Unless they are organic, sweet and juicy perfect strawberries.
I have been in the chocolate fountains and chocolate events business since 2003. Nobody knows the strawberries I’ve seen. I have dipped until I dropped and I’m over even looking at them.
I’m also not a jam gal. Not so big on the sweets. But I love my condiments: relishes, chutneys, chili jams, etc. anything savory.
However I do wind up with strawberry leftovers and rather than try to give them away (Yes, picture me running after strangers with containers of strawberries), I’ve tasked myself with finding savory ways to cook them.
I found this recipe, many years ago, for the Chinese Laundry Cafe’s “Feta And Garlic Pate” online and it had this explanation: “This funky little cafe is a regular hangout for Queen’s university students. Lucky students. This recipe comes from the owner, Ann Marie Rousseau.”
I loved the idea, but I finagled it… a lot. One significant change was increasing the amount and roasting the garlic and adding more scallions and anchovies. The original recipe had butter in it which seemed kind of European so I scratched that. Now it’s got balls—just the way I like it!
For some reason I wind up with lots of dried fruit scraps. Where do they all come from? Sahadi’s mostly and they are the result of buying them by the pound and 1/2 pound and using them in recipes calling for a cup here and 1/2 cup there.
One year, I wound up with a several pounds of dried apricots after the Chocolate Show. They sat for months and got drier and drier. I kept moving the bag around thinking, “I have to do something with these!.” But they continued to sit around and mock me.
I bought this hilarious “Praise The Lard” t-shirt from Prather Meats at the Ferry Building in San Francisco (you can’t buy them online, but if you go there grab one—it’s a conversation piece), but I’ve never used it much for cooking. Strange for a gal who worships at the Church Of Pork Fat...
I love cooking with Jarlsberg. I think it’s because the holes in the cheese always freaked me out as a kid. I’m not gluten intolerant, but I love making food for my friends who have food allergies. My aim was to make a gluten free pie for PIe Party Potluck LIVE! so the people who were coming and couldn’t eat gluten would have another option. As it turned out, no one at the party was gluten free, but the gluten eaters happily scarfed down this pie too.
I felt a little like I cheated because I wanted to make a gluten free flour based crust using chick pea flour, but my test crust went from OK to awful. I decided to stick to making something that was delicious and gluten free without having to reinvent the wheel.
My favorite kind of recipe? One that’s dead easy and makes me look like a genius! Claudia Roden’s Basic Pie Dough 1 from The Book Of Jewish Food, is one such recipe. I used it to make samosas for my niece’s birthday party five months ago—I made heaps so I could freeze ‘em. Isn’t the freezer magical—it may be my favorite major appliance. I finished the last two samosas this morning when I cleaned out the freezer. I threw them in the toaster oven frozen and they were still delish and the pastry crisped up beautifully. You can also use this dough to make empanadas, pasties or any kind of savory hand held pie.
This dough is easy to make and requires no resting so it’s FAST—another thing I love in a recipe! I love working with this dough because it’s oily and doesn’t stick to your hands and is well behaved when you roll it. When baked, the texture is a little flaky, yet it’s strong enough to hold a heavy filling.
Face it. Raita recipes are always RIGHT. I don’t think there’s any wrong to make them. I have not written an actual recipe. Just a list of suggestions for you to mix and match as you see fit. Think of it as an old-school Chinese restaurant menu: pick one from column A, one from column B, one from column C, one from column D and so on.
You: in the audience at “The Fried Chicken Theory According to Jackie Gordon: an evening of sultry soul food and sweet soul music.”, sitting at a table with a platter of six desserts.
Me: standing on the stage describing one of the desserts: “layers of espresso chocolate ganache topped with freshly sliced bananas, a pile of vanilla bean pastry cream, then whipped cream and chocolate shavings in a graham cracker crust”