Oh happy day, oh happy boy

April 18, 2006 at 2:00 pm (Food, General)

Received a call from a climbing buddy last night. My initial thought was that he was going to suggest we go hit some cliffs sometime soon, what with the nice weather and all. But no, the suggestion was even better: Greek easter is this coming Sunday, and he was inviting me over for the feast. Oh, sweet jesus, thank you for hanging on that there cross, so that we could celebrate by chowing down on spit-roasted lamb, lamb innards, home-made wine, spanikopita, moussake, and all those other lovely foods. After last year’s feast, the milliner had to roll (or perhaps “pour” would be more accurate. ahem) into the car.
You have to hand it to the Russians, who adopted Greek Orthodox as a religion, if only for the pomp and celebrations.

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She wants me

April 17, 2006 at 1:54 pm (Food, TV)

I finally caught an episode of Nigella Lawson’s cooking show yesterday, on the Food Network. I had always heard about her, and had seen her cookbooks in the bookstores, but never really considered getting anything of hers.
And then I saw her show. And? I experienced being an adolescent boy in the throes of puberty all over again, afraid to stand up in case, well, you know. I swear, she looks at the camera, runs her tongue over her lips, and goes, “ooo, I love that.” I swear, she gives new meaning to the term “food porn.”
Must. Get. The. Food Network.

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Thanks for the reminder

April 9, 2006 at 1:43 pm (General)

Friday night, enjoying myself at the concert, an observation that I had long ago forgotten about made its appearance once again: lesbians can’t dance. Imagine a penguin having an epilectic seizure. I really should start going out more, because I tend to forget about these things. Oh, and I’m pretty sure some of them were on seconds dates. How could I tell? Because there were a lot of U-Hauls outside.
But, yeah, most excellent concert.

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Ice cream à la saveur de brown sugar

April 5, 2006 at 6:27 pm (Food)

Since trying this at La Brunoise a couple weeks ago, I decided to try it myself. And the result? As good as the resto, or maybe even better. Hard to tell, since I’m still traumatised by all those sweetbreads. So, my version.
Ingredients

  • 4 egg yolks (what? you want to live forever?)
  • 1 c. packed brown sugar
  • 2 c. 35% cream
  • 2 c. 15% cream
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla

Whisk the egg yolks and brown sugar together, set aside. Bring the creams to a near boil, and whisk into the yolk/sugar mixture. Cook over low heat, until the liquid coats the back of a spoon. (Okay, here’s a trick for doing that. Dip the back of the spoon into the liquid, flip the spoon 90 degrees, and drag a finger across the liquid. If the remainder of the liquid on the spoon doesn’t drip into this track mark, you’re gold.) Take off the heat, strain and add the vanilla. Cool to room temperature, and refridgerate until cold.
Prepare as you would with any ice cream maker, and freeze for a couple more hours. I now have about 2 litres of the stuff at home, calling my name, testing my resistance. But I will not submit. No, I will not.
Cool tip: You’ll never see this is recipes, but there’s a way to make your ice cream smoother, silkier, and taste like liquid sex: add a pinch of salt to the mixture. You can thank me later.

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Horton’s explosion aftermath

April 4, 2006 at 5:54 pm (General)

A long email thread I recieved from friends in Toronto. (Yes, I have friends. And yes, some of them do live in Toronto.)

  • By now you have all probably heard about the explosion and fire at a certain Toronto doughnut shop yesterday that killed the man with the gas or whatever the explosive material turns out to be.
    Is it just me, or doesn’t it seem that the perfect newspaper headline would be: Man blown to (tim)bits!?
  • I can think of nothing cruller.
  • You muffin be making such jokes (that one is mine)
  • Donut try this at home.
  • Blow up the rim to win.
  • I’m glad I wasn’t there. I’ve never cinnamon twisted like he must have been.
  • But how does exploding oneself help solve anything? Sounds like out of the frying pan and into the fritter to me.
  • I’d like a Boston Scream please.
  • At least he went out with a bagel..
  • Papers in Quebec have described the explosion as a big beigne.
  • Don’t you think the papers in Quebec might be sugar coating it?
  • Two days later, the coffee may be fresh, but I don’t think the remains are.
  • “Horton hears a Boom”

Thank you, thank you. Try the veal.

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Meat and potatoes, with a side order of ‘shrooms

April 3, 2006 at 2:30 pm (Food)

I received a Foodsaver for Xmas this year, and it stayed in its box for about a month, while we wondered what to do with it. In fact, I almost sold it to a friend, but he tried to bargain too low a price, so in the end I kept it. I’m glad I did, because I realised that it was a great tool for conserving leftovers, and for freezing meals, especially confits, be it duck or rabbit confits, or even onion, which makes it convenient if I’m ever in the mood to make a quick onion soup.
So now, I’ve gotten into the habit of making duck confits, but am often left wondering what to do with it. Made rillettes, warm mesclun salad, corn crepes with duck confit, etc., but I always wanted to try it with ravioli. Did a web search, found and modified a recipe. Here goes:
Ingredients

  • 2 legs of duck confit, skin removed and set aside
  • 2 sweet pototoes
  • 2 tbsp crème fraiche
  • splash of vanilla
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ravioli sheets (I make my own from ~2 cups flour/3-4 eggs
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp white truffle oil
  • 2 tbsp truffle paste (yeah, I know, but it’s sooo worth it)

Directions
Remove the duck meat from the bones and mince. You’ll get a lot more meat than you would expect. Set aside. Mash the potatoes, add the salt and pepper, the crème fraiche and the vanilla. (The original recipe called for russet potatoes, sour cream and no vanilla. I let my imagination run a bit wild.)
In a pan, fry up the skin with a bit of butter, and set aside on a paper towel. Pour the duck meat into this pan and heat through. Then, fold the duck meat into the mashed pototoes, set aside or, to make things easier, place into a pastry bag, making it simpler to portion out.
Lay out your ravioli sheets, and place about a tablespoon of the duck/potato mix per ravioli, and top with a flat parsley leaf.

If you don’t have, or don’t want to make ravioli, you can also use wonton wrappers. seal up the ravioli, and heat through in water.
Add 2 tbsp butter to a pan, and brown slightly. Add the truffle oil and the truffle paste. This mixture should bubble up, and a musky aroma will fill the kitchen.
Place the drained ravioli onto plates (you did drain them, right?), and pour the truffle sauce on top. Dessert was brown sugar ice cream, which I made earlier in the day. Recipe to follow. Enjoy. (Sorry, pictures kinda fuzzy.)

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