EVERYDAY DORIE, The Way I Cook, by Dorie Greenspan
With apologies to Dorie Greenspan, I re-titled this week’s CooktheBookFridays recipe choice. It’s called Potato Chowder Lots of Ways. I’ve chosen to re-name it A Chowder for All Seasons. This soup is worthy of the name.
Here’s Why? A chowder is a rich, chunky soup traditionally made with onions, potatoes, and cream. We’re probably most familiar with seafood, corn or clam chowder. Although there are countless variations, tomato-based Manhattan Clam Chowder, color red, is the odd guy. In this recipe, Dorie takes basic potato chowder and shows us how to make imaginative changes to compliment each season. One recipe. Four versions.
Palate pleasing comfort food. It’s simply put together with chicken or vegetable broth, leeks, onion, shallots, garlic and yellow potatoes. Frozen peas were a tasty add-on and added color. Perfect for cold temps at this time of year. We are not able to share this chowder recipe. If you do want to make it, contact me and I’ll gladly share the recipe.
EATALYLASVEGAS PICTURE BOOK
Ciao Las Vegas
There are 37Eatalysscattered throughout the world. Las Vegas just became numero sei in the United States. The newly-opened EatalyLasVegasclaims to be the largest ‘Italian marketplace with restaurants in the world.’ It’s 40,000 square feet footprint just opened in the Strips’ newest shiny object, Park MGM mega-resort hotel and casino on the Las Vegas Strip.
This week I visitedEataly with friends Ardyth and Harold Sohn. I’ve got pictures.
OUR FIRST ENCOUNTER: We walked into Eataly and spotted the popular dancing mosaic bull copied from the Turin coat of arms. The original mosaic is located in the famed Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan. The oldest shopping mall in the world, it was constructed when America was fighting its Civil War. It’s believed that “Lucky Bull” brings you good fortune by standing on it and circling three times. Deciding to ‘Swing Big or Go Home,’ I powered up and swung strong.
IT’S ABOUT THE FOOD: We sprinted through our initial walking tour overview because who doesn’t become ravenously hungry by 11:30am? We divided to conquer and later found a table for our chosen meals. Ardyth chose a cold pizza served on ciabatta bread from La Pizza & La Pasta. Street Food appealed to me, arancini and fritto misto de pesche. Harold chose to stop at La Pescheria and hand-picked his Branzino, a European Bass, to be grilled. All quite delicious.
FOOD, PART II: After lunch the Sohn’s shopped while I continued to explore the eating opportunities. I stopped by IlGelato (aka the Nutella Bar) for a don’t-miss-it pistachio cannoli. This popular bar offers crepes, cookies and croissants, some smothered with the hazelnut-chocolate spread. (Do you realize you can now buy a whopping seven-pound bucket of Nutella at Costco for about $22.) I finished up my all-things-Italian spree at CaffeLavazza with Bicerin, a specialty coffee drink from Turin of liquid chocolate, espresso and whipped cream.
It’s a new year, a fresh beginning and it’s going to be noisy. With 7.5 billion people hanging out on Planet Earth, why are we surprised? Here’s a thought. Let’s bring joy and wonder into each day, making it sparkle. Let’s laugh louder and more often. Let’s try on Happiness until it fits. What we know for sure is Life’s overwhelming, difficult and sometimes sad. Let’s face it, our tank’s gotta be full to be grownups!
Every January I rethink this blog. Another year: Go or No. This began as a vehicle for me to re-build a life. Whether single by choice, divorce or death, I realized many others were making that same journey. Call it brazen or desperate, I decided it might be helpful to them and for me to tell my story, wins, fails and draws. The stars were aligned when I stumbled onto the French Fridays with Dorie group and began blogging. That was February, 2011.
Although I’ve put together a Lifestyle that is mine, it’s quite another to live it successfully. That’s true for all of us, male/female, single /married. What I know for sure is every aspect of Life is knowing ‘when to hold ‘em, fold ‘em, walk away or run.’* Writing this blog with all it entails has become part of who I am. Thanks to all of you for making that so. Let’s muddle through another year together. OK?
