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Artichoke Ravioli with Mushroom Cream Sauce

April 11, 2010

Food photography, I am learning, is about evoking emotions. The time of day and lighting conditions become nearly as important as the subject.

What began as simple inspiration–four leftover mushrooms on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator–quickly evolved into a complex, time-consuming, and utterly satisfying dinner. The challenge wasn’t so much making the pasta dough, filling, and sauce by scratch but doing all three simultaneously so that all the elements finished together.

Several moments during this process pleased me, when I felt like experience and instinct filled in the gaps between recipe instructions. I made my dough ahead of time, to rest and become elastic while I went for an afternoon run (I was making a cream sauce after all and need to preempt the caloric intake). Dusting the dough with flour as it rolled through the pasta maker prevented those annoying, tiny wrinkles. For the sauce, I sweated the mushrooms before making the roux, added a dash of cognac and chicken broth and boiled it down to concentrate the flavor, and, rather than serving the sauce in a rustic style, I strained out the solids, pressing on the mushrooms with a spatula to release even more juices.

I topped all of this with roasted pine nuts but next time, because everything was a golden beige, I would try blanched asparagus instead.

Like wrapping gorgeous little packages.

The artichoke filling can be found here.

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Tom Kha Gai

April 10, 2010

Accoutrements make all the difference.

I’ve been hitting the gym more frequently (summer is just around the corner, after all) and this evening I had such a fierce craving for protein. Upon searching for “chicken” on Sunset Magazine’s online recipe library, this Thai Chicken Coconut Soup was the first result.

A few modifications:
-Add bamboo shoots to contrast the mushroom’s velvet texture.

-Double the amount of lime and add salt as flavor enhancers.
-Increase the heat with sliced, fresh jalape
ños.

Fried egg, with basil and shallots

April 9, 2010

My weekend routine: sleep in, prepare breakfast, read newspaper, sip coffee...

I cook based on color. I wonder if other art school graduates eat the same way?

Kelp?

April 8, 2010

Baked Kale, inspired by the Smitten Kitchen.

Sweet dreams.

April 6, 2010

Does reading about food count as eating in bed?

Books I am currently reading:

Martha Stewart’s Cooking School: Lessons and Recipes for the Home Cook, by Martha Stewart.
(seriously, the best graphically designed cookbook I’ve found)

Secret Ingredients: The New Yorker Book of Food and Drink, edited by David Remnick.
(wait, people get to write about food for a living?)

Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual, by Michael Pollan
(my guru)

My Life in France, by Julia Child
(my kitchen fairy godmother)

Easter Brunch

April 5, 2010

My powers of telepathy command you to drop that sausage.

The Bloom sisters, Cassidy and Amanda, joined me for an Easter brunch which included:

-baked caramel french toast, served with hazelnuts, blueberries, and fresh whipped cream
-potatoes au gratin (purple and pink varieties from the farmers market)
-chicken and apple sausage
-eggs with chives
-coffee, and mimosas (of course)

What a feast! Jonas waited patiently for any “accidental” handouts. And really, who could resist those blue eyes?

Spring Greens

April 4, 2010

My green bounty, for less than $20. The fig-anise roll from Breadfarm was an unexpected flavor pairing that I'll have to try on my own.

Happy first day of the farmer’s market! Despite torrential rains and hail, the community made a strong showing to support our local vendors.

I am particularly excited to use this gorgeous leek for a ginger fried rice. Served with a fried egg and drizzled with soy sauce and sesame oil, this has become my new favorite dish for breakfast.