Friday, March 16, 2007


How do you choose what cookbook you want to buy? Often I'm attracted to books that promise some sort of "simple" cooking or that are written by a chef I really admire or that focus on a particular ingredient I crave or want to begin using. Every so often, however, I'm just attracted to a book either by its title or cover and realize that, as long as it doesn't seem absolutely awful, I must own it.

That's how I came to acquire the newest addition to my cookbook collection, Green Eggs and Ham Cookbook. I was walking by a bookstore when we were still apartment hunting in Soho and, seeing the bright orange cover in the window, I turned around, entered the store and promptly bought it.

Peppered with quotations from various Doctor Seuss books, the recipes are fairly tame and straightforward, but with very inventive names. Definitely a good way to get kids interested in cooking. Also, since the dishes are quite simple, they are things I can make over and over. The names, however, made me want to potchke to make the ordinary recipes live up to their extraordinary names.

The first and, so far, only recipe I've made is Who-Pudding, from How the Grinch Stole Christmas. I always imagined Who-Pudding as something not-too-sweet, with a very soft texture. The cookbook offered a version of Tapioca Pudding. I thought, I looked through my cabinets, I dreamed and, inspired, I came up with my own creation. It's fabulous for dessert or breakfast and it's soft, creamy and comforting. Enjoy.


Mix well 1/3 cup Sugar, Flour, Milk and Egg in a medium saucepan. Let stand 5 minutes.

Bring mixture to stove and place over medium heat until it reaches a full boil. Remove from heat and stir in Vanilla Extract, Cinnamon and Orange Zest. Let cool for 20 minutes, then stir. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

In a medium bowl, combine Raspberries, Orange Juice and 1 tablespoon Sugar. With a potato masher, mash together until well-combined and all of the same consistency.

Serve drizzled on top of Pudding. Top with an additional Raspberry (or two, or three) if desired.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

GBP: Soupe de poulet et cresson, avec boulettes

Even though today was the warmest day so far this year, I decided to celebrate the end of Winter by making what may be my last Soup this season. Since I've been organizing my blog lately (you can see the additions of labels as I slowly classify all my entries) and looking for ways to use my homemade Chicken Stock, I was inspired by a recipe I made over a year ago for Turkey Soup with Broccoli Raab and Dumplings. Once I began cooking, however, and realized this would be a great way to use up my Watercress, as well as a Chicken Breast I had frozen when we first moved in about a month ago, the only thing that remained from the original soup were the Dumplings, which were quite nice. For a change, you could also cook down the liquid to make it more of a Sauce and serve it over Rice. Or, if you want it to be more of a Soup than a Stew, add an extra cup of Broth, Stock or Water.

Coincidentally, I bought a pot of Parsley at the Greenmarket on Saturday and, amazingly enough, it hasn't died yet, so I used a few sprigs in my Soup and am therefore entering this into Mandira's Green Blog Project at her blog, Ahaar. To participate, you just have to cook with something you've grown or, in my case, not yet killed. Enjoy!

Soupe de poulet et cresson, avec boulettes




In a large saucepan, bring Chicken Broth and Vegetable Stock to a boil. Dice Chicken Breast and add to Stocks. Lower heat to medium-low and simmer until Chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes.

Add Pepper Flakes, Chicken Seasoning, Garlic, Salt and Pepper. Cook 5 minutes more to combine flavors. Add vegetables and simmer for 15 minutes, until tender.

Meanwhile, prepare the Dumpling Dough. Mix together Flour, Water and Egg Yolks in a small bowl. Mix well until thoroghly combined. Take pinches of dough and drop into Soup. Don't worry about the shapes; they will vary in size, which makes them all the more fun. Add White part of Green Onion. Cook 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from flame and sprinkle Parlsey and Green Onion tops on top. Serve.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Rondelles de pommes de terre

Sometimes you spend the whole day planning on making something for dinner that night and really looking forward to it. You come home after a long day and get started. It's getting late, things are taking longer than you expected, but still you persevere. Then, when you finally begin cooking and the end is in sight, you realize it's just not working. It doesn't taste right, maybe you have the wrong equipment, and something's wrong. So you regroup. You count your losses and you make something new. Not as good as all your expectations, of course, but still...not bad.

That's what happened tonight. I bought more Long White Potatoes at the Greenmarket on Saturday and, not sure what to do with them, I found myself craving Potato Chips. So, figuring they couldn't be too hard, I decided to make some. I bought some Yams at the supermarket for some color variety and I was all set. Sadly, however, it didn't work. Perhaps I didn't slice the Potatoes and Yams thinly enough; perhaps I used the wrong pan. Either way, the Yams (which I fried first) were soggy and greasy. By the time I got up to the Potatoes, I was tired, warm and needed to make the apartment less smoky. So I turned down the heat and cooked my thin Potato slices. Surprisingly enough, they were delicious. I served them with Glazed Hot and Sassy Cornish Hens.

Here, then, is a very simple recipe for you. And if anyone has advice about making homemade Potato Chips (something that doesn't involve a Deep-Fat Fryer since I don't have one), that would be much appreciated.

Rondelles de pommes de terre

Cut Yams and Potatoes into slices as thin as possible. If you have a Mandoline, feel free to use it. Otherwise a very sharp knife will do just fine.

Soak Yams and Potatoes in separate bowls of Cold Water. Refrigerate bowls for at least 1 hour, up to overnight.

