March, 2007 Archive

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

mighty russian morsels

russian black bread

Bored of tapas? Over at NPR, I have a guided tour of Russian hors d’oeuvres, called zakuski, each as unsubtle, garlicky and brined as you should expect from my husband’s pickled-crazed people. It includes recipes for my mother-in-law’s famous eggplant caviar, Georgian kidney bean salad, salted mushrooms and the most complex, flavorful best black bread I have ever eaten. I hope you love it as much as we do.

Elsewhere: Mighty Russian Morsels

Monday, March 12, 2007

italian bread

peter reinhart's italian bread

A few weeks ago, in my ninth entry into my bread category, I expressed my desire to take this whole yeast/flour/water/tada! thing a step further, and begged for some cookbook guidance. At the end of it, with almost equal votes for Rose Levy Beranbaum’s Bread Bible and Peter Reinhart’s Bread Maker’s Apprentice, I was still torn, changing my mind back and forth until the final seconds of my order, eventually settling on the latter. On the day it arrived, I tore into it, certain that something would jump right off the page, and I’d be up to my elbows in flour, once again, that night. Instead, the opposite happened—I froze with terror. Bigas and poolishes and oh my god, all of these steps and seriously, are there any breads you can make in just a few hours and really, it was very humbling. And just like that, my fairy godmother of cookbooks found a way to deposit Berenbaum’s tome on my front step, equally intimidating. I was certain that I was completely over my head, silly to think that taking something one step further wouldn’t be such an involved process. What did I think it would be? One, two, three and then you’re Poilane?

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Saturday, March 10, 2007

strawberry rhubarb pecan loaf

strawberry rhubarb pecan cake

I should apologize for the lewdness of this title—or perhaps you should, for that gutter mind—but I’ve always been endlessly amused by the “put some South in your mouth” logo painted on the wall of the Carolina BBQ joint and frat-boys-living-out-their-glory-days haven, Brother Jimmy’s. Really, it’s just about the only thing I enjoyed about the place the innumerable times a certain ex-boyfriend of mine with a ACC basketball bent dragged me there under duress or pleading. The bar’s menu consists things like fried pickles, green tomatoes and corn fritters and something frightening called a “flaming pig pick,” and while I am not one to argue that these are indeed Southeastern flavors, my associations have always been in sweeter, homier places: berry pies, cobblers and pretty much anything that has known, been adjacent to or looked at a pecan in it’s life.

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Wednesday, March 7, 2007

sav’h

oh sun

Every time, and really, it’s never often enough, that I escape the ankle-deep slush and relentless face-paralyzing gusts of wind that New York City is so fond of thrusting at us for warmer climates, I’m always bewildered when I arrive. Wait, it is spring here? It’s usually like this? Did the weatherman just say to take out your winter coat because it’s going to be 50 today? And then, there’s always the great undressing, so much less exciting than it sounds unless you were me on Saturday, stepping outside without a sweater, tights, tall boots, scarf, hat, gloves and thick down jacket for the first time in months, light as a feather, happy as a clam, albeit with the skin cast of someone who had just crawled out from under a rock. Ah sunshine. How we’ve missed thee.

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Thursday, March 1, 2007

hamataschen + five details

hamantaschen

I have been tagged by Cathy at one of my favorite new (to me) food blogs, Not Eating Out In New York, to tell you five things you might already not know about me. I find her site—and those pickles!—impossible to resist, so here we go:

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