Last time I did farinata I found a problem in the BittmanWorld recipe. This time I avoided that problem by starting with 1:1 chickpea flour:water. The weights were 160g flour, 240g water. This ended up being texturally right, but now there's too much salt in the recipe... ah well. That's easy to fix.
Sunday, May 31, 2009
After a while without a real cooking day, yesterday somehow turned into one.
Lunch was sauteed gnocchi with garlic and dried chilis
Dinner was from the grill: grill bread (from Let the Flames Begin. As an experiment I skipped the olive oil in the dough. Probably it's better to leave the olive oil in), grilled long green peppers and spring onions (grilled and then chopped and tossed with olive oil and a tiny bit of cider vinegar), and steak (salted, peppered, and grilled). We also had a big green salad.
Our favorite fruit stand at the market had strawberries, so we needed to eat some of those as well. To go with them I picked up some rhubarb; from there it was just a matter of decided what to do. I was tempted to do a pie, but decided in the end that it was too much work, plus pies are somehow stressful. Andrea suggested shortcakes, but we just had those and I was worried we didn't have enough flour. Another thought was to repeat the gotterspeise recipe from Le Menu that was so good last year, but that would have required another trip to the store for zwieback. Finally I went with a hybrid. I made a modified version of the rhubarb compote from the gotterspeise recipe (500g rhubarb, 100g sugar, juice of one and half limes) and a batch of vanilla sauce from Bittman (2c milk, 4 egg yolks, 1/2c sugar, 1 vanilla bean). To serve I layered sliced strawberries, rhubarb, and the creme anglaise in glasses. Really nice combination of flavors.
Along the way I also did a batch of chicken stock and prepared (though we didn't eat yet) a bunch of white asparagus, probably the last of the season.
Friday, May 29, 2009
After Monday night's strawberries I had a powerful craving for strawberry shortcake. The strawberries were local (well, Swiss at least) and macerated with raw sugar (Jacutinga). For the biscuits I took the suggestion from Bittman and made a half recipe of his buttermilk/yogurt biscuits with a Tbs of sugar added. I used 1/2 fat quark instead of yogurt.
The results were very good.
I always forget how easy biscuits are, which is dumb: they provide a lot of reward for minimal effort.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Yesterday was much too hot for real cooking, so I did a couple salads:
- Diced beets (steamed, then cooled) tossed with chives, dill, mint, salt, white pepper, rapeseed oil, and sour cherry vinegar.
- Wurstsalat : Cervelat, gruyere, yogurt, mayo, mustard, chives, minced shallot, salt, pepper, a dash of hot sauce, a dash of Maggi.
Posted by Greg Landrum at 7:06:00 AM
Monday, May 25, 2009
After getting back into town and discovering high heat and humidity, the priorities were quick and minimal cooking. So I made the last of the frozen tortellini and served them on a room-temperature sauce made by combining tomato puree, olive oil, salt, minced shallot, and fresh herbs (basil, mint, parsley) in the food processor.
Too bad I forgot to get bread at the store, the sauce would have been quite nice for sopping up. :-)
With this we had a big green salad.
Posted by Greg Landrum at 6:48:00 AM
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Take 5 worked quite well, but we both preferred the spicing from take 4. This is a "doubled" batch (so half the original recipe) that we took with us for a trip to Liguria. I made some changes based on ingredient availability:
Update: 25 May 2009: These held up really well on the trip and were definitely a success. The one refinement would be to spice them a bit more heavily, otherwise this recipe is a keeper.
Friday, May 15, 2009
Quickie improv to use some pork from the freezer.
Posted by Greg Landrum at 6:04:00 AM
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
This was driven by a desire to have something with a sauce we could soak up with bread. Then I saw peppers on sale in the Coop. The rest was easy.
Cook some chopped garlic in olive oil until aromatic. Add some thinly sliced bell peppers (a mixture of red, orange, yellow, and green). Cook until the pepper starts to soften. Add a Tbs or so of flour and cook a couple minutes longer. Add white wine, some veggie bouillon, chopped thyme, rosemary, and sage. Cook a few minutes, then transfer to an olive-oiled baking dish. In the meantime, heat a bit more oil in a heavy pan and brown some seasoned, thick, bone-in pork chops well on both sides. Transfer to the dish with the peppers. Deglaze the pan with a bit more white wine, transfer to the dish, toss in the oven at 180C until the pork is done, 20-30 minutes. Serve topped with chives and with crusty bread on the side.
We also did a fennel salad with shaved fennel tossed with salt, wrung out, and then mixed with a dressing made from reduced OJ, olive oil, mustard, and black pepper.
Really nice food.
Posted by Greg Landrum at 9:49:00 PM
Sunday, May 10, 2009
I had a craving for fish this weekend and flounder filets were the only thing Coop had that looked halfway reasonable. I kept it very simple: season the fish with a bit of salt, season some semolina with cayenne, dredge the fish through the semolina, saute in a mixture of butter and olive oil. Serve topped with a bit of sauce made from butter and lemon juice and a sprinkling of parsley.
Posted by Greg Landrum at 9:51:00 PM
The last batch turned out really well, so this experiment was tuning and trying to increase the nutritional value a bit.
The last batch was quite successful, so we picked up some more rhubarb at the market on Saturday. This morning I converted that into jam. The quantities were 1100g rhubarb, 800g gelierzucker, 60g minced ginger, and the juice and zest from one lemon.
There have been a couple Bittman things about savory flatbreads, or farinata. These have been kicking around in the back brain for a bit but couldn't be realized until we had some chickpea flour in the house. This finally happened yesterday.
I started simple: chickpea flour, water, salt, olive oil. Unfortunately I started from the recipe in BittmanWorld, which contains a typo: it calls for 1 3/4 cup water for the 1 cup chickpea flour. This can't possibly be right, it needs to be closer to 1:1, perhaps even more flour than water. Luckily the error was clear before I started cooking so I was able to recover with more flour. Next time I'll weigh stuff out and get better proportions. NOTE: in the farinata link above the proportions are 1:1. The problem is in BittmanWorld.
The other component on the plate was asparagus, cooked like last week and then wrapped with a bit of cooked ham and served with salt and butter. Very nice.
Posted by Greg Landrum at 6:37:00 AM
Saturday, May 09, 2009
Thursday, May 07, 2009
Last night I did a weekday version of twice-cooked pork. Instead of going all out and using pork belly (which is very good) I used a piece of a roast. After boiling for 10-12 minutes I let this cool a bit, thinly sliced it, and then did the rest according to the Dunlop recipe (though we still don't have any sweet bean paste). The result was quite good.
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
Basic recipe from Le Menu, but I used fresh ginger instead of candied.
Straightforward gratin to use up a bunch of kohlrabi sitting in the fridge. The idea for the kohlrabi/cinnamon combination is from Le Menu, the rest is basically improv.
Posted by Greg Landrum at 7:08:00 AM
Not overly different from the last timbale dessert. This time I skipped the cherry juice in the quark and topped the whole thing with a bit of rhubarb-ginger jam. This way was even better than the pure-cherry version. One might even be able to leave the cherries out.
Sunday, May 03, 2009
After careful analysis and much thought while eating some Cliff Bars we brought with us from our last visit to the US, I had an inspiration for improving my attempts at energy bars, which were to this point acceptable, but not really appealing. The idea is to start from a panforte recipe and use sugar/honey that's been taken to the firm ball stage.
- 100g dried fruit (apricots and prunes), chopped fine
- 150g nuts (slivered almonds, chopped pecans)
- 80g whole-grain flakes (oats, millet, spelt, etc.)
- 15g flax seeds
- 15g sesame seeds
- 85g sugar
- 115g honey
- 30g butter
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp cocoa
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- good pinch salt
- good grind black pepper
This time with the local asparagus (from Neudorf), I made a conscious effort to do a simple preparation along traditional lines so that I could try to understand the appeal. So I peeled the stalks very well, removed the bottom 4cm, and then cooked them in water with salt, sugar, and butter. Of course I didn't stand the stalks up in the pot, which is undoubtedly a major foul. Once the asparagus was tender, I removed it to a plate covered with a folded napkin and served it with a dish of melted butter and the pork with vinaigrette. I think I get it now... this was nice stuff; it's not going to replace green asparagus in my affections, but I at least can appreciate the white variety more.
Posted by Greg Landrum at 6:10:00 AM
Saturday, May 02, 2009
First a note: with last night's meal we had some of the lentils and beets leftover from Thursday as a room-temperature salad. To serve them this way I moved closer to the original recipe and made a mustard vinaigrette (grainy mustard, sour-cherry vinegar, olive oil) for the lentils. This added a nice note to the whole flavor combination.
Posted by Greg Landrum at 6:39:00 AM
Friday, May 01, 2009
Posted by Greg Landrum at 6:46:00 AM