From Famous Foods from Famous Places (1964), which is filled with pretty much any kind of mid-century fanciness you can think of.
Commander’s Palace (New Orleans) Bananas Foster
This classic is super easy and a great use for that bunch of almost-rotten bananas that’s going to start attracting fruit flies any second.
Slice 6 ripe bananas lengthwise. Brush with lemon juice.
1 c sugar and 1/2 c butter — cook over low heat until dissolved, add bananas, cook awhile til soft.
Serve as is or with ice cream or whipped cream or whatever. You are going to lapse into a sugar coma either way.
Fresh-squeezed fizzy Meyer lemonade
Pick a bunch of lemons.
Add sugar [or honey/stevia/agave/whatever sweetener you like].
I usually do about 1 c. sugar to 2 c. lemon juice. I think most people like it sweeter.
Mix well. I have a locking pitcher so I just close it up and shake like crazy for a minute or two.
This is your lemon starter — it’s good in the fridge for at least a week, probably much longer, but ours never lasts that long.
Fill a glass 3/4 way with fizzy water [or regular water, if you don't like the fizzy] and a couple ice cubes.
Top off with the lemon starter — this is highly subjective, but general guidelines are as follows:
- if your drink is too sweet, your starter needs more lemons.
- if it’s too tart, more sugar in your starter.
- too watery, more starter with your water.
- too sweet and tart? Add more water.
I make my lemonade glass by glass — if you want a full jug all at once, just fill up your pitcher with water. Et voila!
If you’re feeling adventurous, toss in some
- strawberry juice [slice strawberries, toss with a sprinkling of sugar and a tbsp or two of water, let sit overnight, mash and/or puree, depending on how chunky you like things]
- ginger syrup [I'll bet vanilla-ginger is divine, too]
- lavender syrup [boil, cool, strain, and store: 1/2 c. dried lavender, 1 c. sugar, 1 c. water].
Some girlfriends and I have beach day whenever our schedules and the weather allow [which hasn't been often lately, we're having a cold, wet almost-summer here in northern California -- the annual sandcastle contest was even cancelled] and we bring a stack of guilty pleasures magazines, including Cosmo, one issue of which featured a sidebar of quick snacks to make with chickpeas (garbanzos), which are loaded with fiber and some other good stuff.
Sauté chickpeas in a bit of olive oil with a pinch of coarse salt til crispy. Sprinkle with parmesan.
From Martha’s Food Everyday magazine
1 c all purpose flour
1 T sugar
1/4 t coarse salt
1 1/2 c whole milk
4 large eggs
3 T unsalted butter, melted
Puree about 30 seconds, until smooth with bubbles on top.
Let rest 15 minutes.
Pour 1/3 cup in heated, lightly buttered 12″ skillet on medium. Cook 2-3 minutes until golden brown then loosen edges with spatula and use fingertips to quickly flip and cook about a minute more.
Repeat then fill with stuff.
Recipe says it makes 9 crepes but I ended up with a dozen.
I kind of winged this so measurements are approximate.
Whisk 1 cup water with 1/4 cup each unsweetened chocolate baking powder and sugar. Put over low heat and add 2 T unsalted butter and a sprinkling of coarse salt. Check taste when butter’s stirred in and add chocolate/sugar accordingly. Stir often and cook til it’s saucy enough.
3 lb. fava beans
3 lb. potatoes
2 red pepper
5 lb. tomatoes
2 lb. zucchini
3 baskets strawberries
1 bunch thai basil
The lovely Ms. P. posted some celery and potato soup yesterday and it looked so delicious I made my own. First time! So good!
Celery and potato soup
2 slices bacon
*** or ***
2 T butter or olive oil
1 c. onions, diced
1 heart of celery, chopped
1 bell pepper, diced
4 c. broth
4 c. water
2 large potatoes, cubed
Herbs you enjoy in soup [I used thyme, parsley, and sage from my garden, a big handful of cilantro from the farmer's market]
In large pan, brown bacon or butter/oil.
Add onions, then celery, then bell pepper. Sauté to brown a little then turn down and cook about 20 minutes til tender. if it starts getting dry, add a little liquid. Puree in blender.
While you’re waiting on that, get out your big stock pot and bring broth, water and potatoes to a boil. Add herbs and salt and pepper to taste. I threw in a handful of coriander seeds, too. Turn down to a simmer and cover.
Add the puree in, too, once that’s ready. Once the potatoes are all tendaroni, use your masher or hand mixer to break them down.
We had ours with sourdough toast.
ham and swiss croissants
fair trade coffee
free bottle of merlot and a very nice note from the folks at the hotel thanking us for our return visit [i guess had our credit card on file?]
BBQed pork tenderloin, chicken, and tri-tip and some sweet island-style pulled pork
bacon cheese bread
lots of fancy imported licorice
a giant dark chocolate peanut butter cup
oregon bing cherry and coffee-truffle ice cream cones
deep-fried artichoke hearts
Some recipes I like that I was telling J. about at coffee yesterday:
Zucchini Crab Cakes. These are super delicious and EASY and healthy except for being fried, but that just makes them that much more tasty. Serve with Creole-style remoulade [there are a million ways to make this; I mix catsup, mayo, seedy mustard, cayenne, and whatever else to taste].
Beer pizza dough. Chad makes this once a week, he rolls out two doughs and we put our own toppings on. Mine usually has some or all of the following: pesto, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, fresh mozz, parmesan, prosciutto, garlic, olives, oregano and basil, red pepper flakes, whatever else is around. Here are some photos from Tuesday’s batch. Do not view on an empty stomach.
A dinner I made last week, everything was quick and easy and delicious.
Chop up 4 slices bacon, crisp in tall pot, add in about 1/3 c. shallot or onion, cook til translucent, add 2-3 bags fresh spinach and toss until steamed to taste.
Fish with Onions and Mushrooms
This was super good and easy, recipe from John Ryan
1 slice bacon
1 cup sliced onion
4 ounces mushrooms, sliced
Salt and pepper
1 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon vinegar
2 fish fillets (about 6 ounces each)
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 tablespoon butter
Crisp bacon, set aside, then sauté the onion until translucent, add mushrooms. Add salt and pepper to taste. When the mushrooms are almost cooked, add the wine and vinegar then simmer half the wine away.
Lay fish on top, cover, and maintain a steady simmer 5-10 minutes until fish is done. Remove fish to warm platter. Stir butter into pan drippings [this is where i squeezed in half a lemon, but it was overwhelming and I would skip this step next time, or use less] then pour over fish and crumble bacon on top.
This may not be entirely accurate:
Cooked rice in rice cooker with half water, half stock, a smidge of saffron, a handful of pistachios, a drizzel of olive oil, and…some kind of herbs, I don’t remember which. There was no bacon in the rice.
what are you making today?
two dinners I made this week, that both turned out really, really well:
while boiling trottole [which is this crazy top-shaped pasta they had at Safeway, photo, i am SO going to make some mac & cheese with it]:
halve and brown sausages [check kind with Chad, they were TJs chicken with fennel & red peppers & ?] then cut into chunks.
sauté 1/2 c. diced shallot or onion
add jar of TJs red pepper & artichoke tapenade and sausage & simmer
serve over pasta with grated parmesan.
veggie version: skip the sausage, and parm if you’re more like that.
2. pork tenderloin
butterfly pork tenderloin
sauté diced shallot
mix in bowl with olive oil, cumin, turmeric, coarse salt.
spread on butterflied tenderloin, roll up, wrap with bacon and secure with toothpicks
place in pan with carrots [chopped into chunks] and mushrooms [small, whole] on each side
put slice of bacon across top of veg to keep them moist.
bake at 450° ~45 min til interior temp is 160°.
served with a baked potato though a baguette would have been preferable.
This was SOOOOOO good and ridiculously easy, it literally took me about 10 minutes.
Gnocchi with Creamy Arugula Pesto
Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen’s 30-Minute Suppers Spring 2009
2 c. lightly packed baby arugula
5 T olive oil
1/4 c. pine nuts, toasted
[I was out and used cashews instead, still delicious!]
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 c. grated Parmesan
salt and pepper
2 lb. vacuum-packed gnocchi
1/2 c. heavy cream
1 T lemon juice
Process arugula, oil, 2 T nuts and garlic in food processor until smooth. Heat pan, add a bit of oil, and sauté gnocchi until bottoms are slightly brown [or you can boil it. I like the crispy bottom way]. Add cream and bring to simmer over medium-high heat until cream is slightly thickened. Off heat, stir in pesto, parmesan, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste.