins and ends with one dish, and you don’t have to figure out how to carve a chicken.

Without further ado, here are my favorite potluck recipes:

1. Scalloped Potatoes

Ingredients

4 large Yukon Gold potatoes (White Rose work well too)

1 pint of heavy cream

1/2 cup milk (if needed, depending on the size of your taters)

1 cup grated Gruyere cheese

2 cloves of garlic

1 tsp thyme (fresh is best, stems removed; dry will work fine as well)

salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 (if you have a convection oven, this will work well. A normal oven does just dandy too). Get out a baking pan (I use a glass Pyrex, about 8x6x2) and rub it with a halved clove of garlic, then grease with butter on the bottom and sides. Wash, peel and slice your potatoes about 1/8” thick (a little thicker is fine, it’ll just mean more time on the stove) and keep them in a bowl of ice water while you work. When your potatoes are sliced, put them in a medium-sized pot and barely cover them with the cream (if the potatoes aren’t covered, add some milk — the liquid should ALMOST cover the potatoes). Add thyme, salt and pepper, and bring to a simmer. Keep cooking the potatoes over medium-low heat until the cream has thickened and the potato slices split when you pierce them with a fork, about 10 minutes. Add Gruyere and stir to incorporate, then transfer the contents of the pot into your baking dish. Pop into the oven for 25 - 45 minutes, until the top is golden brown and bubbly. Allow to sit for 10 minutes at room temperature before serving.

2. Summer Tomato Salad

Ingredients

6 tomatoes, preferably Heirloom because they’re the bomb, washed

2 shallots, peeled and minced

1 tsp fresh tarragon, minced

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp red wine vinegar

salt and pepper

Chop your tomatoes into large chunks and dry them on a paper towel. Scoop out some of the seeds and goopy tomato insides and throw them away. Place tomatoes in a bowl with shallots, vinegar, tarragon, olive oil and pepper (omit the salt until the tomatoes are ready to serve — the salt will draw out too much moisture from the tomatoes as they marinate if you add it now). Let them sit, covered with saran wrap in a bowl, for about 30 minutes to an hour. Before you serve, add some coarse salt and mix well. (Also: If you have a grill pan, get some good bread and slice it about 1/2” thick. Grease your grill pan with olive oil and lightly grill the slices of bread to serve with the tomatoes.)

3. Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower

Ingredients

2 large broccoli crowns, stems trimmed, rinsed well

2 large cauliflower crowns, stems trimmed, rinsed well

1/2 tsp chili powder

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 tsp lemon zest

1 clove of garlic, finely minced

salt and pepper

Preheat your oven to 425 and line a baking sheet with foil. In a bowl, mix the minced garlic, lemon zest, chili powder and olive oil. Break your cauliflower and broccoli into roughly same-sized florets. Toss them with the olive oil mixture, arrange them in one layer on the baking sheet, and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Roast at 425 for 15 - 30 minutes, depending on how crispy you want your veggies. 

4. Candied Maple Bacon

Ingredients

12 slices bacon (Nueske’s is the best, any thicker cut will do)

1/2 cup grade A maple syrup

1/2 cup brown sugar

Preheat your oven to 375. Line a baking sheet with foil and get out a metal rack. In a bowl, mix together the brown sugar and maple syrup. If you’re in a serious pinch about the rack, you can slice a few apples very thick and roast the bacon on top of it, but the rack is best (less moisture in the oven = crispier results). Place the bacon in a single layer on the rack (you can do this in shifts, as the bacon doesn’t take too long to cook). With the back of a large spoon, smear the maple mixture over each slice of bacon. You can play around with the amount of syrup/sugar you apply, but most of the excess will drip off, so don’t go too crazy (the sugar will smoke, so turn on a fan). Place the bacon in the oven and check on it after 10 minutes — you will be ready to flip the bacon when it has started to look slippery and translucent. Flip bacon and apply maple mixture to the other side, and continue to cook for 10-20 minutes, until bacon is crisp and dark golden brown. Allow to sit on the rack for 5 minutes, then place on a plate to harden for about 5 more minutes. The bacon is great on its own or with (or even crumbled inside) cornbread or muffins.


Apr 5

Mar 30

Uses For Your Deep-Fat Fryer #305: Belgian Fries

This is how you make the dope fries in your deep fat fryer. I don’t do sauces for fries. I like my fries with salt and eaten immediately. If you want a sauce, may I point you toward this aioli? This method uses the old double-fry, first cooking the potatoes at a low temperature, then allowing them to reach room temperature, and then frying them again at 375 until crispy. They have a deep potato flavor, a rich dark color, and they’re floppy in the center after a few minutes at room temp. Kind of like the fries at the Hungry Cat. Only awesomer.

YOU WILL NEED:

A big container of oil. Bigger than you think. You want Canola.

5 medium-sized potatoes (Russett or Yukon Gold), scrubbed

Salt

SET UP YOUR WORKSPACE:

Other than your fryer, you will need 2 cookie sheets lined with dry paper towels (and many more paper towels on hand), a strainer set over a bowl, and a heatproof slotted spoon (if you don’t have a fry basket). You will also need a large bowl of ice water.

