Archive for March 2003

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Made a vegetarian carbonara:

Beat two eggs with the remainder of the heavy cream (probably about 3-4 tbsp) and seasoned with a handful of chopped fresh parsley, salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Sauteed about 4 chopped Morningstar Farms breakfast strips and about 3 cloves of minced garlic. Chopped up the leftover asparagus and heated it in a pan. Boiled spaghetti, drained, then poured into a bowl on top of the egg mixture and breakfast strips, and tossed it well, sprinkling generous parmesan into it. I mixed my asparagus into it because I thought Rahul had an allergy. Then it turned out that he really just has an allergy to undercooked eggs (sunny side up, etc.) because he ate some carbonara and it made his mouth start itching and he suddenly remembered his egg allergy and concluded that he probably wasn’t allergic to asparagus.


Written by orata

March 26, 2003 at 12:54 am

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I roasted purple asparagus from the farmer’s market last night–tossed in olive oil, kosher salt, and freshly ground pepper, and put into a 450 degree oven for 10 minutes. I fried two eggs sunny-side-up to go along with the asparagus, and had a messy delicious feast, dipping the sweet, juicy, sizzling asparagus spears (the thinner ones overcooked and turned back to green) into the soft runny egg yolk and wrapping the slightly browned bits of white around the stem before taking a big bite… my hands were covered in extra-virgin olive oil and salt and pepper and egg by the time I was done, but oh, it was good. (Rahul said, “You’re like a little kid! You’re so excited!” or something to that effect, watching me eat.)

I also made a salad with some of the half-pound bag of salad greens with edible flowers that I got at the farmer’s market. Tossed it with tuna and a lemon-juice vinaigrette. Unremarkable but tasty.

And I had a slice of the frangipane strawberry tart, which surprisingly seemed better the next day–perhaps just because I wasn’t so hyped up with anticipation. Michael Baker came over and deemed it my “best creation yet.”

And I also had one Dreyer’s coconut frozen fruit bar. Those are my new addiction–they’re so rich and creamy! I hope they’re not too bad for you (coconut oil medium-chain fatty acids and all that).

Written by orata

March 25, 2003 at 6:15 pm

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This recipe (from Martha Stewart via the Craigslist food forum) seems good:

Blood Orange Gelato

Makes about 1 quart

– 2 cups whole milk

– Zest of 1 blood orange, plus 1 cup freshly squeezed blood-orange juice (about 4 oranges)

– 5 large egg yolks

– 3/4 cup sugar

– 1 cup heavy cream

1. In a medium saucepan, combine milk and orange zest. Bring to a gentle boil, cover, and remove pan from heat. Let steep 30 minutes.

2. In a small saucepan, cook orange juice over medium-low heat until reduced by three-fourths, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove pan from heat, and let orange syrup cool completely.

3. Combine egg yolks and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Cream at medium-high speed until very thick and pale yellow, 3 to 5 minutes. Return milk to a simmer.

4. Add half of warm milk to egg-yolk mixture; whisk until blended. Return new mixture to saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until thick enough to coat back of a wooden spoon.

5. Have ready an ice-water bath. Remove saucepan from heat; immediately stir in cream. Pass mixture through a sieve set over a medium bowl. Place bowl in ice-water bath; chill. Stir in orange syrup.

6. Freeze in ice-cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Store in an airtight plastic container up to 2 weeks.

Written by orata

March 24, 2003 at 4:52 pm

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I tried adapting the Apricot Tart recipe from Corby Kummer’s book The Pleasures of Slow Food, enticed by this phrase: “This tart drove Tasha Prysi, who tested the recipes for this book, wild with desire when she worked at Chez Panisse.”


1 cup flour

1/2 tsp sugar

1/8 tsp salt

6 tbsp cold unsalted butter

1/4 cup ice water

Standard pate brisee practice. Refrigerate, roll out into 14″ round on a parchment-lined baking sheet.


1/3 cup (3 oz.) almond paste (this costs over $6 for 7 ounces!)

