Sunday, November 06, 2005

Cooking for Mr. Late*

A couple Christmas's ago, I picked up Amanda Hesser's Cooking for Mr. Latte and couldn't put it down. The combo of love story and food diary charmed me, though sometimes her "foodiness" (Grains of Paradise a must instead of peppercorns? My palate may be too pedestrian, but I tried them and it wasn't a revelatory experience) was a bit over the top. The book's recipe's are solid and fairly simple. I love the mac n' cheese and through her I discovered boeuf bourguignon (Don't ask about the fish quenelles from the same chapter, however...disaster).

Tonight we whipped up Hesser's Halibut with Chive Oil, and adapted her Potato-Parsnip Sauce into a Potato-Turnip Puree. The halibut is a breeze--drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper, roast in a 400 degree oven. All it takes to make chive oil is a whirl in the food processor--chives and olive oil, strain and voilá.

We had searched for parsnips at the Hollywood Farmer's Market this morning, but found none. "December," was the short answer from one farmer. We picked up some turnips instead, and after consulting my bible of late, the Joy of Cooking, determined the substitution would work. You dice the potato and turnip, toss in a saucepan, cover with milk, salt and pepper, and simmer until soft. Again the food processor is put to work--blintz until smooth-ish, return to the saucepan and swirl in some butter. Yum.

*J. doesn't drink lattes...he knows espresso comes after dinner. Timeliness, however, is another story.

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