Posts

Showing posts from September, 2010

Cookbook #38: Great Good Food

Image
Adapted from Cookbook #38:  Great Good Food

Recipe:  Catfish with Black Bean Salsa


My grandfather died when I was in college--I was away and I didn't return to my hometown for the funeral.  But I remember him well: the cans of Budweiser, the little white house, the tacky bronze fountain with a naked woman in it in his living room, and the fish cook outs.  He had a fishing shack in a small town on the Mississippi River and from time to time he would take my brother and me fishing with him.  I don't particularly remember liking fishing, but I certainly appreciated all of the accessories.  For my birthday, I was gifted a fishing rod, and I had a fishing hat onto which I could hook my tackle.  In the garage I kept a small orange tackle box with fifteen little compartments into which I could put my fancy jiggling lures or my plain sinkers.  I would sometimes pull it down from the shelf above my father's work bench, and I would line up all of my lures in row, counting them, adm…

Cookbook #37: Bread: From Sourdough to Rye

Image
Adapted from Cookbook #37:  Bread: From Sourdough to Rye  (2005)

Recipe:  Masala Dosa with Spicy Potatoes and Spinach

--> Well, that didn't work out so well.  It's been a while since we have had a failure, and last night we had one.

Dosa is an astonishing Southern Indian pancake/flatbread made from a fermented batter of rice and dhal. It's India's version of the Crepe!  I love the Crepe! See here and here.  Rich in carbohydrates and protein, unfilled dosa are eaten with a fresh, moist coconut chutney for breakfast.  But for a full meal, just add spicy potatoes or spinach or both.  This is a meal I can get behind.

However, dinner didn't quite go like that for me.

Two nights ago, I soaked the rice and dhal.  The next morning I ground them up and set them atop the stove for a 12-hour fermentation.  I came home about ten hours later and noticed the batter wasn't bubbly enough, so I turned on the stove to 200, but left the bowl on the counter.  The kitchen…

Cookbook # 36: Rick Bayless's Mexican Kitchen

Image
Adapted from Cookbook #36 :  Rick Bayless's Mexican Kitchen  (1996)

Recipe:  Tamal de Cazuela (Crusty Baked Tamal)

Every Christmas, one of the husband's fathers* hosts a small tamalada.  These tamale-making-parties carry on New World traditions, and our annual gathering is a nod to the husband's father's Mexican-by-way-of-Oklahoma heritage.  Labor-intensive and best conducted with many hands and pitchers of margaritas or sangria, this get-together often leaves us feeling a little sick because not only do we devour a good deal of the filling before we mold masa around it, we also eat way too many of the cooked tamales (particularly the tomatillo-chicken ones).  At the end of the night, we haul home oodles of them (leaving twice as many behind with the parental hosts), and those tamales that we don't immediately consume in the next week we put in the freezer to be pulled out for a March tamal or two or ten.

While it would feel strange to have a tamalada any other t…