YEAR 2019 – MAKE IT WORK FOR YOU
One way to win the resolutions game every year is to not make any ….. which I don’t. My only 2018 goals were to Read More (#ilovetoread), to Learn Something Everyday (#learningisfun) and to finish up my Presidential Library visits. (Done.)
During the past 7 single years, despite detours, ups and downs, I found the right stuff to set life right for me. No ideas were original but I needed to find, glean and pull together what worked. The constant I carry with me is to manage and worry about what I can control. Why let your happiness be controlled by something you can’t? I thrive, and always have, on goals, plans and projects. Lists and calendars are my buddies. “She was Organized” will be carved on my tombstone.
It’s never too late to reclaim your time and set up boundaries. At any age your mental health, physical fitness and diet requires attention. Everything you invest into your bank (your body) will reap rewards now and later. Get enough sleep. Trust me on that. Friends and family are golden. Stick with those who support, encourage and lift you up. Here’s a tip. Meet and make friends who are younger than you. While it’s fashionable to bash the Millennials and Gen Z’s, I live with them, work with them and listen to them. I’m the better for it.
We’re gonna do this … for another year.
TANGERINE-CHAMPAGNE SORBET by David Lebovitz, My Paris Kitchen
3 cups fresh tangerine juice from about 4 pounds of tangerines (I used tangerine juice available at Trader Joe’s and other markets.)
⅔ cup granulated sugar
1 cup Champagne, or other sparkling wine
In a large saucepan over low heat, warm ½ cup of the tangerine juice with the sugar, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.
Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining 2 ½ cups of tangerine juice. Add the Champagne or sparkling wine. Transfer to another container and chill thoroughly.
Freeze in your ice cream maker about 20 minutes according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Put in another container and place in freezer.
Note: This sorbet will not freeze as hard as other sorbets because of the alcohol in the Champagne. However, it will make it more scoop-able once fully frozen.
*The title of this blogpost includes a Homophone, a type of homonym with words that sounds alike but have different meanings and different spellings.
Make this incredible Lebanese bowl featuring Tabbouleh, hummus, falafels & so much more.
Let’s be clear. Blogs are blogs. Power Point Presentations are not. According to my more seriously-minded techie pals, PPP are something else entirely. They are more, well, seriously minded. Humph!
After watching a PPP listing ten potential benefits of them, we seemed almost on the same page. I especially honed in on (1)Broadening visual impact; (2)Improving audience focus; (7) & (8) Building Spontaneity & Interactivity and (10)Increasing Wonder.
Traditionally Lebanese Tabbouleh is a green herbal salad with a touch of spices and a dollop of grains.
Call me crazy but I think it’s all about those Bullet Points. This week’s post screams for bullet points, emoji style. So let’s do it. Give it a read… seriously.
👩🍳 GRAND RAPIDS was GRAND
Shortly before Thanksgiving, as usual, I bid farewell to Colorado. While it’s a 650-mile drive through Utah and Arizona to Henderson, Nevada, where I’ll be for the holidays, it’s no chore. The iconic landscapes of sandstone buttes, arches and mesas visible throughout my drive are gloriously breathtaking.
In 1976 I was in Kansas City for the Republican Convention when Gerald Ford was nominated. That’s why I saved his library for last. As you can see, I am on the floor of the Convention and rather awestruck by Dan Rather.
After arriving in Henderson, I grabbed my bag, boarded an Allegiant jet and flew to Michigan. Where. It. Was. Snowing. Gerald Ford’s Presidential Library is located in Grand Rapids. His was the last of the thirteen libraries administered by the National Archives for me to visit. It’s been a five-year project which has taken me and friends accompanying me to California, Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas, Texas, New York, Massachusetts and Michigan. (Hoover. West Branch, Iowa 1962.)
This statue is at the Ford library entrance.
Suffice it to say, it was thrilling to visit Ford’s museum, not only to reach my goal but also because in 1976 I attended the Republican Convention in Kansas City when he was nominated. Even better, the Library’s staff supervisor and her cohorts were excited for me.
