Wednesday, May 02, 2007

What I've been cooking

[imagine these ice creams presented as small scoops in a bowl; the salad on a bed of greens]

It's been an odd week - my work computer is in the shop, so I've been working at home - I can do mostly everything I need to do, save for changing anything on the web site of the academic department where I work - I have to be on campus to login. The irony is that I have better html tools on my home computer than on anything I can use at the office, when my own computer's out sick, I just can't ftp anything to the work web site from home.

Remember I said I cooked a lot Monday, but everything was messy - I made General Tso's chicken, from a NYT mag recipe by Fuschia Dunlop, a Brit writer, who writes a lot about spicey chinese food, among other things. She recently got Gourmet to send her to a Kashgar, a silk road city in Western China; the onion nan I just made is from that article. (In looking for infor about Dunlop, I had one of those experiences that librarians should hate - I spelled her name wrong- it's Fuchsia - and still found plenty on Google - including the correct spelling of her name - and nothing in the mega-library-catalog, WorldCat, even the web Anyways, the General Tso's was delicious, and Al wants to eat it again, but it splattered frying oil all over the stove.

The same night I started making a trio of blackberry ice creams, really a frozen custard (with egg yolk), an ice cream & a sorbet for the REAP recipe testing. These required straining a lot of pureed blackberries, almost as messy as frying oil. I have a real high tolerance for doing complicated things with food, having been a restaurant cook, but I seriously doubt that many readers of the REAP cookbook will be willing to make all three frozen treats - I told the editors to make a note "it's perfectly OK to make just one of these desserts". I had Mark try the ice creams, and he agreed with me that the ice cream is the best; he did not like the custard since it has orange in it, and the sorbet tasted too sharp to him, which is one of his flavor words for unappealing, jarring tastes - it had lemon and cassis in it, and to me it tasted too alcoholic.

I also am trying out salads for the yoga lunch - I went to the trouble of making preserved lemons just so I could make a couscous salad - this version has butternut squash, but it's so expensive in WI this time of year, wintered over, that I would make it with sweet potatoes instead (also wintered over, but less per pound!) I liked the salad a lot, but I think for the lunch I will make Mollie Katzen's sushi rice salad, glazed tofu & greens, and chicken, peapod and red pepper salad with tahini dressing.

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