Thursday, September 30, 2010
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Ehh, I guess that's not entirely true. But it's an art I have yet to master because every time I dare to attempt it, I'm so discouraged by the mangled, deformed mess of a result (the whites wildly dispersed throughout the water, lone detached yolks), I give up and end up going out to get a bagel or heading straight to a diner. And when you're jonesing for Eggs Benedict, a bagel just doesn't even begin to cut it.
Luckily, I've since found a loophole: 6 minute eggs (and they're pictured above). Which means this weekend, we can whip up a heck of a brunch--with no Jackson Pollock-esque eggs in sight.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Especially since she ventured over to the perpetually packed (and newly opened) Eataly to pick up the fresh tagliatelle. This is the same girl who quietly makes herself a salad of fresh chunks of watermelon, crumbled feta, and a drizzle of balsamic for dinner (yes, Berit, I noticed) and then cozies up to the latest issue of Vogue, Elle Decor, W, Harper's Bazaar, Elle, and Vanity Fair and can bang out the assembly of an Ikea bookshelf by herself in record time. All of these things make my heart sing with joy.
(taken verbatim from an email)
"It's basically Giada's recipe with a few edits in terms of ingredients,
quantities and spices, but I've followed it before and it was just as
-No celery (because its green and i hate it)
-I put a lot more carrots then required (because i like them)
-Instead of crushed tomatoes I used plain tomato sauce in the can (I
think Hunts or something) because I don't like tomato chunks
-Used turkey this time (have done it before w/ beef and beef and
turkey mixed and it tastes the same)
-MOST IMPORTANT a spoon full of sugar."
Monday, September 20, 2010
1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
4 cloves of garlic, grated
1 small yellow onion, finely diced
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
splash of milk
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, using your hands. Form into small meatballs and set aside. In a large skillet (she preferred cast iron) over medium heat, melt a combination of butter and olive oil. When the butter starts to foam, throw in the first batch of meatballs (making sure not to over crowd the pan) and cook until all sides are golden brown and cooked through. Good luck not eating through half the batch before serving.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Oh and the party? The party was smashing. With an apartment filled to maximum capacity with some of my favorite people, there was no way it couldn't be. But in the future, far less bubbles will be consumed over the course of an evening. And while my abs are still slightly sore from laughing, laughing, laughing, my head still doesn't feel 100% back to normal. Makin' it rain with champagne does have its consequences. And these consquences are of the throbbing kind.
But really, I'm not complaining. 'Cause I get to call these fine lookin' ladies my friends. For life.
Sunday, September 12, 2010
After a painfully restless night's sleep, I awoke to a text message from my boss which read, "Are you coming in today?" Again: I WOKE UP TO A TEXT MESSAGE FROM MY BOSS. Panic-stricken, I glanced at the time, 10:00am, and let out a loud "OH MY GOD!" (expletives may or may not have been involved) and shot out of bed so fast it's a miracle I didn't shoot through the ceiling. With tears welling up in my eyes and all color stripped from my face, I threw on my clothes and bolted out the door, mortified and in absolute disbelief of the entire episode. If you know me, you know how unbelievably out of character this is. Tardiness is a pet peeve of mine. Promptness brings me great pride. That said, Friday started off in a rather upsetting (and equally unsettling) way.
Needless to say, the traumatic wake-up call set the tone for an off day. And while I realize nobody is a fan of those kind of days, I just couldn't seem to snap myself out of it. I went through the motions of the day like a discombobulated zombie with tired eyes and a quivering lip.
Okay. Woe is me time is over. Because nothing turns a bad day around like a glass of bubbly. Stop. Rewind. Allow me to rephrase that: Nothing turns a bad day around like a glass of Cuvée Daniel Grand Cru Brut at Bar Boulud.
Pierre Paillard, "Cuvée Daniel" Grand Cru, Brut NV was popped and poured by Mr. Michael Madrigale, Head Sommelier of Bar Boulud (and do yourself a favor and introduce yourself -- he's so unbelievably knowledgeable and friendly and inspired and has a story to tell about each and every bottle on the wine list. It's an absolute treat to have him walk you through the wines. And his passion for his craft is undeniably infectious.) And after the first sip, I could feel the vibrantly aromatic and yeasty bubbles start to tickle my nose, my senses and lift my spirits. These bubbles were bringing me back to life.
