Saturday, April 25, 2009

Fabulous Fennel

Having worked on Easter, our celebration came later. It was a delectable meal including smoked mountain trout from just down the road, roasted pearl red onions with grapes (a Gourmet recipe I highly recommend), sauteed asparagus, roasted new potatoes, and homemade rolls.

The best part of the meal, though, was the dessert. And I know I usually say that, but this time it is really true. For dessert we used another recipe from Gourmet: a Candied Fennel and Lemon Cake. Recently I have become fascinated with fennel; it's sugary-anise flavor is complex and utterly intriguing. Given my predilection toward fennel Gourmet's cake was a must-try. Despite many skeptics it was delicious. The cake had a slight cornmeal texture with body and bite, the lemon perfectly complimenting the candied fennel. This is a great cake.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A Taste of the Beginning

The night before my first day of work (my first day of work at my first salaried job!) to celebrate and relax we turned to one of the ultimate comfort foods: pizza. We spiffed it up with our own homemade crust. The crust is the "Expert Pizza Dough" recipe from Saveur. Having tried the recipe several times, I can say that it work wonderfully, minus the cake flour. Each time I've tried it with cake flour it hasn't risen properly. As was the case for this crust.

The toppings more than compensated for the crust. A couple hours beforehand I chopped onion and added it to ricotta cheese with some grated lemon zest, and let the mixture mellow. When it came time to make the pizza we added the normal sauce with spotted with spoonfuls of ricotta, then artichokes, a layer of spinach, and then mozzarella cheese. The resulting pizza had a perfect combination of sour and salt, all tempered by the cheeses. A delicious way to start anew.