October 21, 2007

Weekend of Cooking

It's been a while since I've posted to my blog. I'm still cooking, and Emily is still taking amazing pictures, but I've been too busy with work to blog. Last weekend I had a bit of a cooking marathon, and Emily took pictures, so I figured I'd write it up.

green & white pizza

For lunch on Saturday we had pizza margherita. We have this about once a week when tomatoes are in season. This week we used the green zebra heirloom tomatoes (Emily's favorite varietal) and "Bubalus Bubalis" buffalo mozzarella from Cowgirl Creamery.

goat loin

For dinner we had a goat loin roast, stuffed with cumin, apricots, roasted pumpkin seeds, and bread crumbs, and wrapped in prosciutto. Served with baby spinach (with garlic and pumpkin seeds), red onions cooked in balsamic vinegar. This was a Gordon Ramsay dish that I've been meaning to make. He calls for a boned out lamb saddle, which I believe is called a double loin roast in this country. I substituted goat from Marin Sun Farms because somebody sniped the lamb. The "sauce" in the photo is the jus from resting. The onions and spinach were quite tasty, although the onions look a bit dark. I'd definitely make them again. The potatoes weren't spectacular, as I wasn't using my usual recipe, and I don't think they were really necessary.

I actually only used half of the loin for this. I thought I froze the other half, but it seems to have disappeared - I may have thrown the wrong thing out while cleaning the freezer.

fussy comfort food

For lunch on Sunday I made Keller's "Soup and Sandwich." This time I didn't screw up the brioche. I used "Lincolnshire Poacher" from Cowgirl Creamery for the cheese. I also made the tomato consommé and potato chips (fried in canola oil and clarified butter) to go with it.

The consommé was easy to make and quite surprising - it's hard to me to accept that a clear liquid has so much tomato flavor. You rehydrate a chipotle (or half of one) add it to a couple pounds of chopped tomatoes and strain in cheese cloth (or a dish towel) hung over a bowl in the fridge overnight. Add a few peeled cherry tomatoes (one of each color if you can) and serve cool.

For dinner, I made pork and beans and invited Dan and Carmen over to join us. Emily suggested I also make Pim's Pumpkin Panna Cotta, so I decided to make it a four course dinner with tomato consommé and some cheese.

consommé again

I served smaller portions of the consommé this time, a little bit goes a long way. Dan and Carmen got the cherry tomatoes that were left over from lunch, and I garnished with little baby basil leaves. I'll definitely make this again - it's an easy course to make, holds at room temp, and is tasty.


For the pork and beans, I cooked and reserved some bits of bacon, softened some onions in the fat, added 1/2 lb of soaked Rancho Gordo Borlotti beans, water, and half a smoked ham hock. I cooked it for 1-2 hrs, removed and cut up the meat, then cooked it for a few more hours with the cover off, occasionally sprinkling with bread crumbs or mixing in the crust that had formed on top. It's garnished with some mexican crema and cilantro.

cheese course

The Lincolnshire Poacher and an Italian Fontina on fancy crackers served as a simple cheese course. (I didn't have any fruit handy, and wanted them to try the cheeses.) The fontina was rather mild and a bit overpowered by the cracker, I probably should have cut it a bit thicker or omitted the cracker.

panna cotta

The Pumpkin Panna Cotta, in a jar from Miette. I also had some in bowls, but we were rather full dessert time, so I served the smaller portions. (Pim's recipe yields at least 8 portions, so we had plenty of leftovers, too.)