November, 2006 Archive

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

sundried tomato stuffed mushrooms

sundried tomato stuffed mushrooms

I’m so torn today, people. I’m trying to maintain that whole stiff upper lip thing because complaining that waah, my shoulder hurts more, and boo, the bruises are getting uglier and also, my left foot is mysteriously swollen, isn’t going to solve anything. I mean, bitching and moaning? I hear there’s a real shortage of that on the internet. On the other hand, sometimes just the smallest amount of venting — petty as it may be — is all it takes so simply get over oneself. I mean, I fell down the stairs, did I think the next couple weeks were going to be a cinch? Like, duh.

But since I’ve already slipped into my less-savory side for the moment, can I mention the big purchase Alex and I made last week? The thing I’ve been wanting forever and finally managed to justify the expense? That thing would be ice skates. I think they’ll arrive today. Raise your hand if you think I should go ice-skating with a bruised shin and my dominant-side shoulder in a sling. Hello? Anybody? So there’s that, too. (But its sweet the way everybody is trying to protect me from myself.)

sundried tomato stuffed mushrooms

Continued after the jump »

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

tomato and sausage risotto

tomato and sausage risotto

Alex cooked dinner last night and, oh, what a meal he made! Two weeks ago, my mother forwarded me this Tomato and Sausage Risotto recipe from her Martha Stewart Everyday Food newsletter — like it surprises you that it runs in the family — with only the caption “this was very good.” I have been meaning to make it ever since, but I guess we can argue I lost my chance. As I put together a grocery order on Saturday night, aligning it to recipes Alex would want to cook this week and food I could assemble for myself while working at home, this risotto was at the top.

alex cooks

Because it’s fantastic! And really, how could it not be? Mom recommends it. It’s thick, hearty, actually contains flesh (something of a rarity on this site, I realize) and enough greens that if you’re too tuckered out to also assemble a salad, oh, it’s already in there. Of interest to nobody but me, it’s also ridiculously easy to eat with one hand, so gloppy and chunky in all of the best ways, as well as a most delicious of one-bowl meals.

And then he did the dishes.

Continued after the jump »

Monday, November 13, 2006

no-knead bread

no-knead bread

While I know I’m not the first food blogger to post about the magical, no-knead bread of Jim Lahey at the Sullivan Street Bakery fame in the five whole days since The New York Times published the recipe, since I am the only one to do it one-handed, I believe I should win. (Also, please tell me you know I am joking.) But really, we all win because… Look, just make this bread, okay? It’s dense and chewy, but unbelievably moist. The crust is crisp but not leathery, you don’t need to gnash your teeth and injure your gums to get through it. The loaf rivals even the most exciting results of my fifteen hours of bread-baking classes, and aside from the part where Alex will be furious because I didn’t wait for him to get home and endangered myself lifting a 19-lb 450 degree pot out of the oven, it can totally be done one-handed.

holes like swiss cheese!

This is why the bread is so vastly superior to other loaves: one, it has a very wet, sticky dough. Yeast loves this; it’s the ideal environment for it to invade and multiply. But, breads this wet are nearly impossible to knead – it’s more like smearing dough across the counter, doable, but not very pleasant. Two, it uses very little yeast and less is always more in bread-making. Sure, a bread that requires nearly a tablespoon of yeast is super-speedy to make, but it doesn’t have as much time to develop all of the rich flavor and texture in a long-tenured rise. Finally, as Bittman notes in the article, the bread is a dream-come-true because that crazy step at the end – baking it in a covered Dutch oven, or a casserole dish if you don’t have one – creates a misty, humid environment like the one introduced in the early stages in a professional bread oven. This moisture keeps the bread chewy and delightful, and allows for a dreamy crust to form.

no-knead bread

Continued after the jump »

Sunday, November 12, 2006

the opposite of suffering

chocolate samples

To stop this pity party in it’s tracks, let me tell you what I have actually done this weekend, because I got to say that aside from the obvious unpleasantries — a smattering of bruises on my every appendage, the inability to put my hair in a ponytail or even put socks on without help, embarrassment of having my husband cut up my food for me in a restaurant and no wine (!) because it mixes disastrously with Advil in me — it’s been pretty sweet.

murray's everything bagel

Saturday started with one of the great one-hand-able foods of New York: the Murray’s whole wheat everything bagel. Murray’s is one of but six places left in the city that still make bagels the old-school way: by hand, with malt and always boiled. Just don’t ask them to toast them, because they’re almost always right out of the oven. I’ve got a near-constant hankering for their low-fat scallion cream cheese, but I’ve, you know, heard from other people that their strawberry cream cheese? Tastes like danish and is mildly addictive.

cringe!

Continued after the jump »

Saturday, November 11, 2006

excuses, excuses

hazy shade of skyline

First let me tell you how last night was supposed to go, because I’m telling you, it was going to be lovely. I’d finally convinced Alex that it had been long enough since our last visit to Tabla’s Bread Bar — which as many long-time readers might know, is only my most favored restaurant in the entire world — that it would be only right to get back there, stat. [Plus, OMG, Floyd Cardoz just came out with a cookbook! Like last week! I know, I can't believe I haven't bought it yet either! Breathe.] The plan was to meet there at 6 p.m. and then after — psst, this is the really cool part — go to the observation deck at the Empire State Building. I’ve never been, but read recently that it’s now open until 2 a.m. on Thursdays through Saturdays and is actually remarkably empty as it gets later. Yesterday was warm and clear, a real November treat, and I could not imagine a better time to go.

So, I folded up the tripod, the telephoto lens, the remote clicker and our camera, tucked the in two bags and I’m sorry, but this is the bad part… I fell down the stairs. I just… I was carrying stuff and wearing heels and rushing and I’m pretty freaking clumsy anyhow and all of these factors came together in the worst possible was between the third and second-floor landings. It scared the living crap out of me, as you can imagine, kind of watching it happen but not able to stop it or know how it will end. I thought I was okay, I mean I am here, right? but as it has actually turned out, I fractured my clavicle. (The camera and lenses are, remarkably okay, er, a little less so, the evidence of my ass-over-teakettle tumble on the freshly-painted stairway wall.) I can’t believe it either; it sucks quite a bit in terms of discomfort, sling and have I mentioned that I’m left-handed and guess what? So, there’s that too. But, it could have been so much worse and I’m only supposed to be sling-ed up for two or three weeks and look, I typed this whole thing with my right hand! (Thankfully, the same side as the backspace key.)

Continued after the jump »


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