I’d filled out all the appropriate forms and we’re just getting ready to put the last Presidential Library stamp in my Passport Booklet.
I am the 75th person to visit all 13 libraries. There were gifts, an engraved crystal paperweight with a commendation to follow from the Archives. Who knew? Next stop: Chicago, 2020
This is the stairway ladder to the rooftop of the U.S. Embassy in Saigon which enabled 978 Americans and 1,120 Vietnamese to board helicopters and escape to American ships waiting offshore on April 29/30, 1975.
👩🍳 EYE SPY the INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION
The small white dot you see below is the 360’ International Space Station that was launched in 1998. Since Year 2000, 230 astronauts have flown in this habitable artificial satellite. Only the moon and Venus are brighter in the night sky. NASA has a free App, Spot the Station, showing when it will pass over your location.
During the Thanksgiving holidays, in Bishop with my family, we saw a video of the three ISS astronauts wishing Americans “Happy Thanksgiving.” So our family (three generations) was ready, willing and looking to return those wishes when the ISS flew over at 6:04 pm last Friday evening.
Melissa spotted it first. Sounds crazy but we hollered and waved. In 1961 I remember Alan Shepherd being the first American to fly into space. He flew 116 miles high before safely returning to earth. The flight lasted 15 ½ minutes. I can only imagine what Clara and Emma will see during their lifetimes. Thanks, Jane Carey, for introducing us to this App.
👩🍳 TABBOULEH & the INCREDIBLE LEBANESE BOWL
David Lebovitz’s idea of Tabbouleh is a ‘bowl heaped with fresh herbs, a few tomato chunks, and very, very few bits of bulgur (cracked wheat.)’ He’s borrowed this recipe, our CooktheBookFridays choice this week, from highly acclaimed Lebanese chef Anissa Helou. David claims it’s not only authentic but highly addictive. I agree. Recipe below.
I substituted 1/2 cup cooked Quinoa instead of bulgar to make it gluten-free. Click this Link for the many ways to serve or enhance Tabbouleh. Using inspiration provided by the Minimalist Baker, I created this Incredible Lebanese Bowl.
My friend, Dipika Rai, makes the most delicious falafels. To be honest, every delicacy she makes is delicious. We haven’t yet made falafels together so I improvised.
Sometimes it’s all about the box, the box, the box. Of the two, I prefer Knorr.
TABBOULEH by Anissa Helou, from A Paris Kitchen cookbook
(TIP: This is a large amount of Tabbouleh. I halved the recipe and adjusted the other ingredients to my taste. Even so, I added a 1/2 to 2/3 cup of Quinoa, more than the recipe specified.)
1/3 – 1/2 cup of fine bulgur (I used Quinoa but any grain will work))
3 medium firm ripe tomatoes, diced into small cubes
2 spring onions or scallions, trimmed and very thinly sliced
14 ounces flat-leaf parsley, most of the stalks discarded, leaves washed and dried
2 cups mint leaves, washed and dried, no stems
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
salt to taste
juice of 1 lemon, or to taste
1/3 to 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1. Using a grain of your choice, prepare it according to its directions.
2. Put the diced tomatoes in a bowl to drain and set aside while you prepare the herbs.
3. Using a sharp knife, grab as much of the prepped parsley and mint as you can handle in a bunch, and slice them very thin, to end up with nice, crisp slender strips.
4. After draining the tomatoes of their juice, put in a large bowl. Add the spring onion or scallions and herbs.
4. Sprinkle the bulgur all over. Season with the cinnamon, allspice and pepper. Add salt to taste.
5. Add the lemon juice and olive oil and mix well. Taste and adjust the seasonings (you may need more) if necessary.
6. Serve immediately. (I ate this salad for 3 days. Of course, “immediately” is the best.)
Over the holidays we enjoyed the company of 9-10 Wood Ducks at Stephen & Melissa’s pond. They are among the most stunningly beautiful of all waterfowl. They are also very secretive and skittish. We kept a low profile so they would hang around. They did. Two males and one female (L).
