Wednesday, September 30, 2015

In the night kitchen with Les Dames d'Escoffier

So I fell off the blog writing horse, and then the horse ran away and left me to wander in the writers desert. It's hard to write all the time when you do it because you feel like it because sometimes you just don't feel it, y'know?

But then I was invited to join the Boston chapter of Les Dames d'Escoffier and after the annual meeting last night at Forge Baking Company, I remembered that I do actually like writing randomly about food and things related to eating, drinking, and basically being merry.

 The Forge space is gorgeous. It's in a strip mall between a dance studio and a Chinese restaurant, you really don't expect this space in there.

Also, you wouldn't expect it to be as homey as it was, it was a great space for a bunch of Dames to get together and catch up.

A few words from incoming President Louisa Kasdon, ever encouraging people to talk about food.

Followed by a croissant making demo with Lourdes Smith (yep, THAT Lourdes Smith) in the Forge kitchen.

It was an invigorating night for me personally and hopefully one that brought the horse back!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Bitchin' Chicken

It's April here in the home of the bean and the cod, only you'd never know it because the weather is just complete crap. Today hail and snow, tomorrow sun and locusts, unless it's hail and snow.

The only reasonable and civilized way to cope with this rotten weather is lots of wine and things you have to cook in the oven, preferably on high.

Roast chicken goes perfectly with wine.

The recipe in this lovely cookbook is so easy (you can find it here), and the only exra step I make is to pop the roasting pan (a cast iron skillet) into the oven to pre-heat. Oh and I borrow a step from the beloved Laurie Colwin and rub the birdy all over with paprika and a sprinkling of coarse salt.

Reader, I ate it.

Reader, it was delicious.

Reader, this weather can just go to suck an egg.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Holy Lamb

Happy Easter.

On account of ONE of us in the family being diagnosed with celiac coeliac (the British spelling makes it seem like a smarter diagnosis) the sacrificial Easter lamb cake is brought to you today by the letters "gluten-free cake mix".

As Americans are wont to do, rather than give up gluten, we create gluten-free gluten. I am pretty sure that normal people would be like "oh well, how about berries and sorbet for dessert?" but not us. Also, it's the damn SACRIFICIAL LAMB CAKE, how would Easter be complete without this cake?

Without the lamb cake, it's just Sunday dinner.

Which would be fine by me since I am not a believer.

I know it looks like it's already been slaughtered, but no, it's just taking a lie down. Turns out a lamb cake without gluten is basically like an actual lamb without bones - kinda floppy. I don't want to freak everyone out by serving a headless cake, so a lying down cake it is.

Or maybe it will resurrect itself. I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

You should be eating: Braised Chicken Meatballs

This was an impulse order at the Dumpling Cafe on Washington Street in Boston.

(True story: when I was telling my Mom where it was, I used the Naked i as a point of reference.)

I'd actually gone for the xiao long bao (broth filled dumplings) also known as "Juicy Buns", which they are famous for apparently. Hey, better late to the party than to not party at all, right?

Because I did my homework, I knew to load one on to the spoon and then to nibble a little hole and suck out the piping hot broth. That is a tip that you will thank me for later, I promise you.

There is no time that biting down enthusiastically into a bun filled with scalding hot filling and broth will reward you in any way.

Also I knew from my homework that the key was to order everything at once while the waitstaff was near you. So in a panic I ordered the braised chicken meatballs.

What a treat! They come with baby bok choy and a plate of rice. I totally think you should go eat them right now.

You should be drinking: La Garagista

Did you know that you can buy wine made in Vermont from grapes GROWN in Vermont? Incroyable!

Back in December I was at the fantastic Eat Boutique event and was given a taste of this wine. My first taste was less than appropriate - I puckered up like a toddler who'd just had her first taste of a lemon. In fairness I am not a big wine drinker usually, and I'd just eaten a delicious maple and bacon donut from Union Square Donuts (you know the one I am talking about) so my tastebuds were all hopped up on sugar. Not ideal for wine tasting.

But then I tasted the Vinu Jancu and all of a sudden I totally got it. It's the wine of my people.

No seriously, my Meme was from the town of L'Etoile in the Jura and her people were wine people, vin jaune people: bakers AND wine makers. One taste of the vinu jancu (Sicilian for orange wine) and the French DNA in me lit up like sparklers. Fortunately I was able to share this moment with the maker, a marvelous woman by the name of Deirdre Heekin who, with her partner Caleb Barber, also run Osteria Pane e Salute in Woodstock Vermont.

It was a real epiphany.

Anyway, so since December I've been waiting to get my hands on more of this wine and I finally did last night at a wine tasting at Central Bottle in Central Square. Yes, I crossed the river to The Other Side, but it was for wine, so it's all good.

Now I have my own stash, as well as a stash for my Maman. And if you are smart, you will also get a stash of this wine. Find them on Facebook: Osteria Pane e Salute / La Garagista and get notified of where and when you can taste this very good wine.

You should be tasting: Cardamom

This is how our tongues taste cardamom:

           WTF IS THIS SOAP?

Yes, this lovely spice is lovely only sparingly. Too much of a good thing ends up tasting like you ate a small cake of Crabtree & Evelyn hand soap.

Use it lightly and make Mor's Boller as often as possible.

Mor's Boller - recipe from Food52

Friday, December 20, 2013

How do I not have scurvy?

My lunch today consisted of a bagel, a slice of cheddar cheese, and some grapes.

I don't even want to talk about my breakfast....

Did you know that oysters are high in vitamin C? (Thank you Internet)

And also zinc? Which I think means that oysters and martinis are on deck for dinner... A kind of scurvy inoculation, if you will. 

But seriously, I hate my diet right now. 



1986 called and wants their salt back.

Also this salt contains yellow prussiate of potash, presumably used in this application as an anti-caking agent.

However sodium ferrocyanide (another name for yellow prussiate of potash) is also used as a stabilizer for the coating on welding rods, if Wikipedia is to be believed.

At any rate I am now convinced that there was one massive salt packet batch made in 1980, like a kabillion packets that will never be depleted.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Okay so keep this between us, yeah?

I made Black Cake this year with fruit that MAY have been macerating for POSSIBLY three years. Sounds like a recipe for intestinal distress huh?

However, this cake batch is exceptionally delicious so I guess the extra long soak in the rumachevitz was a good thing.

You hear that Martha, A GOOD THING!

Man, this cake is strong. Am I shouting? I need a nap.