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Showing posts from June, 2010

Cookbook #27: Chez Panisse Cafe Cookbook

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Adapted from Cookbook #27:  Chez Panisse Cafe Cookbook

Recipe:  Affogato

I am about to leave for Illinois to celebrate.  And there is much to celebrate:  standing up as a groomswoman in the wedding of my high school friend, road trip with my 62-year-old mother and four nieces and nephews, meeting my college roommate's year-old son, and probably Doritos or some other unwholesome food on the couch in my pajamas until 2 a.m. with my best friend since I was five years old.  This is going to be good.  In the mean time, I need to get cooking this week, as there will be only small pockets of time to do any cooking over the next 10 days.

So I bring you affogato.  It's hot out there, people.  It's time for ice cream.  In Italian affogato means drowned, and one can drown vanilla ice cream in just about anything and call it affogato, but traditionally that something is plain espresso.  (We cheated and used coffee, but really, really strong coffee from Peets).  Some like to shake…

Cookbook #26: Ad Hoc at Home

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Adapted from Cookbook #26:  Ad Hoc at Home

Recipe: Borlotti Bean Ragu



Let's be clear:  Ad Hoc is one of the seven wonders of the world.   Back in 2006, renowned chef Thomas Keller decided to open a restaurant in order to make use of a property he had purchased with the intention of creating a diner.  The diner had lain dormant because of other projects, so Keller thought it would be "fun" to open a temporary restaurant that made family-style meals five nights a week.  Thus, Ad Hoc was born.  By September of 2007, Keller was having so much fun with this accidental restaurant that he decided to throw out the idea of the diner altogether and keep the temporary restaurant open for good.  

Last week, my dear friend from high school came to town, and she said that there was really only one thing she wanted to do while in Northern California--eat at Ad Hoc.  In a Keller-themed day, we drove up to Napa last Thursday, where we had a lunch of sandwich and eclairs at Bouchon …

Cookbook #25: Williams Sonoma Essentials of Slow Cooking

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Adapted from Cookbook #25:  Williams Sonoma Essentials of Slow Cooking

Recipe: Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

It's summer solstice. The longest day of the year.  The shortest night. Symbolically speaking, I could use these long days and some short nights. The days: a dear high school friend came to visit from North Carolina, school let out for summer, World Cup soccer launched into full force. But also the nights:  a memorial service and an unrelated but surprisingly tearful goodbye to a friend who is moving to Ohio. In other words, give me more days than nights right now.

So to cook at the midpoint of 2010, I quite simply made the homey, satisfying goodness of meatballs.

These particular meatballs are a wonderful blend of three meats (beef, pork, and veal (yes, I realize that's still cow, but work with me here)), and they braise (rather than brown) in a tomato and chipotle sauce.  And all of this from Williams Sonoma Essentials of Slow Cooking.  We nabbed this cookbook from Pe…

Cookbook #24: Classic Indian Cooking

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Adapted from Cookbook #24:  Classic Indian Cooking

Recipe:  Chicken in Onion Tomato Gravy (Murgh Masala)

I have already waxed poetic on the Indian food in the Bay Area.  However, this cookbook ensures that I have perfect Indian cooking at home anytime I want it--or am willing to devote the three hours of cooking time to make it.  Deciding that cooking was a fine way to spend a weekend afternoon, instead I made this during a weeknight last week (which would indicate why I didn't have the time to post it.  However, then with all the hullabaloo surrounding the end of the school year and a fantastic visit from a friend from out of town, I really never got around to posting.  I promise, I am not shirking my cooking duties, but I sure have been shirking the posting duties).

Anyway, The New York Times loved this classic cookbook, comparing it to Marcella Hazan's Classic Italian Cooking (to be featured here later). And it is a pretty grand cookbook, for Julie Sahni walks you thro…

Cookbook #23: Bobby Flay's Bold American Food

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Adapted from Cookbook #23:  Bobby Flay's Bold American Food

Recipe: Loin Lamb Chops with Jalapeno Preserves

This entry is not for vegetarians.

Nope.  I wasn't really a fan of lamb.  I often found it gamy (I love this spelling of "gamey" by the way) and chewy, which I always thought was a little odd, given that the little lambs had not done a lot of frolicking.  How could they get so "lamby" tasting?  But I learned with this recipe that it's not that I don't like lamb.  It's that I have expensive taste.

The loin chop of a lamb is the most tender part.  In fact, I kind of loved this chart here.  Browse!  Look at where the cut of meat comes from!  I do love a good chart.

Anyway, the loin chop is actually quite mild and tender when cooked medium rare (or almost rare in my case; I admit it, I like my meat to be seared on the outside and quite pink in the middle--I realize I am courting disaster here, but at least I will have lived a life of good…