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Priscilla

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Everything posted by Priscilla

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. In October's Gourmet mag there is an excerpt from Marcella's forthcoming autobiography. Here's a link.
  5. Your improvising sounds just right to me. I was remembering, thinking of this thread, the great Marcella invocation in Judith Jones' The Tenth Muse -- it was heartening to read that even Marcella's editor and peer shared some of these feelings. I just love Marcella.
  6. Crazy scary and cool perfectly sums up how I've always thought of Marcella, too. And this may be my favorite book of hers. Great project. Your use of the reserved eggplant skin is positively inspired. I've made the roselline many times... back in what we call The Marcella Years (for me, the 1980s) it was a major triumph. The day I found the one guy in the Italian grocery who would slice the Fontina thin enough, carefully layering paper between each slice for my ease in using later, well, that was a very good day. I remember serving it at a dinner party of all my professors from my master's program, nerve-wracking enough, but Marcella didn't let me down. The professors, not an especially charitable group, and not disposed to underestimating their own powers of discernment, were suitably impressed. And Ivan, nervous himself dressing the salad according to Marcella principles that night (and most other nights since), similarly benefited from her uncompromisingness. A collateral lesson from Marcella is how being married to a charming fusspot (don't tell Ivan I said that) sharpens one's cooking skills. A lot of her inspiration seems to come from Victor's high standards for proper care and feeding. And in re pork for veal -- somewhere in one of her books she orders vitello tonnato in a restaurant and finds that it is pork, not veal, with the tuna sauce, and the restaurateur says he prefers it and she admits it is possibly better. So there you go. I've used turkey and pork and chicken in all cutlet preparations, and continue to.
  7. Priscilla

    Costco

    The Costco's in my area used to carry another brand of balsamic vinegar that came in a larger bottle. Then it disappeared and the Kirkland brand showed up for about the same price but in a smaller bottle. From that point forward I decided to buy my balsamic at Trader Joe's and I can't bring myself to buy the Kirkland brand. I guess I need therapy for holding a grudge agasint Kirlkland. ← The Kirkland brand I bought is a liter -- was there another larger than that? Maybe this is a reintroduction or something. But Toliver, don't cut off your nose to spite your face! It's good! And a liter is a LOT!
  8. Priscilla

    Costco

    I don't buy farmed fish.
  9. Priscilla

    Costco

    As others have mentioned earlier in this thread, the Costco Balsamic vinegar is delicious! While in the store for the usual salmon fillet and printer cartridges, I bought it for the first time just last week, after all these years NOT buying it, and can now regret not doing so sooner. Very good product.
  10. Priscilla

    Dinner! 2008

    Last evening very good Italian sausages from the butcher shop that made 'em served w/loads of caramelized onions, excellent Caprese salad w/CA water buffalo mozz, farmer's market tomatoes, basil from the garden. Ciabatta from the French-Japanese baker.
  11. I am not sure a soup base would be something I would use -- not that, mind, I am above using instant dashi -- but I want to take a look and weigh its necessity. Thanks for the pointers!
  12. Thank you, Sanrensho... I will look for that this week at the Japanese market. From Melonpan's post #21 in the link you provided it sounds like it could be what Harumi is specifying.
  13. Thank you, Erin... shao hsing I always have, as well as sake, God knows. It was your commendation of one of Harumi's books that got me to take a look at them, in fact. Her advance press, at least in the U.S. depicted her inaccurately as overly simplifying or diluting Japanese cooking, when in fact she is quite hard-nosed and trad, which is just how I like it. Interesting how cuisines as geographically separate as Vietnamese and Mexican use that Knorr chicken base similarly... I have also known a German very good home cook who used it in that way, as well as her beloved Maggi sauce, which some Asian home cooking does as well, I believe.
  14. Priscilla

