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Everything posted by amapola

  1. amapola

    Grinding herbs

    I second the rubbing- I too have found that it brings out a tremendous amount of flavour. I also find it easier simply crumbling the leaves than using pestle & mortar.
  2. Chufi, I wanted to "quote" my favourite from your dinner pictures and compliment you on it and drool over it, but it turned out impossible. I simply cannot choose between al those stunning and mouthwatering dishes... What a lucky man your husband is, and how lucky we are, to get invited over and sneak in a peak at your wonderful gatherings. Thanks! (oh... that tuna... that braised escarole and beans... that incredible collection of cakes...) (edited to wipe some drooling residu off the screen)
  3. amapola


    How about the ancient tradition of painting with tempera (egg-based paint)?
  4. Oooh I love that soup! Soup is the greatest thing ever to perk you up and warm your body and mind when it's so cold and grey and drab
  5. I use my unglazed romertopf clay baker for this bread. I preheat it unsoaked, put it into the cold oven and let the two heat up at the same time. The bread comes out just fine, good crust, good oven spring, no sticking to the bottom of the pot. The romertopf copes with this treatment just fine. Although the instructions read to soak it before heating it, I haven't noticed any problems with the temperature difference when I plunk the dough into the hot pot, no cracking whatsoever.
  6. These look to die for! It's between breakfast and lunchtime over here and I'm getting seriously hungry, looking at this dish... It's almost as if I can smell it.
  7. Hi Megan, I'm relatively new to eGullet and your blog is the first one I'm following. I enjoy it so much, thanks for the peek into your life and onto your plate! Lookin forward to reading (and seeing) more Annabel
  8. Totally! We usually go on saturday afternoon, to the market, the local shops, the supermarket, all conveniently located within walking distance. I don't make a very extensive list but indeed, 'extra's' are usually picked up because we are curious. So, naturally, when we get home, we want to try them. Straight away. All of them. We have a lot of opened jars, boxes, bags and whatnot stashed in the fridge to get through during the week
  9. Cooks Illustrated did a rating of standing mixers that can be found here. The KA pro 600 comes out best, next to the DeLonghi DSM5 and the Hobart N50. I work in a museum that has a special exhibit for children. As one of the standard activities, we bake little challa breads with the kids. We make the dough in a KA Artisan, which I think was mainly bought because of its pretty looks. It makes a lot of noise, it doesn't really knead well because the dough all clings to the hook within seconds and after a heavy kneading session the bowl has twisted itself so firmly onto the base that it requires a lot of force to get it off. I know that the machine broke down in its first week of use but I wasn't there when it happened so I don't know what the problem was. (I must say that I don't think KA delivered a faulty product; I feel the person in charge of buying the equipment should have done a bit more research and bought a machine that's really designed for the heavy job it's supposed to do...)
  10. Ow yay! Chervil soup! Followed by a plate of tender white asparagus topped with hard boiled eggs and new potatoes on the side. Drenched in melted butter. For desert one of my favourite Dutch puddings: hangop ('hangup'). This is made by draining buttermilk in a piece of cheesecloth, for about eight hours. You will end up with a very creamy yet light, fresh and slightly sour substance. Stir in some sugar, vanilla, a drop of cream, all to taste, or nothing at all. Classically served with strawberries. If you don't have good buttermilk you could use yoghurt but the texture will be not as smooth and the flavour more acidic.
  11. There are these tiny yellowish croutons from Israel that are supposed to go with soup (gee, I wonder if that's why they're called 'soup almonds') and that we bring back to Amsterdam in bulk whenever we visit. For a while I ate them with almost everything. Plain or fruity or whatever kind yogurt, puddings, a bit of leftover sauce on my plate, a scoop of cold ragu from te fridge, a peanut butter sandwich... I guess I like a bit of crunch
  12. Roasted cauliflower with chili flakes and cocoa nibs is a good combination. It might also work with unsweetened cocoa powder, perhaps make a mix with chili powder rather than flakes and toss the florets with it before roasting. Also, I often add a square or two of bitter chocolate to reduced red wine or port sauces to go with lamb or beef or even duck, and sometimes a teaspoon of cocoa powder finds its way into ragu type pasta sauces. But that's more to deepen flavours than to really give a dish a chocolate accent, which it doesn't.
  13. That is a _great_ piece of information, I was never aware of that... Thanks!
  14. A recipe I came across recently is for Iberian rib of pork, roasted in hazelnut oil and served with white chocolate-black olive discs and creme of baby carrots. I have not tried it yet but I liked the sound of it. It's from a restaurant here in Amsterdam so it's in Dutch, but if you're interrested, I'd be happy translate the recipe for you.
  15. Thanks for your comment! Do you parboil the potatoes or use them raw? And if so, how long do you cook the complete dish?
  16. A couple of months ago, we went to Israel for Rosh Hashana. On one of our last evenings there the family took us out for dinner at a restaurant where my brother-in-law ordered siniya, a dish consisting of minced beef and spices, layered with potatoes and topped with tchina. I tasted some and instantly regretted not having ordered it myself, it was so good! I wanted to re-create the dish but all I could find is a handful of recipes that do not include potatoes (this one by eGullet member Daniel Rogov, for example). Is the dish I had a bastardized version? Can anyone help me out...? Thanks!
  17. Also, after stirring sugar for a caramel and remembering NOT to lick the spoon because you know the sugar will indeed be hot, DON'T think you are smart by taking the sugar off with your finger instead. I'd make a good burglar now, without fingerprints.
  18. amapola

