Summer Coming Soon: Smoky Scallops and Ripe Tomatoes
29 April 2008
Sometimes I remember recipes that I've loved and forgotten - long buried in the archives and recipe files. Tonight I was thinking about this one, Smoky Scallops with Fennel and Tomato. It's a robust dish of strong flavors, and while this might seem a counterintuitive way to deal with the delicate and fragile scallop, I like the way its sweetness soaks up the smoked paprika and juices of fennel and ripe tomato.
Mmm - summer, come quick.
A Collection of Mis-sses
9 April 2008
When I started to write about my cooking I made a little promise to myself to always be honest. It would be really easy to gloss over the fallen cakes and oversalted meals, the small domestic disasters that arise from too much faith in gut instinct and too little experience. And while I certainly don't choose to tell you about every misstep, there are some weeks that just filled with these misjudgments, and missteps and mistakes. Here's one of those weeks.
This week (first confession) was a long time ago - I am trying to finally publish all my old drafts! Whew.
Still true though. Even if it did all happen in 2006.
First, there were the overdesigned fruit kabobs I made them for a friend's baby shower. I was really looking forward to taking pictures of these. I soaked pineapple in ginger syrup, then cut the slices into little stars with cookie cutters, and sandwiched them between different sizes of mint sugar-dusted melon balls and petite blueberries. They turned out very pretty, but I overstretched myself and barely had time to put them together let alone take pictures!
Then there were the cream puffs. Ah - cream puffs. These were an unmitigated disaster. I had planned on making 4 dozen for church, little creamy bites that would delight the kiddies. But the dough was sticky as wet glue - I have no idea how it was supposed to be piped like the directions said. I ended up scraping it out of the pastry bag and globbing spoonfuls onto the cookie sheet. They were very tasty and golden when baked, but only made a third of the promised four dozen.
And the cream puff fillings - oh don't even get me started. I accidentally beat the cream into butter, leaving me with a wet mess of flavored milk with lumps of greasy butter sticking up like lonesome icebergs. Somehow I miscalculated the chocolate ganache and ended up with runny chocolate goo that wouldn't set, so I made a frantic addition of gelatin and eggs and managed a Bavarian cream, sweating, at the last minute. It was OK, if a little lumpy, but not worthy of the blog.
For the same meal I made a huge batch of Greek meatballs with fresh ground lamb and parsley. These were not exactly a disaster or a misstep, but they did fall into the area of miscalculation. I made so many and knew that there was a lot of other food coming, so I assumed I would have plenty to bring home for weekday lunches and a leisurely photography session. Well, no. They were the first thing to go - which of course made me glad that people liked them but again I was left with nothing to take pretty pictures of. Never underestimate my church's ability to pack away a few pounds of meat. There was that lesson, again.
Then there was the pita bread. I used Nicole's recipe for homemade pita bread - for the same meal as the cream puffs and meatballs! Too much, too much - which turned out a lovely dough and a delicious bread, but again, I overstretched and was frantically rolling gooey balls of dough and slapping them into the oven as I was supposed to be leaving my house. Many of them burned, a little, and had dark crackled tops. Otherwise, they were delicious. But definitely not photogenic.
So there you have it - just one week of mis-steps. Wonder what a new week will bring!
Still here, and it's spring.
9 April 2008
I don't do much with poor mekuno anymore, since I blog 8-10 times daily over at Apartment Therapy's The Kitchn. But I'm planning to give it new life by posting photos here that I can't slot in there, or recipes that don't quite fit.
I'm not making any promises, but mekuno will have a little more life from here on out (I think).