Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Lots to catch up on

It's such an overused phrase...."time is passing so quickly"....and, of course, it's overused because it holds so much truth! I can't believe it's been a month already since my last post. When such gaps do occur, it's only for a good reason, however: it means I'm busy at work. I do hope you will stick with me during such slow periods on this blog.

Let me try to catch up a bit with some highlights. And I promise to post a recipe soon.

Rendez-vous Dimanche: I've been collaborating with the great Terrance Gelenter on this new event, a "stylish supper club" for up to 20 guests who will enjoy meeting the guest speaker of the night, Alan Riding. We're looking forward to kicking off this 1st event on Sunday April 18th. There's been lots of planning work involved to make sure we're ready & organized! If you hadn't guessed, I'll be preparing the menu...

Cinnamon Swirl Roll Experiment -- Sadly a "Non": Remember back in February when I was so absolutely thrilled with the buttermilk dinner roll recipe (from Ruhlman's blog)? Well, I had the thought to tweak the recipe into a great cinnamon roll. I added more sugar to the dough itself & then loaded it with butter & cinnamon-sugar.....but alas, I was disappointed in the result. The texture was not nearly as light & fluffy as before. Was it just that batch I made? Or are there simply better recipes? Who knows?! If anyone else tries this, please let me what happens for you. ( I don't even think that a sugar glaze on top could have saved these...!)

Rino Restaurant -- a definite "Oui": This new little "micro-bistro" just opened in 2010 by Giovanni Passerini, 2nd who worked under Petter Nilssen of La Gazetta. We went for lunch. The choices are very limited: a choice of 2 entrees, a choice of 2 main courses, and dessert. This might put a few people off, but for me, it's perfectly OK to put my trust in the chef. The food was delicious, inventive & very fresh. The cost for all three courses was 22 euros - quite a good value, in my book.

Chocolate soufflee and soufflee soirees -- no more please!!: I think I would call March the month of soufflees for me. I made more souffles last month than I think I have in my entire life!! That's a lot of soufflees. Suddenly they were everywhere in my cooking classes -- with cheese, or with spinach, with Grand Marnier, with chocolate....etc, etc....we did them all - savory and sweet. As much as I love soufflees, even I have my limits!! Variety is the spice of life you know...

Pappa al pomodoro -- can I have some more please!!: During a private wine-food pairing event for 14 people, I was asked to make something called pappa al pomodoro....It was an Italian wine tasting and the goal was to challenge the chianti tasting with lots of tomatoes, hence pappa al pomodoro (but don't ask me what the pappa meas...). This turned out to be a favorite of not only mine, but of those at the event....and then those at two different cooking lessons that I subsequently gave. It was unanimous -- this is hearty comfort food; the kind that sticks to your ribs & makes you feel all warm inside. And it's simple to prepare with only four ingredients: bread, tomatoes, olive oil & basil. A glass of red wine is required. I hope to post this recipe soon while there is still a chill in the air...

Macaron madness!! If I wasn't making soufflees, I was making macarons. Strawberry & chocolate, pistachio, caramel au beurre sale, white chocolate with rasberry, double chocolate....for private lessons, for group lessons, or batches made for my own events.....I'm up to my eyeballs in macarons! I still find them to be finicky things -- especially when making them on humid days. I still love them. Macarons are the "new cupcake". There's been lots of interest by Americans. It will be interesting to see how this evolves back in the US.

That's all for now!