Friday, June 25, 2010

Atsa spicy pantry!

I splurged on tiered spice racks for the pantry in our new house. Take a look at this. I have 30 linear feet of spices and spice blends. I'd better get to cooking!
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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Sweet treats!

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Only a couple of weeks left before we move to our new home, and I’m still trying to empty shelves, fridge, freezer and liquor cabinet.

I found a small half-empty bottle of Malibu Rum, a coconut flavored rum made in Barbados. I can’t remember what recipe I bought it for, but I put it to good use recently at a dinner for friends.

Sabayon (in French) and zabaglione (in Italian) are pretty much the same: eggs whisked over hot water with some sort of alcoholic liquid until doubled or tripled in volume. You can make the sabayon right before your dinner starts and hold at room temperature no more than an hour, or you can make it ahead of time and chill completely, but it will lose some of its volume. It will, however, still taste good.

I bought one of the already cleaned and cored fresh pineapples from the supermarket to use for this recipe, but the consensus at dinner was that bananas would also be good, maybe even better. If you try it, let me know!


3 eggs
2 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
½ cup Malibu rum
1 fresh pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into ½" chunks

In the top of a double boiler, or in a heat-proof bowl, briskly whisk the eggs, yolks and sugar until sugar is incorporated. Add the rum and set over simmering water. Do not let the bottom of the bowl touch the water or all you will get is nicely flavored scrambled eggs.

Whisk continuously until the sauce has at least doubled in volume. This will take about 5 minutes. Divide the pineapple chunks among six shallow oven-proof dishes. Pour the sabayon over the pineapple. Preheat your broiler. Broil 6" from the heat until the sabayon is a deep golden color. Serve immediately.

This could also be made in one casserole dish. A 10" pie pan would work nicely. Serves 6.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

America's Five Greatest Foodie Presidents

Who are America's most "foodie" presidents? The Village Voice rates them...but the jury is still out on President Obama!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Easy Tasty Salmon

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We are getting down to the wire on moving to our new house. I've been sorting through all kinds of interesting "stuff." It’s amazing how much you can accumulate when you’ve been in a house for 25 years and have lots of spare closet and attic space.

So I’ve been working on dinners that don’t make a mess, or at least not much of one. Today’s recipe was serendipity: salmon filets that looked good at the market, with no real recipe in mind. To me, salmon and asparagus together seem to make a very spring-ish combination, so I picked up a bundle. Adding steamed and buttered new potatoes enhances the seasonal feel to the meal.

I cooked the salmon "en papillote," a French technique. I used the traditional parchment paper for the packets, but you can quite nicely use foil, sealed well around the edges.
Add a salad of your choosing and you have a great dinner....and all you have to wash are the dishes.


2 6- to 8-ounce salmon filets, skin on
1/3 cup thick creamy Caesar dressing
8 stalks asparagus
A few sprigs fresh thyme (see note)
2 slices of lemon
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut two 12" square pieces of foil. Spray the dull side with cooking spray, or brush with oil. To one side of the center, put one filet on each, skin side down. Brush the tops with half the Caesar dressing. Trim the asparagus spears to about the same length as the salmon filets and arrange four on top of each. Brush with remaining dressing, top with lemon and thyme sprigs and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Fold the foil over and crimp the edges to seal all the way around. Place on a baking sheet. At this point you can put into the fridge for a few hours if you like. Take them out about 20 minutes before cooking.

Bake for 20 minutes. You can cut the packages open and move the salmon to a plate if you like, but I really like the burst of aromatic steam when you leave it in the packet to open at the table. Use a spatula to transfer to the plate. Serves two but can easily be multiplied to serve as many as you like.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Today is National Donut Day!

The donut is most certainly an American institution.  In my younger days, it was always a high point of the weekend when we would get donuts on Saturday mornings from our local bakery.  I'm not much of a sweet-eater, but there's something about the cream-filled ones with the glazed outside....  In honor of today's National Donut Day, MSN has posted Brett Stelka's list of the ten best donut shops in the country.   Alas, most are way off my beaten path, but if you're anywhere close to one of these, you  may want to give them a try!