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Everything posted by Priscilla

  1. Has anyone ever tried pressure-cooking matzoh balls? Making them the other day I mused on this possibility. Not that I have a pressure cooker. But I have a big imagination. Would it be a way to get quickly and perfectly cooked light fluffy matzoh balls cooked right through to the center? Or would it toughen the eggs and make 'em too chewy? Or???
  2. The other night I thawed some roasted beet puree I'd socked away in the freezer when faced with an overage of roasted beets and made a cream of beet soup that was really good. Just the seasoned puree and heavy cream simmered to the correct consistency.
  3. I did the beet thing this week, too. Bunch of beets w/beautiful tops $1.50 from my favorite farmer's market beet vendor (they can be had for $1 from others), roots roasted peeled cubed dressed w/walnut oil and balsamic, s & p, topped with crumbled gorgonzola and finely chopped toasted walnuts, side dish to steak. Then greens cooked chopped dressed with sesame sauce, served with teriyaki chicken and rice and those daikon/yuzu pickles from Erin's recipe mentioned up there. ETA: Each preparation served 3+.
  4. Erin, I made these yesterday. Just wonderful! Mine had sat only 4-5 hours when we ate them, the remainder will be properly melded for another meal, but they were so good already. The brown rice vinegar has a touch of honey, although it is not sweet. Ingredients are brown rice vinegar, honey. English label pasted over the Japanese says: "Marukan" Kuro Su Hachimitsu Iri. It did make the rolls lightly beige, where regular rice vinegar would not have, but the flavor is so good. Apple vinegar as called for in your original recipe is brown, too, I figured. Thank you so much for the recipe. Will be a regular pickle for me. When yuzu is unavailable I can see my own Meyer lemon making a nice stamen for the callas.
  5. As I keep saying, soup is my favorite food. I'm glad you started this year's topic, Erin. And, I happen to like that very cooked color, Janet... really telegraphs the good flavor of such soup to me. However I am not a good control for such things, or other things. I suppose one brightener might be to go for a contrasting bit of garni, what's the opposite of grey-green on the color wheel? Or a swirl of creme fraiche or Mexican crema or even regular sour cream, whatever happens to be in the fridge. My most recent soup was black-eyed pea, from the New Year's Day black-eyed peas that didn't go into the semi-trad Texas caviar on the day. Had a little end of the exquisite double-smoked bacon from the German sausage maker to use and this was a worthy application. This soup is a favorite of my sister's and I took her a quart on the weekend -- we'll have it for dinner at our house tonight or tomorrow, a moat surrounding a rice turret.
  6. Erin, gorgeous! And I am prone to be fanciful, but wow do they resemble calla lilies! What a wonderful preparation. I am SO making that. I can also get a nice big daikon, poss. even at your $1 price point or just above. Apple cider vinegar? I have that... what would you or your student think if I use the delicious Japanese brown rice vinegar I can't stop using on all kinds of stuff?
  7. Yes, I have not ruled out the yuzu bath by any means, even though the solstice is past. Trad is what I'm after, rather than creative. I can see it on chawanmushi, thanks for that. And the marinades that Torakris did up there, very good.
  8. I'd like yuzu ideas too... have 2 yuzu from the Japanese lady at the farmer's market, and might be able to get more in coming weeks. Will make ponzu, but what else?
  9. MtC, so sorry for your predicament. Saw the savory bread pudding idea on the Recipes 2009 discussion, after it was already what I was going to contribute to this one. Am not familiar with the recipe referenced there, but the concept is easy enough to suss out and endlessly adapatable, to, as you say, fridge contents, or, personal whim. One time recently my fridge yielded a few banh mis leftover from a gathering and I made a really really good one with them... sliced, into baking dish, eggs/milk poured over, soak in fridge overnight, bake. Sort of delicious, if you can imagine.
  10. Priscilla

    Popcorn at home

    Thank you, Susie Q and Baroness... I'll be giving that a go right quick here.
  11. Priscilla

    Popcorn at home

    Popcorn is one of my top five favorite foods. The carwash I use has one of those commercial popcorn popper carts in the waiting area, with free popcorn popped all day long in supersaturated movie theater popcorn popping medium, raining out of the hopper so appetizingly. At home I use a hot-air popper, and for years I have exclusively depended upon bulk organic yellow popcorn from the health food supermarket, might be Giusto's as much of their bulk stuff is. Really really good flavor and texture and poppingness. Jolly Time white was an old regular-supermarket favorite... very tender and delicate, as Baroness said up there. I would like to know more about the homemade kettle corn process from those who do that... you add sugar right in there with the oil? I watch the kettle corn people at my local farmer's markets make their huge batches, but would love to make it at home.
  12. Erin, I am onto Marcella's autobiography now and reading about her childhood arm injury I was cringing as it also put me in mind of your recent one. Owie. Hope you're on the mend. Is it possibly even synchronicitous that you would have an arm injury JUST when you've started on your Marcella Years? Hmmm. With my can o' tomatoes I made the simple tomato sauce you did up there... delicious. One feels just preternaturally good when a tomato sauce is simmering on the stove, doesn't one? And, for your fish trimmings, sounds like maybe you should make ara jiru, which Hiroyuki typically graciously helped me out with some time ago... here is a link. So good! AND is fish cookery. Beautiful description of dinnertime smells. All these things find their way into your personal cuisine, as you see fit anyways, which is only as it should be. What is one's cooking but accumulation of one's life experience made manifest?
  13. Maybe I've learned that lesson years ago, but it's a lesson all too easily forgotten. Thanks for reminding me. ← And me as well.And the resonance w/Japanese cuisine, yes. Like Marcella's using water instead of even light stock in many dishes... years ago she pulled me back from the stock-in-everything precipice. You know how it is in the early days of cooking and you're making stock all the dang time and you have so much of it around all the time you tend to look for places to use it, and pretty much everybody (else) is saying stock makes EVERYthing better. But she is right about water often being the best liquid. Veg soups, for instance, water is my default unless I'm going for a particular result that requires stock. Water even in the aforediscussed ceci soup when Marcella specifies light broth, so there. All this tomato sauce discussion made a can of my favorite tomatoes appear on the counter. What will come of that I wonder.
  14. Coming very late to Bill Buford's Heat, and then only because Ivan and the 17-year-old read it; truly surprised to like it! I love Mario, and was fearing his being used as a platform for a slavering overwritten Bourdainesque midlife self-indulgencefest. But Buford is a great writer, deceptively dispassionate, not quite dry. Off-dry? The ethnography of the Babbo kitchen culture is very very well done. I am finding the much-ballyhooed Italian butcher segment not as engaging, however. But then he brings the pig-breaking-down skills back to his NY apartment and I get interested again. Not quite finished yet.
  15. Oh Erin I am so sorry for your injury! Is it really broken? Terrible. You face your trials with style and fortitude. The tomato sauce story is beeyootiful. Plucky heroine cooking dinner w/broken arm? Petty yakuza next door?!? I feel like I have a window into one of those Japanese Sunday night dramas we get subtitled here.
  16. I think orzo would be good, maybe an affect not unlike the denser, small-diameter ditalini. Awaiting to hear the report on Maggie's non-peeled cecis. I can't imagine it'll be bad, of course, the basic flavors are so good in this preparation. But the velvetyness; whither the velvetyness? I love how your project, Erin, is reigniting Marcella love and cooking around the globe. Also, I just received her autobiography!
  17. The Jamie at Homes Food Network showed are 30 min., but have the feel of having been edited from a longer length. Maybe I just want them to be longer! I would like to see the whole series. And I would agree, NO CSI, not EVEN Miami. I used anellini in my soup, little rings. They were good. Not as much texture as ditalini, but gentle and nice. I like those very teensy ditalini that are almost like cut bucatini or perciatelli for this soup as well. (In the Western U.S., and, I see in the Wiki link, Canada too, for your visits home, we are lucky to have the 99 Ranch Supermarket chain. I believe it is mainly Taiwanese but I think of it as pan-Asian because it has an incredibly useful and ecumenical representation of Asian ingredients.)
  18. Oh my goodness so much good stuff. Erin, freakily, tonight was the night we ate my ceci soup w/pasta. My husband and son were effusive in their praise, and there was even the cheese sandwich, only ours were soldiers of toasted whole grain sourdough with melted soft blue. I had made it on Saturday. Peeled the chickpeas while watching a couple of Tivo'd Jamie at Homes. A cooked pound of chickpeas takes 2+ Jamies, zipping through commercials and stopping occasionally to consult on family matters or switch the laundry, I now know. Yes, the pale beige used contact lenses they do pile up. I've never been able to them any other way than one at a time, one of those contemplative kitchen activities. Also accompanied by LOLcatage, but then, everything is. Freaky! And I am so making that tofu dish... it must be absolutely heavenly with rice. I can get delicious deep-fried locally made fresh tofu at the pan-Asian supermarket. Bruce, that sausage and cream sauce was a constant when my son was little, he would request it, as when I was feeding him earlier and we were eating later. It rivals convenience food for ease... a de-cased sausage, a little hit of cream, his favorite farfalle. One of the preparations where you get reminded every time of the importance of the Parmigiano element. I got a kick out of the mental picture of your boys swooning, but yet, somehow, they recover to eat again!
  19. Great evocative account, Susan! Izzat electricity coming?
  20. All kinds of tomato sauce can be good, if made well, of couse. I was surprised when quite late in the U.S. Italian Food Frenzy Mario's basic tomato sauce included that carrot in there, like Italian-American gravies. Can't remember if any of Marcella's have carrot. She certainly uses carrot for mirepoix/sofrito bases, and as a veg on its own. An Italian chef who showed me the One True Way to Marinara (he never exactly said that, but it was understood) was disgusted by extra stuff in sauces. His marinara consisted of tomatoes or puree, peeled whole garlic clove, and way less basil than I would have used if I hadn't been following his instructions and wanting to report back honestly, salt, pepper (easy on the pepper), and olive oil. The garlic and basil were fished out before pureeing. (He was as hard-ass as Marcella.) I had already learned and happily employed making his sauce Marcella's genius point about watching for the oil to separate from the tomato. Now there's something a cook can use her whole life. It remains, to me, the ne plus ultra of marinaras. As his wife, who ran the front of the house, said during a Marinara conversation, "I think it is very nice if it is light -- it must be light." Not a way one would describe most tomato sauces of my acquaintance before this. I am trying to think of a Marcella dish that is NOT light. Is there one? Pork braised in milk wants to float up to the ceiling. Even meatballs... isn't this the book with the tiny meatballs baked w/rigatoni? Which manages to be as light and digestible as a leaf of lettuce. Erin, I love your connecting what ladies the world around create for people to eat with just a stovetop and a few local ingredients. I wish more people could see that it is all ONE cooking continuum. And I am SO making the sausage potato tomato dish. In Japanese supermarkets here we sometimes buy little sausages made with Kurobuta pork... might a coarsely-ground version of those work for the dish in Japan? I think Marcella suggests American breakfast-type sausages so that we don't fall for the fennel-seed juke.
  21. Priscilla

    Dinner! 2008

    Bruce, Arnab's Aunt's Chicken Curry looks excellent. And all ingredients are usually to hand when one arrives home w/raw chicken, too. I am SO making that. Last evening Ivan cast-iron-panned stovetop and then oven nice NY strips, which he served w/sliced Russian heirloom Anna tomato from the fahncy tomato guy at the farmer's market, beautiful crenelated red and green, very good flavor and texture, arrayed atop salad mix from another vendor, dressed w/lemon-juice vinaigrette inspired by having watched a Tivo'd Jamie asparagus show. Ciabatta from the Japanese French baker.
  22. This may be the recipe for this week! As for the pasta with rosemary and bacon...I'm ashamed to admit it, but I'm a serial rosemary plant killer. When I walk by, rosemary plants shrink back and whisper, "murderer! murderer!" to each other behind their spiny little hands. Which is a shame, because the rest of my herbs are in good shape - my lemongrass plant is threatening to take over the living room as we speak. Hee, my venerable rosemary has been one of the very few plants that I have managed NOT to kill. I definitely think it's a fluke. I think another herb that suits bacon would be delicious, in the absence of rosemary. One of the ceci soups has gone on my docket for the week as well. It has been too long, and I am glad of the reminder. And wow Bruce, those wings! That page is getting one of my little Sponge Bob Post-It tabs right quick here.
  23. That sauce would be a delicious topping for a knife-and-fork bruschetta. Perusing my copy I was gobsmacked by something obvious, and important: Patate Maritate on p. 266. So important it long ago began to exist as a standalone for me -- I'd forgotten which book it came from. ONLY one of the best recipes ever ever ever. Can you get good mozz in Japan? I saw an artisanal mozz maker on Dotchi Cooking Showdown once... AND, (I just read) its source is Marcella's Mother's cleaning lady, just like the pickled eggplant you made up there, so -- excellent provenance. Revisiting some of what else I've cooked from the book: The best best best chickpea soups -- the Pasta e Ceci on p.87 is so delicious, just an all-time favorite. Also the one w/pancetta and wild mushrooms on the previous page, so good. Only for Marcella would I PEEL EACH CHICKPEA. But of course it goes without saying but I say it anyway, she is (of course) right: The result is so superior the effort is beyond worthwhile. I always cook the beans from dried, rather than use canned as in the recipe, but I think she would be reasonable about that. The pasta sauce of rosemary and bacon on p. 131 is one of those standbys for which the ingredients are always in stock and the result is always fantastic. In recent years Jamie Oliver has helped me make use of my profligate 20-year-old rosemary shrub, but Marcella was the big help with that when the plant was new. The apricot sorbetto on p. 323 has been our go-to apricot frozen concoction since very first trial... unpeeled apricots! Delicious.
  24. Usually, a person must be markedly less smart and interesting than Maggie is to be as widely beloved -- she embodies in my life a crucial counterexample to the tyranny of the mediocre. The other day, folding out of the dryer a newly-scored vintage pink kitchen towel I mused idly is this huck or some kind of small-gauge pique, came down on the side of pique, and then thought I would take up with Maggie in future correspondence the relative merits of the two weaves. If she wasn't too busy making paper from scratch before writing on it in iambic pentameter or hand-rolling a hem on a silk charmeuse evening gown or re-reading one of the classics because she couldn't swear 100% whether the allusion on p. 313 was Biblical or Greek. No rest for the unwicked.
  25. In October's Gourmet mag there is an excerpt from Marcella's forthcoming autobiography. Here's a link.
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