MAPLE SYRUP and MUSTARD BRUSSELS SPROUTS by DORIE GREENSPAN, EVERYDAY DORIE
Everyone has a brussels sprouts story. This is mine.
When we moved to Aspen from Des Moines in 1988, we bought a house that wasn’t grand but situated on lovely property abutting Red Butte Mountain and surrounded by 40-some evergreen trees. Along with moving too many belongings, we also packed up our shovels, pitchforks and Iowa gardening skills.
BAY LEAF POUND CAKE with COINTREAU GLAZE by DAVID LEBOVITZ, MY PARIS KITCHEN, PERFECT TREAT for VOLUNTEER WORKERS on ELECTION DAY.
Understatement: Mother Nature looks askance at cocky Iowa farmers who tilled their luscious black soil at 955’ and believe that still works with a 4-month growing season at 9000’ altitude. We immediately planted Burpee’s Big Boy tomatoes, harvesting only one which was rock hard and barely red. Michael, a bit frugal, calculated that Big Boy cost $37.35.
ON ELECTION DAY I COULD BE MOST HELPFUL TO MY FRIEND, DONNA GRAUER, an EAGLE COUNTY PRECINCT COMMITTEE PERSON, by BEING the CHIEF COOK and BOTTLE WASHER as SHE COORDINATED HER DAY’S ACTIVITIES. (No one left hungry.) THE VEGETARIAN SQUASH LENTIL CHILI from the KITCHN WAS DELICIOUS. A LINK TO THE RECIPE IS BELOW.
Eventually we struck a bargain with Colorado’s High Country climate and grew leafy greens and nightshade vegetables. A friend shared her hardy rhubarb roots which yielded a never-ending supply of tangy stalks. My son-in-law loved strawberry/rhubarb pie. Every year I tried to curry favor by hand-delivering one to him in California. However, we were most successful with starchy, tuberous New Potatoes, hosting tater parties every fall.
THIS PAST WEEKEND I MADE A RACK of LAMB, A PERFECT COMPLIMENT TO DORIE’S BRUSSELS SPROUTS.
We rejoiced in our Hits and lamented Misses. One year I spotted brussels sprouts plantings at the local nursery and purchased six. The plants, neither pretty nor luscious, are statuesque. Throughout the summer I lost five but daily monitored the one stalk standing. Its edible buds, mini-cabbages, grew from nubs to walnut-sized nuggets. One evening I decided it was “time,” and excitedly announced to my husband that ‘5 brussels sprouts would be on the menu for tomorrow’s dinner.’
Brussels Sprouts Plant, Cedar Circle Farms
The next morning I walked outside to reap the harvest. The stalk was still standing minus the edible nubs. I cannot over-emphasize my total shock and dismay, taking a double- and triple-take. Apparently a wily deer had been stalking my stalk. He quietly crept into our yard and nibbled the motherlode to extinction!
ON ELECTION DAY WHEN I WAS WORKING IN THE KITCHEN AT DONNA’S, A HERD OF MULE DEER STOPPED BY.
It was spaghetti night at Little Annie’s restaurant. That’s where I licked my wounds, along with a super-sized margarita. I never again planted brussels sprouts.
A LAST SUPPER with FRIENDS BEFORE I CLOSED DOWN MY KITCHEN FOR THE WINTER. THEIR HAIR ORNAMENTS ARE MY NAPKIN RINGS!
Next week I’m very, very excited about traveling to Grand Rapids. You heard right, Grand Rapids. Michigan.
PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY WRAP-UP
EVERY TIME I VISIT A PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY I GET MY PASSPORT BOOKLET STAMPED.
In 1962, the summer I graduated from high school, Herbert Hoover’s Presidential Library opened in nearby West Branch, Iowa. Enjoying an ongoing love affair with history I visited the library before heading to college at Florida State. During that visit I vowed to visit every single Presidential Library administered by the National Archives (there were four).
PRESIDENT FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT, HYDE PARK, NEW YORK.
Next Friday, 56 years later, I will realize that goal by visiting President Ford’s (there are now 13). Five years ago I decided ‘if not now, when.’It has been a fantastic journey of learning, made even richer by the friends who encouraged, supported and traveled with me.
