Warm custard spoon bread

December 13, 2011 § 12 Comments

Does’t that just sound like the food version of cuddling on the couch in front of a fire?  Warm custard spoon bread.  Every word there is like a friendly little squeeze.  Every word there says to me, “I am unbelievably amazingly delicious and decadent.  You should probably drop everything and make me right now.”

I don’t know why but I am an absolute sucker for foods that have the word spoon in their title.  (I am a sucker for warm, custard, and bread as well.  But, those are more standard enticements than you’d expect an eating utensil to be.)  It’s like a short hand for something being so ooey gooey, soft, and tender that you have to eat it with a spoon.  Like Nutella right from the jar.

I have been actively yearning for this dish for a year now.  At least I have whenever it has been brought to my attention.  Then, as with most other things that are actually important to me to remember (as opposed to random facts and other people’s schedules which stick in my mind with remarkable fortitude), I promptly forget about it as soon as I am not looking at the recipe.  I don’t know why this happens, but I know I’m not the only one who does this.  I’ve heard from all sorts of people that it can somehow take months or years for them to get around to making a dish that they desperately wanted to try upon seeing it.

Maybe it’s a built in mechanism to allow us the great pleasure afforded by deferred gratification.  Maybe people did experiments on us when we were little, telling us not to eat the marshmallow in front of us, and this is the strategy we developed to succeed.  Most likely we’re just scatterbrained by virtue of the way the information stimuli in our society are fed to us. « Read the rest of this entry »

Tart with leeks, kale, and cantal cheese

March 17, 2011 § 4 Comments

I don’t know about you, but I still feel rather pocket sized these days.  Powerless.  To be perfectly honest, it’s a feeling I often struggle with anyway.  So, events, disasters, scares, all tend to bring it out full force.  The voices on the news joining with the voices of fear and worry in my mind, amplifying into a din.  A Greek chorus composed of squawking, insane parrots, on speed.  Sometimes the mind is really not a good place to be.  This is another reason why I cook.  It is my meditation.  I’m a horribly unreliable meditator.  Just as bad about yoga and qi gong.  But, cooking is the time when my mind quiets as I concentrate on the weight of the knife handle in my hand or the steam from a pot wafting up to my face as I stir.

It’s why I sometimes prefer to cook things that have a lot of different pieces.  Chopping, rolling, shaping, shaking, layering.  Dishes that are antithetical to the usual weeknight cooking demand to just get something good on the table quickly, and instead are a true-blue labor of love.  I find tarts quite good for this.  I love the feeling of rubbing together the flour and butter between my fingers and the thump of the floury rolling pin on the dough and the endless potential for fillings.  Like this one, for example with its lightly crunchy, golden cornmeal crust and filling of tender caramelized leeks and sturdy greens all bound together with nutty, pungent Alpine cheese. « Read the rest of this entry »

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