Sunday, 31 October 2010

happy halloween y'all

two things i love: fruit and perrierother things that are awesome...pumpkins and cookies. especially cookies with our names on them. courtesy of my wonderful mother!

Sunday, 24 October 2010

post-flu culinary adventures

I just had the flu.
It was awful.
After spending an entire week in bed eating nothing but saltine crackers and the occasional bit of soup, I finally emerged from my room last monday to become a functional human being again.
Of course, when my appetite finally came back, I was craving my ultimate comfort food... spaghetti (the word which caused me to lose the 3rd grade spelling bee).
On my first night eating food again, I started with plain spaghetti, butter, and parmesan cheese. There are few things as satisfying for me as that.
Then, I decided to get a bit more creative. I bought a new food processor! And with it, I made homemade pesto. This led to a few nights of really enjoying spaghetti with pesto sauce. Once again, very satisfying and very simple.
However, my favourite food in the world happens to be raspberry tart, so I decided it was time for me to invest in a tart pan and bake some tart. I made a tart and invited all of my friends over to eat it (if someone else didn't eat it, I would eat the whole thing, and that would just not be ok). Everyone seemed to enjoy the tart, which was pretty gratifying!
As you can see, liz was pretty excited to try some tart:
Our next culinary adventure of the week was eggplant parmesan. Liz is italian, and she knows her italian food. She even has uncles in philadelphia who own an italian restaurant. In other words, she's legit. Tonight she taught me how to make eggplant parmesan. It was amazing! And, it was surprisingly easy. First we chopped up our eggplant into fairly thin slices. Then we dipped it in egg batter, then breadcrumbs, then egg batter again, then breadcrumbs again. We don't mess around with our breading.
After that, we fried the battered and breadcrumbed eggplant slices in a pan with some olive oil.
You want to fry them until they are lovely and crispy and golden!

After that, the key is to eliminate some of the grease from frying by draining the fried eggplants in a paper towel in a bowl!
Then, we spread a thin layer of spicy tomato sauce on the bottom of the pan. The fried eggplants went in a layer over the tomato sauce. After that, we covered this layer of eggplant with shredded parmesan and mozzarella cheese. A layer of tomato sauce went over this. Then, we repeated the process. Another layer of fried eggplants went on top of the first, then another layer of tomato sauce. Before adding another layer of cheese, this concoction was covered in foil and put into the oven (which had been preheated to 350 degrees). We then baked it for around 30 minutes. We used a pretty small pan, so if you're using a larger pan, you may want to bake it for closer to 45 minutes. After taking the eggplant parmesan out of the oven, we added another layer of parmesan and mozzarella. The foil was added over the top again and it was baked again for 5 minutes (or until the cheese melts). The foil was then removed and it was baked sans foil until the cheese turned golden brown (once again, about 5 minutes). After removing the dish, we let it sit for about 20 minutes until we ate it.
Here's the thing. I have never been a fan of eggplant in any form or fashion. I LOVED this. It was so ridiculously good. I never thought I could appreciate eggplant this much.
Our eggplant parmesan was a work of art. Not only did it taste amazing, but it also looked rather wonderful.
That, ladies and gents, is how you make eggplant parmesan.

On a completely unrelated to food note, I went back to bikram yoga today for the first time in a few months. It was amazing. I had been having some shoulder problems from my extensive viola playing, and just the one bikram class made them go away. I truly believe that there is not much that is better for you than doing bikram yoga. I think I'll start going back regularly. Here's to a healthier lifestyle! (Mind you, eggplant parmesan is not adding to said healthier lifestyle)

Eggplant recipe was courtesy of miss Elizabeth Sutphen.
Raspberry tart recipe was from Gourmet magazine.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Hello blogging world!

I've been saying for a long time that I want to write a blog. Finally, after a lot of procrastination, I am writing my first blog post. I've decided that the best night to start my blog was a night when I cooked steak. Steak is my favourite food, and it is
something that I cook multiple times per week. I plan for this blog to mostly be about cooking and eating food. Subjects I will also occasionally touch on are viola (!), books, and friends. I live in new york city, in a very tiny apartment, with my lovely roomates (and guest chefs) Simon and Liz (seen below)!
Tonight, Liz and I had a lovely dinner date together. We cooked a new york strip steak for each of us, and bruschetta! Seeing as we don't have a grill, our preferred method of cooking steak is pan-frying. This is rather messy, occasionally sets off our smoke alarm, and sometimes ends in burns on my arm. It's worth it for how delicious it tastes. Tonight we decided to pretty much use every spice in our cabinet to season our steaks. This resulted in steaks seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic salt, italian seasoning, paprika, and cumin. It sounds like a bit much, but it turned out to be rather delicious. We ended up with perfectly cooked
(rare), juicy, deliciously seasoned steaks!

Since we had really wonderful tomatoes from the farmer's market at 66th st, we made bruschetta as our side dish. Since the tomatoes were so good on their own the bruschetta was amazing!

All in all, it was a delicious meal and a lovely night!

sprinkle paprika, ground cumin, garlic salt, salt, pepper, and italian season on the steak
heat olive oil (or butter) in a pan
pan-fry steaks until they reach desired level of done. personally I like my steaks pretty rare, which was about 2 1/2 minutes on each side on medium-high heat.

chop tomatoes (we used one pretty big tomato)
mix tomatoes, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a bowl
let sit for a while
serve over sliced french baguette
if you aren't lactose intolerant/kosher and eating it with meat, you can melt mozzarella cheese on the bread or sprinkle fresh mozzarella on top of the bruschetta!