Jun 172017
 

This is the 2nd apple I found on the street this week. I found the first one on East Houston street outside of Whole Foods – understandable, not that this one isn’t either. I found this second apple on my way back from the Union Square Farmers Market where I had picked up better than 2 pounds of all organic, just dug out of the ground russet potatoes, because they looked like they’d be so yummy. Right then & there I knew I’d be making a pan sized potato pancake with a 4-5 minute egg or two for my lunch that afternoon.

When I found the 2nd apple under a bench in one of the East Village’s community housing development it too was of the Delicious genius or species of apple, for me an inedible lot. Because I can’t eat a Delicious apple the first apple I found was still rolling around in the bowl at the end of my kitchen table. I’ll spare you the list of modifiers I have for a bad apple.  What I could certainly do is to make a fine apple & onion marmalade which would be a wonderful topping for my Sunday morning pan sized potato pancake for breakfast.

Recipe:

2 Apples – peeled, cored/Dseeded, and cut into chunks

1 Onion – medium dice

I cooked the chunks down with a jolt of pineapple juice, because I have it, Pinot Grigio & a splash of white balsamic. Most people will definitely add sugar. I don’t. That’s about that folks.

For the potato pancake, I simply grated 2 good sized russet potatoes & tossed in half an onion I diced I had in the fridge. I salted the grated potatoes & onion well, stirred it well & let it sit in the fridge for about 20 minutes.  Friday afternoon I had one pan sized potato pancake w/two soft-medium boiled eggs. I’m going to make the apple onion marmalade now for my breakfast tomorrow.

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May 282017
 
oatmeal sundae made w/oatmeal creme brûlée
oatmeal sundae and the NYSunday Times

oatmeal sundae

I guess I’ve always had a ‘thing’ for oatmeal’. Certainly not as a kid tho.

For my birthday many moons ago I hosted, an Oatmeal Sundae ™, party at The Pink Pony which unfortunately no longer exists but was truly a very special space. The famed owner Lucien, let me set up my own pots on hot plates and served well over 2 dozen friends in his bowls & silverware in the back, library, screening room area. I had steal cut oatmeal made with water & one batch with milk & many toppings – the usual suspects, yogurt, honey, toasted walnuts, bananas, & berries. I swear, a few of my friends still talk about this to this day and will most likely love seeing that I’ve written about it here.

I made oatmeal the first season of Recipe$ 4 $urvival when it was on MNN. To that porridge I added peanut butter & raisins to the mix. One of the calls I got in response to this episode went something like this, “We were going to have pizza but now we’re having oatmeal in our house instead.” Recipe$ 4 Survival was a huge hit on MNN for a good long while, maintaining an unprecedented prime-time slot. Here’s a link to the youtube compilation I put together of a few greatest hits episodes.

But then, just last weekend when I was pursuing the breakfast menu where my extended family were gathering for one last meal following  my nieces Bat Mitzvah celebration the Oatmeal Creme Brûlée jumped off the page/screen at me.  I texted to my bro that unfortunately I would not make it to breakfast but I’d be making Oatmeal Creme Brûlée in my house. So this is exactly what I did the other night.

I halved the recipe I picked to springboard from.

Ingredients:

Milk, 2 Eggs, Sugar, Cornstarch, Butter & soaked Steel Cut Oatmeal

What I did: 

While I warmed 1 C of milk I mixed the egg white of 1 egg & 1 full egg with 1/4 a C sugar, 1 T of corn starch

The milk is warmed just until you see steam then tempered this into the eggs, sugar & cornstarch mixture. Mix well. I did this with a whisk in about the time you can read this, never mind having to pull out some crazy equipment.

Pour the tempered milk & egg mixture back into a sauce-pot & warm over a minimum flame until thick & bubbling, stir in a pad of butter, I used 1 T.  Mix well until you have crème. Pour into another bowl & cover with plastic wrap directly on the crėme & set aside.

Make the oatmeal:

I brought 1/2C of milk & 1/2C of water to a boil, added cinnamon – because I have it, a dash of salt and 1 cup plus a bit more of steel cut oats I rehydrated the night before. You’ll have oatmeal in under or about 5 minutes.

The recipe I ‘made my own’ called for layering the oatmeal, then berries, then the creme into ramekins & baking them off. I was having none of that. I pour the entire batch of creme right into the warm perfectly cooked steel cut oatmeal. Mixed well and served topped with sliced banana & toasted walnuts.

 

 

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May 102017
 
Ivy transplant

Ivy transplant with help from Root & Bone benches

FRESH was the prompt for the first story I got to tell at The Moth . For the better part of the day I thought how I’d craft my story of finding RhODy with this inspirational direction: Prepare a five-minute story about the crispest and cleanest of life’s offerings. A new zip code, spouse, haircut or nose. Out with the stale, and in with the freshly baked. Tales of reinvention, from love life shakeups to a test drive of the new and improved you!

But then…the way best laid plans go – askew,  I had a fun little happening later that afternoon I thought for sure would surely constitute as a Fresh tale…SO

I finished showing a nearly $2M 1BR, 1.5 bath apt when I found myself ogling & shunning tourists taking selfies in front of various greenery sculptures and the ivy walls of the 1Hotel on  Ave. & 58th St.  when I noticed ‘Men at work’. This I paid attention to. A guy in a medium sized cherry picker was replacing winter weary small pots of ivy with new ones. A few guys on the ground were shoveling the discarded pots of ivy into large heavy duty, industrial strength garbage bags. Now I stopped and approached the Shoveler.

“Hey, can I ask you something? Is that ivy there destined for landfill?  I’ve been looking for ivy for the past few weeks. You’ve got to hear this story. He stops to hear me out while the other guy on the ground continues to gather up the discarded pots the guy in cherry picker drops down while replacing the new pots of ivy onto the corner wall of the hotel.

I begin; I’ve had a mourning dove’s nest on my kitchen window sill for the past two years now, in the East Village! Imagine the surprise, joy, and wonder I experienced the first time, seeing two eggs in the nest, observing the birds, taking turns sitting on the eggs,  I read online and called the Audubon society to learn all that I could about mourning doves and of course their presence was known and followed on my Facebook page.

But just the other morning I noticed a mourning dove marching on my windowsill and he flew away but what I also noticed was that my once ivy covered window was now crystal clear, stripped naked and sterile of the lush (invasive) ivy that grew on the east, garden facing wall of my building. The new uber management company repointed the building over the building. Sad, but truth behold, I hadn’t’ noticed the absence of the ivy until ‘my dove’ marched away.  Now I was enraged. I talked about it for days, “I’m gonna get a window box, I’m gonna grow ivy, etc, etc. This was all going on around my birthday which was just last week.

Then I noticed this morning that a friend placed a medium sized terra cotta window box with some soil in it on my windowsill while I was away this weekend. This morning I talked all about the morning dove appearing last week and flying off and I’d be getting ivy – post hast.

I didn’t get as far into my ‘story’ as I have here before the guys started picking out ‘good pots’ of ivy. I was being given them even before I went into telling him all that I just shared with you. They asked how many I wanted. I asked for 3 or four but now I needed a bag to cary them in.

The guy that sorta heard my story out pointed out a small deli just across 58th St. The coolest little deli I’ve never been in before. The deli was bustling. Now it’s my favorite. Construction workers, secretaries if they call ’em that any more but the girls helping behind the counters were hipsters, tatooed, clearly not Americans and working at a fever pitch all with smiles on, enjoying themselves and their customers. When I asked for a bag, of the lead coordinator behind the counter scene she never stopped what she was doing and with a smile asked how she could help me and happily gave me a bag.

When I returned the guy that ‘sorta heard my story out’ had a neat pile of about a half dozen ivy plants. I asked the name of the nursery they worked for and how I’d thank them with a mention in a piece I’d write about this when the guy who hadn’t been much help but didn’t do anything to deter the goings on said, “Hey, make sure you mention you didn’t get new ivy.”

I assured him that!

ivy on the window sill

ivy on the window sill

 

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Apr 282017
 

image

Nut loaf

A friend who bought a half dozen bottles of Salt of D Earth as holiday gifts wrote to say, “how the RhODy blend really pulled her nut loaf together.”  I wrote back immediately saying, “NUT LOAF, what do you mean nut loaf? How have I never heard of a nut loaf? You’ve gotta talk me through this one.” Within minutes she texted back saying that she’s never used a recipe to make a nut loaf & she’s been making them for years but she did include a link for a recipe in her text none the less.

I checked the recipe in the link knowing full well I too would be ‘Making it my own”.

