Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Couscous Salad

Thanks to the Twitter-gods, I got virtual help with this recipe from Ms. Hesser herself. Not that I was in a real bind, but I wanted to know if she used regular or pearled couscous. Turns out either is fine; I used regular. I made it in early summer before my in-laws were about to arrive. It's always A Thing, cooking for them. They're from Eastern Europe and have relatively conservative and light palates. Despite what they say about not needing to go to such lengths to cook for them, I know they don't travel across the world to eat more boiled eggs and cabbage. A diligent search through my cookbooks lead me to this recipe, and let me tell you -- it was a pot of gold. In more ways than one.

The recipe is a combination of sweet and savory goodness. Among other things, it calls for carrots, celery, chicken stock, as well as cinnamon and dates. I left my celery and carrots on the coarse side (I was making these cookies at the same time and the oven timer was likely going off), but I wish I hadn't. Everything in this salad wants to be on the small side.

I dubbed this the 'cinnamon-scented pot of gold' in a Tweet back to Ms. Hesser, a name which she eagerly approved of. I doubled the recipe and it also solved The Other Thing, making office lunches. It'd be good any time of year, really. To round it out as an entire meal you could even add bits of poached chicken.

Recipe on Page 321 in The Book

Monday, October 15, 2012

Cafe au Lait

I'm usually an extremist when it comes to coffe. Depending on the weather, my mood, or the morning's breakfast prospects, I'll either have it black or with a generous slip of cream. Rarely milk.

I don't do lattes, but if I were to have milk with my morning java, it would most certainly be in the form of a cafe au lait. The 1:1 milk-to-coffee ratio in a cafe au lait sits fairly in the middle of my normal spectrum. The Book's recipe, if one could call it that, comes to us as a letter to the editor which suggests using France's cafe au lait habit as an antidote to our animal-heavy diets.

Give it what reason you will. I'm a cafe au lait convert.
Recipe on page 9 in The Book