Monday, December 15, 2003

Friday, I made asparagus roasted with brown butter and pecorino romano, pork chops a la Mastering The Art Of French Cooking (marinated in a garlic lemon olive oil marinade, which I then used to make a pan sauce- you're never supposed to use a marinade as a sauce, but I'm assuming that's unless you cook it, right? Julia Child would not tell you something that will kill you is an option for your sauce, would she?) and polenta. Polenta with brown butter and a green olive goat cheese. I could have had a whole bowl of that and nothing else. Jeff didn't eat any. I suppose his polenta dislike, like my dislike of pasta, is just something we'll figure out. Alas.

Saturday we had pizza. Every time I think of experimenting, I go back to prosciutto, caramelized onions, and lemon pepper cream sauce. I can't think of a better pizza. I did try Jody Adams' pizza dough from In The Hands of a Chef. Which totally stressed me out, since it called for less than two cups of flour and two tablespoons of olive oil and all sorts of weird proportions, I felt, to make a pound of dough. That can't be right, and I don't think it did make a pound of dough. However, it did make very, very, very very good thin pizza dough. Very good. I had the rest for breakfast.

Yesterday I made my mother's Christmas cookies- peanut butter cookies with Hershey's Kisses in the center. At Ralphs (I break the strike when I have coupons that are about to expire. I know. I'm morally bankrupt.) they had Dark Hershey's Kisses, and, someone had left an unexpired coupon right on top of them. That plus the fact they were on sale and they were practically free. I had made these cookies a long time ago, when I lived in Boston and never cooked, but had to call my mother for the recipe again, which she got from a magazine.

Here it is, as she relayed it to me: "1 cup- oh, you're not going to like this- margarine. I think butter won't work here. It says Mazola brand, but that doesn't matter. 1 cup Skippy Peanut Butter but I always use Jif. 1 cup granulated sugar. 1 cup brown sugar. 2 eggs. 1 tablespoon vanilla. 2 and a half cups flour. 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt. That's what I like about this recipe- everything is 1 this and 1 that. Granulated sugar to roll the cookies in and Hershey's kisses. Mix the first six ingredients- everything up to the flower- on medium speed until fluffy in a mixer! Are you excited? Add the remaining four ingredients and mix together on low. Roll into one inch balls and roll in the sugar. Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes and immediately after baking press one Hershey's Kiss - or nuts, or jam. Jam? That's odd. In the center. Makes 4 dozen. That's the other thing I like about it- it makes a lot of cookies. It's kind of a pain, rolling all those little balls. Also, you want to make sure they cool completely before putting them in an airtight container- the Hershey's Kisses will melt a little."

The cookies came out excellently. I highly recommend them. Tonight- potato gnocchi!