FRIIIIIES:

Set your fryer for 320 degrees. Make sure it reaches 320 again before you put a new batch of fries in — keep that in mind while you fry. Slice the potatoes, lengthwise; the thickness is really your call. Then cut into sticks. I did mine thin, and they were way good. Maybe you should trust me and slice yours into thin sticks too. Okay, now pop those tater sticks into the ice water to chill while you work. When all of your cut potatoes are in the water, change the water and add more ice a few times, until the water runs clear.

Drain the chilled potatoes and put them on one of your cookie sheets, blotting them dry. Now fry them in the 320-degree oil, in batches. Don’t overcrowd — I did about 5 batches, or a batch per potato. Allow to cook for 2-3 minutes, until the fries are floating and turning gold but NOT done in the center, then pop them onto your other cookie sheet lined with paper, to drain, while you work on the rest of your potatoes. When you’ve finished your last batch, crank the heat of your fryer up to 375 and go sit down somewhere nearby for at least 15 minutes while your fries come to room temperature. I don’t know why this is important, but it is. It was in a forum I read.

ROUND TWO

Fry your potatoes in batches at 375. Watch them carefully — they will turn from perfect to burned very quickly. My thin fries took about 3 minutes to achieve the deep golden brown I was looking for. When you’ve finished a batch, shake the fry basket (or scoop out with a slotted spoon, working as quickly as possible without killing yourself in the sideways rain of oil that may or may not be spraying at you) over the strainer you’ve set in a bowl, douse with salt, and then move to your serving container. Breeze through those batches like a pro. You’ve got this. When you’re done, sit down and eat them all. Eat them with Belgian beer and your fancy sauce or just coarse salt.


New Ben & Jerry’s flavors at Serious Eats: Boston Cream Pie and Milk and Cookies, I DARE YOU TO STAND UP TO MISSION TO MARZIPAN.

BRING IT.

New Ben & Jerry’s flavors at Serious Eats: Boston Cream Pie and Milk and Cookies, I DARE YOU TO STAND UP TO MISSION TO MARZIPAN.

BRING IT.


Mar 3
lifeserial:

It is 5:29PM on the California coast of the Pacific Ocean! It is still Wednesday. EVERYBODY SCREAM!
In the dead of this afternoon I whipped up a batch of homemade ice cream. It’s Samoa ice cream. I crushed an entire box of those delicious cookies to bring you this photo. It’s just something that I do. There might even be some girl scout in there. This is the Internet, so you never know.

I haven’t posted in so long. I’m so sorry. I’ve been eating, I’ve just been repeating recipes. I’ll hit you up with some new foodstuffs soon, but for now, project your fantasies on this.

lifeserial:

It is 5:29PM on the California coast of the Pacific Ocean! It is still Wednesday. EVERYBODY SCREAM!

In the dead of this afternoon I whipped up a batch of homemade ice cream. It’s Samoa ice cream. I crushed an entire box of those delicious cookies to bring you this photo. It’s just something that I do. There might even be some girl scout in there. This is the Internet, so you never know.

I haven’t posted in so long. I’m so sorry. I’ve been eating, I’ve just been repeating recipes. I’ll hit you up with some new foodstuffs soon, but for now, project your fantasies on this.


Feb 16

Cornbread

Try this now please.

1 box Jiffy cornbread mix

1 egg

1/3 cup buttermilk

1/2 block of cream cheese, softened on low power for about 30 seconds in the microwave

Sprinkle of brown sugar

Sprinkle of salt

Preheat oven to 400 and grease a glass or ceramic loaf pan (or square pan). In a bowl, combine corn bread mix, egg, buttermilk, and cream cheese until well blended. Spread batter around evenly, then top with brown sugar and salt. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.


Feb 4

Jan 30

What’s For Dinner?

Spaghetti with Pecorino Romano, Pancetta and Black Pepper

I’m stealing this recipe from this week’s The Week, but I’m adding pancetta because I am a wild and crazy lady.

The Week says: “This Roman dish is ‘the best quick meal’ we’ve ever tasted, said Yvonne Ruperti in Cook’s Illustrated. Though made with ‘just three main ingredients (cheese, pepper and pasta),’ it can still be tricky. To keep this ‘Roman spaghetti party’ from turning into a cheesy clump, we found a simple answer: add cream.”

Ingredients

6 oz Pecorino Romano, 2 cups finely grated and 1 cup coarsely grated

1 LB spaghetti

table salt

2 TBSP heavy cream

2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil

1 1/2 tsp finely ground black pepper

A handful of pancetta, pan-fried until crisp

Place finely grated Pecorino Romano in medium bowl. Set colander inside large bowl. Bring 2 quarts water to boil in large Dutch oven. Add pasta and 1 1/2 tsp salt; cook, stirring frequently, until al dente. Drain pasta into colander, reserving cooking water. Pour 1 1/2 cups cooking water into liquid measuring cup and discard remainder; return pasta to now-empty bowl. Slowly whisk 1 cup of reserved pasta water into finely grated cheese until smooth. Whisk in cream, oil, and black pepper. Gradually pour mixture over pasta, tossing to coat. Add pancetta and toss again. Let pasta rest 1 to 2 minutes, tossing frequently, adjusting consistency with remaining pasta water. Serve, passing coarsely grated Pecorino Romano separately. Serves 4-6.


Jan 18
my mom made cassoulet. i can’t eat it either, being on another coast.
:(

my mom made cassoulet. i can’t eat it either, being on another coast.

:(


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