I hemmed & hawed about whether or not this nut loaf could really constitute being a true Recipe 4 Survival since a majority of the ingredients are not basic staples and some of them are quite expensive, for instance organic nuts.  I knew I’d love it, I wanted to make something I’ve never tried before and the play on words that a nut loaf is NUTritious made it all worthwhile.

Now that I’ve made it, nut loaf is a perfect recipe for survival. So here’s the rough math: the ingredients used to make a 9″ loaf cost about $18. At least 10 hearty slices can be had from the 9″ loaf which I know would suffice a family of 4 with left overs, so YES, nut loaf is a Recipe 4 Survival.  A slice, pan-seared makes a killer sandwich – especially since I used up my ancho chili infused maple syrup roasted butternut squash like a jam on the toast.  It freezes & reheats really well and it’s so NUTritious! IMG_8885

The ingredient’s & quantities called for seemed like overkill to me and I could tell what they were calling for and the final product would be very forgiving short of picking up mushrooms & cottage cheese I made my first nutloaf with basic staples I have at home.

If you happen to have left over or cooked rice, putting a nut loaf together takes almost no time at all. Let’s say 20-30 mins prep & 50-60 mins baking time.

Here’s what I did to make my nut loaf.

Preheat the oven to 350°

2 – 3 Cs cooked (short grain) brown rice – 1 cup of short grain brown rice yielded .

2 Portabello Mushroom tops & 1 stem – chopped.

2 dents of Garlic – minced or diced

1/2 large Onion – diced

sherry – splash/1/4 cup.

1 C Almonds – toasted & 1 C Walnuts – toasted

3 or 4 eggs – beaten

1 C – cottage or pot/farmer’s cheese

1 C Grated cheese – Cheddar or Smoke Gouda

(Pecans, Brazil nuts, cashews – whatever your fancy. I used nuts that are staple ingredients for me and I believe everyone should too)

I cooked 1 cup of short grain brown rice which I let toast lightly in the pan I sautéd the mushrooms in  then I added two cups of water, let that come to a boil for 5 mins. Turn the heat down, put a top on the pan and let the rice steam for a good 20 mins.

I pulsed to a fine chop 2 Portabello mushroom tops & 1 stem in my small food processor then cooked them off in a heavy bottomed pan with just enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan, 2 good sized dents of garlic roughly chopped  & 1/2 an onion diced.  I added various pinches of dry herbs, primarily thyme & sage which probably equal about a teaspoon each.  When the mushroom liquid evaporated I splashed in some sherry – a staple for me and let that cook off. Turn off the heat & let the mushroom mixture cool in a bowl.

Next I toasted the nuts, 1 C of  almonds & 1 C of walnuts I toasted each separately, a handful at a time in a small saute pan over a medium heat. This takes no time at all, just until you smell the aroma of the nuts by wafting the air over the pan. I tossed those into small food processor and pulsed.

In a large bowl combine the nuts & the cooked rice    IMG_8874

In another bowl beat 4 eggs, & 1 cottage or pot/farmer’s cheese. The recipe called for 5 eggs & 1 Cup of the pot/farmer’s cheese. Believe me, if I hadn’t been able to get the freshest most beautiful farmer’s cheese, I would have left it out. Season with Salt of D Earth or S & P.

Add the egg & cottage cheese and the sautéd mushrooms to the nut & rice mixture and stir to incorporate well.  This is when I added about a 1/4# of grated smoked Gouda & handful of dried cranberries.  I think apple chunks would work nicely in the mix. Maybe in place of a cup of nuts?  There’s sO much one can do to make this dish their own it’s NUTS.

Pour the mixture into a greased 9″ Pyrex loaf dish IMG_8877and decorated the top of the loaf. I used slices of apple. IMG_8881 Sliced mushrooms, a sprig of thyme, would look beautiful. I slid this into the preheated oven and let it cook for 50 minutes, turned the heat off & left the loaf in the oven another good 10 minutes.

Nut loaf is so great on so many levels. It travels well. It’s a great pot luck dish for a party, it’s filling and again, oh so NUTritious. The first time I made the nut loaf  it was so well received I scored big time as it took center field on the grazing table at a Superbowl party amongst a huge pot of vegetarian chili, cheesy nachos, traditional toppings, 2 different bowls of guacamole  & various dipping chips.

You too will score big time with this one. YUM.

 

 

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Apr 122017
 

Keep it seasonal, keep it green, keep it light

My arsenal of Passover eats are:

 cauliflower crust ‘pizza’, nut loaf and my sweet potato & string bean salad  They’re perfect dishes I hope will sustain you through the Passover week.

May these days of joy, rejuvenation, connecting with friends & family carry us through the year

Chag sameach, חַג שָׂמֵחַ, Happy holidays

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Apr 042017
 

snowmanformushbarley

Snow Day and Mushroom Barley soup go together well

I strategically made my way to the last car of the subway so that when I would emerge from being underground I’d be only a few yards from the entrance to the Whole Foods on Bowery & Houston.  Gathering the ingredients for my first ever, mushroom barley soup was all that was on my mind the entire subway ride but for some reason it was the carrots that were the standout ingredient for me.  I picked a perfect carrot for my soup from a heap of fantastic organic carrots & a handful each of: shiitake, cremini & button mushrooms. Then I was on to the bulk grain area to procure the barley. Being that this was the first time I was making mushroom barley soup, I was thrilled to find organic barley among the plethora of plastic silos filled with various rices, grains, beans, granola, etc.  that I did not know to look for pearl barley vs the barley that I happily watched fill the bag in the palm of my hand. At the cash register I declare the contents of the bag as hulled barley since I’d forgotten to weigh & price it at the bulk grains area.

The hulled barley took much longer to cook than pearl barley would which was a bit disappointing and reminded me of wild rice , which has never been a favorite of mine. One of my friends really liked the soup and liked the ‘snap’ of the very whole barley. Talk about a whole meal in a bowl. I toasted a thick slice of a good sour dough bread and rubbed that with a fresh garlic clove. I had this with pineapple juice & a splash of ginger beer  Very nutritional and comforting.

Here’s what I did to make the soup:

Ingredients:

1 – 2 Cs – mushroom stock/broth

1/2 # sliced mushrooms

1/2 a lg onion

2 Ts flour

1 C barley

4 – 6 Cs – veg broth

Baguette slices toasted & rubbed w/a garlic clove

What I did to make this: 

I brought at least about 6 cups of water to a boil in my kettle

I pencil cut the carrot. Very organic shape, quick & easy.

Sliced the stems of the shiitake and a fewmushrmstockpot of the button mushrooms and brought that to a simmer in about 2 cups of water and let that reduce over a medium to high flame or heat.

Then I methodically sliced the mushrooms.

Diced the medium sized onion.

Added the boiling water to a bowl with one all vegetarian bullion cube in it. Stir that around to make the broth.

Add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of a heavy bottomed pot. Add the carrots & onions and stir well and cook for about 5 mins to soften these ingredients. I find this is best done with a top on between the ‘stirs’. Then add about a cup of dried barley and the 2 Ts of flour. Mix well to coat all ingredients in the pot. Lower the heat. Top on.

Strain the mushroom broth over a bowl and add this to the pot of veg, barley & flour mixture. msuhrmbarleypot

Then add another 2 or 3 cups of the broth. Stir well, lower the heat, Salt of D.Earth to taste, top on. Simmer. Stir occasionally. This soup took over an hour to cook before the barley was soft enough to serve & eat.

Most likely I’ll try this ‘recipe’ with pearl barley to see if it may cook in less time and to see how it tastes but I’m happy with another happy accident because I think working with the ‘hulled barley’ which has not been polished added a very earthy, hearty element to the dish. Pretty nice for a dish many expect to find & relish having short-ribs, flanken or brisket in.

Try it, you’ll like it!

 

 

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Mar 132017
 

In honor of finally finishing and uploading my Almost Blue, Cauliflower Crust Pizza ‘video’ to youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szhBor0ckmc and completing an illustrated recipe included in my ‘Brown Baggin’ It’ series, I’m bringing this entry to the top of my -blog entries. I hope you enjoy and Make This – your own!

cflower4grid

How coming across 3 Kumato tomatoes  & the last bit of a Cubanella pepper in my -fridge, left over from a Gazpacho I made for friend’s that were in town working during fashion week inspired me to make a cauliflower crusted pizza with a bechamel sauce still brings up a disconnect especially when I initially thought I’d simply incorporate the beautifully prepped tomatoes into a killer mac & cheese but boy oh boy am I THRILLED to have made & shot this for the Recipe 4 Survival youtube ‘channel’ – UNTIL I noticed the wardrobe malfunction when I downloaded and began to view the 41 segments I taped over two & a half hours that the zipper on my jump suit was down to my belly button & my breast in a very nice bra, thank goodness, are much more seductive to watch than me making a cauliflower crust pizza, which I completely unaware of. SO a week later I set out to make & record another cauliflower crust pizza.

