January, 2008 Archive

Thursday, January 31, 2008

candied grapefruit peels

grapefruit peels, step 10

This all started with Homesick Texan. No wait, this all started with last year’s orangettes, to this day one of the most popular posts on this site. No wait, this all started with a lifelong (can you say that? when you’re just 31?) love of grapefruits. My favorite way to eat them is the same exact way my mom showed me, halved in a bowl with each section loosened with a arched, double-serrated grapefruit knife. First, I’d pop all of the sections into my mouth in probably under two minutes flat. But then, then came the “grapefruit soup,” I’d call it. Mom would help us scrape all of the residual grapefruit bits into the bowl, then squeeeze every last bit of juice, discard the empty shell of a peel and this, this my friends is the best grapefruit juice you’ll ever drink in your life. You must drink it straight from the bowl. I could live on it, and it alone.

grapefruit peels, step 1grapefruit peels, step 2grapefruit peels, step 4grapefruit peels, step 3

Which brings us to the Homesick Texan, who mentioned in December that “everyone knows the juiciest, largest and sweetest ruby red grapefruit comes from the Rio Grande Valley” and it was funny, because I hadn’t known that at all. But given the price of the grapefruits we’d been seeing in the stores ($2 a pop), their sorry state (dented but still appallingly shiny with wax) and their flavor (average at best) I was just itching to find out. So, we ordered ourselves a little sampler from South Texas Organics and quite a few days later were presented with exactly what we were promised: the very best ruby red grapefruits, from South Texas.

Continued after the jump »

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

rigatoni with eggplant puree

rigatoni with eggplant puree

Seeing as I am never short on opinion on anything–most especially when it comes to many Food Network chefs that so often grace my television set, Alex calls the Sunday noontime shows my “stories”–I can’t believe I haven’t previously said a single word about Giada DeLaurentis. Let me redress that right now: I really want to like her–and no, not in the way that my husband does (busted!). I’ll see her cooking something and it always looks pretty good and like it could be tasty, but never, and I mean ever, do I feel any great need to cook the recipe for myself.

roasted eggplant, tomatoes

I think what it comes down to is that all of her recipes seem to be missing a little something, something that would make it more interesting. Like, you made pesto and added a swapped out a little mint for basil? Whoa. Where’d you come up with that! You add crushed almond cookies over an ice cream sundae to give it an “authentic Italian flavor”? I’m bowled over, here. But less sarcastically: does this actually improve it, or just make it different?

Continued after the jump »

Sunday, January 27, 2008

key lime cheesecake

key lime cheesecakes

I can’t believe I haven’t told you yet about this Key Lime Cheesecake; I have some nerve, don’t I? And I suppose I could get into its texture (dreamy), flavor (bright and promising), topping (thin strips of mango tossed in lime juice) but it wouldn’t be honest of me, as I really only made these for one reason last weekend. Take a look at this bottle; could there be a more enticing Wish You Were Here sign? I take one look at it and just want to yell: I’m coming for you!

key lime juice

Alas, it is still quite January outside in New York, this might be the only piece of Key West we’re getting for several months. But not unlike what I was thinking when I made those lemon bars or that anything-but-clementine clafoutis this month, I hoped that a focus on bright, sunny citrus fruits would take some of the drudgery out of mid-winter. Did it work? Perhaps not, but it was delicious nonetheless.

Continued after the jump »

Thursday, January 24, 2008

leek and swiss chard tart

leek and swiss chard tart

What’s on your list? You know, the running one you keep in your head, in a series of Post-It notes spread across all surfaces of your life, or if you are particularly scary kooky, on a spreadsheet? Me, I’ve got several lists. There’s the Apartment Want This list, because, oh, how I covet the home furnishings; the Go Here list, which holds my in- and outside NYC destination dreams; the Read This list, which I pretty much avoid, and the Listen to This list with all of the music I would like to download and shake my booty arrhythmically to were I not fascistly opposed to DRM.

leeks

Then there is the Cook This list, all 300+ items long. This one neither makes me feel bad about my financial limitations (like the Apartment list), vacation time availability (like the Go Here list), my Web-ruined attention span when it comes to content running more than 500 words (like the Read This list), or what happens when you let a bunch of people in board rooms decide how music should be sold (like the Listen list). Sure, I don’t have time to get to all of the items on the Cook This list, but that’s not the point.

Continued after the jump »

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

anything-but-clementine clafoutis

clementine segments

Sometimes I cook things even though I have significant doubts that they will be in any way delicious. Why is this, how is this so, you ask? Because I live in a mental place I affectionately call Hope. I wish to be surprised. I aspire to be wrong from time to time (though not, as Alex can but probably will not argue, because he is polite, too often, and certainly not if it would make him right) because if the sum of the parts that together comprise the world as I know it is all there is, I’d be kind of bummed. I’d be kind of bored.

clementines

Often enough, things exceed my expectations. There are better-than-Campbell’s Cream of Tomato Soups, there is Fennel Ice Cream and Red Velvet Cake and, loudest as of late, there is brining.

Continued after the jump »


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