Monday, February 4, 2013

Catching up

It's not always easy to find drama in ingredient acquisition. Because sometimes getting the ingredient is so easy. And if the ingredient was easy to get, maybe there was some issue in the cooking. But maybe there wasn't. So here are a few pretty pictures of dishes that didn't require any significant sourcing and caused no headaches:

Penne and zucca (top): I got Mario's branded penne and a butternut squash from the farmer's market. I'm a fan of the toasted breadcrumbs on top of pasta.

Pumpkin lune: This pasta gets garnished with a shaved amaretti cookie. I was going to make this dish last December when I made all the cookies in the book, but then I got busy and moved. So I threw a couple in the freezer. They moved with me. Then I thought, "Wait, these have been in the freezer for like a year. I have to make new ones." Then I pulled them out of the freezer and tasted one. They were still perfect. So I didn't make new ones.

 Walnut-date delize: In the book, these look like cool little pucks. Mine looked like muffins. I suspect I used too much batter. I started to cut the tops off, but that seemed to be mangling the cakes. So I turned them upside-down on the plate. Leftovers were breakfast for the next several days.

Goat cheese tortelloni: I was committed to make this dish one Sunday afternoon. On Saturday, when I was making the tortelloni, I went to grab the fennel pollen out of the cabinet. I knew it was there. But I couldn't find it. The headnote in the recipe suggests fennel pollen is now, or was in 2002, ubiquitous. The only time I've ever found it was at a spice market in Napa, Calif., and it cost like $20 and ounce. I bought some fraction of an ounce. I've used it a couple times, and the more I think about it, the more I think I finished it off at some point, thinking I might as well. And apparently forgetting I needed it for this dish. I called around and couldn't find it readily available in the D.C. area anywhere. The recipe suggests ground fennel seed as an alternative. That did fine. And I have some of the tortelloni leftover in the freezer. If I see fennel pollen anywhere, I can remake it in a heartbeat.

Gorgonzola with cherries: Get good gorgonzola, get good cherries. Mix the cheese with nuts and mint to make little truffles. Cook the cherries with some sugar. Serve. Succeed.

Up next: Bresato al Barolo

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