"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".

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Garlic Bread, Tomato Sauce and Black Forest Cake

People, this Garlic Bread rocks the house. There is nothing, and I mean nothing that compares with biting into greasy, soft, garlicky bread that is hot out of the oven. The only modification the book had over this recipe on Epicurious is the addition of a little salt, which you grind up the garlic with. You know how you do that, right? By smooshing the salt and garlic together with the flat of your chef's knife? The salt helps to break down the garlic so you get a nice paste and no unpleasant chunks to get stuck between your teeth.

And it's just the thing, of course, to to with Tomato Sauce. The Gourmet Cookbook offers a number of sauce recipes; this one is a winter sauce that uses canned whole tomatoes, onions, garlic and dried oregano. Simple, and really tasty.

Why the Italian meal? I hear you ask. Not my typical MO. Well, when I was discussing with Dr. and Mrs. S. what might be an appropriate pre-Thanksgiving day dinner, I said I thought something light might be good, to make a little room for the feasting.

"How about spaghetti?" Dr. S. asked? God love him.

I rearranged the menu and gave them spaghetti (capellini, actually), garlic bread and salad for lunch, and mushroom soup for dinner.

Now folks, I am not really so much of a pasta cook. So when I went to boil the capellini, I figured for six people, two pounds of pasta should do, right? I mean, I used to work with this kid Patrick who used to work in an Italian restaurant, and their portion sizes were one pound of pasta PER PERSON. Yes, you read that correctly.

Can I just tell you that two pounds of capellini makes an ENORMOUS amount of pasta? It filled a three foot long oval platter. I don't understand the physics behind this, at all. If somebody can explain it to me, help me out with it. But my six or seven cups of sauce were kind of lost in the middle so the moral of the story is a) if you're cooking capellini, good luck, and b) if you're making tomato sauce, don't put it on too much pasta.

Dr. S., by the way, had two helpings. They all loved it, and there had to be at least half a platter left over. Amazing.

What do you follow a meal like this with?

Some yummy Black Forest Cake!

This is a spectacular creation, both to look at, and to eat. Dr. S. was completely on board with the idea of this cake once I gave him the parameters: chocolate, kirsch, and cherries.

It's even better the next day, once the cake has had a chance to soak up some of the liquid from the sour cherry jam and the kirsch syrup. And this is no wimpy Betty Crocker cake either--it has backbone from ground almonds in the mix. Epicurious doesn't list this recipe (at least not in the format the book uses) so if you want the recipe just let me know.

Now get away from this computer and go walk off some of those Thanksgiving calories!


Dana said...


I saw that you shared some similar interests as me, and thought you would be interested in my blog dedicated to women's health and fitness.


Anyway, I hope to see you reading soon!

Happy Thanksgiving!

- Dana

georgia said...

On the west coast, R.S., G.S., and G.S. prepared a meal for friends: garlic bread, cranberry-ginger-tangerine chutney, creamy horseradish, sage roast loin, vegetable tart tatin, and macaroni and smoked gouda and goat cheddar cheese. Our guests brought pumpkin pies and ice cream, green salad with pecans and apples, and albacore tuna salad with lime and avocado.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Melissa Bach Palladino said...

Hi Dana, welcome! I'm sure your blog will be flooded with visitors once New Years rolls around.

Hi Georgia, no turkey?! It sounds like a spectacular meal and right up my alley--if I ever visit the west coast I'll make sure I schedule dinner at your house. ;-)

georgia said...

Last year non vegetarians enjoyed a smoked turkey. Our oven is too small for a turkey, so the turkey was prepared in a friend's smoker. There's talk of a smoked turducken for next year!

Fatemah said...

id love the recipe for the black forest cake pls