Thursday, May 15, 2008

No less than expected

Hello, Friends,

I have spun around the house like a whirl to be able to slide into this chair and chat with you again. I assure you there has been no less cooking and serving than ever. Only there has been a preoccupation or two hereabouts: My family, which I am thrilled to have with me, the spa, which was just fine, not spectacular, and the beach.

Oh, there is also my obsession with the new Susan Hermann Loomis book Cooking at Home on Rue Tatin, which is, obviously, French in inspiration. It generates the obligatory recipes from her French ex-patriate surroundings, but it has one thing going for it over all the others which fall into this category: I have read only about fifty pages so far, and to it's credit, this is no Patrica Wells collection of (mostly) other people's idea's, it is a great book from which to work and read because it details several notes after each recipe which most author's would bid you figure out yourself. As when I read Julia Child, I prefer a writer to be both comprehensive in their knowledge about how a recipe reacts as well as succinct. Ms. Loomis is both.

I know you would like me to advise you what I have cooked from this book thus far. The answer is nothing. I have firstly been very tied up with a month's worth of cooking periodicals that are much better than most month's. And secondly, some of the items I make are at the square center of the blog universe: Neither so special as to necessitate giving you a recipe, nor so reprehensible as to warn you away from one (a la The Brisket).

There was Food and Wine's Greek Hand Pies courtesy of Jacques Pepin (eh.), there was the watermelon goat cheese salad from same (eh eh.), the poached eggs with baked feta and olives (murderously salty), the Georgian Cheese Bread (white stuffed crust pizza in Georgian disguise) from Gourmet, and then, there was this: My own melange of the elements of these
recipes I enjoyed (okay, only two). From leftovers in culinary periodical adventures comes this salad which will make you pleased and glad on the hottest of days:

Watermelon, Feta, Almond Salad with Dill
Serves 4

8 cups seedless watermelon as fresh as possible, cut into 1 inch dice
1/2 cup feta cheese, finely crumbled
1 cup toasted whole almonds, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup red wine vinegar, more or less to taste
2 tablespoons dill, chopped
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste

Into your salad bowl place the watermelon, feta, and almonds. Sprinkle the red wine vinegar and dill over the mixture and toss gently to combine evenly. Taste. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Place in refrigerator for 1 hour. Serve.

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