"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, January 26, 2009

Melissa Feeds the World, Starting with Her Parents

Usually, I sponge off my parents when it comes to dinner, one of the many advantages of living 15 minutes down the road from them. I'm only waiting for the day when they get demented enough that I can extract pocket money from them, but by that point I'll probably be helping them wipe the drool off their chin and they won't have any to give because it will all be sucked into some giant pool of nursing home fees. (sigh) So much for my big plans.

But every once in a while I can lure them out of their cozy home to our cozy (but second floor) home with the promise of a nice, gourmet dinner, and during this most recent dinner I made two stunningly delightful recipes from The Gourmet Cookbook.

It's possible that I was so thrilled with the first because I thought it would suck. And here's why:

I hate chicory.

So when Don came home with a head of chicory ("I was just craving it!" he said. Crazeeeee.) I grumpily looked it up and found a little note on it (strip the leaves, it says, the stems are the bitter part) and one lonely recipe for Chicory Salad with Oranges and Red Onions.

Even while I was making it, and tasting the stripped chicory leaves, I thought it would be way too bitter. Blech!!

But the combination of parboiled, vinegared red onions and sweet navel oranges did something magical to the chicory leaves, and this salad was the perfect counterpart to marinated steak tips and Creamy Parmesan Polenta.

Not bitter. Not at all. Refreshing and seriously yummy.


And I took advantage of this dinner party to make a rare dessert for me--souffles.

Because of the split-second nature of their debut, souffles just never work out for my cooking jobs. And nothing is sadder than saying, oh, this looked great about 20 minutes ago, when I THOUGHT you'd be done eating dinner, but now it's just a wrinkly, deflated chocolate balloon....

No sir, not for me. I live for external validation in case you haven't figured that out yet and so I need an audience under my control for souffles.

Enter Coffee Souffles with Chocolate Sauce.

It's hard to have an issue with a recipe like this, but have an issue I did, if you can call too much of a good thing an issue--this recipe serves far more than 4. Here I was, with my four little ramekins filled and a heck of a lot more souffle to go...

I finally settled for 6 small ramekins and one big one:

And did I ever mention I really like chocolate?


That's me eating the souffle.

Mm mmm good!


Georgia said...

Certainly couldn't eat chocolate in the same at work...

Liz C said...

If I dipped myself in chocolate, would I look like that?

Thought not.

(I will have to try the souffles tho - they looked and sounded great!)