    Divine lemons

    Lemon mousse sounds like a great idea, do you have a recipe that works for you and that you'd be willing to share?
  19. A recipe I often make is not with red onions and rosemary but it can easily be adapted to suit your taste. I'm also not sure wether to call it chutney or not, but it's indeed good with meat and cheeses so it might be along the lines of what you are looking for. Take a couple of large onions and slice them finely. Since the onions will lose most of their water and therefore reduce immensly in volume, make sure to start off with plenty raw onions. Put them in a large, heavy based pan with some olive oil, thyme (or rosemary, in your case), a good glug of sherry (port or red wine could also work fine), a little brown sugar, salt and pepper to taste and just a splash of balsamic vinegar. Then give it all a good stir and then put it on a very, very low heat for the rest of the day, lid on, stirring occasionally. It really needs at least 6 hours but 8 are better, if you have the patience. (putting the pan in a low oven for 6-8 hours will also do the trick.) If at the end of the cooking time the mixture seems too moist, simply leave the lid off and cook until you reach the desired consistency. As the hours pass, you'll see the onions turn golden, then beige and finally a deep, dark brown. Their flavour changes accordingly, the darker the onions, the deeper and sweeter their flavour. Put in clean jars, once opened it will keep for a couple of weeks in the fridge.
  20. amapola

    Divine lemons

    Thanks all, for the great suggestions! I'm going to preserve some of my lemons I have always loved the taste of preserved lemons but somehow it never occurred to me that I could actually make them myself... Also, I might cook up a garlic-lemon-chicken dish based on the Nigella recipe for guest tomorrow. As for the rest of the fruit, I still haven't decided what to do with them. Choosing one option seems like eliminating all of the other wonderful possibilities and I hate the thought of missing out on something
  21. Andi, did you soak the Romertopf first? ← When I tried it in my Romertopf, I soaked mine. ← I also used my romertopf but I didn't soak it. I just put it into the cold oven and let them heat up toghether. It rendered a nice crust and tasty crumb, and the clay baker was fine. Skyflyer, how did the crust on your loaf turn out after soaking? Does the dough stick to the bottom of your romertopf?
  22. Ok, I know this thread has been dead as a doornail for over six months now but I just couldn't resist... Big Night is very high on my list. Of course for all the obvious reasons, but in fact mainly because of the scene of the morning after, when all the extravagant cooking and eating has been done and the men wake up and stumble into the kitchen one after the other, to share the simple satisfaction provided by an omelette. Also, I love The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover and Fried Green Tomatoes, although often mentioned up thread. And then three slightly far-fetched ones: Mermaids, in which Cher prepares only food items featured in her finger food book, down to the marshmallow skewers for desert. In The Hours three stories run alongside and each features some memorable food scenes. In the part with Nicole Kidman as Virginia Woolf in the 1920's, she sends her cook to London by train to fetch ginger for the afternoon tea party, but REALLY because she is scared to be alone around the house with the servants. In the 1950's storyline is a scene were we see how a deeply depressed Julianne Moore wants to make her husband a brown-and-blue birthday cake. She fails at her first attempt so she makes a second, perfect one, leaves it on the counter and drives off to a hotel to kill herself (which she then doesn't do after all). And then in the 2000's setting, Meryl Streep prepares a party for her writer friend who has AIDS and has won a writers award. From early morning on she has been busy preparing 'that crab-thing you like so much', starting off with her girlfriend discovering a dozen of live crabs in the sink, but then her friend throws himself out of the window and the party is -of course- cancelled. The sound of the 'crab-thing' as she slides it off the plate into the bin is, to me, immortal. Amadeus features a gorgeous banquet that serves as the background for the introduction of Mozart and his wife, with dishes dressed with pheasant feathers and a huge bombe-type contraption covered in what appear to be chocolate truffles. But perhaps my most favourite food scene of them all has to be the one where Mozart’s wife comes to Salieri to seek his help and to make her feel at ease he offers her 'some refreshments' in the form of Capezzoli di Venere- brandied chestnuts coated with marzipan, or, originally, chocolate. Her face, his, the innuendo, everyting they DON'T say, and all of that over a pretty little dish of innocent looking sweets... I have never tried to recreate those but I think I will have to, one day...
  23. My own father, not jewish and in his early 60's, is a very able cook. Though the dishes he cooks are not very exotic or creative, he has a wide range of tasty meals he turns out for himself on a daily basis. He even used to do most of the cooking when I was a kid, since my mom was a working mom and he a stay-at-home dad. My father in law, jewish and in his mid 70's, is also a very able cook. When it comes to eggs and sausages, that is. On one of the first occasions we met he announced with great pride and humour that he only knows how to put toghether ONE meal, but since it's eggs and sausages, it's not THAT big a problem that he doesn't know how to cook anything else.
  24. whenever i freeze bread, i wrap it in a double layer of close fitting plastic wrap. i buy la brea bakery small baguettes (they look like large rectangular dinner rolls) from costco and always wrap them individually. i unwrap and pop them into an oven i've set to 350F and let the roll heat up with the oven. they come out as good as freshly baked. i think freezing in bags (especially if there's more than one item inside) leaves a lot of room/air in between each item. this allows the moisture in the rolls to migrate out...even if the bags are "airtight". try the individual wrapping thing and see how it goes. with croissants, you can always try freezing them - unbaked - after shaping them (without proofing them) and then getting them out the night before, putting them in the fridge for an overnight proof. then take them out in the morning and allow them to come to temp while you're pre-heating your oven. this might work nicely. ← I tried the individual wrapping and letting the breads and the oven heat simultaneously and it works a treat! Thanks so much for ridding me of this longtime annoyance :smile:
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