Saturday, February 23, 2013
So, to anyone who is still paying attention, this post will serve as the official end of one era (and the closure this blog so badly needed, although I will leave Orange & Salt up and running for anyone who would like to dig through past entries), and the announcement of a new one. I am now blogging my new kitchen adventures over at [ a treat grows in brooklyn ]......join me there, won't you? :)
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Some cubes of the stale ciabatta loaf (or any crusty bread, sourdough would also be lovely) that's been sitting around on your counter for the last few days will do nicely for the 'stuffing' component of the meatballs. Most meatball recipes call for the addition of bread crumbs anyway, but I left these substitutes whole & finely cubed (about 1/4" inch) as I worked them into the meatball mixture to give a more authentic 'Thanksgiving stuffing' sense memory.
Call me a food snob or purist (you wouldn't be the first), but I really can't stand the traditional green bean casserole that ends up on most tables. You know the one: a quivering mass of canned green beans, canned condensed cream of mushroom soup, and those anachronistic visitors to the 21st century from the 1960s, canned 'French fried' onions (yet another canned ingredient).....all combined in a casserole dish and baked into oblivion.
Turkey meatballs, combining ground turkey, cubed bread, celery, onions and dried cranberries. This dish combines all the flavors of a traditional, huge holiday meal without any of the worry or effort of roasting a huge bird and preparing endless side dishes. They are juicy, savory and sweet in every bite.
Sweet potato gnocchi, I knew I had to make these this year! Tender, sweet, and bathed in brown butter, they will make you forget all about pans of nasty orange goo coated in factory-made marshmallows. Satisfaction guaranteed.
I recommend serving this meal with something easy, cheerful and seasonal. A cocktail of sparkling wine and cranberry juice couldn't be simpler!
The full mini-Thanksgiving extravaganza on a plate: a few bites of everything that is good about the holiday, without any of the excess baggage. Happy Thanksgiving to all the families out there both large and small, may your day be full of coziness & merriment, and most importantly plenty of delicious, stress-free food! :)
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Friday, August 5, 2011
Fresh Watermelon Sorbet
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
5 cups fresh seedless watermelon chunks
6 tbsp. fresh squeezed lime juice
Bring the sugar and water just to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until the sugar is completely dissolved--do not stir or you will introduce sugar crystals and everything will get weird. Trust me. Set aside in a bowl until completely cool.
Put the watermelon chunks and the lime juice into a blender or food processor. Pulse several times to chop the melon and then process until the fruit is completely pureed. Press melon puree through a fine mesh strainer to remove the seeds and any extra pulp. Combine with the cooled sugar syrup. Chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
If you have an ice cream maker, pour the watermelon mixture into the freezer bowl, and process according to your manufacturer's instructions. If you don't have an ice cream maker, pour the mixture into a 9" x 13" pan and set in the freezer. Using a fork, stir the ice crystals at least once every hour for the next three hours, making sure to scrape the crystals from the side of the pan (where they will form first) and re-introduce them to the rest of the mixture. Freeze overnight. The next day, before serving, scoop out the desired quantity for serving and blend in food processor until soft*. Serve, & enjoy the cooling goodness!
(*This is one of those times when I can really see the use for a kitchen gadget, i.e., an ice cream maker. After all, ice cream or sorbet made in a machine intended for that purpose is smooth, evenly textured and lovely, because the machine continually churns air into the mixture as it's freezing. Technically, what you're making by using the pan-and-stirring-with-fork method is a granita, equally lovely tasting, but a lot coarser in texture, more like a snow cone. Putting it in the food processor the next days helps to incorporate some air and makes the texture finer, but you may need to stick it back in the freezer for a few minutes afterwards to firm it back up a little. Takes a little extra work this way, but it does taste delicious.)
I had some textural issues with this sorbet, mostly due to the fact that we don't have a proper ice cream maker. The mixture froze absolutely solid in its container, and was a real pain to chip out for serving. I'd like to experiment with some additives to keep it from freezing solid and hopefully maintain a smoother, softer texture. Gelatin, maybe, or a splash of vodka or sparkling wine? I'll keep you posted. But, not wanting to waste our precious frozen personal watermelon mixture, we ate it once as sorbet and from then on just threw chunks of it into the blender with limeade to make......FROZEN WATERMELON LIMEADE. Which, I'm telling you, is an instant summer classic.
Serve in a tall glass with bendy straw. :)
Sunday, July 17, 2011
We gave them a final rinse in the sink to remove any lingering traces of grit. I gave them a final chance to repent, but they were recalcitrant. I swear, one of them even raised a tiny, clenched little claw out of the water at me and shook it menacingly. 'All right, you little devils,' I said with gritted teeth tightly clenched. 'I've got a nice hot bath for ya.' And it was nice: full of halved cobs of corn, fat slices of smoked sausage, onion wedges, whole garlic cloves and generous shakes of cajun seasoning. Delicious*. As long as you weren't a crawfish.
One of them made a last, desperate attempt at escape. We laughed, having our 'Annie Hall' moment, somewhat nervously wielding a mesh strainer and hoping that between the two of us, we'd have the strength and steely nerve to wrangle this lone ranger back into the pot. Luck, or skill, was on our side. He was a brave fighter, but ultimately, a goner.
The sweetness of the crawfish meat (they are like tiny lobsters, after all, with most of the amazing meat resting in the tail) contrasted nicely with creamy bites of potato, golden kernels of corn, and salty, savory bites of sausage, all bound together in the same spicy seasoning that hints of fresh garlic and onion. A few of my favorite things, all in a pot together. Definitely don't forget to suck the heads.
Sunday, May 29, 2011
I'm a great date, really. Take me out to a restaurant, any restaurant, and I'll regale you with sparkling, witty conversation, periodically punctuated with thoughtful, good-listener pauses. I know how to use a napkin, and I'm reasonably confident which fork is which. Really. I'm a great date.