One of the things I love most about writing a food blog is that people come out of the woodwork with their best and most cherished recipes. I don’t know if they want a moment in this small spotlight, they entrust me, as an “expert” to recreate their family treasures, or they are just inspired by the community of cooking to share, but I am glad, whatever the motivation. Although I love my cookbook collection fiercely, and poor over the food glossies every month looking for recipes and inspiration, nothing floats my boat so much as a tried and true family favorite — a recipe that is burnished by love and experience until it just shines. And they’re almost always completely and totally delicious (we will ignore for the moment my own family’s recipe for tomato aspic made with tomato juice, lemon jello and chopped celery and served with a side of mayonnaise).
This is one of those recipes that makes me happy to be working in food and writing about food, because if I wasn’t, this recipe might never have come into my life. It comes from the kitchen of Spring (her actual name), the lovely mama of my lovely friend Rebecca (progenitor of the Bacon Salted Caramel Brownies – these people know good food.) Spring is very English but has lived in California for years and years — this dish, in my mind, combines the best of those two culinary traditions — an English focus on simple heartiness (and gravy!), with California Mediterranean flavors.
Continue reading Spring’s Parmesan Rosemary Chicken
Mostly, Savour Fare is about enabling. I truly believe that, to quote Ratatouille (when you have a 2.5 year old in the house, you watch a lot of Pixar movies), “Anyone can cook.” I try to provide you with the tools and confidence to cook great food from scratch in your own kitchen.
This post isn’t about that, though. This isn’t about enabling, it’s about jealousy. Because when I tell you where I went last weekend, I know the green-eyed monster will be reading over your shoulder. Because, you see, I was invited to a truffle party. That’s right, 13 separate dishes of fresh black Italian summer truffles (the summer truffles are slightly less pungent than the winter truffles, but they are still enough to make a grown man cry.) The lovely Erika of In Erika’s Kitchen (who luckily for me happens to be a fellow alumna of my alma mater and works in my building to boot) through a fantastic shindig that included fantastic dishes like Truffled Macaroni and Cheese, Corn Veloute with freshly grated truffles on top, Radish and Truffle Butter Tartines (with freshly grated truffles on top), Crostini with Ricotta and Truffle Honey (again with the freshly grated truffles), Green Beans with Porcini Mushroom-Truffle Dip, Truffle Risotto with truffles grated on top (are you beginning to sense a theme here?), Truffle Grilled Cheese Sandwiches,Filet Mignon Sandwiches with Truffle Butter, and to top it all off, Truffled Chocolate Truffles. Yes, it was that decadent, and the house was lovely and the company (many fellow food bloggers and other food people) was terrific.
The hostess, hard at work on the truffle risotto
I don’t know if Erika has a trust fund I don’t know about or if she just got a screamingly good deal from her dealer (Truffle dealer that is), but this was a party I was lucky to have attended. And if you want to recreate this party at home, many of the recipes are included on Erika’s website.
I’ll return to our regularly scheduled programming soon (you don’t need a pound of truffles to make delicious food, trust me!) but I’ll leave you with one last lingering look:
Greg of Sippity Sup was the official truffle model of the evening.
The first meal you cook in a new kitchen feels portentous. As if the success or failure of all future culinary endeavors rests on the results of that one meal. It shouldn’t be too simple, or too fancy. You don’t want too much room for error, or something that’s *gasp* boring. It should be just right.
So when I unpacked my kitchen, and decided my long cooking hiatus would come to an end, I wanted to prepare the perfect meal. I wanted it to be familiar, but novel. Seasonal comfort food. In the first kitchen that’s Mine in my very first house, I wanted something that said “Home.”
And so I chose soup.
Now I know that soup may not be the most obvious choice for a summer dish. Soups are associate with cold days and long slow simmers on a hot stove. And the usual summer soups – your gazpachos and your vichyssoises and your fruit soups — while delicious, are not homey. But this soup combines the best of both worlds. It’s a hearty soup, made with a bounty of summer vegetables which are delicious in soup — green beans, zucchini – and it simmers for less than an hour, as it gets a big flavor boost from a large spoonful of basil pesto, whose sharp summery flavor wakes up your tastebuds. It can be served hot or lukewarm, and it’s perfect for those long summer evenings. Soupe Au Pistou is a classic Provencal dish, and it can be made with whatever looks best at your local farmer’s market.
Continue reading Soupe Au Pistou – Feels Like Home
If my summer recipe roundup wasn’t enough for you, I have a new post up over at The Mushroom Channel that features a recipe for this gorgeous (and delicious) mushroom pizza.
I don’t have any new recipes for you today. No photos, no witty anecdotes, nothing. There are two reasons for this. The first is that although I have been cooking — I promise! — I have yet to get internet successfully installed in the new house, and I have a desktop computer, which means it is nearly impossible to transfer photos from the camera to the internet to share with all of you, my dear readers. When my internet is FINALLY working properly (which will not happen before July 14th, thanks to the glacially slow response schedule of AT&T and the archaic phone wiring in my house) I will have goodies to share — a fantastic summer soup, a creamy salad dressing I’ve been perfecting.
The second reason is that the imagery of summer is iconic– running through sprinklers, sitting on a dock, long warm evenings, afternoons at the beach, days spent in your swimsuit, flip flops and tank tops and the sheer relief of a darkened air conditioned movie theater. Summer food — popsicles and corn on the cob and hamburgers and potato salad and tall cold glasses of something special — is made for those long hot days and warm evenings. And it has been COLD here. I expect June gloom, but this is July, people. I am supposed to live in the land of perpetual summer and it has been drizzling and sixty six degrees here, which is FEBRUARY weather. Who wants to eat popsicles when they are already shivering? Last night, in an act of defiance, I made some corn on the cob and salad for dinner, and we ate it at the kitchen table because it was too cold to eat outside. Fortunately, Los Angeles is supposed to get the memo this weekend, and I’m hoping there’s some gazpacho in my near future.
In the meantime, I leave you with a few images of the summer I wish I were enjoying, and some links to a few summer recipes I hope you can enjoy, in case you missed them the first time around.
Fried Zucchini Blossoms
Grilled Shrimp with Ginger Chile Lime Sauce
Summer Squash and Cauliflower Salad with Salsa Verde
Crunchy Pea Salad