Thursday, March 12, 2009

food ramblings


I made my first sojourn to Le Petit Paris yesterday for a couple of macarons.  The one in front is pistachio and the one in back is apricot lavendar.  They were tasty.  I preferred the apricot lavender.  The filling was intensely apricot-y with that pleasantly soapy taste that lavender can confer on food.  Yes, I said pleasantly soapy.  Le Petit Paris seems cool.  Anyone had the sandwiches?
I think I've extolled The Greens Cookbook on this blog before, but I am going to highly recommend it again.  This is a celery salad from the cookbook.  Organic celery, of course, cuz I guess that celery soaks up more pesticide than many other vegetables.  It's just celery, apples, raisins, walnuts, a little olive oil and, s and p, and champagne vinegar.  I loved it.
The new Food and Wine (OK, it's kind of a sucky magazine but I got a subscription for like 5 bucks) had a red quinoa recipe, and I've had some red quinoa sitting in my pantry forever, so I tried it.  Have you every seen a watermelon radish?  They're hecka good and pretty.  Like a combo radish and turnip.
Guess what?  Red quinoa is not as good as regular.  Don't fall for the hype!  I put tahini (Natalie's trick), olive oil, sunchokes,  and green onions in here.  It was pretty good.  Do you guys eat quinoa? What do you do to it?  Any polenta suggestions?
Your eyes are surely glazing over by now, but I'll press on.  I am constantly reading in cookbooks and mags that you can make shortcut ravioli with wonton wrappers, so I decided to try it.  This is butternut squash with goat cheese, shallots and oregano sauteed in butter, s and p, and chopped roasted hazelnuts.
It was fun to make them, although nervewracking because I thought they would fall apart upon contact with water.
Here is the unlovely, lumpen result.  The wonton wrapper def tastes like a like a...wonton wrapper. Not like pasta.  It made me want to make dumplings.  They needed some garlicky pork inside, not squash.  However, they did stay together quite nicely.  

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

Damm it, you are a go getter!
I agree on red quinoa, its not as good as regular. I think because its smaller. I try it lots of ways but I always go back to the tahini salad base.
I've wondered about the won ton raviolis too, those wrappers just aren't as sturdy as pasta.
and finally, I've been to Le Petit Paris but only for the coffee and macaroons. I really want to try one of the sandwiches though.

-Natalie.

beckler said...

How was the coffee?

Alice said...

i had the same experience with red quinoa. it didn't cook up easily like the regular stuff. quinoa is good in stuffed vegetables (like squash, peppers or tomatoes).

Anonymous said...

Quinoa sauted with chopped spinach, garlic, salt, pepper and a little tiny bit of olive oil or butter is hecka good. I had it that way at an obnoxious restaurant down here that was "Mexican" but everything was presented like sushi. Don't get me started about how much that place sucked, but the Quinoa was terrific.

ec

Liv Moe said...

this is good!

http://everybodylikessandwiches.blogspot.com/2007/06/summer-salad.html

Grace said...

I've only had the mozzarella sandwich at Le Petit Paris and it was okay, not great. However, the macaroons are heavenly!

-gw

Anonymous said...

I have some weak polenta suggestions: it's good poured in a dish and the next day cut into squares, grilled (or pan fried) and then topped with some good marinara and a piece of melted mozzarella. It's super fast to assemble and if you can get it a little crispy on the outside, that is boss.

Its good as a very thin grilled cheese, prosciutto and polenta sandwich with arugula and toasted bread.

I also like it in it's liquid oozy state with a bunch of cheese and garlic in it. Like cheese grits.

And really, isn't that all Polenta is? Italian Grits?
ec

Anonymous said...

Another sandwich eater. It was tasty, but not amazing. However I did have a conversation with the very nice owner. Besides being a former rocket scientist, he told me that KJ likes to drop by there for coffee, so he's hoping to start a salon series once they get a liquor license where people could ask the mayor questions.

beckler said...

my dad used to make cornmeal mush cakes for breakfast with maple syrup. it would be good like that, with bacon!

Anonymous said...

I had both the pistachio and the lavender; I completely agree with you on the macarons.
I've also had some kind of grilled sandwich (was good, not outstanding), and an apple tart-thing, which was pretty tasty.
The black tea (I forget, but has a strange/good flavor) is excellent as iced tea.

Anonymous said...

Polenta can suck it!

-miller

Anonymous said...

Heavily cheesy grits with a side of bacon, slightly drizzled with maple syrup (or Sorghum!) is my favorite southern breakfast. And I will probably die of a heart attack.

ec

beckler said...

