L.Nightshade's Profile

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April 2015 COTM: POLPO - Chapters 1 & 2, Cichèti & Breads

I just spread them out on a microwave-safe dish or container. Turn it on for, usually 10-15 seconds at a time, toss, and repeat. Small nuts like pine nuts don't take long, larger, denser nuts, like hazelnuts, take a few rounds. They get toasty and aromatic, just like in the oven or in a frying pan.

about 1 hour ago
L.Nightshade in Home Cooking

April 2015 COTM: POLPO - Chapters 1 & 2, Cichèti & Breads

GOAT’S CHEESE, ROASTED GRAPE, & WALNUT BRUSCHETTE
(The-Too-Hot-to-Turn-on-the-Oven version)

This was last night’s appetizer for Mr. Nightshade’s cioppino dinner. I roasted the grapes and the walnuts in the microwave. blue room taught me the microwave nut-roasting trick years ago, and I’ve never looked back. It worked fine for the grapes too. I used diagonally sliced baguette, and just popped them in the toaster. I did opt to use the honey even though the grapes were sweet, and I thought it provided the right counterpoint to the tart, earthy (some might say barnyardy!) taste of the goat cheese. A big hit here, and with no oven used in the hot kitchen!

June 2015 COTM: DEATH & CO

HEART-SHAPED BOX, page 211.

Last night Mr. Nightshade cooked the main course for my birthday dinner, so I made cocktails and an appetizer. We had some strawberries that needed using, so I searched this book in EYB for cocktails that called for strawberries. Wonder of wonders, I had all the ingredients for this one. I didn't even remember that blue room had already covered this drink. I did diverge from the method and presentation a bit, however. My new (old) coupe glasses were delivered today, and I couldn’t resist converting this to a coupe drink!

The recipe starts with the muddling of one strawberry. I thought a muddled strawberry would look a little funky floating around a coupe, so I put them into a mini-chopper instead. I was making two cocktails, and I used four very small strawberries. For each drink, the berries go into a shaker with 2 oz of cognac, 3/4 oz of St. Germain, 3/4 oz of lemon juice, 1/4 oz cinnamon bark syrup, 1/2 teaspoon of aged balsamic vinegar, and a dash of angostura bitters. I made the cinnamon bark syrup (page 276) earlier, and allowed it to cool. Instead of shaking and pouring over a rocks glass with crushed ice, I shook all the ingredients with a few ice cubes and poured into the coupes, and garnished with a strawberry.

I thought this was lovely! And, surprisingly, Mr. NS liked it even more than I did! The sweetness of the syrup and St. Germain is well balanced with the lemon, and there is a hint of the balsamic in the background (I used a very, very thick aged balsamic). I’d say it would be the perfect Valentine drink, but that’s not the time to get fresh, ripe strawberries. At least not in this hemisphere.

July 2015 COTM Announcement: The Cooking of the Eastern Mediterranean

So terribly sorry to hear this news, Blythe spirit. I wish you all the best with your healing and your challenges ahead. Please check in with us whenever you are able.

July 2015 COTM Announcement: The Cooking of the Eastern Mediterranean

Oh dear. I have a feeling my plain ol' terra cotta tagines aren't going to satisfy me now. This month, new cocktail glasses. Next month, new tagines?

June 2015 COTM: DEATH & CO

I'm using EYB to some extent, but if you enter tequila, you get tons of recipes that have ingredients you don't have on hand. So I just scan all the recipes to find something. I would love something where I can enter what I have (where I am now, only five bottles) and get a list of what I can do using those only, or with those and buying one more ingredient. Does that make sense?

Thanks, re the slate. It's not a table top, just a square. When I had my floor done in slate I took the extra tiles, sealed them and glued protective backing on the bottom. I use them for trivets, serving oysters, etc.

Jun 28, 2015
L.Nightshade in Home Cooking
1

June 2015 COTM: DEATH & CO

TY COBBLER, page 189.

I really wish there was a way to search books using the ingredients one has on hand. We’re at the island house, which does not have much in the way of liquor. So I’m pretty limited for the time being. I have found a few drinks I can make without finding a liquor store, with some modifications. Last night’s cocktail was the Ty Cobbler.

The recipe calls for 2 ounces of tequila, 1/2 ounce of Cynar, a dash of mole bitters, and 3 brandied cherries. It also calls for a sugar cube to muddle with the cherries, but I omitted that. So many cocktails are just too sweet for me, I omit the sugar wherever I can. Also, I had just made bourbon spiced cherries, so I used those, muddling two and using one as a garnish with the orange wheel. The cherries, tequila, Cynar, and mole bitters are shaken and the drink is poured over crushed ice, and garnished with an orange wheel.

This didn’t knock my socks off, but it was very pleasant and quite refreshing on a hot evening. I was using a bit of Cynar in one of the recipes for dinner, so it was a nice opener while we waited for the grill fire to reach its peak.

Jun 28, 2015
L.Nightshade in Home Cooking
1

July 2015 COTM Announcement: The Cooking of the Eastern Mediterranean

WSJ article on Wolfert a few days ago:
http://www.wsj.com/articles/how-a-coo...

June 2015 COTM: DEATH & CO

I love the one in the middle! But they are all great. Those I just ordered also hold 4 oz, and from what you're saying, that seems to be the right size. Everything I currently have holds about 1 oz so I think they can justifiably be called minis.
Thank you so much!

Jun 25, 2015
L.Nightshade in Home Cooking

June 2015 COTM: DEATH & CO

Of course, while searching for funky ones, I accidentally came across a set in my crystal pattern. Those will just have to wait!

Jun 25, 2015
L.Nightshade in Home Cooking

June 2015 COTM: DEATH & CO

Thanks to everyone for your help and responses! I just ordered a fun optic mid-century set on Etsy. They'll fit right in when I set the table with my Bauer. They hold 4 ounces, which seems right in line, and perfectly appropriate.

June 2015 COTM: DEATH & CO

Good information! Perhaps some of the glasses I've seen are just standard vintage size. Not as small as my minis, however. One ounce, is just a tad too small for me!

June 2015 COTM: DEATH & CO

Very pretty! In my searching I ran across some iridescent coupes on Etsy. You're the first person I thought of!

Jun 25, 2015
L.Nightshade in Home Cooking

June 2015 COTM: DEATH & CO

All of you people with the lovely coupes, can you tell me how large they are? I've been looking at coupes in thrift shops and online consignment shops, and they all seem so tiny. Commonly 4 inches high from stem to lip, and about 3 inches wide at the lip. I can't tell exactly how much they'd hold, but I doubt they'd hold one serving of any recipe in this book.

Jun 25, 2015
L.Nightshade in Home Cooking
1

July 2015 COTM Announcement: The Cooking of the Eastern Mediterranean

I don't know if she has a blog, but she talks about it quite a bit on that other social playground. And there are tons of articles and interviews in the media. Some of them about how she uses cooking to cope.

July 2015 COTM Announcement: The Cooking of the Eastern Mediterranean

I'm so happy that we are doing a Wolfert book. I have so much respect for her, for her cooking and writing, and for her openness and courage in her battle against Alzheimer's. I'm looking forward to getting home and cooking in July!

July 2015 COTM - Nomination Thread

I know y'all are talking about a different book, but I wondered if anyone is familiar with "Heritage" by Sean Brock. I just saw it in City Lights Bookseller today (yep, still in San Francisco), and found it irresistible. And I'm not even very interested in Southern cooking. Amazon describes it thusly: "With a drive to preserve the heritage foods of the South, Brock cooks dishes that are ingredient-driven and reinterpret the flavors of his youth in Appalachia and his adopted hometown of Charleston." Beautiful photos of elegant presentations. I can't wait to dig in, hope the recipes are as good as the photos.
http://www.amazon.com/Heritage-Sean-B...

Jun 22, 2015
L.Nightshade in Home Cooking

July 2015 COTM - Nomination Thread

OK then, I'm on board with THE COOKING OF THE EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN. I forgot I had it, and it does have a few grilling recipes!

(ETA sorry, I meant to reply to the OP.)

Jun 14, 2015
L.Nightshade in Home Cooking

Pickled Seasonal Vegetables: Home Cooking Dish of the Month for June 2014

Making pickles in a hotel? I can't wait to meet this woman!

Jun 13, 2015
L.Nightshade in Home Cooking

Recommendations For San Fran Restos? - bringing my "foodie" son....

Your son is so very lucky to have you for a father.
Have a wonderful time!

Recommendations For San Fran Restos? - bringing my "foodie" son....

I was just saying it was something to check. I was taken completely by surprise when a full service restaurant would not allow an 18 year old in the door. It may be rare, but it does happen.

Recommendations For San Fran Restos? - bringing my "foodie" son....

Looking at some of the "happy hour" and bar recommendations here, you should be aware that the US has some puritanical regulations. I was very surprised (and somewhat mortified) when I attempted to bring a young man from France into an establishment here that served alcohol along with a full food menu. He was banned from entering as he was not 21. Just something to look into when you are considering venues. OK in some establishments, not OK in others.

July 2015 COTM - Nomination Thread

I will be home again in July! I'd love (and Mr. Nightshade would love) a grilling book, like, maybe, SEVEN FIRES.

Jun 11, 2015
L.Nightshade in Home Cooking

June 2015 COTM: DEATH & CO

PETE’S WORD, page 202.

The Last Word is one of my favorite cocktails, and this is a variation of that cocktail, substituting an Islay Scotch for gin. Each drink contains equal parts of Islay Scotch, green chartreuse, maraschino liqueur, and lime juice. Shake it up and do not garnish! (Oops. Mine ended up with a teensy bit of lime.)

As much as I love a smoky, peaty Scotch, I have to say it overpowers the flavors of chartreuse in this cocktail. It’s tasty, for one who loves Islay Scotch, but I don’t think it’s the optimum use of it. I don’t know, I could probably learn to like it.

This is most likely going to be my "last word" here, at least for a while. Heading to San Francisco, where someone else will be making my cocktails!

June 2015 COTM: DEATH & CO

Thanks Rubee!

Jun 07, 2015
L.Nightshade in Home Cooking

June 2015 COTM: DEATH & CO

No, it seems totally clear, that's one thing that drew me to it. It's definitely pressed glass, not cut.

Jun 07, 2015
L.Nightshade in Home Cooking

June 2015 COTM: DEATH & CO

UNO, DOS, TRES, page 259.

Tonight’s ingredients are reposado tequila, ruby grapefruit-infused Punt e Mes (page 281), Campari, Cynar, and mole bitters. The grapefruit-infused Punt e Mes is supposed to be made at least 24 hours in advance, but I hadn’t planned my cocktail that far ahead of time. I did decide mid-day that I wanted this in the evening, so my grapefruit zest sat in the Punt e Mes for about 6 hours. When I zested, I did it over a bowl and made certain the oil spray went into the liquid. I was surprised how grapefruit-y it tasted.

So, all the above ingredients are stirred with ice, then strained into (yet another) coupe. I’ve gotten tired of my one-ounce coupes, so I just used a funky Mexican wine glass. An orange twist is supposed to be ignited and dropped into the drink, but I completely forgot about that little flourish, and just added the twist.

This is supposed to be a take on the negroni, and the Campari does elicit that flavor a bit, but it’s obviously an entirely different animal with the richness of the reposado.

June 2015 COTM: DEATH & CO

Thanks again! I'm a big fan of the bitters, but I can certainly see why they aren't for everyone.

June 2015 COTM: DEATH & CO

Thanks, pistachio peas! It was my mom's, and like many of her things, I never even saw it while she was alive, just found it in the cabinet. But I do love it. And it is a little thing. (It's hard to tell because of the perspective, but the pitcher only holds a bit over a cup, and the coupe only holds a bit over an ounce!) The pitcher is really too big for a creamer, too small for most everything else, but, I've discovered, it's just right for making two stirred cocktails.

June 2015 COTM: DEATH & CO

I do think there are a few exceptions to the ice-is-ice idea. One would be the ice at our Whidbey house, where the water comes from a well. While completely safe, it has a mineral smell which I wouldn't want in my drink. So I have to make ice from filtered water. I am cozying up to the specification of a large cube (if one can cozy up to an ice cube). Small cubes or crushed ice will have more surface area, so dilute the drink more rapidly. The third thing seems to bother only me. The half-moon ice that comes from my refrigerator ice machine correspond exactly to the interior curve of many of my glasses. So they sit there, slide up, and when I drink, the liquid wants to come out on either side of the ice, and consequently on either side of my mouth. Not a pretty sight.

But this book is indeed ultra-finicky. I've decided to take a cue from blue room. While taking inspiration, I'm making drinks with whatever brand name spirits I have on hand, and pouring them into whatever shape glasses I find on my shelf.