Leaving Aspen for the Winter. Next stop: Grand Rapids.
COULD THIS BE A DESCENDANT OF MY BRUSSELS SPROUTS NOSHING- MULE DEER?
My Newest Gougères, our first recipe choice from Dorie Greenspan’s new cookbook. Served for lunch (yeah) with Butternut Squash Soup topped with toasted coconut shreds.
Who doesn’t keep some kernels of wisdom tucked into their hip pocket to pull out when needed. For me, my pocket runneth over with pithy tips. Here are just two:
1. PEOPLE LIKE TO BE THANKED. (My mother) While growing up, I knew whenever someone gave me a gift, a thank you note was to follow and I was going to write it. That has trickled down through three generations. My teenage granddaughters have yet to persuade their mother that e-mails count.
My parents, generous to a fault, were simply teaching me gratitude and appreciation. Ingrained in my DNA is knowledge my father, a kid of the Great Depression, got to college because of a baseball scholarship. He had no money, an athlete’s appetite and was kept fed only through the generosity of a local Catholic family who lived near campus. He never forgot that nor do I.
Dorie Greenspan’s newest cookbook, Everyday Dorie, the Way I Cook
2. After giving the keynote address at a Seattle food blogging convention and being asked the secret of her success, she replied, “I AlWAYS SAY YES.” (Dorie Greenspan)
Several years ago I was sitting in the audience with many of my French Fridays with Dorie blogging colleagues when Dorie answered this question. It was a shocker for me because I had always believed there was great value and discipline in being able to say, “No.”
October is a month for birthdays. Local author Cathy O’Connell and I always celebrate together. This year we’re also jubilant about the recent publication of her latest novel, The Last Night Out. Don’t miss it.
This was an uncomfortable moment. Having just lost a husband who suffered through an unforgiving disease for eight years, I was trying to redefine my Life. Dorie, who I had grown to admire and respect, was suggesting my “rules of engagement,” might need tweaking.
You know what I did, Readers? I began to tweak, deciding to keep the good guys, Strengthand Resilience, while shelving the more negative “No.” By paying attention I soon realized the charismatic Dorie’s “Yes,” is more a compromising Getting-to-Yes. Now that philosophy was explained in the innovative 2011 book “Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In.” Ironically Dorie’s built her phenomenal 40-year career by saying, “Yes,” but left it to authors Fisher, Ury and Patton to write a book explaining it.
My friend, Karen Kribs, celebrated my birthday by hosting an afternoon High Tea. Aranzazu (pictured) enjoyed the fun also and we all loved it.
It doesn’t hurt to have one of our Valley’s most talented musicians and a dear friend, Charlotte McLain, amongst us to play Happy Birthday tunes during tea time.
That’s why we’re here today. Seven years ago, merci to an Oprah’s article, I joined French Fridays with Dorie, an international group devoted to cooking through Dorie’s Around My French Table cookbook. Many of you subscribers know my oft-repeated story about connecting to this group and committing to a weekly blogging schedule. That provided me with structure and a social community, props to re-build a lifestyle.
Avoir, Mon Ami. My bruised and battered FFWD cookbook got quite a workout the past 7 years. The binding is even separated from the content pages. Retired, with love, on a shelf of honor but still making the delicious recipes.
Our FFWD group retired two years ago, after cooking 300 recipes together. Some of us continued blogging. Many pursued other interests. The one thing we did, however, was keep in touch with each other. We clearly could not break up the group. Nor did we want to lose touch with our Dorie, the author of 13 cookbooks, winner of five James Beard and two IACP Cookbooks of the Year awards, who had showered us with interest and support.
An international meet-up: Frankfurt, Germany, meets Aspen, Colorado, in Vail. Rose Heda and I have been French Fridays with Dorie food blogging colleagues for 7 years but had never met. Knowing she would be in Boulder this week, we’ve had a lunch planned since last February. Last Wednesday it happened: a 3 hour lunch, lots of chatter, a wonderful “real” friendship now.
