Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Y'all will be pleased to know (well, I am pleased to know) that I finally made a batch of ricotta gnocchi that tasted right, and held together right. And were they ever good.

I knew what my problem was, all along- not draining the ricotta overnight- but instead of doing that, I kept making ricotta gnocchi with undrained, wet ricotta, thinking maybe it would just all work out. Sunday night I used ricotta that had been wrapped up in cheesecloth for 24 hours, and they came out delicious. They held together and did not explode like exploding ricotta when they hit the simmering water.

I still cannot SHAPE a ricotta or any other form of gnocchi to really save my life, but if you like blobs, you'd have enjoyed this just fine.

Last night I made Jonathan Reynolds' braised pork chops from the NYT Magazine food section ages ago. (I organized and filed all my clipped newspaper recipes, including those untried, and you would not believe how many pork chop recipes I have. A lot.) Jonathan Reynolds seems to think pork chops will brown- no, sear- in one minute on each side on medium high and then you can braise them. In fact, my pork chops did not brown in three minutes on each side on high, and then I braised anyway for fear of totally drying them out. They turned out fine, but not super flavorful. They did not have anything on the Cooking Light pork chops.

However, having so many brined pork chop options to get through, I will not stop trying these recipes. Julia Reed also had one in the NYT Magazine Food Section, which will require the use of allspice and juniper berries. I didn't know allspice was a berry. But I will try it. (And what happened to the NYT Magazine Food Section? It's been absent for three weeks now, and recipes at the end of a Style article Do Not Count. I miss it.) Also, Cook's Illustrated, which I will try after, because I'm a little annoyed by the Dorky Yankees.

I tried making THEIR cold sesame noodles for my lunch this week, figuring it may be more caloric than the New Way To Cook version, but they'd be good. Y'all? NWTC's are a jillion times better. Especially leftover, cold. The America's Test Kitchen was alright fresh, but the next day? Gross.