I am crazy about gratins. It's actually starting to drive my father crazy, the incessant dad let's have zucchini gratin for dinner and non stop dad I found the best tomato gratin recipe. I've been doing a lot of outside the box thinking about gratins lately (plain old potatoes is just oh-so-boring) and got to wondering, could you make a sweet variation for dessert? I did some research and BINGO! found the most amazing recipe for a grapefruit sabayon gratin. Sounds divinely sophisticated doesn't it? A sabayon (or zabaglione if you are Italian) is a light frothy egg-based dessert sauce flavored with wine. Toss in a few slices of tart ruby red grapefruit and you are in for one heavenly treat. To take a look at the recipe, read more
Posts for March 7th 2007
Gruyère (pronounced groo-yehr)
A type of Swiss, moderate-fat cheese made from cow's milk. It has a rich, sweet, nutty flavor that is excellent for both eating out of the hand and cooking. Gruyère, with its golden brown rind and firm pale yellow interior is usually aged for 10-12 months. It's made in 100 pound wheels that are cut into wedges for wholesale. Not only produced in Switzerland, gruyère is made in France and several other countries.
A Wednesday food section roundup for March 7, 2007.
- Uh oh, has the trans fat ban gone too far? After all, natural trans fat is found in many normal products. Will this change the way we bake? - New York Times - Photographs by Lars Klove for The New York Times. Sources: Department of Agriculture; National Dairy Council; NutritionData.com; Mindy Herman, registered diet
- This year's rising star chefs are young (24-28). Is their youth and energy reflected in their dishes? - San Francisco Chronicle
- Fact or Fiction? Find out how much you really know with this nutritional quiz. - Chicago Tribune
- Cooking for one doesn't have to mean take out and frozen food. - Boston Globe
- Talk about timing! This week I declared banana as the Secret Ingredient and now I see I'm not the only going bananas for bananas. - Seattle Times
- What did I tell you? Flavored waters are in. - Houston Chronicle
- New wine guys are selling us more than wine, now they're selling us a wine lifestyle too.- Los Angeles Times
By now most of you know about my obsession with making cakes. I don't mean those cakes from a Betty Crocker box, I mean elaborate creations that have tons of steps and take hours to complete. An epic cake of these proportions deserves, and requires, beautiful presentation. Unfortunately I don't have a cake platter or a cake stand... imagine how sad my gorgeous cakes look on a boring old everyday dinner plate! That's why I asked you to head off to market in search of cool cake plates. Just in time too: it's YumSugar's birthday on Monday, my half birthday on Friday, and my sister's birthday in 2 weeks so looks like I have a lot of fabulous excuses to go all out making cakes. You guys found some pretty plates and saved them in the Yum Market with the tag Cake Plate. I totally appreciate all your searching. Here are my favorites:
A couple more, so read more
This morning, as I was waking up to NPR, I heard that winemaker Ernest Gallo died yesterday at age 97. In college I became pretty familiar with the Gallo name (Boone's Farm anyone?), and knew that it was created in order to bring inexpensive California wine to a growing market. What I didn't know was that the original Gallo recipe was borrowed from pre-Prohibition pamphlets found in the basement of the Modesto public library. With the recipe under their hat, the brothers (the J stands for Julio who passed away in 1993) rented a rundown building and hoodwinked everyone in their family to make wine for 50 cents a gallon - the going rate at the time was $1.
To celebrate their lifelong legacy, pick up your favorite bottle of E&J and raise a toast in remembrance. The one pictured is their Cabernet Sauvignon, which is a full rich wine with tones of black cherries, spices and currants (it's also light-years away from Boone's Farm).
I was lucky enough to get sent an advanced, not-for-sale copy of Cat Cora's new cookbook, Cooking From The Hip. Cat Cora is the executive chef at Bon Appetit magazine and Food Network's only female Iron Chef. She believes in "cooking from the hip" (a phrase that I still don't fully understand, I keep picturing her in a kitchen doing Shakira style hip motions while she cooks...) which is her term for creating dishes from fresh ingredients and pantry staples. Cat advises stocking your kitchen with a variety of oils, vinegars, and canned goods so you can create simple, delicious, and healthy meals at all times. Her book isn't laid out like your normal cookbook, instead she organizes her recipes into five interesting categories: fast, easy, fun, phenomenal, and good to know. I especially enjoyed her praises for the importance of adult time which she celebrates with daily happy hours (a girl after my own heart!) and the cocktail recipes she includes: sake margaritas, mint juleps and mojitos to name a few.
I used a few of the recipes to pack a picnic lunch (perfect a blog party) for YumSugar and I to enjoy at work. The pasta salad was very light and fresh and the sandwich uncomplicated elegance. However the best recipe by far was Cat's lemonade cookies. These cake like cookies were a hit at the office and while many people believe I spent hours zesting lemon after lemon, all of the flavor comes from frozen lemonade concentrate...genious! Cat Cora's cookbook doesn't hit the book shelves until April 10, but you can enjoy a sneak peak of a few of her recipes, and pack yourself a perfect picnic, just read more
Lately my dad has been into making old school classics for dinner. Dishes that he used to make thirty years ago that were delicious then and still are today. It's important to make these comforting dishes every once in a while because they bring a sense of nostalgia to the meal and so that the recipes and flavors are not lost forever. I enjoy making my father's old recipes from 1977 and updating them to suite the needs of 2007. Tuna casserole is a dish my grandma used to make when he was a kid and is wonderful now when made with fresh mushrooms and higher quality tuna steaks. To make this old fashioned favorite, read more
A little while back, geeksugar lent me the DVD set of "Freaks and Geeks." I fell in love with it immediately for so many reasons, I mean talk about capturing that ridiculous high school experience. One episode in particular really stood out to me, mostly for the lunch scene. The episode "Chokin' and Tokin'" starts off in the school cafeteria and Daniel (played by James Franco) and Nick (played by Jason Segel) are standing in line ordering Salisbury steak. When I heard him say Salisbury steak, I immediately thought of my elementary school cafeteria menu. Wednesday was Salisbury steak day and I haven't actually thought about Salisbury steak since then. I remember eating it as a kid (it came with mashed potatoes and green beans), but what is it?
To see the clip where Nick wonders if there is a difference between steak and Salisbury steak, and to find out if there is (including a great recipe to make your own), read more
Call me crazy, but this week I'm all about throwing the most fabulous party imaginable for myself. No, it's not my birthday, I haven't graduated or gotten a promotion, I really have no official reason to be planning this party. I'm doing it because I feel like it and because I'm worth it (and because I've become exhausted by all of the parties I have been organizing and attending lately). That's why I'm taking the night off for a little me party time. I canceled my plans for Friday evening and assembled the fixings for a delicious meal with a delectable dessert. Just because I'm celebrating solo doesn't mean that things won't be stylish. I'll mix my favorite cocktail while I munch on candied walnuts and sip my preferred wine while I savor every bite of my souffle. To see exactly what sort of drinks I'll be pouring for my most wonderful guest (myself!), read more