Monday, February 27, 2012
But just to prove I wasn't dreaming about seeing roast pork in a deli: In my early exploratory moments, I had sent an email to Wegman's asking them if they had deli roast pork. A day or so after our party, the deli man from that incredible store called to tell me he had a very good roll of roast pork that goes for $10.00 a pound. Now I plan to get some of that because my mouth is set for a good rye bread, mustard and pork sandwich, maybe with a slice of red onion. Keep in mind, however, HP's roast pork piece weighed a pound, already cooked cost $6.99. To indulge my pricey fancies, I have to drive 10 miles to my nearest Wegman's.
New Jersey has pork stores; what's the matter with Virginia?
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Monday, February 20, 2012
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Within a week, I plan to put the recipes from this class on doc store so that everyone can replicate them. I expect to repeat this series again next winter term with new recipes that most of us find comforting.
Friday, February 10, 2012
Last week's menu was more interesting, however, and I did not get a chance to blog about that because I did some traveling starting before dawn the next morning. Last week, our Monday Night cocktail was a Nassau Sam (using Hugo's Nassau Royale which I forgot to return to him on the preceding Fish Night). It was OK -- not very interesting. With our drinks, we munched from a cheese, olive, marcona almond platter.
There may actually have been a theme to this dinner -- four of the recipes I used are from "Essential Pepin" which is a collection of Jacques Pepin's recipes from throughout his career. He's one of my favorite TV chefs and this book is considered by many to be the best cook book of 2011, so it was a no-brainer to add it to my collection and starting cooking from it right away. We started with his Onion Soup-Lyonnaise Style which is truly wonderful and far easier to make than the classic version. I highly recommend this recipe. Then we had:
- Mousse-Stuffed Trout with Sweet Vermouth Sauce -- this is also from "Essential Pepin" but I can't find an internet link that will allow me to share the recipe. This is really sad because the dish was terrific -- very, very elegant and tasty! It would be perfect for a special dinner and makes an amazing presentation. So buy the book!
- "Cottage" Fried Potatoes -- just because I had some small red potatoes that needed to be used as they were starting to sprout!
- Braised Endive with Olives -- I don't get much positive reinforcement for this (to say the least!), but I love trying new and unusual side dishes for my Fish Night guests. I loved this, but it was not unanimously appreciated! Again, no link to the recipe, but you can watch Jacques make it online.
- Butter Glazed Carrots -- again from my "Essential Pepin." These were good, but I actually like other glazed carrot recipes better.
For dessert, with our coffee and tea, we had shortbread. I can say, without hesitation, that I have finally found the best recipe and technique for shortbread. I'm experimenting now with different flavors and seasonings. Tangy Line Shortbread? Lavender-Scented? What do you think? I'm convinced I can do even better next time.
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Cécile begins by offering a glossary of fresh produce, describing them, how to select, how to store and prepare. Her following chapters are in these categories: soups, appetizers and salads, main courses and side dishes, desserts and finally, odds and ends. Her recipes, despite the fact that one assumes French recipes are complicated, are not complicated at all. Where an ingredient might seem obscure or difficult to find, she gives hints on either where to find it or a substitute. All written in plain English by this very French woman. In between the aforementioned chapters, she inserts personal anecdotes, historical background, and even a list of foodie movies.
Noting that the title is "In Grandmère's Kitchen" you might expect that Cécile includes ways to include the grand-kids in the cooking process. You would be right. Lovely pictures of the Heatley grand-kids begin the book, showing them peeling veggies for their grandmother's current cooking project.
What I like best about this book is that it gives me new ideas about how to cook some veggies that I've always done in the same old way. Little tips, putting something with something I've never tried before; my creative juices (sorry, no pun intended) are burbling, and I am about to run out and buy a few eggplants and a package of artichoke hearts to play with. This is a very practical book.
The price is $20 and very much worth it. Email Cécile at firstname.lastname@example.org or grab George next time you see him on campus. Likely he'll have a few copies in the trunk of his car.