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Not As Good As Pork Cracklins

misadventures in cooking

Sunday, January 30, 2011


A production. Nothing was terribly difficult (uh, maybe a tiny bit, but not terribly), although it was quite time consuming. Several people who'd already made it recommended doing it over two days, and I'm glad I did. On the first day I marinated the chicken, braised it, pulled it off the bone, and made the sauce. On the second day, I warmed the saucy chicken and assembled the b'stilla. I liked it and everyone else seemed to as well.

Chicken B'stilla, Around My French Table, by Dorie Greenspan

Scallops with Caramel-Orange Sauce

Hopefully the idea of "caramel" in a savory dish doesn't scare you because this sauce is lick-your-plate delicious.

A sidebar next to the recipe suggests dressing up these perfectly seared scallops with thin strips of candied orange zest. I did candy the zest, but ended up putting it on steamed green beans with macadamia nuts. An ideal side dish accompaniment, really.

Scallops with Caramel-Orange Sauce, Around My French Table, by Dorie Greenspan

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Chewy Sugar Cookies

Before anybody gets excited, let me say straight away that I have no intention of selling my baked goods. That said, my friend and I play a game called "Sellable?"

To be Sellable, the first test is that it needs to taste delicious. That's pretty obvious. It also has to be attractive. And it must be something I can reproduce with consistent results.

Once we determine that something is Sellable, we work backwards from how much we think people would pay for it to decide whether it's cost effective to make, and if it is, how many would go into a package, and that sort of thing.

Monica and I recently made some darling fish cookies. So darling that I made another batch, nicknamed them Your Aquarium and gave them to my friend. The thing is they're tiny (read: "tedius") and I'd never be able to reproduce them with consistent results. Therefore, Not Sellable. Which isn't a problem when your sole motivation is to bake lovely treats for people you're fond of. They don't have to be Sellable. "Sellable?" is a game.

Which brings me back to the Chewy Sugar Cookies, from Cooks Illustrated November December 2010. Totally Sellable. But won't be sold. Then again, I have been known to barter...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Gérard's Mustard Tart

Dorie Greenspan commented on my blog about a year ago, and I was beside myself with excitement because she truly is one of the cooks, bakers, and authors I most admire.

It was raining on Saturday when my copy of her latest book arrived, so the mail carrier delivered it straight to my front door. I immediately put everything else on hold and sat down to pore over it. The photography is exquisite, and her personality shines through her stories about both the recipes and also living part-time in Paris. Her philosophy is perfectly summarized by a friend of mine, an amazing athlete and a Registered Dietitian who said, "There is nothing finer than small portions of wonderfully prepared food!"

Gérard's Mustard Tart, Around My French Table, by Dorie Greenspan
(Bon Appétit published a PDF of the recipe; click here.)

Thursday, January 06, 2011


Smells so good in here!

Craig Ponsford's Ciabatta
recipe adapted by and courtesy of breadbasketcase