Monday, September 08, 2003

Friday night, for real, I almost served pizza- to company, no less- made from TJ's premade dough. I've been that exhausted lately. I rallied Thursday, though, and made a batch of dough from scratch. I did use undoctored jarred marinara for the cheese pizza, and TJ's "Just Chicken" for the barbeque chicken pizza. (The leftover "Just Chicken" caused much hilarity this weekend. 'Hey, Jeff, what's that?' 'Oh, it's Just Chicken.' Well, okay, maybe hilarity to exactly two people. But anyway.) Still, the pizza was just fine. Just pizza.

Saturday Jeff went out to the Valley, so I conquered baking my own brioche. Conquered might be too strong of a word. Man, is brioche dough sticky. I used Jacques Pepin's technique, from his complete techniques, and doing it by hand convinced me what I want more than a food processor is a stand mixer. I've wanted a KitchenAid forever, but now I kind of covet the Maytag Atrezzi, although that picture makes it look three feet tall. Regardless. I will be liberated from kneading, someday.

I didn't have little brioche molds, so I used muffin tins. Even with the little tetes and slits I cut (I just used Jacques method for a giant brioche to make the little brioche) they looked like nothing more than corn muffins. Jeff got to me all day Sunday, talking about the muffins. "They're not muffins!" However, they tasted wonderful- no buttering necessary, that is for sure.

I made my own single girl dinner- catfish, with Konriko Greek Seasoning, in a grill pan. Shamelessly stolen, as are most of my new recipe ideas, from my friend T. I'm making the fish again for Jeff this week. So easy- just heat the grill pan, spray it with olive oil and rub the fish with Greek Seasoning. Grill until cooked through, turning once.

Sunday I went to the Hollywood Farmer's Market. I'm trying to eat five servings of veggies a day this week. That, plus the fact that the stupid Triathlon made the Farmer's Market difficult to get to and therefore less busy, causing me to feel guilty that the farmer's weren't selling as much, led to a bigger haul than usual. I bought three bunches of asparagus. Three! I'm preparing them all week- steam/sauteed with chinese five flavor oil, and then with brown butter and pecorino romano, two light techniques from A New Way To Cook. Then I'll have some with hollandaise, because I can.

I really like coming home from the farmer's market all laden down with flowers and eggs and produce. It feels good.

Yesterday I made Eggs Benedict again, with brioche instead of English muffins. A really good idea, that. Though I need to remember that toasting the bread should be the Last Thing to do, since otherwise it gets cold and what is the point of toasting it? I didn't cook any dinner last night, but did some prep for lunch/snacks today- made a salad dressing, the basic vinaigrette from Julia's Kitchen Wisdom, hardboiled some eggs, and peeled a raw bell pepper. Why on earth would one peel a raw bell pepper? Well, Jacques Pepin says in J&J Cooking at home that a bell pepper to be eaten raw is best peeled for digestion and taste. And he has pictures showing you how. It looks so easy, and I had my Oxo Good Grips peeler at the ready. It's not easy. Don't peel a raw pepper, unless you really want to. I haven't actually eaten the peeled pepper yet, so I'll let you know if it was remotely worth it.