March, 2008 Archive

Monday, March 17, 2008

pasta with cauliflower, walnuts and feta

pasta with cauliflower, walnuts and feta

Do you ever have those recipes where are you just positively, absolutely certain that they will be terrible and that you shouldn’t make them… and yet, you are inexplicably drawn to them and know they’re not going to stop nudging you until you cave? Right, so this was one of those.

You see, several years ago, I was watching some undoubtedly average “healthy cooking” show where the chef suggested that one take half the pasta they wish to eat, replace it with chunks of cauliflower, boil them together and then cover it with marinara sauce. Even though I never made it or even considered making it, it turned my stomach so much that to this day, I can’t seem to forget it. Yes, let’s cook cauliflower in the least appetizing way possible because it is “health food.” Right. Where do I sign up?!

cauliflower

This was among the reasons that I approached the this dish from my other new favorite cookbook, Chez Panisse Vegetables, with great trepidation. It involved several things that give me pause, the first being that combination of cauliflower and pasta which reminded me of that fateful, stomach-turning show. Yet the cauliflower was just one of the things that so far exceeded my expectations of this dish, we are actually venturing into “mind was blown” territory–crunchy, nutty and this might be the only way I cook it for now on. (Just kidding! Er, maybe.)

Continued after the jump »

Friday, March 14, 2008

butterscotch ice cream

butterscotch ice cream

Everyone needs a motto, an inspirational catchphrase or a daily affirmation and at least for the duration of this post, mine is going to have to be: when life gives you stupid, annoying pudding that never, ever sets, make ice cream. What? You don’t think it will work for t-shirts and taglines? I’m crushed.

butter

But I have, indeed, come a long way from my late-February butterscotch pudding nadir. On the heels of the Valentines-timed chocolate pudding rave, it occurred to me that the world really needs more pudding recipes. They’re a great thing to master–not too difficult, not too heavy and complete and total comfort food. And while some (coughmomcough) have tried the chocolate pudding and still feel that it doesn’t have much on her beloved My-T-Fine [Deb shakes head in shame, clucks tongue] it is impossible to argue that store-bought or from-a-mix butterscotch pudding has any relation whatsoever to that which is coaxed from a brown sugar, vanilla and bourbon-hinted caramel.

making butterscotch

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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

four cool things plus white bean stew

fast white bean stew

  • It only took us four months, but we have finally set up a store where those of you who are interested can buy prints of our photos. We ordered a couple of prints a few weeks ago to verify that the quality was what we had hoped, and were pleased with the results. We hope that you will be too. We’ve uploaded some of our favorite photos, but if there are any photos from our Flickr page or from this site’s archives that you’d like to purchase, just let us know and we’ll add it to the store. Unfortunately, you will find that many of our older pictures are not big enough to yield more than a small print–believe me, we’re kicking ourselves too! [The Smitten Kitchen Photo Store]

smitten kitchen on smugmug

  • If you’ve made a recipe from this site and left a note about it in the comments, created a link to it from your blog, or tagged it with “smittenkitchen” on Flickr, I have probably checked it out because I simply love to see how these things work out for you, and what you may have done to adapt it. However, this is not the most efficient system, so when a brilliant commenter suggested yesterday that we create a smitten kitchen Flickr photo pool, I jumped right on it. This group is open to anyone who posts pictures on Flickr, and I can’t wait to see what you add to it. And yes, bonus points will be awarded for pictures of said baked goods accompanied by puppies or babies. [Smitten Kitchen Recipes Photo Pool]
  • Dedicated food bloggers Elise, Kalyn and Alanna teamed up to create something I think the Web has been missing for some time: a custom food blog search engine. Powered by only the best–Google Search–it includes results from over one thousand food blogs. Nowhere but food blogs will you see recipes tested and reviewed with such enthusiasm and imagery. I use this resource so often, I put a widget for it in the sidebar, as well, but you can just bookmark the foodblogsearch.com. The darling imagery was created by Loberstersquad’s Ximena. [FoodBlogSearch.com, a custom search engine]

can beans be hot?

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Monday, March 10, 2008

hazelnut brown butter cake

hazelnut brown butter cake

Last month, someone emailed me to ask how I’d suggest she adapt the Icebox Cake to feed 30 to 40 people. Anyone who has ever emailed me to ask me a question before probably knows what happened next: I answered at least 10 (cough 20) days after the fact. Nevertheless, she assured me that she’d scaled it just fine and her husband and hers joint birthday part was wonderful, or at least I think this is what she said because I do not remember a single word that passed between us after she uttered what have to be the four most beautiful words in the dessert lexicon: Hazelnut. Brown. Butter. Cake.

[Insert sound of tires screeching to a halt.]

vanilla beans

“Did you say someone made a Hazelnut Brown Butter Cake?”
“It’s from Sunday Suppers at Lucques and not to torment you or anything, but I am eating a piece right now.”

[Insert sound of Deb fainting to the floor. Or something equally melodramatic. Because nobody feeds me, ever.]

oregon hazelnutstoasted hazelnuts

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Friday, March 7, 2008

roasted acorn squash and gorgonzola pizza

roasted acorn squash and gorgonzola "pizza"

All right, this is just not pizza. I mean, maybe it is pizza-like or pizza-esque or even pizza-ish, but I have a terrifically hard time calling it pizza. In fact, when I saw Giada DeLaurentis make this on her Food Network show last weekend (I seem to have broken a seal with her, no?) all I could think was “that’s not pizza!” and then hmm, that would be a fun Sunday night dinner. So, I did the only rational thing: I decided to not call it pizza. In fact, as soon as I started to think of this as a flat bread, an open panini or an assembly of some of my favorite things, the deliciousness near-overwhelmed me.

flatbread

So, let us take this apart, shall we? We start with a thin layer of pizza dough. You can use my easy-as-sin one, though I have myself moved onto the just as easy wine-and-honey version I updated a few months back. If you don’t feel like making your own, I’m really not doing my job here, but nevertheless, feel free to pick up one from your local pizza joint (what, you don’t have one on your block?) or grocery store. The recipe calls for a one-pound dough, though my homemade one clocked in at 13.5 ounces and, lo, the world did not end.

acorn squashroasted acorn squash

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