When Dr. Katie Baillargeon, a FFWD alum and administrator of our Cook the Book Fridays blog, discovered Dorie was writing another cookbook, she asked if we could cook through it like before. Dorie was delighted. As were we. Can you hear the drumrolls? This is our first post from her amazing new “Everyday Dorie, The Way I Cook.” Gougères are a classic French appetizer. We chose this recipe because Gougères were the first recipe we posted from AMFT in 2010.
Readers, I promise you are going to love this new adventure showcasing Dorie’s recipes. Yes. Yes. Yes.
Just out of the oven.
MY NEWEST GOUGÈRES by Dorie Greenspan, Everyday Dorie, The Way I Cook
Makes about 60 gougères
From Dorie: “Gougères are French cheese puffs based on a classic dough called pâte à choux (the dough used for cream puffs). It’s a testament to their goodness that I’m still crazy about them after all these years and after all the thousands that I’ve made. Twenty or so years ago, when my husband and I moved to Paris, I decided that Gougères would be the nibble I’d have ready for guests when they visited. Regulars chez moi have come to expect them.”
1⁄2 cup whole milk
1⁄2 cup water 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
11⁄4 teaspoons fine sea salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 large egg white, at room temperature
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard (preferably French)
2 cups coarsely grated cheese, such as Comté, Gruyère and/or sharp cheddar
2⁄3 cup walnuts or pecans, lightly toasted and chopped
From Dorie: My secret to being able to serve guests gougères on short notice is to keep them in the freezer, ready to bake. Scoop the puffs, freeze them on a parchment-lined baking sheet or cutting board and then pack them airtight. You can bake them straight from the oven. Just give them a couple more minutes of heat.
1.Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat it to 425 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
2. Bring the milk, water, butter and salt to a boil over high heat in a medium saucepan. Add the flour all at once, lower the heat and immediately start stirring energetically with a heavy spoon or whisk. The dough will form a ball and there’ll be a light film on the bottom of the pan. Keep stirring for another 2 minutes or so to dry the dough. Dry dough will make puffy puffs.
3. Turn the dough into the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or work by hand with a wooden spoon and elbow grease). Let the dough sit for a minute, then add the eggs one by one, followed by the white, beating until each egg is incorporated before adding the next. The dough may look as though it’s separating or falling apart but just keep working. By the time the white goes in, the dough will be beautiful. Beat in the mustard, followed by the cheese and the walnuts. Give the dough a last mix-through by hand.
I used a small 2-Teaspoons cookie scoop, available on line, to form the balls of dough.
4. Scoop or spoon out the dough, using a small cookie scoop (11⁄2 teaspoons). If you’d like larger puffs, shape them with a tablespoon or medium-size cookie scoop. Drop the dough onto the lined baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between each mound. (The dough can be scooped and frozen on baking sheets at this point.)
5. Slide the baking sheets into the oven and immediately turn the oven temperature down to 375 degrees F.
6. Bake for 12 minutes, then rotate the pans from front to back and top to bottom. Continue baking until the Gougères are puffed, golden and firm enough to pick up, another 15 to 20 minutes. Serve immediately—these are best directly from the oven.
S T O R I N G: The puffs are best soon after they come out of the oven and nice (if flatter) at room temperature that same day. If you want to keep baked puffs, freeze them and then reheat them in a 350-degree-F oven for a few minutes.
Stuffed Eggplant Parm – Turn either Globe, Italian, Graffiti, or White eggplants into boats and stuff them full of crispy, cheesy, tomato and eggplant goodness.
Not long ago, when walking to a music concert with my friend Wendy, she asked, “Do you miss your garden?”
That question, out of the blue, had nothing to do with our ongoing chatter and was rather innocuous. “Yes,” I answered. “Yes I do.”
Although we quickly moved on to more important topics – her upcoming trip to Papua New Guinea, my Emma’s college visits and where to get the best haircut – that question gave me pause.
Le Grande Aioli with Crudités Board for Two
A big chunk of Michael’s and my springtime/summer revolved around gardening – planning, preparing, planting and harvesting. From the moment the rhubarb tips poked through the lingering spring snow until the frost polished off my herbs, we tended our “crops,” sharing the wealth with neighbors. Admittedly, after picking the last of our raspberries and digging up the potatoes in the fall, we were farmered-out, ready to put it to bed.
