"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".

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

recipe flurry and 40 naked women vs. 1 naked man

I do beg your forgiveness, dear readers, for keeping you in suspense for almost a week. I have not been making Campbell's soup, I assure you.

Here's what's doin', as my father-in-law would say:
Chilled Pea Soup with Lemon Cream
Panzanella (Bread and Tomato Salad)
Chicken Piccata
Salt-Fried Rib-Eye Steak
Squash, Tomatoes and Corn with Jack Cheese
Coconut and Macadamia Banana Bread
Mustard and Cheese Crackers
Sour Cherry Crostata

Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

Phew! Well, I cooked more than that, but those are just the new ones.

I obviously don't have the time or space to talk about each one individually but the veggies with jack cheese were surprisingly good, and so was the naan. I mean, they were ALL fantastic, but some were more fantastic than others, know what I mean?

Some of you may remember that my husband imagined he would not relinquish a certain ear of corn I made, not even for a room full of forty naked women.

My mother decided to make this dish, which she now calls "40 Naked Women Corn", when Don's parent's came to visit. She was disappointed. She said to me, later, that she would have left it for even just one naked man. What went wrong? she asked.

1. The corn was starchy, not sweet. This could have been because it was old, or had been left out in the heat. Corn starts converting sugar to starch the second it's picked--cold stops the process, heat speeds it up.
2. The corn soaked too long. The recipe calls for 10 minutes in the water--this corn soaked for at least two hours. It was waterlogged on the grill and never roasted.
3. The mayonnaise was too spicy! My mom had some high-test stuff, and used the full amount on my advice (mine was not so spicy)--this was ok for some, distracting for others.
4. My mom used a combination of non-fat feta and store-bought shredded parmesan. Neither of these have any flavor and the parm is distressingly plastic-like.

Should YOU, dear reader, attempt the same, remember these things--look for corn with a clean-looking, white break at the base--that's been picked the same day. Don't leave it out on the counter or in your car. Ten minutes soaking--that's it. Start modestly with the spice levels and adjust the mayo to your taste. And drop the diet for a moment, would you? Go for the full-fat feta. It won't kill you for one ear of corn.

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