"Perhaps the most impressive of all the cookbook blogs are the three devoted to the 2004 edition of Gourmet magazine's "The Gourmet Cookbook" -- all 5¼ pounds and 1,300-odd recipes of it. Befitting this culinary Everest, all three writers are overachievers in their professional lives."

--Lee Gomes, The Wall Street Journal, May 28, 2008
"I should have told you before how much I've been enjoying reading your thoughts. You seem like such a great cook."

--Ruth Reichl, Editor-in-Chief of Gourmet Magazine, June 8 2008, comment on "Chocolate Velvet Ice Cream".

Monday, April 2, 2007

Tomato Chutney and Fromage Fort

The biggest problem with this Tomato Chutney was that my grandmother didn't make it.

Take a beloved childhood food that was made by a beloved person...can any other version possibly measure up?

So this recipe, while fine, really, just fine...was too chunky, and had mustard seeds. It was also somehow too sweet. Not right at all! But Dr. and Mrs. S. never knew my Grandma Hruby or her Tomato Chutney, so they thought it was just terrific, and although they don't know it yet, they're going to see it again today at lunch on a Bacon, Arugala, Tomato and Egg Sandwich.

Sigh. I miss my grandma.

I had never heard of Fromage Fort, and technically, it's not a recipe in this book--it's a sidebar technique.

Here's how it goes. When your cheese drawer is just bursting with odd and aging bits of cheese, weigh out a pound (here's something to do with that kitchen scale, oh ye unrepentant ex-dieters) grate the hard cheeses and cut the soft ones into 1 inch cubes. Throw it all into the food processor with 6 tablespoons of soft butter and 3 tablespoons of dry white wine. Process until smooth, and now you've got a cheese spread that is very tasty indeed. If you're feeling frisky you could throw in some herbs, or minced shallots...I could even see roasted red pepper in there.

How did my version come out? Well, if it didn't have that darn hickory smoked cheddar that the S.'s got as a Christmas gift it would have been better, but it will suffice and that certainly didn't stop me from sampling it, on a cracker. With tomato chutney on top, of course!

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