Tag Archives: Bon Appétit

food separation from a heart sick person

20 Apr

  
For years this recipe stared me in the face. I’d open the Bon Appetit issue to it and put it in my little cookbook holder stand thinking if I saw it, some day I’d get inspired early enough to get all components made and chilled in due time.

The picture you see above is just one reconfiguration of this Deconstructed Black Forest Cake. Much as I adore various pairings of sandwich material, I also love the idea that each bite of this cake can be a different combo of the cake, chocolate pudding, whipped cream, red wine cherries, and…all kept properly hydrated by the shot of kirsch:

  
Making this became a fantasy. One of those “some day” things I didn’t think I’d ever actually get around to.
Then I was dating someone and I knew I was into him because I started fantasizing about what I’d cook him. This was a likely suspect for pleasing what I knew of his tastebuds.
And then that prospect didn’t work out. As in, I never even got the chance to ply him with my womanly cake wiles. 
In a spate of “fuck that I don’t need ANYONE to cook FOR” the fantasy of making this became reality one Friday night when I got home earlier than expected.
I am all I need.
Except for sex. I could use a male for that but he isn’t here (as in doesn’t exist) at the moment.
But fuck it. I have cake and wine and a career (my true lover) not to mention my family and friends and stuff so I shall survive. And I have cake.

I cut my cake with a star cookie cutter because I am a superstar. Hehehe. As in “don’t you remember you told me you love me baby”. Except I was not that fond of the fellow. It never came even remotely close to the L word. Cause that is REAL scary. Hell, I have a hard time giving someone a second date.
Problem is, it is rare I start to think anyone is worth a romantic thought so when I do start to be even remotely interested in someone I take things too hard when they don’t turn out as I’d wish.

UGH.
And UGH.
And UGH FUCK!
And someday my cake and wine loving prince will come.

I’m gonna get a cat.

Fuck this cake is worth it. 

Also no more writing recipes when high on no sleep/sugar/wine.

Enjoy.

Deconstructed Black Forest Cake adapted from this Bon Appetit recipe

For cake:
1/4 cup butter
6 Tbsp. light brown sugar
1/2 beaten egg
1 1/2 Tbsp. natural cocoa powder
scant 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/16 tsp salt
1/4 tsp. vanilla
6 Tbsp. sifted cake flour
2 Tbsp. and 2 tsp. yogurt (origial recipe calls for sour cream
3 Tbsp. hot coffee
For chocolate fudge pots:
1 oz. bittersweet chocolate (I used Ghiradelli’s)
1 cup 1/2 and 1/2 (recipe calls for heavy whipping cream)
pinch salt
1 1/2 egg yolks
2 Tbsp. sugar
For sauce:
1 cup frozen dark sweet cherries
2 Tbsp. + 2 tsp. sugarplus a pinch more
2 Tbsp. + 2 tsp. dry red wine (I had a pinot noir on hand)
To finish:
whipped cream (I used Reddi-whip_
A shot of kirsch
For cake:
Preheat oven to 350 F. Create an approximately 35-square inch baking pan. I did this by taking foil and pressing it into half an 8X8 pan. Butter or use nonstick spray to grease. Beat the butter in an electric mixer until smooth. Toss in the sugar and egg and beat until light and fluffy. Hurl in the cocoa, baking soda, salt and vanilla and incorporate. Blend in the half the flour then half the yogurt and repeat. Gradually blend in coffee until smooth. Add to the pan and bake about 25 minutes, until you put a toothpick in the middle and it comes out clean. Let cool on rack and then chill until cold. Bon Appetit says 4 hours but I sped this up with my freezer.
For fudge pots:
Preheat oven to 325 F. Put the chocolate in a bowl. Bring half and half and salt just to a oil then pour over chocolate and whisk it until all is nice and smooth. In another bowl whisk the yolks and sugar. Slowly whisk in the chocolate mixture. Put back into pot over medium-low heat and cook, stirring constantly until somewhat thickened, about 5 minutes. Don’t let it boil. Distribute into 5 ramekins (1/4 cup each) and put ramekins into a deep pan. Add water to into deep pan halfway up the sides of ramekins. Cover the whole shebang with foil and bake until set, between 35 and 40 minutes. Take ramekins out of pot. Cool 15 minutes then let chill in fridge, uncovered until cold (3 hours?).
For sauce:
Put cherries (unthawed) and sugar in a small pan and stir over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add wine and stir and simmer until ever so slightly thickened. Strain over a bowl. Pour juices back into pot and put cherries in a bowl. Boil the juices until reduced to about 2 Tbsp. then pour over cherries and chill.
To serve, slice (or get fancy with cookie cutters) the cake. Each person gets some cake, a pudding, a spoonful of cherries n sauce, a bit of whipped cream and a shot of kirsch. Whee! Yah. Since I made this for me I ate a huge portion of cake and sauce, one pudding, a whole container of whipped cream and, well, a shot of kirsch was enough. But then I had also indulged on extra wine.

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shake it, get down, and misinterpretation. and a shake.

5 Sep

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For once I did not try to change it. This easily alterable recipe. I went with the flow. It worked REALLY well. What do you know?

Which is not to say I don’t have ideas. Ideas which may happen with the leftover recipe components. But I gave this base, depraved, vile-in-spirit recipe a whirl, and it held up. Really blimey well. So well I wanted it the next night. Then again I find that things involving sugar and alcohol usually hold up solidly in the face of adversity.
Who does not love a shake that can be consumed with a spoon therefore rendering the cup unserviceable when a bowl is nearby?

I’m trying to flow more, generally. Not sweat “the small stuff”. Just do it. Whatever it is. Which changes a lot although pretty soon a brainchild of mine that has been festering in my noggin’ for over a year may just spring forth as vibrantly as Athena from Zeus’ head, and nearly as wise. Less angry.

That was cryptic. More details when it actually has happened.

This recipe makes a boatload of cubes of the recipe base, which are then blended in batches with Kahlua. I know, I know, it sounds so gauche. Gauche comes in large quantities though. So I have leftover cubes of the base to try some variations that I have in mind. Perhaps amaretto would be nice. Or adding in some cinnamon. I’m gonna play with the leftover cubes. However! That is not because I wasn’t fully sated with the recipe just exactly as Bon Appetit told me to make it. Well-what BA told me for the base of the drink anyway. I did not have the stuff for the whipped cream recipe, so I didn’t do that. I suppose that means I was still controlling things, but I just don’t think anything can replace the joy of jetting oodles of Reddi-wip (which I just now realized was “wip”, not “whip”) on top of the shake and into my mouth.

I know, you may be tempted to “make it better” and use something instead of my chosen Reddi-whip. But how about trusting me, the one you trust and tolerate, to guide you? This gauche-ness is good. for once I did not try to change it. I went with the flow. It worked. What do you know?

Kahlua Shake adapted (read, cut in half)from Bon Appetit
6 Tbsp. sugar
2 3/4 tsp. instant espresso powder
2 tsp. cocoa powder
pinch salt
1/2 plus 3/4 cup H2O
1 cup half and half
6 Tbsp. Kahlua (2 per drink)
Whisk sugar, espresso powder, cocoa and salt in a small saucepan. Slowly whisk in 1/2 cup of the water. Place over medium-high heat, then whisk and heat until the sugar dissolves and it starts to boil. Take off the heat and add remaining water and the half and half. Pour into something with a spout. Like a pitcher or a measuring cup. Pour into ice cube trays. I got 28 cubes. Freeze.
However many cubes you end up with, take 1/3 of them (math!), put in a blender (despite my love of immersion blenders, this still makes me long for a Vita-mix), and add 2 Tbsp. Kahlua and blend, blendy blend. Top with whipped cream. Delight. Spoon. Straw? Nah. Spoon.

Chocolate Pecan Tart

24 Jun

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Seeing as the next of my epic pie parties is scheduled for next month and I still haven’t given you the tart recipe from the last one (although I more than repaid you in giving the horchata cocktail, methinks) I thought it was high time to post this.

Acting is getting busy AGAIN! Just look at my star ranking, haha. Super.

Exciting Moment in Improv

Exciting Moment in Improv

Between acting and improv (which as you see from above frequently ends with me splayed out on the floor) and this lil’ column I’ve got my hands full. You should click all those links. Because the other thing keeping me so busy is self-promotion. Haha, again. Sort of. I jest. Or do I? Even I do not know.

So let us discuss the edibles. This pie is like a giant hunk of candy. It looks pretty, it tastes like dark sunshine (the kind with antioxidants) and is much easier than you would surmise. It is one of those things I made on a whim first when I was probably not even a teen yet. If I recall correctly we bought just enough cream to make it. My dad was helping me and the two of us burnt the cream. We had to wait until we could go back to the store the next day and get more cream to finish it.

But it was so blimey good I’ve held on to and repeated the recipe many a time since the Great Cream Incident of Nine-ty Something-or-Another.

Do make this. Don’t be me and get behind on your pie. It’s important.

Chocolate Pecan Tart adapted from Bon Appetit (from their RSVP section so they got it from a restaurant I know not any longer which one though because I wrote it down and tossed the magazine long ago)
2 cups pecans
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 heaping tsp. cinnamon
2 Tbsp. butter, room temp
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cinnamon stick
8 oz. Bittersweet chocolate
4 oz. Semisweet chocolate
Heat oven to 325. In a food processor blend nuts, sugar and cinnamon until finely ground. Add butter and blend until mixed. Press into a 9-inch tart pan with a re moveable bottom or follow my lead and line a 9-inch pan with foil so you can lift out and unmold your tart later. Bake until lightly browned, around 20 minutes. Allow to cool. Chop chocolate. Bring cream and cinnamon stick to a simmer. Stir in chocolate until melted. Pour into tart crust, removing cinnamon stick. Put in fridge to chill. Unmold before serving.

Too darned good again, I never learn my lesson

1 Jun

IMG_2468I initially made the basis for today’s edibles when I had just delved into the sordid underbelly of food blogs. Hence the shabbier than shabby pictures, and lack of recipes in many of my early posts.
My friend Maurice lived for those cakes, which originally were made with potato. He is an awesome friend. Also my acting partner in crime as we get together and help each other prep for auditions and such. Then we don’t feel so alone like the tortured artists we are. Ennui, etc…Being as such, I will make (almost) anything for him. And I let him finish the original batch of these cakes. I should have made more, as he kept asking for the “things with kelp”. He is now more than well schooled in kale, fortunately or not.
I didn’t get a chance to share my butternut squash version of these with him because again, they were TOO DARNED delicious and I devoured them all.
Butternut Kale Cakes adapted from this recipe in the January 2011 Bon Appetit
For Cakes:
1 cup cooked, mashed butternut squash
2 tsp. butter
1/2 tsp. kosher salt, divided
freshly ground black pepper to taste
olive oil spray
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/4 tsp. minced garlic (I used jarred)
8 lacinato kale leaves, cleaned, stemmed, and chopped
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh sage
1 tsp. dried powdered thyme
dash nutmeg
For Rouille:
1/2 cup reduced fat mayonnaise
Heaping dashes of cayenne and paprika OR Sriracha
1/4 tsp. minced garlic
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
Mash up the squash with the buttah, 1/4 tsp. salt, and some pepper. Heat olive oil spray over medium then sauté the onion until softened. Add kale, garlic, 1/4 tsp. salt, and sage and sauté until the kale is wilted and all liquid has evaporated. Stir into the squash with the thyme, nutmeg, and more pepper if you like. Allow to rest for about 20 minutes and heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake 20 minutes on one side then gently flip and cook 20-30 minutes more. These are delicate. If you like broil for maybe one minute to get a bit crispy on the outside. Meanwhile, thoroughly mix up rouille ingredients. That was difficult. Hot or cold, these are grand.

Thyme and Thyme Again AGAIN

21 Feb

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I first posted my version of this Bon Appetit recipe for Sunnyside Up Eggs with Mustard Creamed Spinach and Crispy Crumbs on the Gruel back when I started the blog. That was when I was using the Gruel largely as a way to keep track of the recipes I tried. My photography was even more terrible than it is now.
I remember loving this recipe, and thought it was a timely time for a recipe with thyme. And time for a recipe redo. With better pictures. And I will actually type out the recipe for what I made. Glory! Fun times. Good thyme. And I added some more spiciness.

Plus a version that is chilled and mixed with a chopped hard-boiled egg. Sort of an egg-vegetable-panzanella type thang.

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I like that variation with some salsa or tomato sauce on the side. And truffle salt makes anything amazing. It’s almost cheating.
I am up to all sorts of nefarious acting and writing and writing for acting projects I must go work on so I am not going to go on. But just know that busy as I am, I made time for you. And thyme for you. Times two.
Kisses, dahhhlings!
Sunnyside Up Eggs on Spicy Mustard Creamed Spinach with Crispy Crumbs adapted from Bon Appetit and the Panzanella Variation
1 slice of wheat bread, crumbled roughly
olive oil spray
5 tsp. wasabi mustard, divided
1 bunch flat leaf spinach, washed and loosely chopped
1 Tbsp. chopped canned green chiles
3 Tbsp. plain almond milk
1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp. powdered dried thyme
Freshly ground black pepper
2 eggs, one to be fried or poached, one already hard-boiled
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Spritz the breadcrumbs with olive oil and toss with 2 tsp. of the mustard. Spread on a baking sheet and bake until lightly browned, 5-8 minutes.
Add a bit of water to a large pan and sauté the spinach just to wilt it. Take off heat and squeeze extra water out. Put in a small saucepan with the remaining mustard, green chilis, almond milk and thyme. Stir until medium heat until thick. Crank in some fresh pepper.
Now the fun. Divide both the spinach and crumbs in half adding half of each to a bowl with the chopped hard-boiled egg. Mix that and stick in the fridge to chill. Take the other half of the spinach mix, reheat as necessary. meanwhile, fry that egg. Toss the egg on top of the spinach then crumble on the crumb-age. Who knew you had thyme and time for two dishes?

