Saturday, November 24, 2007

Cranberry Sauce

Cranberry Sauce
Originally uploaded by laurelfactorial
Homemade cranberry sauce is easy and delicious.


One bag of cranberries
Juice and zest of two oranges
1/2 cup water
1 cup sugar (or more if you have a sweet tooth)
1 tablespoon peeled and chopped fresh ginger

Simmer all ingredients for approximately twenty minutes or until the cranberries have mostly burst and the sauce has gelled. Serve it forth!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The Foodie Fainted

Surely you have all heard of the eggplant recipe called "The Imam Fainted." There are two explanations for the fainting of the Imam upon being presented with the dish. Version one, it was so delicious, fainting was the only logical response. Version two, someone told him how much olive oil was used...

I reference this for a reason. I have finally learned of the existence of a culinary journal called Petits Propos Cullinaires and I think that I too may faint. I remain unsure if I am overwhelmed by joy or horror.

I... I want to get every single back issue. And click that link on the right for Index/Prices/Ordering! There's a whole list of books, and reading through the descriptions caused me to have heart palpitations. An entire history of eggs. Food preservation. HISTORY OF SWEETS. I... I... oh, Lord.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Quince jam!

Quince jam!
Originally uploaded by laurelfactorial
I canned up some quince preserves which will probably end up as Christmas gifts.

I followed the same proceedure as for quince paste (chop up quinces, cover with water, boil until soft, puree with stick blender, add sugar, cook until solid) but didn't cook as long. I worry now that I didn't let it gel enough. Oh well, it will still be all right.

I love this color!

(The larger jar in the background is cranberry sauce that I made with the other members of my AmeriCorps team. So much fun!)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Pear and cheese pie. Tart. Whatever.

Pear and cheese pie
Originally uploaded by laurelfactorial
This was crazy delicious.

The cheese part of the filling is:

1/4 c sugar
lots of nutmeg
1 egg
1/2 cup ricotta
1/2 cup sour cream

Seriously this shit was insane. I ate it for first breakfast. For second breakfast (which also happened to be elevenses!) I had toast and hard boiled eggs. It was a hobbity day!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Moderately embarrassing pastries

I just read (and much enjoyed) The Gladiator's Honor by Michelle Styles. What am I becoming? Let's not worry about that for right now...

Well of course reading historical fiction makes me want to cook historically inspired food. So I started thinking about Rome and somehow the idea of little pastries came to me. I have no idea if anything like this was ever actually eaten in the Empire, but they tasted pretty good.

All I did was make a pie crust and cut it into little squares. I then filled each square with this filling:

-leftover roast chicken
-farmer's cheese (the soft kind, like ricotta)
-dried apricots
-cippolini onions
-a little red wine
-salt, cinnamon, and pepper

I ground everything in a food processor. I tried to add pistachios, but that didn't work so well. Place some in the middle of each square and fold over, forming a triangle. Prick each. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350F. I thought these turned out quite tasty, and they reheat well.

Serve with honeyed spiced wine and olives while wearing a makeshift toga or chiton. I find a long tablecloth works much better than a bedsheet. Suggested music: Anything that makes you feel like vomiting, having sex with slaves, then vomiting some more. An aromatic bath before hand is also highly reccommended. But remember, for historical accuracy, no soap.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Where there's smoke, there's... me cooking.

When I cook tasty little birdies in my oven, I cook them as per the directions in How to Cook Everything: breast down, 500 degrees, 20 minutes. Remove, flip, baste, return to oven. Turn oven down to 350 and roast until thermometer in thigh registers 160-165. This results in a most succulent breast and OH SO CRISPY OM NOM NOM crispy skin.

It also, somewhat hillariously, results in my entire apartment filling with smoke. Am I a bad cook if I set off the fire alarm on a regular basis?

Maybe I just need to clean the oven.

Last night's dinner:
-One lovely fat little chicken with: lemon slices, thyme and garlic (inserted under the skin and also in the cavity), olive oil, salt and pepper (generously masaged into its skin)
-Tiny potatoes (I just put them around the chicken during the breast-up part of the cooking, brushing them with a little of the pan drippings)
-Gravy, to impress Better Half

Followed by:
-Ice cream sundaes! Maybe this is why I'm so fat!

Better Half, who is normally kind of opposed to whole animals, really enjoyed the chicken. Probably because I carved it for her.

After the chicken had cooled, I removed the "oysters" and ate them with my fingers. I can't wait to have kids so I can share treats like that with them, the way my mom shared them with me.