Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Reunion dinner.

Last night my little kitchen held six. The Queen of Fun was sick, and we missed her. The Prince of Intense was away at school, but I put in extra garlic for him anyway. And S fell off the boat. Otherwise, it was a most magical dinner reunion.

We started with L's crazy new cocktail.
1 shot Canadian Club
Dash Pernod
Dash Stirrings Blood Orange Bitters

Shake with ice, strain. Serve up, garnish with orange twist and a Ciliegie di Vignoa allo spirito.

Bridey brought a lusciously ripe hunk of Humboldt fog. L dished out little Dijoned stacks of salami and 4 year aged gouda. E called just as the artichokes were being served with little backyard Meyer lemon halves, and she scored a great parking spot.

We cleared off the artichoke petals, and I hefted the 14” cast iron skillet of crusty bubbling cassoulet out of the oven.

Simple Cassoulet
2 ½ cups flageolet beans (navy work too)
Bacon fat
2 large onions, diced
1 tsp. thyme
1 lb multi-colored carrots, hunked
1 ½ lbs duck confit
3 cups good breadcrumbs
¼ c (one stick) butter

Soak beans 4 hours, then cook 1 hour until edibly soft but not mushy. In a large (14”) cast iron skillet brown diced onions in bacon fat, add thyme. Add 2 cups water and the hunked carrots and simmer until the carrots are soft. Place the duck confit over the carrot/ onion mixture in the pan. Salt well. Melt butter, mix with breadcrumbs. Transfer beans into cast iron pan, reserving bean cooking liquid. Add bean liquid to almost cover the beans. Sprinkle on buttered breadcrumbs. Bake at in the middle of the oven at 350 for 2 hours, then move to the top of the oven and cook for an additional 30 minutes.

Serve with sliced cabbage sautéed in butter.

Erin brought a pear custard tart, and even baked it in the tart pan we lugged home from France.

I miss my grandma.

A recipe directly in her voice:

Spaghetti Sauce

1 Tiny onion
Couple stalks celery
Couple of carrots, you don’t want a whole million. Big carrots.

Put in a spaghetti pan and simmer with a little water. Not big chunks. Cook for a while, at least half an hour. If the chunks are too big, get out your boat motor. Have you got one of those?

2 Big cans DiFretti crushed tomatoes
All kinds of like oregano
A little basil
Squash a couple cloves of garlic

Just cook that up. If you need more tomatoes, throw those in.

When it’s done, throw in Prego.

Wow do I adore my grandma.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Breakfast alone at 2

Slept and slept today, woken with the rain lashing the windows, sounding like hail. And curled again to warmly sleep. Finally up, shocked to learn it’s after 2. Such thick cloudcover that my light-clock is confused.

T’s truffle-oil funky mushrooms last night reminded me of my preferred truffle oil vehicle, toad-in-a-hole and English-style baked beans, mild and sweet. I first ate it as an appetizer at Emmy’s Spaghetti Shack. Two days later it had entered my breakfast list permanently.

Emmy’s Breakfast

Baked Beans

1 Can Navy Beans
2 tsp. molasses
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp ketchup
1 tsp Dijon mustard

Combine in a saucepan, simmer 15-20 minutes.


(per person)
1 thick slice crusty white bread (I used Acme’s Sour Batard)
1 tasty egg
2 tsp butter

Remove most of the soft middle from the slice of bread. Place it in a frying pan of sizzling butter, and carefully crack the egg into the middle. Cook til the white is visibly whitened, and the edges toasty and flop, cooking the yellow to your desired egg state.

Serve the beans and toad drizzled with truffle oil.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Good: harney & sons bangkok green tea

O, tea of suntan oil soaked, and sun-toasted bikini flesh I am happy you are back in my life. (Allegedly green tea flavored with coconut, ginger and lemongrass. I know you are green tea flavored with joy.) And thanks to dave, who gave me a lovely assortment of tea in a presentation box, unwittingly introducing me to the Bangkok long ago.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Girl's dinner: Abundance for four

Abundance, originally uploaded by miss_rogue.

Radishes with fancy ass salt
4 year gouda and Sweet Grass Dairy tomme
Small pots of simple mushroom soup with tiny tarts of Humbolt Fog
Chicory with red & yellow beets, blood oranges, grapefruit, mint and olive oil
Tiny artichokes
Local halibut poached with leeks, fennel, lemon zets and young carrots
Cauliflower gratin
Bi-Rite chocolate ice cream with bergamot olive oil and fancy ass sea salt
Tea with silver spoons to melt dark chocolate in

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Winter dinner for Erin

Fizzy Lizzy Lone Star grapefruit greyhounds

Tiny pots of simple soup of wild mushrooms
Tiny tarts of French goat cheese, herbs and pink peppercorns
Beet and supremed orange salad
A lot of prosecco
Cauliflower gratin
Chocolate pudding served in vasoline glass custard cups that might be radioactive. Maybe