Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What I'm Reading Today

Those chocolate chip cookies are long gone and the cold has definitely set in.  Rain is coming and there is no longer any denying it, hello fall!

Spicy Cherry Chocolate Brownies...good morning!  Just when you thought no one could reinvent the brownie or improve on it any other way, the Los Angeles Times brings you this kicked up version.  Dried cherries meet cayenne pepper in this unexpected but well balanced grown-up brownie.  The recipe is part of an article by Katherine Nitsou on the combination of sweet and spicy in desserts.   Rosemary Marshmallow Treats and Tangerine Thyme Chocolate Cookies anyone? 

If you've ever eaten Moroccan food you've probably enjoyed the fragrant flavor of preserved lemon.  The pickled citrus, packed in a brine solution, uses all parts of the lemon but it gets incredibly tender, loosing its bitterness at it ages.  Problem is, they're difficult to find at a market and making them means thinking weeks ahead as they need a long time to "ripen".  Until now, thanks to Mark Bittman in the New York Times and his recipe for Quick "Preserved" Lemons.  Mark's recipe doesn't truly preserve the lemons (they keep about a week, as opposed to months and months) but they are actually ready to use within three hours, which is a huge bonus.  He shortens the process by dicing up the lemons instead of preserving them whole.  Be sure to use organic lemons as they wont have the waxy skin you find with the conventional varieties.  Once finished you can use your lemons in any braised dish but I particularly like them with lamb or chicken.

(Liz Hafalia/The San Francisco Chronicle)

Ahhh, chicken picatta.  I know it's not a true Italian dish but the combination of butter, capers, and lemon works for me anytime.  We ate it as kids over pasta and I think I've loved it ever since.  In the San Francisco Chronicle Marlene Sorosky Gray writes about the dish, be it with chicken, soul, duck, or trout.  It's one of those go-to dishes when 6pm is staring you in the face and you have no idea what's for dinner.  Capers and lemons are pantry staples and hopefully you picked up some kind of protein at the market this week (I think you could even use firm pressed tofu here).  Her method for the Classic Chicken Picatta  takes about 10 minutes to make.  Be sure to have your chicken breasts pounded out nice and thin (I do this myself, to vent my end of day frustrations, but your favorite butcher can do it for you too).  Look how beautiful it is?   

Happy Reading and Happy Cooking!

1 comment:

Amelia PS said...

That's SO ironic! I JUST watched Mark Bittman's video for quick preserved lemons THIS morning!!! great minds think alike :)
Here's the video:
Can't wait to make them...and I never thought that the words "quick" and "preserved lemons" would go together!!!

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