When I think of glazed carrots with ginger, I think of a recipe from The Silver Palate Cookbook that I've been making for years: it's just carrots, butter, brown sugar, and powdered ginger. It's nice, but I think I like this recipe even better--without the sugar, the natural sweetness of the carrots shines through. Good carrots are essential--it's worth paying extra for organic from the supermarket. (Better, of course, when you get them from your Farmer's Market or CSA, but in Minnesota, those options are long gone).
How I love silicone spatulas, by the way. I always feel that I'm doing something wrong when I subject it to direct heat, remembering the times I have melted spatulas. But they've never failed me.
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Monday, December 13, 2010
The Gutsy Cooks are an ambitious crew. They generally include two or three different recipes for their weekly choice, and I, less ambitious, generally choose only one. In part, it's because this is more food than I can eat: this week's menu included not only the gruyere tart, but also an orange and carrot soup and an arugula salad with shaved Parmesan. I might eat a three-course meal like this at a restaurant, but not in my own home. This might lead you to believe that the real reason I don't make all three choices is because I'm lazy. You're probably right.
At any rate, the pairing of the orange/carrot soup with the tart gave me a brilliant idea: I'd make Dorie Greenspan's spiced, glazed carrots as a side dish, and then I'd have two blog posts done with one meal.
This tart is not difficult to make, even though (not surprisingly), it requires the making of tart dough. As usual, the instructions in this cookbook are minimal--this wouldn't be the way you'd want to make your first pie crust--but it turned out to be a good, easy-to-make crust. I liked the addition of thyme in this savory pie crust. (I don't like the fact that the book never includes salt in recipes for pastry? What's up with that?)
Still, not only was the dough easy to roll out, it also fit neatly into the tart pan with no tears or bare spots, so perhaps there's a method in the minimal-instruction madness.
Love these pie weights! I used to weight the crust down with beans or rice, all of which had to be thrown away after one use. I can use these over and over again. They do make a terrible rattle-y noise when they fall on the floor.
There's plenty of time to whip up the filling while the crust is pre-baking. The $10-a-pound gruyere must be grated. It's less expensive than the tenderloin roast I made a few weeks ago.
The instructions tells you to mix half of the grated cheese with the onions, and then scatter the remaining cheese on top of the onion. I did it, but I saw no point to this step, and still don't see one. I don't see why you'd end up with a noticeably better result than if you simply put the onions at the bottom of the tart and the grated cheese on top of the onions. Or vice versa. Or mix them all together. You end up eating them all in one bite anyway.
The onions and cheese are covered with a mixture of eggs, half and half, a little Dijon mustard, and salt and pepper. Then it's baked.
It's supposed to cool for 10 minutes before serving, but my carrots were already done, so I cut into it, expecting a runny, gooey mess. It held its shape, though, and ended up looking attractive, as well as tasting good.
More on the carrots on Friday.
Jim: "8 and one-half. We've had a series of winners from The Bad Cookbook. I guess I really am going to have to stop calling it that."
Marie: "8 and one-half too. This must be why we've been married so long."
Posted by Marie at 11:40 AM
Friday, December 10, 2010
I used a mixture of whole almonds, pecans, and cashews. Although you could use almost any mixture, or even just one kind of nut, I fell entirely in love with the recipe exactly as I made it the first time. Dorie encourages you to play with the recipe--use a different nut mixture or spice mixture, but it's going to be hard for me to change anything. To paraphrase Mr. Rogers, I like them just the way they are.
The most complicated step is separating the nuts as much as possible before they're baked so you don't end up with a glob. I baked them on a baking pan lined with parchment paper.
I can't think of any drink they wouldn't be good with. Because they're called "cocktail nuts," alcoholic drinks come first to mind, but I think they'd enhance the taste of most sodas as well.
Posted by Marie at 12:01 AM
Monday, December 6, 2010
And the chicken a la king? Well, it turned out to be pretty good, in its Plain-Jane way.
I would never make this for someone I was trying to impress, but I'd certainly make it if I actually had some kind of leftover poultry.
If you'd like the recipe, check out Monica's rendition, which she did fancy up a bit.
Jim: I'll give it an 8. Surprisingly good, but not great.
Marie: 8 for me too. A solid recipe. I'd like it with homemade biscuits.
Posted by Marie at 9:50 AM