Thymes Two

1 Aug

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Thank you Suilma, for the beautiful blackberry photography.
We now pause for this week’s disgustingly self-promotional blurb:
My latest Blackboard Eats review, of Locanda Positano, just came out. You can read about it here.
No thrilling acting news beyond auditions and callbacks galore and the usual bi-monthly improv madness-next date for that is August 9th, so, um, yeah…file that away in your noggin’ somewhere secure, because we are going to be doing a bit of drinkin’ this week on the Gruel.

I massive life lists. Things to do. Places to go. Recipes to make. Things to write. I cross-list too. With friends who also have lists. And half the time we laugh that we will be lucky if we accomplish one thing. My friend Alice and I are notoriously making plans: to host pie parties (we do do this!), go hiking (happens sometimes), to visit the Jet Propulsion Lab (not yet), to read books in coffee houses and art museum courtyards (we’ve yet accomplish these Public Displays of Literacy yet), to choreograph to various songs, to see the dinos at the Natural History Museum (not yet), and finally there are a gajillon different speakeasies we’d love to explore.

But most of all, WE WANT TO SEE OWLS.

With prominent ears.

It is a long story.

So when I heard there was an art show featuring owl works in Culver City, Alice and I started plotting. WE SHOULD DO THIS. WE COULD DO THIS.

And then maybe we could hike after art. Then we could visit a wine bar, because we had leftover cash on cards to do tasting at Ugo. Then get grilled cheese at Blind Barber , because who doesn’t want to consume melted cheese near where men are being shaved?

So we made these plans then laughed that maybe we would accomplish two of these things. Well we did beyond.

We saw the owl show. Then happened to walk into another gallery with MORE OWLS?!!! WTF where have these strigiformes been all my life?!!

We then did an “urban hike” meaning powerwalking around Culver for a bit. Then tasted about two ounces of wine at Ugo. Then on the the barber. Lemme tell you. You walk through a brightly lit shop into a magical speakeasy where bartenders will muddle tomatoes-make that “heirloom” tomatoes said my charming mixologist, with rye and such, to please your buds. And the grilled cheese was buttery madness. We split the drink, sammich, and soup.

BUT THEN! We did not stop there because we are not quitters, and we had still consumed less than one drink each, so felt the night could cautiously go on. Alice had never seen Oldfield’s, one of my favorite old-timey craft cocktail places, so we dropped by to split another drink and say hello to the effervescent “BC from DC!” who never fails to charm. Or mix a good drink.

That was a good day. One in which I actually was doing the fun things I claimed I’d make time for. Exploring. With a friend. Life doesn’t get much better.

So now that you are thinking cocktails, and friends, I give you two. Because you are going to get thyme to make one, then wonder what to do with all the thyme you have leftover so you will make the other one too. Two. Two times. The first I made with brilliant Suilma, the second I made alone for dessert another night. Less decent photo, but skulls make it all better:

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But first things first. Blackberries:

Blackberry-Thyme Margaritas adapted from the July 07 issue of Bon Appetit
16 blackberries
Several thyme sprigs
3 Tbsp. sugar dissolved in 1/4 c. H2O
6 Tbsp. tequila (I used Sauza blanco)
3 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp. Cointreau
2 cups of ice cubes
1/4 c. Sparkling wine
Put 14 berries and 2 thyme sprigs in a bowl and muddle. Mix in sugar-water (aka simple syrup), tequila, lime juice, Cointreau, and 1 cup ice. Stir to blend. Strain into another bowl. Mix in sparkly.
Divide ice in two cups and then our mixture over. Garnish with remaining blackberries and thyme. Toast with a friend and watch “Girls” while talking about boys.

Now the raspberries. Dessert.

Raspberry-Campari Float adapted from Bon Appetit July 2013

1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
Thyme sprig
1/4 cup Campari
1 1/3 cups raspberries
1 pint vanilla ice cream (mine had maple flavoring)
2 12 oz. bottles of club soda
Bring water, sugar and thyme to boil. Take off heat and cover for 15 minutes. Remove thyme. Let cool stir in Campari. Divide between four glasses. Add raspberries and muddle. Add ice cream then pour in club soda, and more Campari to taste.
Eat alone and relish your grand success.