Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Lindsey’s Fruit Galette from Alice Waters and Chez Panisse

I recently discovered a food section in the Berkeley Bioscience Library. Over the course of one week, I went through Alice Waters and Chez Panisse and Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential. I'm currently skimming through Chez Panisse Desserts . Frankly, while I really enjoyed reading the books, it actually made me less inclined to try fine dining (if I could ever afford it).
The Chez Panisse book really approached food as an art and it would go on and on with descriptions of the dishes. It all sounded delicious, but I know for a fact that I could never detect and hence enjoy the subtle nuances that the author goes and on and on about. Bourdain's book makes me a little scared of fine dining and its punky gatekeepers.
I was super excited about Chez Panisse Desserts because I thought it would help me re-create this lovely poached pear tart from La Farine. It has this wonderful custard base on which the fruit sits on. The cookbook lists several custard recipes, but I just don't have the ingredients. Nor do I really want to experiment with vanilla beans and come off with inedible but expensive crud. I have already tried to make macaroons twice in two weeks with deflationary results.
I did have lots of fun making different fruit galettes. The first one is nectarines and plums and the one below is strawberries and blueberries. The strawberry cooked into a jammish substance, which was yummy but not visually appealing.

They're really quick and fun to make. You just sort of throw together the dough (flour, butter, ice water, and salt) and while its resting in the fridge, cut up the fruit into even pieces. Then you roll out the dough, measure and trim it with a plate, spread a flour-sugar mixture onto the center, layer the fruit, fold, sprinkle the whole mess with sugar, and then pop it into the oven. Voila!

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Monday, June 29, 2009


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Sunday, June 28, 2009

A Typical Dinner

Here is the dinner my sister (check her out at heartisserie) and I made tonight. She made eel aka unagi with extra eel sauce and a gailan or chinese broccoli stir fry. I made salmon and a broccoli-carrot stir fry.

My dad came down to fiddle in the kitchen with his crutches. He objected to the idea of me baking salmon and using shallots, because, as everyone knows, the one true way, the chinese way (also known as "the one true way") to make salmon is to pan fry the sucker in oil.
I wasn't so hot on that idea, but decided to try the scientific method. To pan fry one fillet and bake the other. Long story short, the baked salmon with dill (April 2007 of Martha Stewart's Everyday Food) turned out to be much more moist and flavorful, with the zuchinni tasting buttery rather than greasy. Instead of revealing and reveling my results, I utilized a little deception. I poured the excess liquid over the fried piece of salmon and pan fried the baked piece to give it a nice, golden crust. The picture above is before I fried it. No one noticed and my father has deigned to allowed its presence in his lunch box tomorrow!

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Apis Goes to Europe

I went to Europe for the first time in May. Though I wanted to take Goth Bunny with me, I couldn't fit him in my backpack and I was loath to loose him. Apis, of course, was a little more disposable. I was planning to write a little book of our adventures and the first part of it will be tips on travelling.

Tips on Traveling

(Outside Glasgow Museum)

1. Interact with the locals. With few exceptions, they make the best tour guides.

(Neil displaying local hospitality.)

2. Make new friends.

(Apis riding Hamish Rowan Gordon, a highland cow
and proud new resident of the United States.
Assisted by Scotswoman Mairi Gordon.)

3. Don't waste time taking unnecessary pictures. For instance, in the case of Apis, we took lots of pictures of cows. DO NOT take pictures of everything. Going through your film at the end should be fun and nostalgic, not a chore.

(Bull lyre at British museum and possible an ancestor of Apis).
4. EAT!

(Salad at Borough Market, London)

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