Knowing the frustration I was experiencing after working so hard to make the first cauliflower crust pizza ‘episode’ a friend told me, “I saw cauliflowers in Union Square Market as big as a human’s head.” This was about the only thing that would get me motivated   cauliflowrshot to record another episode. We didn’t weigh the fresh, organic, head I found and after not much negotiating I happily gave a smiling bearded farmer in the NW corner of the market $5 and I don’t doubt it weighed 5 pounds. I used about a quarter of this head to make the medium sized crust pictured here. The few other ingredients called for to make a cauliflower crust should be in your ‘staples’ arsenal.  The zucchini & garlic pictured here was the topping for the second video I made wearing a teal, V neck cashmere sweater. No mishaps here. SO make a cauliflower crust pizza already. The video will demonstrate a great new Dparture point and effects….

INGREDIENTS 

1/2 of a medium sized CAULIFLOWER

1/4 C – PARMESAN – finely grated

1/4 C – MOZZARELLA – grated – I used smoked mozzarella

1 EGG

Seasonings – OREGANO, BASIL, S&P

FOOD PROCESSOR or a GRATER

KITCHEN TOWEL

PARCHMENT PAPER

Olive oil

Sheet pan or pizza stone

WHAT TO DO/WHAT I DID TO MAKE THIS

Preheat the oven to 450º

Trim at least half the flowerettes off the central stem of the cauliflower. Put 4 or more into the bowl of a food processor & pulse chop until the cauliflower looks like couscous. If you’re using a grater your cauliflower will not look like couscous – no worries.

Bring a pot of enough well salted water to a boil which you’ll par cook the cauliflower off in. If you so wish, a number of recipes cook the cauliflower off for four minutes in a microwave – I don’t do anything with a microwave and can’t remember how it’s done. Boil water and cook the cauliflower. I definitely cooked my cauliflower off for more than 4 minutes. I cooked it until I found a few of the large bits I were tender but 4 minutes in boiling water will certainly do.

The big trick to insuring you get a crispy crust & not a soggy one is to lay the strained, par boiled cauliflower on to a kitchen towel to cool. Once all the chopped cauliflower is cool enough to handle, wrap or roll the cauliflower up, like a cigar & ring it out in the sink as best you can.img_6252

Toss the dried out cook cauliflower, (which looks like the corn filling for a tamale)  into a mixing bowl & add the cheeses, seasonings & one egg, Mix well, I did this quick, quick quick with a whisk. Your hands work wonders too and you’ll be using them to form the cauliflower crust into a circle on oiled parchment on the baking surface you’re working with. img_6253

Bake until golden brown about 8-10 minutes.

It comes out perfectly,

In the time the ‘crust’ cooked I whipped up a bechamel but certainly most people will use a good quality tomato sauce & top with your favorite toppings.

Bake again for 5-7 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly & looks the way you’d like. img_6389 img_6259

With the left over fresh 1/4 head I made a killer cauliflower, parmesan soup in less than 30 minutes and  I still have about half of this huge head of of trimmed cauliflowerettes in the freezer. You know I’ll be eating lots of one of my all time favorite foods.

 

 

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Mar 062017
 
indian pudding

Indian Pudding is served

Last week after trying, trying being the operative word, to download a batch of pics from my camera’s chip into my computer, my computer wasn’t havin’ it. I’ll spare you the gory details lest I share that it took over a week, 3 calls w/techs before I got onto a ‘Senior apple adviser’ who I had 3 sessions with before my -puter was back & running. His analogy for my computer’s ailment was to that of a computer getting a flat tire. Additionally the don has me completely crazy with the go ahead for the DAPL & now the exclusion of his designated enemies of the people, media organizations from press briefings.

I was so paralyzed by all this I was rendered useless, unable to do a simple edit here to have my clam chowder piece be at the top of my blog page & share that info w/friends, something I do every National Clam Chowder Day, February, 25th

The scant pint of milk that needed to be used in my fridge compelled the cooking antics I got into, with nothing I made relating to each other. eI knew cooking would do me good and tho I did not have it in me to make clam chowder but my cooking what spurred all this cooking on was .

