"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".

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Cold Buttermilk and Shrimp Soup and Black and White Cookies

Here's one of the summer recipes: Cold Buttermilk and Shrimp Soup. Sounds weird, doesn't it? It's even weirder when you consider it calls for (in the book) 1-2 tsps. of dry mustard. In the recipe on Epicurious (which I've provided the link to) it calls for 1 TABLESPOON. Do yourself a favor and start with 1 tsp., taste, and work your way up.

Having said that, this is really a delicious soup. I'm sort of new to cold soups, since it's just always so cold here that 80% of the time cold soup seems like an insane idea. But we do have our summers, and cold soups are a delicious alternative to salad. It's also nice to be able to break away from gazpacho. The other cold soups in the soup chapter seem equally odd at first blush so watch this space for more to come.

I loved this soup, but boy is it pungent. If you are one of those folks who love wasabi paste with your sushi than you're in the right place and go for the maximum allowed. I served it to Dr. S. and his son J. hoping that it would be tolerable--they both cleaned their bowls but Dr. S. told me later when I asked that he "cheated" a little bit and added water.

I know Black and White Cookies are emblematic of New York. I see them there, usually in a gigantic size only an elementary school student could love, and I've tried one. They are unimpressive, in my opinion--cakey, and topped with simple frosting. No big deal, though they are pretty.

When Gourmet included them in their cookbook I though I'd give them a whirl. And they are: unimpressive--cakey, topped with simple frosting. I don't get it. The only thing they have going for them are their looks, which is sort of how I felt about some girls I knew growing up, and oh the injustice of that!

So spare yourself the bad date and just go look at a picture, and I'm talking about the cookies here, not the girls I grew up with.

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