TND – Bewitched, Bothered & Bewildered

March 24, 2014


caramelized onions

Bewitched . . .

I am completely entranced by these copper cooking vessels and covet them. I also covet a full kitchen staff who would polish said copper cooking vessels, because I am fully cognizant of the fact that I never would.

copper pots.jpg

While we’re on the topic, I am also utterly smitten with this vintage ice cream scoop even if it looks somewhat impractical in practice. The butter pick is also captivating, although I never serve butter in pats . . . the pickle fork, on the other hand, I’d probably use all the time. Assuming that winter ever ends, the tomato spoon also seems like it might be a useful addition to my serving ware – although admittedly I’d never remember to polish it.

picks & spoons.jpg

Bothered . . .

Can we talk about quinoa? I get that quinoa is the new ‘It’ food, in the same way that kale was (and kind of still is) the last ‘It’ food, and it is impossible to go out to dinner without encountering quinoa somewhere on the menu. Mostly I find quinoa inoffensive. I don’t think it tastes like much, but then neither does couscous and I quite like that. For home cooks quinoa is generally used to either up the protein content of a dish, or as a non-wheat based substitute for something like pasta. If you’re vegetarian and tired of beans and tofu, or eating a gluten-free diet for whatever reason this makes sense. There are also, apparently, people who just like quinoa for its own merits. I guess this is why chefs in fancy-pants restaurants are so enamored with it? I am, obviously, not someone who falls into the latter category. But, as I said, I find it mostly fairly inoffensive so when it turns up (as it inevitably will) in a dish it’s not a deal breaker for me (unlike, say, tofu).

However . . . however, in dessert? Really? Who’s eating dessert for its nutritional qualities? And if you are, you’re doing it wrong. Dessert doesn’t need a protein boost, nor, generally speaking, does it need a pasta replacement. This raises the question of what quinoa is doing gracing the top of an otherwise perfectly tasty sounding sticky toffee pudding (full description is Quinoa Sticky Toffee Pudding with confit orange, quark ice cream, orange cardamom gel, whiskey meringue and quinoa-coffee crumble). Just, why? Unless you’re on an episode of Chopped or Iron Chef there’s no need to add quinoa to things just because it’s there on the shelf.

& Bewildered . . .

Apparently there’s a restaurant in upstate New York with a 10 year waiting list? It’s called Damon Baehrel, and at the end of your 10 year wait you get ushered into an intimate (20 table) venue in the chef’s home, where you are then served a 14-19 course tasting menu ($265/person – drinks not included).

I cannot conceive of waiting for a restaurant reservation for a decade. I think it’s bad enough that you need to reserve 6-8 weeks in advance to snag a table at Oleana on a weekend. How do you know the restaurant will still be there in 10 years? How do you know the quality of the food will still be as good? Or that that’s the kind of food you’re going to want to be eating 10 years from now? Although, I suppose a 10 year wait list does give you enough time to save up to be able to afford to eat there.


Meatball Subs
Salad w/ Ranch Dressing
Orange Wedges


Meatball Subs

Recipe previously given: Belated Posting

Alterations this go around:

– Used all ground turkey.
– Didn’t bother turning the bread into breadcrumbs (if you’re just going to turn it into panade, why get the food processor dirty).
– Soaked the bread in milk not water.
– Added chopped fresh basil to the tomato sauce just before serving to add a little brightness.
– Melted mozzarella over the top rather than provolone, mostly because I like mozzarella more than I like provolone.

meatball subs

Salad with Ranch Dressing

Ranch Dressing recipe previously given: Cajun Chicken Salad

salad making


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