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Monthly Archives: May 2012

East Hampton Crullers

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Who doesn’t love a donut?  In the MA/NH area where I have lived and I now frequent to visit family, there is a Dunkin Donuts every two miles, sometimes closer.  I often refer to it as the mecca of New Englanders.  I think there’s one in northern Columbus, Ohio, and whenever my brother flies in from California he goes there before heading south to my mom’s.  Donuts are a big deal.  I suspect that was even more true back in the day when people made them at home.  I’m talking back before my day.  I mean, I remember my mom making them once in a while, but they were certainly not an every week treat.

I was  a little disappointed in the process from Clementine Paddleford’s The Great American Cookbook.  These were in the New York section.  Most of the time there’s a little story about who CP met and maybe how the recipe came about, but this one didn’t have a story, so we are left to our imagination.  The problem was that my dough was a big soppy mess.  I had to add a lot of extra flour just to be able to cut them.   And I still had to use a spatula to scrape them up.  It was supposed to make two dozen and I was only able to make eight because of the extra flexibility.  I did manage to make a few holes with my scraps.

They had such promise:  half-and-half, buttermilk, and a 1/2 cup of egg yolks, which the book said would be about six extra-large eggs and was actually about 8 large.  Yes, I will be eating egg white omelettes for the rest of the week.

‘I have no idea why they were so hard to handle.  I checked about five times to make sure I used the right amount of flour.   Whatever the case may be, though they aren’t very pretty, they tasted pretty good with my coffee.

There’s just no way to dress these up for photos.

I added a little cinnamon sugar.  It was before the coffee, so I thought they needed a little something.

Then I ran out and had to resort to powdered sugar.  I love how the recipe actually said to use paper bags to drain them.  I gotta tell you, after those plantain hush puppies a few weeks ago, I can kind of get into this frying thing.  It reminds me of back in the day — this time back in my day.   The first summer after my parents divorced and my mom went to work, my sister and I were on our own.  No need to call child services, I was 10ish and she was 15ish.  We would go out to the garden and literally pick our lunch:  an ear of corn, a tomato or cucumber sandwich, or maybe some french fries.  Oh, yeah.  Hey, it was the early ’80s, before Nintendo and we didn’t have cable, so we actually ran around outside and worked off the grease from those there fries.

Anyway, they were yummy on the inside too.

Eat Well and Savor.

 

Scampi on Couscous

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I know that doesn’t sound very exciting.  I think that’s because Giada forgot to mention the tomato broth in the title.   This recipe came from Everyday Italian.

Jake gave this a 9.  I lost a point because of bad plating technique.  I’ve learned that my need for perfectionism is far outweighed by my impatience.   You get the idea, though.

This tomato broth is incredibly easy.  It’s just the usual suspects:  onion, carrot, garlic, tomato.  Then simmered with wine and the surprise guest:  clam juice.   I guess it makes sense; when you’re making shrimp, you don’t invite chicken to the party.  The couscous is cooked with the broth and the shrimp is just scampi.  Who knows the Italian equivalent of voila?  I am already trying to figure out another way to use this broth again.  It reminds of a tomato emulsion that we used to serve with chorizo-crusted grouper at Tucci’s, so that’s on my list.

In an unrelated matter, my cousin posted this conversation with her two-year-old on facebook today.  I couldn’t resist sharing.

Question: What do squirrels eat?

Dylan’s Answer: Acorns.

Question: What do rabbits eat?

Dylan’s Answer: Chicken nuggets.

I placed a formal request that she keep those rabbits on her side of town.

Eat Well and Savor.

 

Flourless Chocolate Cake

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With Chocolate Ganache Glaze.

I know.  That’s some serious chocolate.

Here’s the most important thing I can tell you:  make sure you are armed with a glass of milk.

This is my latest foray into Baked by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito.   And here’s how it all began.

Why do I think these eggs are so pretty?  I may have to hang this in my kitchen.

And here’s the most important part.

That’s 10 ounces of dark chocolate.   Just in case you feel the need for some more, there’s 9 ounces in the ganache.

Eat Well and Savor.

 

 

Toasted Rice Ice Cream

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With a Whiff of Coconut and Black Tea.

I didn’t think it was possible, but I finally met an ice cream that I don’t really like.  Of course that didn’t stop me from eating it.

You can’t beat the texture when it comes to the milk and heavy cream, along with some cream cheese.  But as much as I may like having a little something mixed in, I can’t really get into the rice.

Maybe another reason this isn’t my favorite is because you essentially have to make two desserts.  First the rice pudding, and then the ice cream.  That also makes for some extra dishes.  The toasted rice is not something you see every day, though.

Hmm, now that I think about it, rice pudding isn’t my favorite either.

I did really like the tea flavor.  I used Darjeeling.  Surprisingly, Jake loved this.

On the other hand, my favorite ice cream from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home by Jeni Britton Bauer, hands down, was this Savannah Buttermint.

I actually made this earlier this month and never got around to telling you about it.  It was supposed to be the last recipe I was going to make in the apartment.  I set aside everything I needed to make  it before the movers came, or so I thought.  I had actually already moved my sugar.  It was totally worth the wait.

By the way, as if the butter and the mint weren’t enticing enough, this has white chocolate swirls in there too.

Eat Well and Savor.

 

Braised Beef

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If you’ve got three hours to spare, I highly recommend this dish.

I’m sorry I don’t have a closeup picture for you, but after waiting for three hours I didn’t feel the need to wait any longer.  This was pretty easy and there’s not a lot to say.  Just sear the short ribs, saute the veggies, add some good wine, and wait.    I also advise that you get a good bottle of wine, for said waiting and the dish itself.

I should say that Jake gave this a 9 out of 10.  This was from Jennifer Reese and her book Make the Bread, Buy the Butter.  Since the failure of the Everyday Bread, she has totally redeemed herself in my eyes.  This recipe is from the Restaurant Food chapter, but I’m really looking forward to the next one:  From  Beak to Tail.

Eat Well and Savor.

Poached Cod with Wilted Leeks

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The rest of that should read:  and Homemade Mayonnaise.  Here it is in French:  Cabillaud Poche aux Poireaux et Mayonnaise Maison.  Don’t ask me how to pronounce that.   I just couldn’t bring myself to make the mayonnaise.  It was great a few weeks ago when I made it, but been there, done that.

I’m not sure why that cod looks like a prehistoric creature, but it was great with that blob of Hellman’s.

Let me tell you about those leeks:  I was leery, of course, but I’m willing to try most things.  Besides, if I don’t like it there’s a pretty good chance Jake will eat it.  They are simply roasted in the oven with some olive oil, and they were succulent.

This is from Elizabeth Bard’s Lunch in Paris.

Eat Well and Savor.

 

Crab Salad in Crisp Wonton Cups

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We had cocktail hour for dinner again.

But this time we ate on the deck surrounded by our magnolia trees.  Well, actually there’s only a couple.  I feel truly southern now that I know we have magnolias.   We even had some good old sweet tea with our appetizer/dinner too.

Speaking of, these were pretty easy.  Just bake the wrappers.

Then fill with the crab mixture and top with the dressing.  The salad is crab and mango with a little cilantro, celery, and scallions.

Once you add the lime to the dressing, you get a real island feel too.  All that’s missing is the coconut.

I almost forgot to mention this is another Ellie Krieger hit from The Food You Crave.

Eat Well and Savor.