Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Dorie, Dorie, Everywhere.

Are you tired of me saying that I'm behind on my Dorie posts yet? I don't blame you. I'm tired of it, too. The whole cooking-along-with-the-group thing is a lot less fun when you're not actually cooking along with the group. On the plus side, I've busted out quite a few make-ups and feel like I'm beginning to close in on my list. Sort of. I have a butt-load of dessert to catch up on. I better get a move on, since baking through Dorie's new baking book begins in November. I thought I had more time before tackling Baking: Chez Moi. If I don't bust these tarts out before the new dessert book begins, I'm not certain I'll get it done. The countdown begins.

Since it was a more recent recipe, I'll start this off with French Lentils: a Basic Recipe. I didn't have du Puy lentils, but the normal Italian ones I bought maintained their structure and worked just fine. There was a time when I hated lentils. I'm glad those days are gone. This was easy to throw together since there wasn't much chopping involved, and it made for a very tasty lunch.
Everything looks better in Polish pottery.
I originally skipped Twenty-minute Honey-glazed Duck Breasts because I can't find duck here in Napoli. I even asked my Italian friend if he knew where I could get some. He looked baffled, then said, "No. We don't eat that here." Okay, then. I'm certain that this recipe would be more delicious with duck. In the interest of finishing all my recipes, I grilled some chicken cutlets and then drizzled them with the sauce. I expected a thicker, more honey-centric sauce. The balsamic vinegar was what monopolized the flavor. That's not a complaint. I like balsamic. I just think it should have earned a spot in the title over honey. It's entirely possible that I did not reduce the sauce enough, and if I had, it would have become more honey-ish. Regardless, delicious, easy, and barely used any ingredients.
For dinner one night, I made Dieter's Tartine. I rubbed my toasted sourdough bread with a garlic clove, because Italy has taught me that doing so makes all versions of bruschetta exponentially more delicious. Then I smeared it with ricotta (rather than cottage cheese) and topped it with Dorie's tomato and cucumber mixture. It was fine. Unremarkable.

At the same time, I made Roasted Peppers. This was a pretty basic roasted pepper recipe, so I don't have much to say about it, except that I love roasted peppers, and would take the tartine I made them into over the Dieter's Tartine any day of the week.
I know I've bemoaned the state of avocado at the commissary on many, many occasions. It is the reason that I skipped Pistachio Avocado, which, it could be argued, is the easiest recipe in the book. All you're supposed to do is halve an avocado and fill the pit-hole with pistachio oil. Okay, the second reason I didn't make this is because I don't own and have never seen pistachio oil. The third reason is that eating a hole full of oil doesn't appeal to me.

I got my hands on a decent avocado, and knew I needed to do something to tick this recipe off. I smashed it on some German rye bread, drizzled lovely olive oil on top, and sprinkled it with sea salt. It bears little resemblance to the original, but it's the best I'm going to do before the group finishes the book in the spring, so I say it counts.

Last, and maybe least, I brought Crispy Crackly Apple Almond Tart to a JAG wive's lunch thing hosted by a higher-up. I liked that I had everything in my house that I needed to bake this recipe, and that it came together easily.
I expected to love this, but I didn't. I blame my apples, not the recipe. They had no flavor, and the almond mixture wasn't impressive enough to carry the absence of apple deliciousness. The dish I carried it on got a lot of compliments, though.

Okay. Phew. That covers what I've cooked lately. Now I have to get my hands on a celery root by Friday, so I can participate in real time. They sell them at the Italian supermarket, but I hate having to make a special trip there for one item. We'll see if I get there.

1 comment:

  1. Wow,commendable effort to get caught up. I also still have a few which I need to tick off, but I'm also slowly coming to accept that I will likely still have a few at the end.

    And I am a huge fan of the toasted pistachio oil, so if you ever come accross the real deal (I generally pick up a bottle at Detou when I'm in Paris) you should absolutely snap it up and try the avocado recipe. You want to deep dark green stuff. I know it sounds weird, but it is oh so good.