Apple Crumble – In anticipation of Rosh Hashanah, I participated in another cooking class, A Taste of Honey, at the Jewish Community Center – Chabad of Aspen. We also made Honey Cake which I had never made before.
As you readers know, determined to bloom where I’m planted, I don’t often dwell on the past. I can’t bring back what was and I’ve pretty much depleted my well of sadness. What I do know is those were joyful moments despite the ruined manicures, my outrage at a deer nibbling the edible buds off my only (ever) brussels sprout stalk or Michael’s constant tracking dirt onto our white carpeting. (That white carpeting drove me bonkers.)
Treat Time as if it is precious because it is.
Since we’re talking about farming !?! Donna Chase and I encountered this herd of goats while walking recently on the Rio Grande Trail. They are on-the-move throughout the county, munching, on the weeds.
While I may no longer reap the fruits of our labor, many friends, who still garden, are graciously sharing their bounty. They know their food gifts to me aren’t wasted (I send photos.) In fact Wendy, who maintains a huge garden, is now in New Guinea for three weeks and has left me her key.
HAPPY NEW YEAR to those of you who are celebrating Rosh Hashanah on Sunday evening. And, thank you to Leiba and the Women’s Inner Circle at the Jewish Community Center at the Chabad of Aspen for sharing your Rosh Hashanah memories while we baked our sweet desserts.
This week’s recipes spotlight the veggies gathered from local gardens and our farmer’s market.
1.Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 400°F.
2.Cut each eggplant in half lengthwise. Leaving a 1/2-inch border, use a paring knife to cut around the insides of each half, then scoop out the flesh with a spoon, creating boats out of the shells. Coarsely chop the flesh and set aside.
3.Brush or rub the insides of the hollowed eggplant shells with 1 tablespoon of the oil and season with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper.
4.Place the shells cut-side up in a 13×9-inch baking dish. Roast until tender (there should be no resistance when pierced with the tip of a paring knife), about 20 to 30 minutes depending on the size of the eggplant. Set aside.
5.Meanwhile, combine the breadcrumbs, 1 teaspoon of the oil, and a pinch of salt in a small bowl; set aside. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium until shimmering. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the chopped eggplant flesh, garlic, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
6. Cook, stirring frequently, until the eggplant is tender, 7 to 9 minutes.
7. Stir in 1 cup of the marinara and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the 1 cup of the mozzarella, and 1/4 cup of the Parmesan and stir to combine.
7. Heat the broiler to high. Remove the baking dish from the oven. Transfer the eggplant shells to a work surface. Pour the remaining 1 cup of marinara sauce into the baking dish and spread into an even layer.
8. Return the eggplant shells to the baking dish. Spoon the filling evenly into the shells. Top with the remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella, 1/4 cup Parmesan, and reserved breadcrumb mixture.
9. Broil until the cheese is melted and bubbling and the breadcrumbs are browned, 2 to 4 minutes. To serve, top the eggplant shells with marinara sauce from the baking dish.
Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
Use any raw vegetables you wish. Be creative. Jicama? Beets? Cherry Tomatoes? Blanch the green beans in salted water for 2 – 4 minutes and cook the small potatoes for 10-12 minutes. Cook the beets also if you are using them.
LE GRANDE AIOLI (Garlic Mayonnaise)
IN THE SPIRIT OF FULL DISCLOSURE: This vegetable platter and dips are this week’s Cook the Book Friday’s recipe from David Lebovitz’s My Paris Kitchen Cookbook. Unfortunately David’s recipe did not work for any of us. There was an error in the ingredients list, I believe, causing us to pour in 1 extra cup of oil. (Page 146 of the book.) The recipe below is easy and delicious. If you don’t like garlic, leave it out.
Makes about 1 cup
3 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 teaspoon (or more) coarse kosher salt
3/4 cup mayonnaise
21/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Mix mayonnaise, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.