Friday, March 30, 2012
The inspiration for this light and refreshing dessert was my sister's planned hairstyle for Coachella. Pink roots! What's delicious in the desert? Ice cold dessert. How to I mimic pink roots on a blondie? Strawberry syrup of course!
Raspado, if you're not familiar, is just shaved ice with syrup on it. So simple, and yet something that had never occurred to me to make. Now that I've been bitten by the bug, I can't stop. Shaved iced tea with lemon infused syrup? It's a frozen arnold palmer. Shaved pineapple juice with jalapeno mango syrup? A spicy yet refreshing treat. I am going to be all over this recipe once I get to enjoy a sunny day.
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
I am my father's daughter. Ever the bibliophile, this is a man who owns the entire 1911 edition of Encyclopedia Britannica because "It's the best ever, hands down. You can curl up with it in bed!"; has never found an 19th century book on ship-building he didn't like; and owns books about...making books. I can't tease him too hard though, his tomato is my to-mah-to. 1930s etiquette is my 19th century shipbuilding. His Encyclopedia Britanica is my MFK Fisher. He collects flags and military patches, I collect Depression glass and pre-war ceramics. We're weird, but it works.
I love vintage cookbooks because they're as close to a culinary time machine as I'll ever get. The attitudes, the aesthetic, the ingredients, they all paint a specific picture of what goes onto a plate. And I actually cook from them too. Some of the recipes have been divine (baked gnocchi with thyme beschamel anyone?) and others...not (cornmeal hush puppies cooked in bacon fat sound awesome in theory, but not if "Cookbook of the Stars" has anything to do with it), but either way I love attacking them, playing some era appropriate music, and tucking in to a plate of vintage fare.
Today's recipe is actually a take on Welsh Rarebit (which I keep reading as Welsh Rabbit), which apparently my Grandma used to enjoy when she was a happening single lady in the late thirties. I found a recipe for it in a 1935 etiquette book for the "live aloner" (so much better sounding than "single," amirite ladies?) and it was listed as a great last minute party snack or part of a simple dinner. As I read the ingredients, it occurred to me that it was fondue, just switch out the gruyere for American cheese and white wine for beer. I'm not a huge American cheese fan, so I thought cheddar would bring a bit of edge to the whole thing. Paired with a malty, hoppy beer, this is the ultimate guy snack.
It takes about 10 minutes to put together and you can keep it warm in the oven if you don't want to dig in right away. So whether you're a live-aloner looking for a quick meal, or a happening lady making snacks for her guy friends, this recipe is totally aces.
1 tablespoon butter
8 oz grated cheddar, melted
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp paprika
1 large pinch cayenne (1/4 tsp if you like is very spicy)
salt and pepper
1/4 cup pale ale
baguette, cut into 1 inch thick slices
Preheat oven to broil.
Melt butter and add the cheese. Add the spices and a pinch of salt and pepper. As the cheese melts, gradually add the pale ale, stirring to combine. Place the sliced baguette on a baking sheet. Spoon on the cheese, coating the toast in the middle and broil on bubbly and browned. Top with chives. Enjoy!
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Can salad ever be comforting?
I'm not really a "salad" person. I can't order a bowl of leafy greens alone and be happy. Yes, it's refreshing and tasty, but it can be cold and less than comforting. The weird thing is that I love vegetables. They're constantly surprising you with their versatility of flavor, texture, and variety. Just walking through the farmer's market I saw six different colors of carrots ranging from a pale cream to a deep aubergine. The possibilities are only limited by the contents of your bowl, and keeping vegetables bound to the rules of "side salad" just doesn't do them justice.
Two of my favorite salads firmly sit in comfort food territory for me. They're hearty, they're fresh, they're absolutely delicious. Best part is that they use the same vinaigrette, so less work for you! The first is a combination of sweet roasted vegetables with bright feta and parsley, the second is a crisp quinoa tabbouleh filled with fresh herbs, cucumber, and red onion. These make great weekday lunches or just something to keep in the fridge to snack on. Enjoy!
Roasted Vegetable Salad with Feta and Parsley
4 carrots, peeled and quartered
4 parsnips, peeled and quartered
2 rose potatoes, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 tablespoons Olive oil
1 tablespoon parsley, coarsely chopped
4 oz feta, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 tablespoon Lemon Garlic Vinaigrette
Lemon Garlic Vinaigrette
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
Simply combine and mix until blended (I pop it in a container with a lid and shake it).
Preheat oven to 425F. Put the prepared vegetables into a roasting pan (with plenty of room) and sprinkle with salt and pepper and coat with olive oil. Roast for about 30 minutes, turning only once, until the vegetables are golden brown. Toss with parsley, vinaigrette, and feta. Salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!
1 cup quinoa
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
2 cucumbers, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons mint
2 teaspoons chives
1/4 cup Lemon Garlic Vinaigrette
Cook the quinoa according to instructions and cool. Meanwhile, add the red onion to the vinaigrette to take the bite out. Combine all of the ingredients. Enjoy!