Thursday, May 27, 2010

how to make ambient sad-cake, and other songs of cooking

“You've got some charm I must admit."
The East Coast is generally dreary, punctuated by a few key moments of sun.

Pizza with prosciutto, basil, ricotta, garlic, caramelized onions, and tomato on a homemade cornmeal crust.

This recipe is easy to compose, but I learned a new thing while putting it together. Mid-caramelization of the onions, soak them in red wine vinegar, dust them with black pepper, and add a dash of cinnamon. Trust me, it is the right thing to do! The onions will infuse the crust with a rich, heady flavor...the perfect base to make the other tastes really pop.

And when the pizza is pulled from the oven, still smoking hot and odorous with cheese and salty pork, drizzle fresh lemon juice on the top. Really, just put lemon in everything!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

she came in through the bathroom window

people with backyards in new york city are so lucky. they don't even know how good they've got it. today was the summer, and the backyard at dave's house, and the sun's light eliminating everything. i came by after grocery shopping, made a salad in the kitchen overlooking the lawn. the flavors were exactly right to fit the day. strong and peppery arugula, tart radish, coooooool cucumber, and buttery slices of ripe avocado. perfect, perfect, perfect.

but, i'm wonderin'

arugula and radish salad

salt + pepper
oil + vinegar

it's all in the dressing: lots of lemon, a big burst of bright. thinly slice the radish first. toss it in a bowl with salt and lemon, then stir in the arugula, avocado, cucumber. dress in oil + vinegar. give everything a good toss, then finish it off with a few turns of pepper. yum!

Friday, May 21, 2010

so long, honey babe

i find the view from the window at my office -- although it reveals nothing of the outside world -- oddly and totally distracting. what could be out there ... ? a sailboat, three green fish, the view from a crow's nest, and nothing but ocean for miles and miles and miles...

"goodbye's too good a word, babe. so i'll just say fair thee well."

brown rice and radish salad


brown rice
1 radish
red wine vinaigrette

to make:

prep brown rice, using lots of garlic/pepper and a little salt. (pssst…for great brown rice: when the rice is ready, drain the last of the water, remove the pot from heat, and cover it tightly. let the rice steam this way for about ten minutes — it really lets the flavor penetrate!)

thinly, thinly slice the radish and roughly chop the cilantro. stir them into the brown rice. dash a little red wine viniagrette and extra garlic/pepper over the top.

voila! consume.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

graduation cake

amy scheim graduated from college today. the rest of her life supposedly begins now, and (like all good things) it begins with cake. this key lime cake is perfect for summer. it's tart and crumbly, buttery and light. (i know, you think "buttery" and "light" are two words that don't belong together...but opposites attract.) you should definitely make this.

key lime cake (adapted from All Cakes Considered)


1 stick of butter, unsalted and at room temp
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup heavy whipping ream
5-6 key limes (for 1/2 cup of lime juice)
1 cup confectioners' sugar (plus more for dusting)

to make:

1. preheat oven to 350°. prep an 8" cake pan in advance (parchment paper or flour will do).
2. cream the butter, gradually adding in sugar (beat well!)
3. add the eggs, one at a time, and beat more.
4. slow down the beating. add half the flours, then 1/3 cup of the heavy whipping cream. beat well. then add the rest of the flour, and then the rest of the cream. (this is called alternating wet and dry ingredients!) beat the mixture for about two minutes. it will become thick and almost foamy.
5. grate the rind of one key lime, squeeze out about 1 tablespoon of juice. add to batter and beat for another two minutes.
6. pour the batter into your prepared ban and bake for approximately 20 minutes.
8. cover the pain with aluminum foil (to prevent the top from burning) and bake for another 20 minutes.
9. remove from oven, let cool thoroughly before transferring to plate.
10. whisk the key lime juice with the confectioners' sugar.
11. pour over the top of the cake, slowly. let the cake absorb the liquid!
12. dust the entire thing with leftover confectioners' sugar, and add thinly sliced limes around the rim (not required, but it's pretty).

Sunday, May 2, 2010

spooky little girl like you

i made brownies for nicole’s birthday today. they are supernatural. it is officially summer. you can tell because: jean shorts, beaches, dogs, frolicking.

supernatural brownies

2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter

8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, cut into 1/4-inch pieces

4 large eggs

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup all-purpose flour

One 13x9x2-inch pan, buttered and lined with buttered parchment or foil

Set the rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil and turn off heat. Combine butter and chocolate in a heat proof bowl and set over pan of water. Stir occasionally until melted. Whisk eggs together in a large bowl, then whisk in the salt, sugars, and vanilla. Stir in the chocolate and butter mixture, then fold in the flour.

Pour batter into prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake for about 45 minutes, until top has formed a shiny crust and batter is moderately firm.