Wednesday, December 31, 2008


I received a great cookbook from my mom for Christmas, "The New York Times 60-Minute Gourmet: Gourmet recipes and menus that reach absolute perfection in a matter of minutes."
It is a basic French Cooking how-to book, written by Pierre Franey with an introduction by Craig Claiborne, copyright 1979. One can read reviews of it at From glancing through it, it looks to be an excellent book of basic Classical French cooking.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Making Rosettes

Yes, I know, it's a butterfly, not a rosette...
The irons come in many shapes, some undoubtedly in the shape of a rosette.

I have been making rosettes for a very long time. I use my mother's recipe, as published the Christ Lutheran Women's cookbook. As you can tell, it is a well-used reference. There are many Scandinavian recipes in it, and most of the rest come from descendants of Scandinavian immigrants that settled in the northern plains.

Making rosettes can be kind of tricky. I have some other irons (I think) somewhere, but don't use them. They are not seasoned. I tried them once, but the batter stuck horribly. Sometimes the first one or two stick, but once you get going, they don't stick, come off the iron easily with the gentle aid of a fork. One does need to wear comfortable shoes, though, as you are standing at the pot of oil, making them one at a time. Someone else needs to answer the doorbell and telephone.

This is one of our family's traditional holiday sweets. I dust them with powdered sugar.


Monday, December 29, 2008

Chipotle Cheesecake

I made chipotle cheesecake as a part of my Garde Manger I final last semester. I've made a few changes, mostly in the way I will plate it. I mostly read different recipes for cheesecakes, then put this together. It is a savory cheesecake, with two batters marbled together: plain, batter to which I added a pureed, strained can of chipotles in adobo sauce. The crust is leftover cornbread, you know, the little blue box. I made that a few days ago, cubed the leftover, then let it dry out. I mixed that crumb with butter, cumin, chili powder, and pepper; I used a zipper-seal bag to crumble and mix. This is different; before I've done just cornmeal and butter together, with whole cumin seeds and ground pepitas. It will be served with good tortilla chips, possibly a blue corn type, and three condiments: mango/jalapeno compote, cilantro vinaigrette, and chipotle oil. I thought the smokiness of the cheesecake would contrast nicely with the tang, sweet, and spice of the compote, with the clean "green" flavor of the cilantro. After pressing the chipotle through a sieve, I scraped what was left and put it in a jar, filled to the top with canola oil; it will sit in that in the fridge for a couple of days. I'll strain it before use; it might make a nice "sauce" for the plate.
We'll see.

I'm bringing it to a New Year's Eve party we've been invited to at a friend's home.

Stay tuned, of course I'll have pictures.

Aforementioned Ricotta

NYT Bread Pics 2

Man, oh man, oh man! This bread is great! The crust is chewy, the interior is perfect, amazing. I need to wash the bowl and start tomorrow's bread!!

NYT Bread Pics

The Aroma

is amazing. The yeasty smell of bread is wafting throughout the house. I took the lid off, and it is looking just as I hoped it would.

Soon, very soon...

More on bread...

The bowl on the left (in previous post) is the NY Times recipe, the one that is a wet dough, sits for 18 hours, baked in a dutch oven at 450F; the bowl on the right is the baguette, lean dough.
I have put the NYT bread in the oven, will take the lid off shortly, continue baking another 10-15 minutes. We'll see what happens. It was a very wet, bubbly dough, I tried not to work it much.
I'll let you know. with pics.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Today's Bread

More Gnocchi Pics

Making the Ricotta Gnocchi

Cooking with Kathy...

Yes, cheesy, I know.
I've decided to blog about my cooking.
This blog will be my musings about what I am cooking in my kitchen.
This week, I made fresh, whole milk ricotta, then made gnocchi for the first time, using the ricotta. I served it in a butter/garlic sauce the first night, with pork cutlets and carrots. Tonight, I warmed them in more butter, served with a quick tomato sauce, and a sort of chicken parmesan. For the tomato sauce, I minced carrots, garlic, and onion in a mini processor, then browned it in a small amount of canola oil. Then I added some leftover tomato paste that I needed to use up, caramelized that. Deglazed with some water, then added a can (yes, a can) of 4 cheese spaghetti sauce. You know the one. More than like you will find it on the bottom shelf for $1.29, .99 on sale.

The chicken breasts were seasoned with salt and pepper and some dried italian seasoning. i dredged them in flour, browned them and put them on an oven-roof plate, put them in the oven to finish cooking. Towards the end, i put a handful of shredded Italian cheese on each breast, then sprinkled grated parmesan on top. I took them out of the oven when the cheese was golden and bubbly.

I also made bread to go with dinner. I just made a lean dough, formed it into a fat baguette. I used it to make garlic/parmesan toast. I also started a NY Times loaf, it's one that uses very little yeast, is left on the counter in a large bowl for 18 hours. Very little handlng, will be formed into a round loaf in the morning, raise for two hours, then turn into a hot dutch oven to cook. It is to resemble an "artisan" style loaf, close to La Brea, I think.

So, that's what's been cooking in my kitchen this weekend...

When I figure out how to post pics, I'll get some up.