I am dumbfounded that the city council voted UNANIMOUSLY for that entertainment subsidy on K street. We need to throw these fucking bums out.

Anonymous said...

Wow. I was just thinking about how good a bowl of polenta with bacon in it sounded last night. In fact, I was up at 3am thinking that very thought. If I had had any bacon in the house I would have made that exact dish. I think that will be on my Big Sur food list. I love polenta, it's quick and cheap and mushy and warm.
Recommendation on the ravioli's? Fry em. Delish.
jamattack!
ps. Please don't ever, ever mention food and soap together again. I'm gagging just writing this.

Anonymous said...

Have you guys ever had the famous south carolina 'shrimp and grits' dish? good!

this company that I get my grits from has a rad site of recipes and they make polenta too. They make all kinds of neat old style ground grain stuff. http://www.ansonmills.com/recipes-page.htm

that polenta ragout looks like it would even convince Miller that polenta does not suck it.

ec

beckler said...

he just doesn't like mushy food. i love mushy baby-type food. it's never going to work.

beckler said...

I like how anson mills has a link for "ancient grain". I may have to go for some of their special buckwheat flour.

Anonymous said...

If you do an order and you want to split it up, let me know. You gotta buy 4 things at once, minimum.
ec

Anonymous said...

I like mushy food if it tastes like something!! "It's great if you smother it with cheese & bacon" isn't selling it. Polenta can suck it!

-miller

Anonymous said...

EC's polenta recipe is the best. My mom's been making that forever and it's bliss-inducing Italian comfort food. I bet that'd be an excellent way to use some Morant's sausage.

I'm obsessed with Israeli couscous right now. Does anyone know if the Co-op has in the bulk bins? I hate that the boxes of it are pricey.

Dani

beckler said...

i think they do. the davis co-op does. of course the davis co op is WAY BETTER than the sac co op. look, i got too lazy to put a dash in.
morants and polenta and parmesan? i will be making that. miller suck it!

Anonymous said...

Dani, I think all the "Hallal Meats" kinda stores south of sacto have it in plastic bags for cheap. I used to get it near 47th and florin at some place that was maybe called "east west" or something. So many varieties of fresh dates too!

Skipper said...

A quick thing that I use quinoa with is combining it with a sauteed pepper vinaigrette:

Sauteed bell, banana, and serrano pepper, red onion, and garlic tossed in a mixture of balsamic, olive oil, and marjoram.

The Armeniac said...

Miller, I didn't know you hated polenta so much. I'm going to take your hatred of polenta to be a sign of your general hatred of Italians. Why you pokin' a' fun of mah people ah?

Anonymous said...

Polenta-schmolenta. That's all I have to say in the matter.







Besides "polenta can suck it!!" of course.


-miller

Grace said...

Dani,

I looked for Israeli couscous in the bulk bins at the co-op a while ago for my brother, as he was obsessed with it, but didn't see it there. I did find it at Corti's in packages sold by the weight.

Caroline said...

i'm with miller. fuck polenta. and obviously, fuck italians.

Anonymous said...

I have two favorite ways to cook quinoa. One is to use veggie broth as the cooking liquid and then adding a pinch each of ground sage, thyme and a teaspoon of oregano. I like to top it with sauteed peppers, onions and soyrizo. The other way is to make a cold salad out of it by tossing cooled, cooked quinoa with cut cherry tomatoes, greek olives and scallions all mixed with a balsamic vinaigrette. I'm quinoa crazy!

Niki

Anonymous said...

I prefer the red quinoa so I guess I'm in the minority here. I had it first, I wonder if that is why. I like its nuttiness and sometimes use it in place of rice. Sometimes I toss cooked quinoa into soup because I like soup to have a mix of textures.

-Anna

beckler said...

Soyrizo and quinoa together, eh? I'll try that because I usually don't use all of a package of soyrizo before it goes bad.

skpr said...

I wonder how quinoa cooked in Phở broth is? Then topped with all the other crap that is in the bowl and topped with two squares of blud.

skpr said...

That's right. The question mark is for intonation.

wburg said...

Make your polenta, and put the mushy stuff that smiller won't eat into a pan, mixing it with some pork sausage. The next morning, cut out slices and pan-fry them. In New Jersey they call this "scrapple," which is a far more manly-sounding name than "polenta." It sounds like a foodstuff that should have ground-up used car parts and bits of rust in it.

Anonymous said...

I always wondered what the hell Scrapple was. I like it.

ec

Anonymous said...

Scrapple, Scrapple, the pride of Pennsylvania!

Robbie Fulks



Word verification "chies" - Cheese fries!

beckler said...

I think Pennsylvania scrapple is nastier than that. Corti sells frozen scrapple