I drove myself a little bit crazy last week in a quest for authenticity. I did research, crowd sourced my father and uncles, dithered, and fussed in search of an ‘authentic’ elegant Dutch meal to celebrate the Abdication/Enthronement of Queen Beatrix/King Willem-Alexander*. Then I went ahead and did things like roasting my Brussels sprouts with balsamic, and adding garlic and rosemary and orange zest to my Hazenpeper. I also threw in a splash of buttermilk to my Hete Bliksem for a touch of creaminess. I did this mostly because I couldn’t help myself, and because I thought they would enhance the dishes, even if the additions were inauthentic. This, however, begs the question of what we mean when we say ‘authentic’. Read the rest of this entry ?
Posts Tagged ‘Starch’
On Tuesday, April 30, 2013 an era ended. After 33 years on the throne, her Majesty Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands stepped down in favor of her son, Crown Prince Willem Alexander. It was the end of her reign, and it also marked the end of 123 years of women at the helm of the Netherlands. Read the rest of this entry ?
In my experience, Celebrity/Name Chef cookbooks tend to come in three varieties.
The first is what I call the ‘It’s more about the lifestyle than the recipes’ variety. Much as I love Ina Garten, this is where I put most of her cook books. I basically want to be Ina Garten – I want her house, her garden, and especially her pantry – but I find her cook books are more about an aesthetic than they are about new and/or interesting recipes. I don’t know that anyone needs another recipe for butternut squash soup, or for chicken salad, or strawberry shortcake. The genius in her books is providing inspirational aspirational pretty pretty pictures of food and friends. I’d also class Nigella Lawson (who I also love) in this phylum of the cookbook world. Read the rest of this entry ?
Last Monday Google announced the beta release of GoogleNose*. I wish that it was live so that I could have shared with y’all how good my kitchen smelled last week. I kept walking back into the kitchen on Monday night to stand over the pot of simmering beans and just inhale deeply (okay, also to warm my hands up in front of the gas flame, because this is the winter that will not end, and it was cold). Read the rest of this entry ?
Chicken Pot Pie
I watched a cooking show the other week that ‘lightened up’ chicken pot pie by replacing the traditional crust with phyllo dough. Now, I like phyllo dough, but that doesn’t mean I think it has any place on top of a traditional American chicken pot pie (a Middle Eastern b’stilla is a whole different story, but that’s also a whole different kind of chicken pie). Within the confines of understanding that what you put on top of a pot pie needs to be starchy and comforting – phyllo is too pointy to be comforting – I’m flexible about how you want to top your chicken pot pie. You could use a puff pastry lid. You could roll out a traditional pie crust. You could throw caution to the winds and make the America’s Test Kitchen savory crumble topping that calls for ¾ cup of heavy cream and 6 Tbsp of butter (I tried, but just couldn’t bring myself to do that). You can do what I did and turn it into a cobbler kind of affair and top it with buttermilk biscuits. Just not phyllo, okay? There’s a time and a place for phyllo (spanakopita, baklava, wee cups to serve hors d’ouevres), but chicken pot pie isn’t it.
Chana Masala – alternate version (i.e. kind of, but not really)
Saag with Roasted Butternut Squash
Whole Wheat Naan – plain & peshwari
Sweet & Spicy Pickled Kumquats
Baked Barley Risotto
Whole Roasted Onions
There’s a comment that Helene Hanff makes in one of her letters in 84 Charing Cross Road about visitors to England that has always stuck with me.
A newspaper man I know, who was stationed in London during the war, says tourists go to England with preconceived notions, so they always find exactly what they go looking for. I told him I’d go looking for the England of English literature, and he said:
“Then it’s there.”
(Helene Hanff – 84 Charing Cross Road – letter April 10, 1950)
My parents lived in London for nearly seven years when they were first married, and their London is a combination of half-forgotten trivia like what color the Bakerloo Line is on the London Tube Map, memories of places they used to go when they were young and fancy-free (as opposed to now when they are more mature and fancy-free), and surprise at how much London has changed in the last forty something years.
My London is an amalgamation of landscapes read about in Jane Austen and Charles Dickens, regency romance novels, Victorian murder mysteries, and urban fantasy novels, jumbled up with images gleaned from BBC police procedurals, Doctor Who (which admittedly is mostly actually Cardiff dressed up as London), and sweeping BBC historical dramas. Read the rest of this entry ?
Committing Christmas – Dinner, December 4th
Mustard Baked Chicken with Pretzel Crusted Chicken (w/ a variety of mustards & mustard based sauces)
Sage Scented Mashed Sweet Potatoes
(umm, some kind of vegetable, although I’m blanking on what exactly – green beans?) Read the rest of this entry ?
The sheer number of people who have been seduced, reinvented, and otherwise found themselves in France or Italy is actually mildly disturbing. It makes me wonder if there are any actual French or Italians left in France and Italy or if they’ve all been pushed out by American’s seeking enlightenment, falling in love, and/or saving their marriages. Read the rest of this entry ?