2 tsp sugar

2 tbsp unsalted butter, room temp.

2 tbsp flour

1 egg

pinch of salt

“Cream” the almond paste and sugar, then beat in the butter, then the flour, egg, and salt. This makes 1/2 cup frangipane–twice as much as the recipe calls for. I made two tarts.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Smear the frangipane onto the dough, leaving a 1 1/2″ border around the edges, sprinkle the flour plus 1 tbsp sugar (and optionally 2 tbsp ground almonds) onto the frangipane, and then arrange the fruit (Kummer’s recipe calls for 1 1/2 lbs apricots, but since they weren’t in season, I used 2 pints strawberries, hulled and quartered, pointy edges towards the center of the tart) on the frangipane. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup sugar. Roll up the edges of the tart into a ropy border that will contain the juices from the fruit as it cooks. Brush the rim of the tart with melted butter, then sprinkle that with sugar as well.

Put into oven, rotating every 20 minutes, for about 45-55 minutes. Let cool 20 minutes, then eat.

I was disappointed with this, although it smelled heavenly. The juices ran out and caramelized my tart to the parchment. I used the excess frangipane and strawberries in a prebaked pie crust I’d laid away in the freezer and was happier with the results, as there was no sticky paper and the crust ended up crisper. However, I think apricots might be a more natural pairing with frangipane than the strawberries, which seemed to bludgeon the delicate almond flavor into submission. Maybe juicing it up with almond extract would work.

My appetite might also have been somewhat affected by watching the pie-eating scene (aka BARF-O-RAMA) in Stand By Me as the tart baked.

Written by orata

March 24, 2003 at 2:00 am

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Ate at Fatapple’s last night with Mom:

Green salad with fat-free honey dijon which I quite liked (wasn’t very mustardy, just tangy)

Meatloaf (no ketchup crust, disappointingly, just a light gravy)

French fries (yum)

A generous portion of roasted veggies–zucchini, red onions, etc.

Earl Grey tea.

Written by orata

March 18, 2003 at 1:18 pm

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chicken with ginger cream sauce:

sauteed garlic in oil, sprinkled organic chicken breasts with powdered ginger, browned them in the oil, grated on fresh ginger and sprinkled in chopped crystallized ginger and dried cranberries. poured in a whole bottle of reed’s extra spicy ginger beer, covered, and let the chicken breasts cook a while. uncovered to let it evaporate, scraped the pan a little to deglaze. poured in most of a pint of heavy cream and let it evaporate and thicken. added salt and fresh black pepper. ate it over a nice crispy hash brown pancake.

Written by orata

March 12, 2003 at 2:12 pm

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I made baba ghanouj for Pei 2’s sushi dinner party last night (in attendance: Pei 1, Jolie, Selena, Doug, Kyoko, Rolando, me, Rahul, Kyle, Kenny):

Thoroughly blacken 1 eggplant under the broiler, then let cool and peel off the charred skin. Don’t forget to prick the skin or it will explode with steam when you try to turn it over!

Mince 2 cloves garlic and soften in a pan with olive oil over medium-low heat. (I ended up adding 1 small minced raw clove to up the garlic factor–and my mouth still tastes OK today)

Puree the eggplant pulp and garlic with about 4 tbsp tahini, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp kosher salt, 10 large basil leaves, the juice of 1 lemon, and 3 tbsp EVOO. (All measurements approximate.)

Eat with pita or veggies.

Pei supplied the chopped veggies (carrots, celery, cucumber, broccoli, blanched asparagus) along with sesame soy salad dressing and Japanese mayonnaise. Also spicy tuna rolls, California rolls, inari, gourd/pickle/avocado/cucumber rolls, and tuna sashimi. I think Selena made teriyaki chicken breasts. Pei 2 had “colonization cake”–white cake mix with white chocolate chips from a box, topped with dark chocolate chips. Yum, what a feast!

Written by orata

March 10, 2003 at 2:31 pm

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