Thursday, November 30, 2006

when life gives you key limes

make this pie.

dinner last night

clockwise from top:

crispa rice cake
frijoles negros

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Maybe the best scramble I've ever made

What do you do with a bunch of leftover Thanksgiving chard, an end of Emmenthaler so small grating it draws blood, and a strong resistance to writing term papers? Grab some eggs and garlic and make an "omelette"—more like slippery eggy greens; it was a lot of chard—and revisit your favorite neglected communiblog!

Thursday's reason for the chard:

Savory Bread Pudding
Adapted from Nougatine @ Jean Georges
Time: 45 mins
Serves 8

8 ozs sourdough bread, cut into 1" cubes
4 ozs Swiss cheese, grated
2 ozs Parmesan cheese, grated
3 tbsp butter
4 ozs mixed wild mushrooms (shiitake, oyster, black trumpet) sliced--if your brother hates mushrooms, substitute whatever you like. We used asparagus.
2 cups roughly chopped spinach
1 cup chopped Swiss chard leaves
1 leek, white and light green parts only, rinsed well and very thinly sliced
1/3 cup Swiss chard stems, diced
<1 large egg
3/4 cup whole milk
3/4 cup heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine bread, Swiss cheese and half of the Parmesan cheese.

2. In a large skillet over medium-low heat, melt 1 tbsp of the butter. Add mushrooms, and saute until tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer mushrooms to the mixing bowl. Add 1 tbsp of the butter to the skillet, and add the spinach and Swiss chard leaves. Saute until wilted, about 2 mins, and transfer to the mixing bowl.

3. Bring a small pan of water to a boil, and add leeks and Swiss chard stems. Blanch for 1 minute, remove from heat and drain well. Add to bread mixture.

4. Preheat over to 400 degrees. Rub the inside of an 8" square baking pan with the remaining 1 tbsp butter. In a medium bowl, beat egg just until blended.

5. In a saucepan over medium-low heat, combine milk and heavy cream. Bring to a boil, and remove from heat. While whisking vigorously, add about 1/2 cup of the hot milk mixture to the egg, then return the egg mixture to the pan and whisk until blended. Add milk mixture to the bowl of dry ingredients, and stir. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer mixture to the baking pan, pressing gently on surface. Bake pudding until set, about 15 mins.

6. Sprinkle remaining Parmesan cheese on top of pudding, and place under broiler until golden brown, about 20 seconds. Serve while hot.

Eli says::: Andrew made this recipe for me two years ago and I've been wanting more ever since. Everyone should make this. Thanks, Andrew!

Saturday, November 25, 2006


My roommate and I managed to cook a 16 lbs Turkey last night. It was fun, but this is probably the first and last time that I will ever do it again. Overall it took us 8 hours to prepare it. Here's a Turco-Lebanese recipe from us.

What you need:

16 lbs Turkey
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup dried cloves
4-5 cinnamon sticks
6 cups of water
1 large size syringe
Aluminum foil.

What you need to do:

1. Wash Turkey inside out, remove all the giblets and dry it with paper towel.
2. Bring 6 cups of water to boil, add cinnamon and cloves. Let it cool down on the stove.
3. Using your syringe give as many spicy water shots as you can to your turkey until it becomes bulgy.
4. Oil the surface of turkey and wrap it with aluminum foil.
5. Place it in the owen and cook it at 375F at least for 6 1/2 hrs.
6. Don't forget to place the remainder of your spicy water in the owen. Add water regularly to keep your turkey soft.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Tardy Tarte Tatin

When I went to visit Liz in New Haven last month we cooked a feast. This is the crowning glory, before we cooked it on the stovetop, covered it with puff pastry, baked it, put calvados whipped cream on top, and ate far too much of it. It's the recipe from the gourmet cook book. After much discussion we decided on half granny-smith and half gala apples. Outstanding.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Beer Gingerbread with Maple Mascarpone

So I came home at 130 last night after five woozy hours in the darkroom to find this spiced cake creation on the kitchen table. Score! This morning, Hil informed me that she used a dark beer instead of the required water and whipped up a maple mascarpone mixture for the side. Wow.