    Dinner! 2008

    Last evening, outside, after a day of semi-gloss painting, and including a neighbor guest who happened by during cocktail hour: NY steaks, delicious farmer's market Romaine and beefsteak tomato salade w/homemade blue-cheese dressing, ciabatta from the Japanese-French baker.
  15. I just got Harumi Kurihara's two English-language books. In them she occasionally calls for "Chinese soup paste," described as a mixture of pork and chicken bases. Is this a Japanese product or Chinese? Are there brands that are better than others? She seems to use it in small amounts as a seasoning as well as for actual soup broth, which put me in mind of Mexican cooks' adding a touch of granulated chicken base where one might not expect. Also: Shoshoku, which she says is Chinese rice wine... is this the same thing as Shao Hsing? Any info would be greatly appreciated; I am intrigued by several of her recipes already. (edited due to hasty button-pushing)
  16. Chris, not far from the convention center via Katella is Park Avenue. I've not yet been so cannot personally vouch, but it gets very good marks from local Cocktail Nation types for food and drink.
  17. Priscilla

    Dinner! 2008

    Wild sockeye. Salad. Ciabatta.
  18. Very inspiring... I love chuck. However here in Southern California I've never seen anything labeled chuck eye, ever. Ever ever ever. Shoulder blade, 7-Bone, like that. So ya, photos, me too please.
  19. Yum. Reading all the foregoing sure makes a person want a salad. I love our nearly daily salads, or salades as one might say if one has been, as I have, polluted by Sponge Bob's pronunciation. Meal accompanying salades are simple affairs dressed (carefully) in the bowl like Marcella Hazan advocated with olive oil of the moment and either vinegar of the moment or citrus if it suggests itself, do not stint on the s & p, esp. the s. Sometimes a more formal vinaigrette w/minced shallots and mustard, depending on what it's accompanying. Sometimes homemade creamy types, esp. "Coco's House Dressing," which is a buttermilk/mayonnaise/parmesan trip, again with certain mains. Greens vary acc. to what's at the farmer's market, but we strive to have a romaine and a soft variety prepped in the fridge at all times: Insta-Salad as it is called in our house. Insta-Salad, fresh and on the ready, is way greater than the sum of its parts.
  20. Priscilla

    Dinner! 2008

    Last evening, the same thing that's been on the menu two or three times a week for weeks now, and no pall evinced, or even in sight: Wild sockeye on a very hot griddle, super crispy skin, very moist interior, landed atop fabulous farmer's market salad -- sometimes spring mix, sometimes romaine, or tender redleaf, or merveille de quatre saisons, dressed usually with olive oil-whatever vinegar appeals but occasionally honey-mustard or creamy teriyaki. Cold pink wine; varies, but has consistently been French, this summer. Ciabatta from the Japanese French baker, or in a pinch Lee's Viet baguette.
  21. Just caught up with the onion and the bbq eps... I love that beautiful keywound spit no matter its provenance. I agree that its finding was probably less romantic than Jamie's tongue-in-cheek flight of fancy might have suggested. From the onion show the shallot/blue cheese salad was just right. Salads w/a blue cheese component are habitual in our house and I will be doing his variation with the fine fat shallots from my fave farmer's market vendor right quick here.
  22. OK, I made the Tomato Gorgonzola pasta last night, which Pierogi brought to the topic in post #6. Just delicious. I had fresh, soft, Stella domestic gorgonzola, which I happen to like a lot, when it is fresh and soft. (This was from the Italian deli where one can get a wedge cut from the big wheel. This same cheese in supermarkets is often old, dry, yellow, ammoniac.) I used brass-die fusilli giganti from the pantry, and added a little grated Parmigiano Reggiano as well, as discussed in other posts regarding this preparation. I think adding a hit of Balsamic, a little cream, and a judiciously huge amount of gorgonzola to my regular marinara or other light tomato sauce could about duplicate the flavor profile. I like a recipe that gives me ideas like that.
  23. Susan, I join in with the others hoping that the cabin saga will continue to be updated, and that freedom from administrative burdens will indeed free up time for other posting as well. Thank you for all your hard work.
  24. Everything counts. Dave, I bet I have perused that dressing recipe, online and in the book, a hundred times. Must must must make it finally. And cornstarch (sometimes potato flour) is what gives Japanese karaage coating its essential crunchewiness. I can so see masa.
  25. I added some parmesan cheese, too. The bleu was still the star (especially because I upped the amount), but I have a heck of a lot of parmesan to get through, so I used it. There's no such thing as too much cheese! ← That makes sense flavorwise... Parmesan is definitely the secret weapon ingredient in Marcella Hazan's gorgonzola sauce (not a tomato sauce), a longtime favorite of mine. I really have to get some gorgonzola right quick here.
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