Heat Vegetable Oil in a skillet over a medium flame. Cook Yams and Potatoes separately (first one, then the other). Lay Yam (or Potato) slices in the skillet and cook, turning occasionally with a spatula, until cooked through. Place in serving bowl and toss with Lemon Pepper. Serve warm.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Soupe de pommes de terre, cresson et basilique

The only bad thing about our new apartment is how far away from the Greenmarket it is. Luckily, however, I'm working on a play that rehearses downtown on Saturdays so last week (and yesterday, as a matter of fact), I convinced the Boy to meet me for Brunch after my rehearsal and, after an overpriced and completely unblogworthy Brunch, we moved on to the Greenmarket where spring was in the air.

We came home a few hours later loaded with groceries: two Chickens, Garlic Butter, Red and Yellow Cipollini Onions, a Red Onion, Whole-Wheat Flour, Tapioca Pudding and four Long White Potatoes. The Chickens were both eaten quickly, the Garlic Butter is slowly being used and the Red Onion is long gone. But last Thursday night, I decided it was time to do something about the Potatoes. After perusing through a new cookbook, The Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook, I lighted on this soup and, after tweaking the recipe to use what I had, I made it for dinner along with some Lobster Ravioli with Rock Shrimp Sauce. The soup was a great first course--warming, if a little too filling. Next time, though, I would use a whole bunch of Watercress (rather than only 1/2 cup) and throw in a clove or two of Garlic. I've changed the Watercress to the new amount in the below recipe.

Soupe de pommes de terre, cresson et basilique

Combine Stock, Potatoes and Onion in a saucepan over medium heat and cook, partially covered, 20 minutes, until Potatoes are tender (less if you cut them smaller).

Dice whites and light green parts of Leek. Melt Garlic Butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add Leeks and saute 5 minutes. Add Watercress and saute another 5 minutes.

Stir Basil into Potato mixture and cook 5 more minutes.

Scrape Leek mixture into Potatoes. Add Cinnamon, Cloves, Oregano, Salt and Pepper.

If you're lucky enough to have an Immersion Blender or Food Processor, puree Soup. Otherwise (or if you prefer your soup chunky) mash it all up with a Potato Masher until it has reached desired consistency.

If you removed it from the saucepan, return Soup to saucepan. Stir in milk and reheat over low heat. Serve warm.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

You Are What You Eat Meme

Rosa, of Rosa's Yummy Yums, has tagged me for another meme! This one is the You Are What You Eat Meme, so today I'll take a break from writing up recipes and answer her questions instead.

You Are What You Eat

If you were stuck on an island and could only eat one cuisine (e.g., French, Italian, etc.) for the rest of your life, what would it be? Why?

It would be Italian Cuisine. While I obviously adore eating French Food, I'm far more likely to make a Pasta for Dinner than I am anything in a Cream Sauce. Also, I find there's a ton of variety within Italian Cuisine (not to mention how much I love tomatoes. And I could eat Pasta every day?

What is the most unusual food you've eaten?

I'd have to say that the most unusual food I've eaten is Sea Urchin (not Sea Urchin Roe, or Uni, although I've had that too). Sea Urchin itself has a very sweet flavor and I greatly enjoyed picking it out of its shell. I've also eaten Alligator meat, at our favorite Sushi Restaurant, Natori.

What is the most unusual food you've eaten and liked?

I guess Alligator. I think it's unusual and I order it every time we go to Natori, so apparently I like it!

What foods will you avoid eating (either because of a dietary choice or allergies or just plain don't like)?

Luckily, I'm not allergic to any foods. The only two foods I dislike are Cucumbers and Jello. When in the States, however, I do my best not to eat Veal because I don't like how it's raised. From what I've heard, conditions are not as terrible in Europe. Occasionally, there is farm-raised (where they get to roam free; I've asked the farmers) Veal at the Greenmarket and I'm always excited to eat that. I also sometimes (though very rarely!) make exceptions for Calves' Liver when I'm in a French restaurant and really craving it.

Do you cook (and by that, I mean prepare a meal that you'd serve to friends)?

Yes, of course! Otherwise why would I have this blog? Speaking of which, I must start planning the menu for my Housewarming Party...

If yes, what is your favorite dish to prepare to impress someone?

I don't usually try to impress people with my cooking. That said, if making food for more than a select few, I'm much more likely to make something I've made before (such as those I've recorded here, or any kind of Roast Meat), rather than experimenting with a new recipe. For dinner parties, my standby is any kind of Roast (Beef or Lamb, usually) and for informal meals, it's Pasta.

When you go to a restaurant, what's your ordering strategy/preference?

I usually order something I'm unlikely to cook myself, for whatever reason. Or, if it's a new restaurant, I like to order a specialty that's come highly recommended. If a foreign cuisine (especially one with which I'm not very familiar) I order something unique to that cuisine.

Have you ever returned a dish or wine to the kitchen at a restaurant? Why?

Not really. On Valentine's Day, I sent my Lamb Chops back to be cooked a little more since they were raw (literally) inside and around the bone. But once they had spent a little more time in the oven, they were perfect and delicious.

How many cookbooks do you own?

Currently, I only have twelve, but that's because I still have many in storage that I haven't moved in yet!

What is one food that you wouldn't want to live without?

I think that would have to be Cheese. I always have at least two different kinds of Cheese in my fridge and I choose it instead of dessert to end most meals. I bet you thought I was going to say Pasta?

I wish to tag the following people:

Enjoy, ladies! I look forward to your answers.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Where did February Go?

You may be wondering why it's been so long since I posted a new entry. The truth is that February, the shortest month of the year, was a very busy and trying one for us. The good news, though, is that the Boy, Ozzy and I have finally moved to a new apartment, this one in East Midtown, with a fabulous kitchen, especially now that I've built a unit to give us additional counterspace. I've already started cooking, of course, including making homemade stock, so stay tuned for updates and pictures. And we're slowly discovering the restaurants in the area and planning a housewarming party. Just wanted to let you all know we haven't fallen off the face of the Earth.

And...Welcome to Midtown!