Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Posts I Cook From: 2011

About 20 years ago I had a friend in England who I wrote letters to.  Every time one of us wrote a letter we began with a paragraph apologizing for taking so long to write.  Until one day we decided that was a colossal waste of our time.  We knew that both of us were busy, or just lazy, and there would be lapses in our correspondence, so we could just assume the apology was not necessary, and implied.  I have been busy in the kitchen since I last wrote.  I am also happily writing as I have a new freelance food writing assignment.  I will tell you more about it later, for now I am a little afraid of jinxing it.  So just know I have news to come in the next few months, and I promise some blog posts.

Last year I did an end of year round up of The Posts I Cook From: 2010, in order to declare this a blog tradition here is the one for 2011.  These are the recipes that I pull out my computer to make, where I actually follow my recipe.  The times that I do not wing it in the kitchen.

This dressing served with shredded red cabbage has become a staple in my house since I first made it last winter.  Not just a recipe I prepare because my CSA gifts me with cabbage and carrots, as I find myself intentionally buying red cabbage to make this salad on a regular basis.  Even Sebastian, my 9 year old, will eat it on occasion.  When he does he never fails to point out that really, he does not like raw cabbage.  I think the more of it he eats, the less he should be making that claim.

I have referred to this post and the steps for par boiling brown rice on numerous occasions since posting it here.  However for complete truth in posting I found Saveur's perfectly cooked brown rice instructions and my loyalty has now shifted.  However I am including it here because I did cook from this post in 2011, and this was a great way for me to show you this other method.

These are my favorite waffles, they are the easiest to make because the egg whites are not whipped, and  they are rich and delicious.  Ever time I make them Julian gets mad that once again I have not made Sugar Waffles, and then he sits down and eats a whole pile of them.  Many nights when I cannot think of something to make for dinner these waffles end up being served, and nobody complains.  (All right Julian complains, but there is no way I am making a yeast waffle that has to rise for over an hour and is studded with sugar for dinner.

I don't really cook from this post, Lewis does.  However this is still a family favorite.  Although everyone but Lewis prefers it without the apples, just plain with fresh lemon juice squeezed over the top.  Mornings where Lewis is particularly hungry he makes one plain and one with apples, then he is guaranteed more then his fair share of the apple one.

These muffins are now my go to blueberry muffin recipe.  The ones I make when I pick far to many berries at the U-pick farm, or I just have a craving.  They are balanced and sweet enough with a rich nutty flavor from the browned butter.

This will always be my favorite pasta sauce, better then any I have had in a restaurant.  Now I finally have the recipe written down so maybe someone else in my family could make it some time, it is easy enough.

Popovers are one of the breakfasts that my children cheer about every time I serve it.  Having the post to cook from means I have all my notes and adjustments easily available.  The amazing thing is how little butter is in them, just enough to grease the tins.

For the times I really crave eggs benedict this is my go to recipe.  The whole egg hollandaise is just as rich and creamy as the egg yolk only version, but this way I don't have to worry about using up the egg whites (or should I say wasting).

This is one of my children's top jam flavors of 2011.  One I will be putting up multiple batches of every summer to make them happy.  This recipe also ensures their happy cooperation in mom's sour cherry picking insanity.

One person I gave a jar of this jam to said she and her parter almost came to blows over the last spoonful.  Deep, rich, cherry flavor to spread on toast or warm up and drizzle over ice cream or cheesecake.

I love this recipe enough that in the last month I tried to recreate it with frozen tomatoes.  I would not recommend trying them that way.  Instead you should bookmark the recipe for the height of tomato season.

I cannot wait for green tomatoes to appear on my plants so I can make this again!  A use for green tomatoes that is not just because I am desperate to use them up, but instead one I am looking forward to eating.

Ever since trying this technique for making steak I have not bothered with any others.  In my house we share one small steak for dinner, so this makes the most of it.  Evert time I have made it, no matter how distracted I am, the result is perfect.

I made this dish again at Thanksgiving and everyone agreed they were a welcome addition.  Okay, my nieces may not have agreed.  But then again my brother made them pasta with nothing on it to eat for dinner that night while everyone else feasted.  So that may be a sign that this dish is full of flavor and satisfying.

I made these cookies again as soon as the first batch was eaten.  The second time I used David Lebovitz's chocolate tempering instructions and I was successful.  I also made the cookies by rolling out the dough and cutting them out with a square cutter.  I found this much easier and the cookies were just as good.  I would have taken new photos of them, if they weren't eaten so fast.

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