May, 2008 Archive

Monday, May 5, 2008

dulce de leche ice cream

dulce de leche ice cream

Two weeks ago, I had the honor to meet one of the people who has been reading this site in all of its incarnations for so long, she probably knows me better than I do. And yet she still wanted to meet me for lunch! The lovely Marce and I had a weekday lunch on a stunning day at Tabla’s Bread Bar, sitting outside discussing cameras and childcare, the food in Buenos Aires and the freelance life. It was fantastic, and not only because I can never resist an opportunity to have lunch at the Bread Bar but because she brought me…

a gift from marce

A jar of dulce de leche from Argentina! I thought I’d won the lottery. I know that aside from being practically the national dish, it’s no big deal to find a jar a grocery store down there but I didn’t know that there is like a whole supermarket aisle of it! I … I think it’s safe to say that it’s best I never find myself in that aisle. It would get sticky; I’d never be invited back.

Of course, I immediately started scheming what I could make with it, but I wanted to be really cautious about not picking a recipe that would bury the dulce’s charms. Oh, I loved those Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Squares as much as you all did in January, but said then and maintain now that the dulce flavor was not particularly strong in the delicious end product. When someone lugs a one-pound tub of this caramel of the gods more than 5,000 miles to you, you want to treat it with the utmost respect.

a tub of awesome

Continued after the jump »

Thursday, May 1, 2008

green bean and cherry tomato salad

green bean and tomato salad

As soon as the weather gets sweeter outside, I lose all interest in make any elaborate effort in the kitchen. It’s not that I don’t want to make dinner; a girl cannot live on tapas and cocktails at sidewalk restaurants alone, though lord knows I have tried. In the end, I just don’t want to fuss, and with all of the bright, seasonal produce slowly trickling into the markets, there’s no reason to. That’s the real secret of super-fresh food: you don’t need to do a lot to it to make it grand.

tipped and tailed beanshalved grape tomatoesgrape tomatoesgreen beans

I can’t recommend Alice Water’s Chez Panisse Vegetables enough to help you along your way. I mentioned it last month in conjunction with the Pasta with Cauliflower, Walnuts and Feta, but I wasn’t even close to done with it. The preparations are for the most part quite simple, yet every single recipe I’ve tried has embodied a little something-something that I hadn’t done before. I keep it tucked in my desk drawer at work, and feel confident that on that magical day I get to the Greenmarket during lunch, I can get back to the office, look up whatever I grabbed, and be able to cobble together a great dish that is no great time burden, just from the vegetable and some pantry staples.

tossed in the shallot vinaigrette

Continued after the jump »