Archive for January, 2012

January 21, 2012

Day 71

Quince

Cooked fruit — one of my mortal enemies — has thawed our Cold War a bit with this little cutie. I simmered the fight out of him with a little sugar and cinnamon. And it wasn’t too sweet or too mushy, two of his kind’s cardinal sins. When I get a little more time on my hands (after I convince my kids that it’s a good career move to run off with a circus at an early age), I think I’ll cook up a batch of quince jelly.

January 20, 2012

Day 70

Plantain Chips

Also called Tostones. These were fried, which is a plus, liberally salted, another plus, and they tasted nothing like bananas, yet another plus, but I was still underwhelmed. I was careful to avoid a ripe specimen (I read that those are super sweet), but a little more of some type of flavor would have certainly helped.

January 19, 2012

Day 69

Bean Salad

Tried the bean salad recipe from How to Cook Everything. Used black-eyed peas (which I hadn’t tried before). Like most of the entries in Bittman’s cooking for dummies bible, it’s a simple recipe — just add onions, red-wine vinegar, olive oil and parsley. And it tasted simple. Too simple. So humdrum it doesn’t even rate a frowny face. I’ll have to repurpose some of this huge batch into something with a little more pizzazz.

January 18, 2012

Day 68

Baba Ganoush and Muhammara

A workmate brought these samples back from New York City — a splash of exotic color in our otherwise albino milieu. I didn’t have high hopes. One is made from creamed eggplant (a food I rejected way back on Day 22) and the other is an unpromising mix of mushed up walnuts and pomegranate molasses. Sounded disturbingly sweet. But it wasn’t. It was even rather pleasant. And the baba ganoush was good, too. The moral I’m taking away from the ganoush: if you don’t like something, just add garlic. A lot of garlic.

 

January 17, 2012

Day 67

Dried Apricots

Yikes! Not a good introduction to the apricot. VERY disturbing texture. Will try a fresh one.

January 16, 2012

Day 66

Cinnamon Chips

Okay, so this is a softball. But after my adventures last week, I don’t mind throwing myself a couple of softballs. A thoughtful reader turned me on to the existence of cinnamon chips, so I was pretty excited to see a cinnamon chip muffin top sitting at the bakery counter. (Plus it reminded me of Seinfeld … ) And the cinnamon chips did not disappoint. Top o’ the muffin to you!

January 15, 2012

Day 65

Potato Gnocchi

I had dinner guests for my first stab at making potato gnocchi — or any gnocchi, for that matter. But everything turned out well. (Although at one point I was struggling with the dough and wondering what on earth I would serve if I couldn’t make it work. SpaghettiOs, anyone?) These were good, but plain (from Bittman’s How to Cook Everything), and there was much discussion about what to add for a little more kick. I’m thinking just some parm and black pepper. Maybe garlic. But there was some talk of crumbled bacon …

January 14, 2012

Day 64

Deep-Fried Scallop

Phew … I can finally bust out the smiley faces again. Is there anything deep frying can’t save? Picked up one of these little guys at a Chinese Buffet and it was surprisingly good. Only thing is, it was on the thin side, so I don’t know if I’d be as happy with one of those sauteed fatties like they have on the chef shows I watch obsessively. Texture might be off. Will have to report back. And maybe I can try lobster?

January 13, 2012

Day 63

Canned (Large) Fava Beans

This has been a rough week. I did something stupid again — picked up a can of fava beans. Freshly cooked fava beans can’t possibly taste this bad. I saw these on the supermarket shelf and, remembering Hannibal Lecter’s endorsement, figured I had a winner. Didn’t notice the word “large” on the label, so when I opened the can, my husband and I had a good giggle over these gerbil-size legumes. The giggling stopped once the smell kicked in. It was so bad that my husband tortured my children by chasing after them with the pan of beans. And the taste coincided with the smell. (Though I could see how they would pair well with human liver and nice Chianti.) Will revisit a properly prepared fava. And I promise not to make any more impulse buys.

January 12, 2012

Day 62

Salsa Verde

Meh. Thin and meek. Like tomato salsa’s nerdy cousin. I’ll stick with the roja.