And then there was a glass of 2009 Weingut Gross "Klassik" Sauvignon Blanc from Austria. Absolute loveliness through and through. With pear and wet stone on the nose, this wine's acidity got frisky with me. And I was happy to oblige.
After an awfully impressive and handsome charcuterie spread was brought to the table (I'm a pushover for paté and the headcheese was dangerously delicious), as was a bottle of 2007 Rene Rostaing Coteaux du Langeudoc. Deep, dark, plump plums on the nose with more juicy fruit on the palate, this wine served as my blanket (we were seated outside). I was comfy. Relaxed. Happy to sip. And sip.
And recklessly devour some serious paté de grand-mère.
I was back, baby.
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Anyone notice my (dare I say admirable) attempt at floral arrangments? You did, didn't you? Your mind has been blown. I can tell. All I did was add a handful or two of small rocks to the bottom a glass cup then filled it up half way with water. I then cut off a few small bunches of hydrangeas and placed them in the glass. Place a few of these arrangements down the center of the table. Flowers: Done.
I bet you're wondering what other amazingly impressive tricks I have up my sleeve. To which I say: stay tuned.
Chicken with Mustard-Tarragon Cream Sauce
Recipe Courtesy of Martha Stewart
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (6 ounces each)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup dry white wine, or chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1-1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
Sprinkle chicken breasts with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken; saute until cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes, turning once. Transfer to a plate; keep warm.
Pour wine into hot skillet; cook, stirring, until reduced by half, about 1 minute. Whisk in cream, mustard, and tarragon. Cook, whisking, until thickened, about 2 minutes.
Pour any accumulated chicken juices into sauce. Right before serving, drizzle cream sauce over chicken.
Serve over steamed white rice.
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
There's no doubt that dinner guests appreciate a "wow" spread. You know, like a grilled boneless leg of lamb served atop lemony-chickpea puree, and topped with a mache salad and golden raisin-caper salsa verde. I mean, I've done it. It knocks people out with its sophisticated and daring flavor combination. But there are a number of steps involved, it's not the most affordable spread to entertain with, and it does come across as a meal more appropriate for a special occasion.
But what I learned this weekend (and need to constantly remind myself of) is that casual food can be just as show-stopping. Just as "hold the phone, we need to talk about these burgers" kinda thing. Turns out, the combination of mayo, ketchup, and a little bit of chipotle in adobo can yield these results.
I kid. But not entirely.
Make this meal. Make it tonight. Make it this Saturday. Make it for that special someone. Or make it for an old friend. It is not to be passed off as low-brow or boring.
It is, in itself, a masterpiece of a meal.
Chipotle Turkey Meatloaf Burgers
Makes 6 burgers
1 pkg. ground turkey, 93% fat free
1 small yellow onion, finely diced
3 cloves of garlic, grated
1 tbsp. chipotle in adobo
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp. salt
In a bowl, combine all ingredients until evenly incorporate. Be careful to not over-mix. Form into thin patties and cook over medium-high heat (a cast iron pan is strongly encouraged) for about 4 minutes per side. (I topped mine with slices of brie cheese and then covered the pan to melt. They were then transferred to potato buns and topped with baby arugula.)
Homemade Potato "Chips"
3-4 idaho potatoes
salt to taste
Preheat oven to 375F.
Thinly slice the potatoes (you may use a mandolin here, if need be) and place on non-stick cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, toss to coat, and then season liberally with salt. Place in oven and bake for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove from oven and flip the potato slices. Brush the other side with melted butter and return to oven for 7-8 minutes or until golden brown. Some will be crispy and crunchy and others will still have a soft, creamy center. Served with "special sauce" and you've entered another world.
Combine mayonnaise with ketchup and as much or as little chipotle in adobo as you'd like. Do you realize how ridiculous this is? Christ.