April, 2010 Archive

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

new york cheesecake

new york cheesecake

New Yorkers have a reputation for being pushy and over-the-top — these are things you learn when you leave the city for a weekend, and a ticketing agent at the airport in Tulsa, for example, informs you that you’re so much more polite than she thought a New Yorker would be. We apparently like things bolder and taller and shinier and more intense and while I’m not sure if this really applies to your average straphanger commuting from walk-up to cubicle and back again everyday, I am absolutely certain that it applies to our cheesecakes.

(No, the other kind, silly.)

soft cream cheese bricks, wouldn't stackgraham crackers to be groundmelted butter into crumbscheesecake battera tall crumb crustfilled nearly to the brimthe baking process vexxed mecheesecake, it fell a bit

How is a New York Cheesecake unlike any other cheesecake? To begin, it’s very very tall. Most cheesecakes — like my Bourbon Pumpkin, Cappuccino Fudge, Key Lime and a Brownie Mosaic riff — use 3 bricks of cream cheese; this uses 5. Most cheesecakes are cut or lightened with sour cream; not here, where firm and intense is the goal. Often they’re scented with a bit of lemon; nobody knows why, only that it tastes good. And finally, they’re often topped with gooey heaps of fruit that will, without fail, not taste as good as their pretty-pretty picture. Why? Because, in most cases, they’re actually canned pie filling.

new york cheesecake, drippy

Continued after the jump »

Sunday, April 4, 2010

radicchio, apple and pear salad

radicchio apple pear prosh dressing

A few people have asked me what I thought of the food on the cruise we took and I admit, I’ve been dodging the question. If there could be a tiny, unfortunate thing at making a craft of getting food to taste the exact way you wish it to in your own kitchen, it would definitely be that the food outside it never tastes as good as it once did — especially food at a week long all-you-can-eat-buffet. Given, understandably, that nobody wants to eat their spaghetti while you espouse on all of the techniques the kitchen could have employed to avoid gumminess, like I said, I mostly shut up.

two heads of radicchio
radicchio, leaves

I’ll tell you this, though — the salad bar delighted me. Seriously, guys, this is what counts as a good time these days: salad. I just love being able to plop this, that and the other on a bed of lettuce — real ones, like arugula and butter lettuce and freaking radicchio, people. They had it out every night.

torn radicchio leaves, piled

Continued after the jump »

Thursday, April 1, 2010

tangy spiced brisket

brisket, ready to eat

So this year? It’s been fulla brisket. It started at New Years, with the Southwestern Pulled Brisket that made me a brisket person. And also a slow-cooker person. But mostly a brisket in the slow-cooker person because together, magic happens.

transferred to baking dish

Sidebar: Last month, Alex and I were eating leftover brisket for dinner, or trying to, but these gigantic eyes, staring down our forks as went from plate to mouth and back again were making it difficult.

Alex: Jacob, this isn’t for you. You need teeth to eat brisket.
Deb: AHEM.
Alex: But not your mother’s!

[P.S. Jacob has decided that spelt/oat/barley cereal is an excellent stand-in, but I think it's just because he doesn't know better.]

back in the dish, sauces poured over

Continued after the jump »


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