This Post Has Been Censored

What started as chai-spice creme caramel in a bain-marie soon became eggy milky water. Oops. Hil transformed it into this highly controversial - so controversial that it couldn't be photographed in its entirety - eggy arborio gruel, or as she says "rice pudding." By her own admission, it scored a 2 on a scale of 10 with respect to the first batch of rice pudding.

One Down

My persimmons are progressing nicely. Except for the unfortunate one I found on the floor the other day having broken loose from its stem. Hil and I dissected it and discovered slightly fermenty golden gooeyness inside the leathery shell.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Plenty puddin

Look what 1/2 C rice can become.

A new way with kale

This really was dinner last night, and delicious, too:
Saute 2 sliced shallots & 2 minced garlic cloves, peel a whole carrot into the pan, then add thinly sliced kale. Serve with quesadillas. We love greens.

The pears. The pumpkin pie.

Dessert...devoured by last Friday's clean-plate club. Thanks Mariah & Eli!

Sleepy, rainy day. Need warmth. Solution: Brioche. Muffins. Rose tea. Fresh carrot juice. Mimosas with Prosecco. Huevos. Kale. Black beans. Spicy-warm. I didn't have to do a damn thing except smile and eat...thanks to E & H for bringing some light to an otherwise dreary day...

Weekend eating excursions: Went with friend to La Moia, in Silver Lake (my first journey to this neighborhood of Providence...when he first told me where we were going, I thought he meant LA). It was one of those restaurants not on the East Side that East Siders have overlooked --- perfect, in my book. Tapas, to boot. It had burned down recently, and we were hoping it had since reopened. No such luck. A little jaunt farther took us into Cranston, past the old mill housing and past the largest cemetery in Providence (at the juncture of "the" Irish Catholic church and "the" Roman Catholic church). We ended up at Cafe Itri, a loud and casually snazzy joint, and were seated quickly by the host-tron. The menu is enormous: mostly pasta of various scaled-down incarnations, as well as several meaty/fishy entrees. The specials, unlike the menu, were on ingredient overdrive. I was tempted by the chicken piccatta with hazelnut tarragon cream sauce, over pumpkin sage gnocchi and roast tomatoes, but passed, predicting over-herbiness. I feared it would've tasted like a bottle of Mrs. Dash.

Instead had a pizza bread with chicken and fontina --- it was tasty mostly on the burnt edges. An uninspiring but filling choice. Tim had penne with chicken and olive/garlic sauce, pronounced equally "ok" and little more. Overall, the best feature of the evening was my salad: roasted beets with parmesan and walnuts. Tim's citrus salad (spinach and fresh citrus) looked nice, too. Stay simple and veggie at this place...lest you be Dashed.

When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Baking

So by now, work has piled up and dissolved most of the tenuous social bonds that I've formed in the Brown grad community. So I spent my Saturday night perfecting the art of being a 75 year old woman. Luckily, I have a roommate who's interested in doing the same. She made pumpkin muffins and I brioches from the Cheeseboard's stellar "Collective Works." After we finished baking, I patched some ripped pants while Hil mended a broken purse. If anyone wants to be my friend, just come over and we'll darn together.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Out of Package, Into Oven.

You too can make peanut butter cookies in less time than it takes to...
do most things...
I think.
These cookies were consumed primarily last weekend while watching Me and You and Everyone We Know downstairs at Eli and Hilary's.
They're Betty Crocker.
Just add an egg and some oil.
For real. Sometimes I just want the packaged stuff.

