Monday, December 05, 2005

True Tuscan is, I think, not something I am going to be cooking from any more. I made some white bean dip/spread for crostini last night and while it was good, it was not what I hoped for from white bean dip. I think it is partly my own fault- I wanted to add rosemary but my rosemary has done dried up- and partly a consistency issue. It was too thick. And kind of bland, even when I added three times as much roasted garlic as the recipe called for.

We had a small dinner, and along with the white bean crostini I made a roasted beet salad (SO GOOD) and also celeriac remoulade, which I thought was heavenly but which I think is maybe not a dish everyone loves, because I don't think everyone is all, "Tarragon + mayonnaise = something I could eat straight all day long" quite like I am. I got both of those recipes from Bouchon which is supposed to be a fussy cookbook but which I find couldn't be more straightforward. I think you need to be the type of person who thinks, "Oh, julienning celery root! Fun with sharp knives!" but if you are that type of person, this is the book for you. I am definitely making my husband the onion soup over the holidays.

For the meal we had Judy Rogers' mock porchetta which is not, thank god, some sort of tofu approximation but just a more manageable size roast pork. I could have added more vegetables to the roast- they all got eaten up and I was left wanting about three more onions, because an onion roasted in pork fat is heaven. Fortunately for my lunch today there was pork leftover for a sandwich, though.

Finally we had a cake that was really just all butter from How to Be a Domestic Goddess and I also had it for breakfast and a mid-morning snack. It was easier than pie, too. When I was sick last week I watched an A&E biography of Nigella and fell even more in love with her, especially because people kept saying how greedy she was. I am a greedy eater, for sure. I hope my dinner guests never figure out I keep having them over so I can have an excuse to eat a ton. They all think I'm doing something nice for them, ha!

I also reviewed two cookbooks for the MSNBC winter cookbook lineup, and if y'all are looking for a holiday gift for the busier folks in your life, I can't recommend Sara Moulton's new one strongly enough. Check out the full review for why..