“You are so easy to please…such a sweet spirit…” -my mom today
This was a thrilling day for me. I’m preparing for my kitchen for this upcoming school year and I have to accumulate my necessary supplies. I’ve been workin’ like a DOG lately and I used this day off very well, getting my own set of measuring spoons, a gadget to make my fried eggs perfectly round (luv u forever bed bath and beyond!!!!), and a CAST IRON SKILLET!!! My dad picked up a French press and that was also fun to try, then I went to the community garden and scooped up a shit ton of herbs that also made me super excited.
I hadn’t cooked in a while, aside from prepping some dishes for my dad’s birthday party the other day (and then taking care of a pre-party hor d’oeuvres nightmare). So this is what I came back to cooking with, armed with my BRAND NEW SKILLET.
I made Ina’s Roasted Salmon with Green Herbs (scallions, dill, parsley) and a recipe for charred skillet corn from Garden and Gun (recipe here), which I adapted a bit (no cream because creamed corn ain’t really any of my family’s thing). It was sooo good. The corn gets so sweet and the bacon and onions don’t hurt either.
Tomorrow is my dad’s birthday and I’m making a big-ass pot of matzo ball soup. I had the stock simmering on the right side of the burner and the corn cooking on the left, and I told my mom I felt like an old Southern grandmother with my skillet and an old Jewish grandmother with my pot of to-be matzo balls.
I MADE CHALLAH, Y’ALL. Damn. What a journey. I experienced a bit of a challah burnout through my youth, eating it way too frequently at Temple preschool (we used to roll it up into balls and enjoy it with our apple juice during snacktime, it was gross) and then Sunday school and every week during Shabbat. The first time my Christian cousin ate challah, she became obsessed and I just didn’t get it. But when I made it today, I couldn’t even remember the last time I had eaten it, and it was GEEWWWWD. I had wanted to make bread for a long time, and I was just looking for a free day to dedicate to it. I’ve been working at a bakery and selling and smelling bread all day long and although I’m not there in the wee hours of the morning to see them bake and learn a few things, it has made me want to bake bread a whoooole lot more.
I used an Eli Zabar recipe (had to go with the recipe of one of Ina’s BFFs since Ina herself does not have a challah recipe) and I think it turned out pretty well. The braiding went okay with the help of a little Youtube tutorial by a cheerful Jewish mom, but I certainly learned some things to keep in mind for next time.
This whole thing did however, unearth some dark memories of me wearing an Urban Outfitters graphic tee that read “Holla!” throughout most of my middle school years. The shirt is now immortalized in a quilt my mom made me but for a long period of time, I truly thought this was the funniest shit on earth.
Yeah for bread! Yeah for yeast! Yeah for taking on BIGGER AND BETTER THINGS!
Yesterday morning on Instagram, I came across this pasta made by Jessica of How Sweet It Is. It looked amazing! I love garlic, I love pasta, I love butter, and we had a bowl full of tomatoes that my mom has been growing. It seemed only right to make this for dinner. It was a great summery bowl of pasta and I loved it.
This was my first time making compound butter and I’m so excited to see what other kinds of butter I can make (and to see what else I can put the leftover roasted garlic butter on…) It’s such an easy way to add a ton of flavor and you can make a lot of flavored butter ahead and use it on whatever deserves it! (EDIT: I just put it on avocado toast and I HAVE ASCENDED.)
I used fettuccine instead of bucatini. I feel like I need to eat a lot more pastas because half of the pastas I read about I’ve never heard of. Shame.
This was dinner tonight, and my first time making pizza dough from scratch. I used Ina’s pizza dough recipe which was pretty easy to make, not frustrating compared to some handmade-dough stories I seem to remember, and only took 40 total minutes to rise.
This was sort of a variation of her White Pizza With Arugula. It has this amazing garlic oil (made with olive oil, garlic, thyme, and red pepper flakes), which I put on this pizza, plus mozzarella, goat cheese, and fontina. I didn’t have fontina or arugula, but I put a bit of prosciutto on after it had cooked and it was delicious! Next time, I don’t think I will roll out the dough with a rolling pin so much, since I feel like it may have made it a bit too hard on the bottom, but it was still great. I also made a regular margherita, but it wasn’t as photogenic, having been baked on a baking sheet instead of a pizza stone.
In other news, we finally got a food processor and I am the happiest girl in my whole house.
I am ALWAYS looking for a new way to eat eggs, and when I saw Ina make these herbed baked eggs as one of her many French meals, I was very intrigued. The recipe was in the Barefoot in Paris cookbook and I decided to make these for lunch today, though these would also make a very nice fancy brunch dish.
This was such an interesting and delicious dish, mostly because you got so many different kinds of eggs in one! You had lots of the runny yolk, some that seemed almost hard-boiled, and the baked whites and yolks. Mixed with garlic, parsley, rosemary, thyme, and a bit of cream and butter (this is Ina we’re talking about, after all), it was just delightful! And quite French. I loved how it made a sort of crusty gratin on the outside. I served it with a bit of toasted rye that I brought back from the bakery I now work at, though a French bread would have been preferable. I’m not complaining. I get a fair bit of free bread.