Thursday, August 30, 2007

Food week in review

I have been a delinquent blog poster this week. I found myself with the proposal of gainful employment on Monday and been beside myself with excitement! My dream of working for a food company has finally come true. In preparation of actually starting the job, I have been racing around trying to get a new car, (I will be commuting outside SF) and going for doctor check-ups and such. Plus, the weather has been absolutely gorgeous, at long last, and I have been spending time outside. During my time at home, I have been working away in the kitchen.

On Sunday evening I made a nice dinner of Chicken Breasts with Shallots, Chèvre, Figs, and a Port Reduction Sauce from a recipe on While I quite enjoyed the dish, Mike wasn't too crazy about it. Perhaps it was too French for him? I thought the creaminess of the goat cheese with the sauted shallots and fresh thyme were nice compliments to the chicken. I always love figs. I served this with fresh green beans and roasted fingerling potatoes. I did manage to spill half the reduction sauce all over myself and the kitchen. Good thing there was plenty left for the meal but my god, what a mess!

I should have know that it wasn't a great day for me to be cooking. Earlier on Sunday, I struggled with my new food mill trying to Tomato Sauce from Lidia's Italian Table with some of my own additions, like garlic. It came out all right, once I won my battle with the food mill. After safely stowing the sauce in the freezer, I had to change my clothes. I was completely splattered in red sauce!

While I was simmering the tomato sauce another culinary disaster ensued. I attempted to make L'Affaire du Clafoutis as posted on fellow blogger, Garnett's site Vanilla Garlic and I used a tart pan where the bottom pops out. I should have know better. The mixture of eggs and milk was too thin for that pan and it all came roaring out the bottom of the pan. At that point I was out of sugar. I have been trying to find a suitable organic sugar to use for my baking sugar. I went to Mollie Stones and did some shopping. I came back to try my clafoutis again in a different pan. In moment of overconfidence, thinking I had memorized the simple recipe, I forgot the "pinch of salt." Well, the missing salt and use of fat free milk, not whole milk or cream, resulted in a flat and bland tasting clafoutis. A bummer because the Italian prunes sure were delicious!

On Tuesday night I went camping with my girlfriends near Stinson Beach under the full moon. We made s'mores over the campfire for dessert. Those sweet graham cracker sandwiches brought back memories of my childhood. We had big bonfires and cookouts in our backyard with all of our neighbors each summer. My dad would whittle the kids roasting sticks for the marshmellows. I would burn at least 10 marshmellows before I toasted one perfectly and could assemble my s'more.

On Wednesdy afternoon I made a batch of absolutely delicious Pear Ginger Muffins from blog, Coconut & Lime. They are sensational. Initially, I thought the ginger might be overwhelming but it was a perfect compliment to the sweet pear. I froze half and we have been snacking on the other half of the batch. I envision eating these muffins on my way to work this fall.

Today has found me in the kitchen again. I made a batch of Split Pea and Ham Soup from a Moosewood cookbook. Obviously, I added the ham to the recipe. It is the best split pea soup and it very easy to make. The secret ingredient is red wine vinegar which you add at the end of cooking. The acidity brings out the flavors nicely. It went to the freezer as well for the winter when we are both commuting.

As I type this post, I am slow roasting tomatoes using Kalyn's Kitchen's recipe. My herb combination was fresh basil, fresh rosemary, and dried oregano. I also used some fresh ground black pepper. They are coming along nicely and the house smells divine.

This week, I finally purchased Jamie's Italy which I had been coventing. It was a great purchase. I have also been reading the book, Alice Waters and Chez Paniesse: The Romantic, Impractical, Often Eccentric, Ultimately Brilliant Making of a Food Revolution. It is very well written and I can barely put it down, but don't want it end either. I highly recommend putting it on your "must read" list.

I must run. Mike is taking me out to dinner to celebrate my new, cool job. We are headed to a great place in the neighborhood, Firefly. Then tomorrow I jet off to Miami, FL to spend the weekend with my Cornell girlfriends. Art deco, cuban food, and the beach, here I come! I just love, L-O-V-E Miami! And Rachel too. She is the one we are celebrating this weekend.


Hunter said...

firefly = yummy

congrats on the new gig. where you workin'?

Garrett said...

Don't give up on the clafoutis! I made another last night with 3 eggs, 2/3 cup of 2% milk (cream or whole milk would be cool) 1/2 cup of sifted flour, pinch of salt.

Do a 2 minute saute with red onions, mushrooms, garlic, corn, and some cumin. Put it all in a greashed 9 inch dish (pyrex is great) and bake for 35 minutes at 350.

Really, once you nail this recipe, it's SO easy to adapt and alter for a super fast and fancy meal. :)