Instead, Saturday afternoon I, meticulously salad sliced a red onion & prepped up a wrinkly piece of ginger into beautiful fine slices and got them into a sweet pickle brine I’ve nursed and coddled for quite some time. I also whipped up a rich tomato sauce because I had the opened can of tomato paste from the papa al pomodoro, half a large onion and a jar of fresh garlic confit & infused oil but

First I thought I was going to make a vodka, creme tomato sauce but that seemed dumb once I remembered it was Nat’l clam chowder day and even tho I wasn’t going to delve into my ailing computer to bring my chowder entry to the top of the blog & make mention of it on facebk – again because I’m so torn about my benign work & the horrific actions of the POS spinster mouth and his henchmen

Right, wow so because I was in an Ocean State of mind, thinking about Nat’l chowder day I got the ingenious idea to make Indian pudding!  I love reading the history of it even though I’d made & read about Indian Pudding before but for some reason I never posted about that.

All the ingredients are basic staples so with out further ado, my version on the fly for a cold weather treat:

Making it my own, I halved the recipe I worked from

1.5 Cups milk

1/4 C corn meal

1/4 C Turbinado sugar, light brown sugar is called for

1/4 C molasses

a pinch of salt

1t  ground cinnamon
1/2 a grated nutmeg
1t – ginger – pealed & finely minced. Ground can certainly be used but I’d use less then the fresh
2 large eggs
2 T unsalted butter, cut into 2 pads

Bring the oven to 275 degrees F.  Lightly grease a 6- or 8-cup soufflé or baking dish with butter.

In a medium-sized sauce pot scald the milk over a medium-low heat. The trick I recently learned is to look for steam vs looking for bubbles along the edge of the pot. I find once I see bubbles, the milk is too hot.

The recipe I worked from calls for cream to be poured into a into a lg mixing bowl to which the cornmeal, sugar, molasses, salt, and the spices, cloves is commonly called for in an Indian pudding. What I did was warm/scald about a cup of milk and the rest is what I mixed the dry ingredients into. Then add this cream/corn meal/spice mixture to the scalded milk.  Cook, whisking constantly, over medium-low heat until the pudding has thickened to the consistency of syrup (about 5 minutes).  Remove from heat.

In a bowl, beat eggs with a whisk.  Temper the eggs by adding 1/2 to 1/4 C of the hot cornmeal mixture to the eggs while whisking rapidly.  Vigorously whisk the egg mixture into the remaining cornmeal mixture.  Add butter, one piece at a time, stirring until melted.

Pour the ‘batter’ mixture into the prepared baking dish or ramekins and place dish into a vain-de-marie = water bath. Pour enough water into the shallow baking dish to come at least half way up the side of the of the baking dish.

This is a pretty low temperature and the full ingredient recipe says to bake over 2 hours. Because I halved the recipe I baked it for about and hour checked it, turned the heat off then let it go another 10 – 15 mins A tester inserted close to (but not in) the center should come out clean.

Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream or heavy cream.

The yield is about 6 healthy servings.

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Feb 062017
 

I came across a picture of Pappa al Pomodoro on instagram about a month ago and it’s been branded in my mind since.

Only a few ingredients were noted in the brief instagram post that went into the dish 1. unsalted Tuscan bread 2. a particular tomato paste da/from Italy, some basil, fantastic green olive oil & oh strips of Parmesan that appeared semi melted one deduces from the heat of the zuppa/soup. This lead me to scroll over no less than 6 different recipes, a google translation for Pappa al Ppmodoro since I just wasn’t having it being called Tuscan bread Soup when not one of these three words, Tuscan, bread or soup is in the title of dish & recipe. Oh Pappa translates as baby food, al – to the, and Pomodor – is tomato of course

Between Ina Garten, Bon Appetite and a few other’s I felt there was just too much going on in their recipes for Pappa al Pomodoro  for what I wanted to do to make this so I went at it – making it MY OWN! It is sO GREAT. EASY & fun to make in no time, plus, 4 basic, staple ingredients. A perfect recipe4survival.

First I went at, half a stale, Balthazar baguette, with a serrated knife cutting on a cutting board, cutting it into irregular cubes – paying no mind to removing the crust.

Then I brought at least 4 cs of water to a boil in my kettle to pour onto a veg bullion cube in a mixing bowl.

I diced up 1/2 a lg onion, a bit of carrot and sliced up a good sized garlic dent. I got these vegis cooking in a heavy bottomed pot with enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pot & a good pinch of Salt of D Earth over a medium flame. I put a top on the pot to help the vegis sweat. Once they were at the desired tenderness I tossed the stale bread cubes into the pot and tossed to coat everything uniformly.

