Artisanal balsamic vinegar… not

July 24, 2010 at 7:29 pm (Cook's Illustrated, Dessert, Ice cream & toppings, Italian, Sauce/dressing, Summer recipes, unrated)

We had friends over for dinner the other night, and Derek wanted to make a summery dessert.  He decided on panna cotta. He considered making green tea or earl grey panna cotta, but in the end he decided that he shouldn’t mess around on his first attempt, and made plain vanilla panna cotta.  He thought it sounded a bit boring though, and so he decided to top the panna cotta with fresh strawberries and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.  I only had cheap supermarket balsamic vinegar though, and so we decided to reduce it to make it sweeter, less harsh, and more syrupy. Read the rest of this entry »

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Pita chips with zaatar

July 24, 2010 at 7:11 pm (Middle East / N. Africa, Starches, unrated, Website / blog)

Derek and I hosted a poker game the other night and I wanted to serve something for people to snack on, but I didn’t want to be tempted by a bunch of sweets.  So I served hummus and one of our guests brought raw veggies. Plus, I made pita chips. When I was at a friend’s wedding in Israel a few weeks ago I ate about a million pitas that had been slathered with olive oil and either za’atar or chopped tomatoes, then cooked on a hot grill. They were fabulous, and addictive. I didn’t have the energy to make pita bread from scratch, nor did I have a hot grill to cook them on. So instead I bought some pita bread at the Turkish store near me, cut them into triangles, tossed them with (unrefined, nutty-tasting) canola oil and zatar, and crisped them up in the oven. They were a hit at poker night. Read the rest of this entry »

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Six summer recipes from Fresh Food Fast

July 24, 2010 at 6:55 pm (B plus (3 stars, like a lot), B_minus (2 stars, okay), Japanese, Peter Berley, soup, Summer recipes, Tofu, unrated, Vegetable dishes)

I’m on a quest to try all the recipes in the summer section of Fresh Food Fast.  In the past few weeks I tried five new recipes:

  1. Pan-seared summer squash with garlic and mint
  2. White bean and arugula salad with lemon dill vinaigrette
  3. Chilled soba noodles in dashi with tofu and shredded romaine
  4. Warm green beans and new potatoes with sliced eggs and grilled onions
  5. Chilled tomato soup with shallots, cucumbers, and corn.
  6. Spicy corn frittata with tomatoes and scallions
    Read the rest of this entry »

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