Wednesday, January 4, 2012

2011 Highlights

It wouldn't be right to dwell on the after--er--showcasing some of our culinary missteps in our last post, we wanted to recall some of 2011's high points...such as:

New discovery on how to make french fries--place sliced potatoes in oil before heating it.   Then heat over med-high heat and cook, covered about 30-40 mins til browned and crispy.  Drain on paper towels, salt generously, keel over from sheer rapture.

Devil Dust--this handy and versatile spice blend from Beck's Cajun Cafe is good on everything--shrimp, salmon, chicken, burgers, broccoli, potatoes, yams, steak....we haven't tried it in coffee or on vanilla ice cream yet, but nearly everything else!

Raspberry Linzer Tart  this was delicious, beautiful, a real show stopper, and best of all, not terribly difficult.  I avoid rolling dough like the plague, and it was not required for this recipe except for the decorative star cookies on top.    I brought this to two parties whose hosts asked me to make dessert and both times it was a huge hit.

Jambalaya:  I've always been a fan of paella, but am leaning more towards Jambalaya these days.  The smoked andouille sausage just tips the decision in favor of the Cajun rice melange...Additionally, andouille has now become a fridge staple and is regularly used to up the ante in lasagne, omlets, pizzas - you name it!  What a find.

Baby Pea Shoots:  these elusive green buds showed up for 2 glorious out-of-season weeks at my local Sunday farmers' market--in October.  I reveled in them, devouring them raw like a panda does bamboo for lunch and dinner until they were gone, counting the minutes til Sunday would roll around again and I could get my next fix.  I learned that farmer was growing them in flats in his greenhouse sort of experimentally and very temporarily.  Alas, they are no longer available, so like genuine strawberries, ramps, and real spring asparagus, these lovelies are gone for the time being, and boy do I miss them.

We look forward to another year of culinary discoveries and excitement.  We still expect to fall flat on our foodie faces now and then, but that's all part of the adventure...

No comments: