"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, July 15, 2008

Pasta with Mussels and Chorizo and Fresh Banana Layer Cake

Sometimes at work I just get it wrong.

For example, yesterday I thought I'd make a pasta dish (to rectify my ignoring the Pasta section) partly because grandson G. loves pasta.

And on Sunday night, Don and I had the most amazing tapas at Zoe's--mussels with chorizo sausage. It was so incredibly good that I was overjoyed to find a similar recipe in the book, the bonus being that it involved pasta. A hearty dish, with great flavors--what could go wrong?

Please take note--it does not take an hour and fifteen minutes to make this recipe, because I did it in 30 minutes. I did have three burners going at once (pasta, mussels, and chorizo/shallots/garlic/wine). Please also note that the recipe on Epicurious has you steam and shuck the mussels, but the book would have you leave the mussels in the shell, which is traditional.

So what went wrong was this--turns out L. doesn't eat "filter feeders". And G. was a little skittish about the whole thing. And Mrs. S., unbelievably, had never seen or eaten mussels before. This amazes me, because the family is well familiar with oysters and clams, in many sorts of raw and cooked states.

So Mrs. S. picked at her food, G. removed almost all of his mussels and devoured the pasta, L. got some leftover pasta and put on a jarred pesto sauce she had picked up camping, and D. (youngest son of Dr. and Mrs. S.) consumed a mountain of mussels. Happily.

I ate it, and the combo was as good as it had been at the restaurant. (sigh) Well, today's another day.

I also made Fresh Banana Layer Cake yesterday, and since I gave it serious short shrift the last time I made it, merely listing it along with a lot of other recipes, I thought I'd throw in a picture and tell you that for a cake, this one is fast and easy. Just make sure your butter and cream cheese is super soft. And if you use Pam Baking Spray, you can cut out that whole butter-and-flour-the-pans bit.


Anonymous said...

I wonder if I could combine the banana layer cake with the coconut cake with raspberry coulis? What a delightful thought!

Melissa Bach Palladino said...

I bet you could! That would be pretty awesome.