Friday, November 10, 2006

The Best Challah Ever

Jennifer said that Hil's challah is famous up and down the West coast. I now know why.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Pie by blender

In continuing my autumn pumpkin-obsession, i made pie last weekend. I put the cooked pumpkin pulp in the blender to puree it, and, being lazy, decided just to throw the rest of the ingredients in the blender too. The filling came out super frothy, and made the cooked pie a little lighter and fluffier than usual. Going heavy on the vanilla extract and light on the cinamon and nutmeg (and no cloves at all) made for a pretty tasty pie. And it matches the orange paint job in our kitchen.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Chicken or egg?

My funky breakfast Saturday morning, made with Friday's dinner party leftovers.

Where'd it all go?

On the plates at our first dinner party (13 ppl):
Butternut squash soup, fried rosemary
Roasted veg-orzo salad
Lentils w. orange & tarragon
Broccoli w. walnut oil
Candied yams
Roasted beets, brussels sprouts & sweet pots
Crispa rice
Fried cabbage & onions
Kale & chard sauteed w. raisins & pine nuts
Best ever organic pumpkin pie
Pears poached in white wine w. mascarpone & pomegranate seeds

Thanks for coming over, everyone!


I started frying the eggplant. Then I added the tempeh. Before I knew it, broccoli was stirrin it up. Musta been the Braggs.

I think we ate this one with quinoa since it was Oct 17, well P.C. (Pre-Crispa)
Man rohat o khoshhaalam.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

The Garden Grille.

Tonight Rob, Hilary, Eli and myself went to the Garden Grille on Hope St. You'll find it past Chez Pascal and before you hit Pawtucket, on the left. I wasn't sure what to expect seeing as most of the vegetarian leaning places in Providence have been so boastfully - hyper vegetarian. How about a place you can go to eat vegetables without worrying about having vegan living magazines or articles about how this is the best vegetarian restaurant plastering the walls? If you are looking for great food that just so happens to be mostly vegetable based, this is the unpretentious dining experience for you. The people who work there are just trying to put good things in your face that taste good. Much less concered are they about giving you the Vegetable Experience.
We had to wait about 10 minutes for our table (which at 7:00 on a Saturday is NOTHING) so we sat at the bar for wine and beer. Eli and I instantly began talking politics whereas Rob and Hil were talking about... well, I don't really know. (I became so engrossed with talk of the voting system that I tuned out).
We were alerted to the fact that our table was ready and we launched into a plate of nachos. Damn good nachos, and JUST enough. No loading up. The portions here are perfect. Black bean, salsa, jalepenos, and vegan sour cream (that tastes like it came right out of a cow).
I'll let the rest of the participants describe their dishes, I got the Artichoke Heart Quesadilla. I don't think I want my quesadillas any other way now. It was the perfect consistency without leaving me feeling ill-full. It just WAS.
Go there. Eat their food. You will believe.

Hil says: I want to order with anyone who wants to order nachos. Who knew we'd be so lucky in neighbors? Vegan sour cream so good I'm afraid to know what's in it. Delish grilled tofu atop sea veggie salad--prequel to the macrobiotics Eli's been threatening.

Eli says: Amen to the nachos. My glass of shiraz was great, though not so well paired with our spicy appetizer. My noodly asian salad was vinegary; next time I'm going for a sandwich or a quesadilla.


Sara sent me persimmons and pomegranates through Hil who was in SF last weekend. I'm drying the persimmons according to the directions of the Japanese kiwi grower from the Alemany Farmers' Market. You hang peeled hachiyas by their stems and in two months, inshallah, they turn soft and brown and grow their own superfine sugar crystals.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Blanched Baby Bok Choi

I bought some baby bok choi last week at one of the asian markets near my house. Rather than stir frying it, I dropped it in boiling water for about a minute - just enough for the leafy part to wilt and the stalk part to soften a little but stay crunchy. I got the idea after following a recipe for bi bim bap this summer that had me blanch all the vegetables. We had the bok choi with some curly hair pasta and topped it with pesto and farmers' market tomatoes. I added some tinned mackerel to mine and Hil put on chick peas. And some advice: I tried blanching some standard green kale last night and decided that it tastes better sauteed.