With the bread nicely coated with the oil & vegis I added 3 cups of the vegetable broth to the pot, covered it, stirred it frequently and turned the heat way down.  At this stage you’ll wanna stay around the pot to stir it occasionally.

Once all the broth is absorbed and the bread has softened I poured a 25 oz bottle of Union Market’s tomato basil ‘sauce’  into the ‘mix’/the pot. I stirred a pinch of dried red chili flakes in, some oregano and a bit more Salt of D Earth and I let this simmer over a low eat for a good 10 minutes.

This is when I also put a 4 minute egg. I ate one bowl plane, straight away with a sprinkle of grated Parmesan, Pappalpomodoro1the second bowl I had with the soft boiled egg. pappalpomodoro2Then I got down to writing this piece.

Killer meal on a cold night with a cold crisp Sauvignon Blanc.

 

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Jan 112017
 

IMG_7214

Why it took a small, handled, brown paper bag hanging from the doorknob of my apartment, filled with an over sized lemon, a pack of Twizzlers & a few pieces of my mail that must have gotten mixed up with an anonymous neighbor to finally make the one recipe I’ve been thinking about since I  splurged and bought myself a signed copy of Mary Ann Caws’ The Modern Artists Cookbook after hearing her speak at 192 Books, around my birthday last year.

It was the last weekday of 2016, Friday the 30th, and all I wanted to do was whip up one of my favorite eats: a nice pot of my Ocean State clam chowder and to try to make this Tom Wesselman’s Lemon Sponge Pudding recipe I had seared in the back of my mind. The recipe caught my eye & peaked my wonder for a number of reasons, 1. The recipe calls for 4 ingredients 2. They’re basic staples 3. Certainly economical to make and 4. I knew it would be crack easy to make.

I started by making the soup then I made the pudding while the soup simmered gently on a back burner in my hand-me-down copper pot.  A can of Iggy’s chopped clams w/it’s home-style label of a smiling clam sporting a floppy chef’s toque on a background of a primary color blue sustained my summer joy long enough when I opened my pantry cupboard.  A can of Iggy’s clams is a staple [ingredient] for me so in no time at all I had an abridged version of my Ocean State clam chowder cooking. Here’s how: medium diced new potatoes, fennel vs celery for me, a medium diced onion and the can of the chopped clams. Oh a few bay leaves is always nice. Season to taste with S& P or of course Salt of D Earth. I did not add any extra water so this batch was quite ‘stewy’ – on the thick side but oh sO good.

While of my chowder cooked off I started to make the Lemon Sponge Pudding.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

1. Whip egg whites, set aside

2. Cream 1 C of sugar w/1 Ts of butter, mix in the 2 yolks, Add 2Ts of flour,  1 C of milk and the juice of 1 lemon. Mix well to dissolve all the sugar. I did this with a hand mixer

4. Fold the egg whites into this ‘batter’.

Spoon into a medium soufflé dish & cooked off in a bain-de-mare = water bath for 25 minutes in the 350 degree oven.  lemonspongpudding1

On my Saturday morning walk with RhODy I decided I should throw an end of Hanukkah party since I’d barely lit my menorah yet. I sent out a lovely little invite post on facebook which a handful of friends found amusing but not a lot of takers except for my friends visiting from Newport, RI & their friends.  I made traditional style, Austrian Latkes, which I was thoroughly underwhelmed with, a batch of my Spirited High Holiday apple sauce and OH another delectable topping and all time favorite of mine, my secret, special cranberry sauce and a lot of red wine.

After my inspirational walk with RhODy I took my visiting luminary friend to, you guessed, it, The Whitney, a quick stroll on The Highline, then to Chelsea Market where I picked up a few dozen East coast oysters, also for my Hanukkah party. With shopping done, we jumped into Cull & Pistol for a quick G&T, a Sancerre, a half dozen oysters, where I turned my friend on to Wiley Point (oysters and a few bites: blistered shishito peppers, brandade crostini & Old Bay fries.img_7162

The apple sauce was great. I started it with splash of white wine then tossed my hanDy infuser into the mix packed with some rosemary and I also made my most Dlectable cranberry sauce.

I hope I’ve inspired you to get into the kitchen. Turn up the flame. Hit it!

RealiD cooking at it’s best

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