December, 2006 Archive
The way I see it, you’ve got almost two days to make some resolutions and so I’d like to gently bug you about one thing: have you made the no-knead bread yet? I suspect that you haven’t. I suspect that despite swarming hoards of eager testers praising its armor-like crust and skyscraper heights of flavor, you are still thinking “Its yeast. It must be scary.” Well, I think that resolutions of eating less and this time you really mean it, reading books which really do bore you and to say more nice things about your people you don’t like is truly overrated, and not that you asked, but I think we should all instead choose to treat ourselves better, that we should seek out richer, brighter and more satiating experiences. I hope you have an excellent new year.
Despite it being an amateurish cliché, blaming your mother and all, I have to insist because it’s completely her fault that that anything less than Julia Child’s coq au vin with brown-braised baby onions and sautéed mushrooms on Tuesday night would be inedible, cruel beyond comparison. You see, she is the one who after reading the post about my unending obsession with Paris and French food, bought me My Life in France, which is akin to putting a loaded, I don’t know — egg beater? in my infatuated hands. I am but 75 pages into the book and I’m ready (and not for the first time) to book my one-way ticket. If nothing else, I plan to hold my breath or at least cut off bacon-and-meat kitchen dallies until my husband sends me to the Cordon Bleu.
I know that two days after Christmas, it’s impossible to be anything but cookie-d out, but I implore you to make room for just two more: one flawless recipe, and one baker’s trick that everyone should have in their repertoires.
My in-laws had a cocktail party on Saturday night and in case you are new here, what this meant was that there was so much food, just the of plating of the appetizers took four people nearly an hour. (It also means that although there was much conversation and liveliness, I captured none of it. “Alex, what are they laughing at?” “He told a joke.” “What was it?” “It was funny.” “Thanks.”)
I confess that I roll my eyes a bit at the overhearing of some new truffle recipe. I don’t mean to over-simplify them — yes, fabulous chocolatiers from time to time find new ways to flavor, construct or adorn these decadent orbs of Awesome — but it all simmers down to the same thing: they’re just firm ganache, and ganache is just melted chocolate mixed with cream.
Short and sweet today, like me after my morning latte — bah! If you are feeling positively sugared out but you still have days of office baked goods and well-intentioned gift bags to go, I offer up this antidote: parmesan black-pepper biscotti. Oh, it’s indulgent but in a way that is precisely 180-degrees from the half of the coconut lemon bar I did not just scarf down. (It was homemade! From scratch! I have principles, you know.) Bright and sharp, accented with mini ka-pows of black pepper, it pairs so well with red wine, eating it without may leave you with a distinct Chianti-tinged longing. Or it would if you’re a wino like me.