Sunday, June 19, 2011

Roasted Rhubarb

I bought Dorie Greenspan's "Around my French Table" cookbook last year, hoping to participate with the French Friday's With Dorie blogging group.  Yeah, another fantasy bites it.  Fortunately, today, I actually made my first recipe using the cookbook, which was for Roasted Rhubarb.  You see, Dad is coming over in an hour for his Father's Day Dinner, all of which he's providing himself - ribs, beans, beer - except corn on the cob (oh wait, he's bringing 2 out of the 3 ears that we're cooking too).

Last week, I braved the crazy wilderness of the neighbor's super-steep back yard to make it to the back of Dad's garage where more sticker bushes and tall grass were required to claw through.  I made my way to rhubarb plants mom must have planted over 20 years ago, which unfortunately were covered in blackberry vines.  I cut away the blackberries with only minor trauma to my hands and forearms to find a few rhubarb stalks still surviving.  It is these salvaged stalks I now used for the Roasted Rhubarb.

All you do is take 1 lb of rhubarb, cut it into 1 to 1-1/2 inch chunks, put some lemon zest on it, and sprinkle with sugar before roasting at 400 degrees covered until the sugar dissolves and then a few more minutes uncovered.  Sorry, no pics of this one.

I just called Dad to tell him to bring some ice cream for us to serve the Roasted Rhubarb over like a compote so I guess he's bringing desert too.


Sunday, October 31, 2010

Spanish Tortilla (a/k/a Frittata)

Yesterday, I was watching America's Test Kitchen on public television and they made a lovely Spanish Tortilla. A Spanish Tortilla is not what we think of as the corn or flour tortilla variety. Rather, it is an egg-based dish with vegetables or other fillings - like a frittata.   I've tried making frittata in the past, with limited success (mostly due to having an alpha-dog-type fight with my cast iron pan over releasing food easily). However, America's Test Kitchen / Cooks Illustrated generally has very good, workable recipes that turn out successful so I decided to give it a go.

Tonight, I made a potato, onion and pea tortilla. The only thing I didn't use in mine that was in the original recipe were roasted red peppers from a jar. I pretty much followed the recipe precisely, including using a non-stick skillet instead of my cast iron pan, so I am not going to reiterate it here. There is a video on the America's Test Kitchen site if you want to give it a try.  It is a very easy recipe.  The hardest thing was waiting 15 minutes after it cooked for it to set up to be able to cut it!

Tasty and easy.  Now, I've got breakfast made for the next several days.


Sunday, October 10, 2010


This morning I woke up early and made some bread, planning on having a nice breakfast.  I took the bread from the oven and set it to cool.  In the meantime, I ran a quick errand down to the hardware store.

I returned home, ready to tuck in and what did I find?  Dad had stopped by my house in the meantime and absconded with my loaf of bread (thinking it was his)!*  Thwarted!

*his was actually a rye and wheat loaf that was still rising.

A Homecoming: No-Knead Bread

My parents have been traveling the country for nearly two years and last week finally arrived home (the picture was taken in June 2009, when my parents flew back for a short while to attend Marlo's graduation from high school and my graduation from law school - even though I was actually a licensed, practicing attorney by then).  Let's just say that I am very happy they are home. Yay!

Ever since the first time I made No-Knead bread, my dad has been a fan.Within two days of arriving home, mom called and said, "Your dad wants you to make some of The Bread."  I made two loaves right away.
Yesterday, I mixed up two more loaves, this time one with rye and wheat flour, and a second with regular all-purpose flour with some wheat germ mixed in.  We'll see how my improvising works out.  I set them to rise yesterday and overnight in the oven with the light bulb turned on for warmth.

Normally, I gripe pretty heavily about waking up early on the weekends - which I usually do because my Internal Clock doesn't get The Memo that it is time to sleep in and unfortunately Internal Clock has lifetime tenure and cannot be fired.  However, today I woke up at 7:00 a.m. and didn't mind it at all because I fixed the bread up for its final two-hour rise, and get to bake it at 9:00 a.m., just in time for a fantastic "Dipping Eggs" breakfast (*note, the picture below is sans No-Knead Bread).

No-Knead Bread is baked in a heavy lidded Dutch Oven in order to mimic the effect of a professional baker's steam oven which creates a great crust on the bread.  I bake mine in my red Le Creuset pot that I got out of the law school experience.  Still hate law school; still love the pot.  It makes me feel all warm and well, domestic, I guess.

It's a good start to a rainy Sunday.


Sunday, October 3, 2010

FFwD: Meme

I am starting to participate with a new blogging group, French Fridays With Dorie (FFwD), where I'll be trying to make a different French recipe from Dorie Greenspan's new book "Around My French Table."  The blogging group assigns a new recipe each Friday and the participating bloggers try to make as many of the recipes as they want.

One of the first postings was participation in a meme, to introduce the blogging members.  My answers are below:
Name: Roxanne
Hometown: Seattle
Current town: Seattle
How you pay the bills: I'm an attorney and own my own law firm.
How many in your household? 1 (and sometimes 2 when my adult daughter comes to visit)
What is your favorite comfort food? Pot roast.
Favorite dessert to whip up at midnight? Ice cream from the freezer.
The best restaurant you have ever been to? (and what did you have?) Ruth's Chris steakhouse (filet mignon).
Worst habit or vice? Waking up at 4:00 a.m. and reading.
If you were a biscuit, which would you be? I'm taking "biscuit" to mean a "cookie" in the British sense of the word: I'd be a Galette de Bretagne, essentially a butter cookie:  classic and rich.
What is your mother’s best dish? Stuffed grapevine leaves.
What is your motto? "It will all turn out."
Which kitchen gadget do you use the most? Not really a "gadget" but I use my silicone spatulas the most.
The soundtrack to your life is? Life's Highway by Steve Warner.
Any last words? I'm looking forward to participating in this group.