Looking for a last minute dish for your Mad Men party? Then this is not for you; get some shrimp cocktail and make up for it with a fabulous dress. If you want an utterly amazing 1960s dish worth prepping in advance for future Mad Men parties – or for life in general – read on and you will find amazing pastry secrets, and a recipe (for duck turnovers) in which to use them.
It’s been a while, folks. And this post is coming from a new kitchen. Yes, I moved, and I am finally in my very own apartment – hopefully for a while. My first real venture in this kitchen was, fittingly, a Charcutepalooza challenge. Specifically, the October “stretching” challenge. I’m still getting used to my new cooking space (and I don’t have a real table yet), so I tried a personal take on rillettes, rather than going for a gallantine or some such. I also managed to leave my copy of the Charcutepalooza Bible at my dad’s house; thus, this recipe is cobbled together from sheer know-how. And the internet. I call the final product – a venison-hare potted meat – “Rillettes de Bambi et Thumper.” Yep. What can I say, I’m a sick puppy; doesn’t change the fact this is awesomely gamey and delicious.
When I was about ten, I went to a traditional Italian Feast of the Seven Fishes for Christmas Eve. Truthfully, there might not have been exactly seven fishes, but there were many courses and there were many old Italians; the dinner was held my grandmother’s best friend Marie. Marie lived in the same Florida development as my grandparents, so I always saw her when I went to visit them; I don’t think I realized until I was about seven that we weren’t related. She is a fabulous cook, and her Christmas Eve banquet was one of my formative food experiences; I remember sitting through antipasti, pastas, fish, cheeses, desserts, thinking “I want to be able to do this one day.” One of the antipasti served at the start of this dinner was a traditional Sicilian pickled eggplant – melanzane sott’olio. I was not a huge fan, but my parents went nuts over it and my mom got the recipe. It languished in her recipe box for years, but since I’ve got a more developed palate than I did at ten, and I’ve been getting into pickles, I decided to try it out…
Confession time: I’ve been a bum about posting this week. Warning time: it might happen again this summer as I get closer and closer to the July 26 (eek!) bar exam. And then it might happen more afterwards, as I crash on a beach in Rockport, and then trek around Southeast Asia for three weeks. I’m pretty stoked about all of the post-exam bits, though, and will try to share as much as possible up here.
Before I dive into future travels, though, I’m harking back to a former jaunt I’ve already spoken about, and putting up a lovely Greek recipe for your enjoyment. I give you…Stuffed Eggplant!
Last week, the day after graduation, I was staring at a wall when I happened to recall a friend’s incredulity that I had not visited Kitchen Arts & Letters (i.e., cookbook heaven) in my years in New York; so, I decided to stop by before I left the city. I think it’s probably good I held off going there until I had a job; I picked up four books on my first visit. Thankfully their used books are quite modestly priced, and they have a sale bin where I found “The Complete Greek Cookbook.”
This find was well-timed: after many days of rainy nasty New England-ness, it’s finally starting to get warm up here. Which means my desire for hot foods (other than those off the grill) are dwindling fast. I only brought a handful of books with my to Boston; the ones I packed are mostly “hot climate” foods – Greek, Puerto Rican, Texan. In my new Greek book I came across a recipe for tzatziki; I’ve been eating it constantly since it started to warm up.
In ovis hapalis: piper, ligusticum, nucleos infusos. suffundes mel, acetum, liquamine temperabis.
– Apicius, De Re Coquinaria VII.xvii.3
In English: “For soft-boiled eggs: pepper, lovage, soaked nuts. Pour on honey, vinegar, mix in fish sauce.”
Last entry! Got it in before the red carpet show! And these were the tough-to-pun-on films too…I bring you: Zuckerburgers: