A passion for food + fashion

Archive for August, 2011|Monthly archive page

Rescue Me

In Fashion on August 27, 2011 at 2:39 pm

“Mommy, is that Diego’s Rescue Pack?” my three-year-old asked, pointing to a favorite Chloe whipstitched Marcie bag. Though it doesn’t transform into a hang glider, he might be onto something.

Onion and Gruyère Tart

In Food, Recipes on August 24, 2011 at 4:50 pm

Months ago, I promised the recipe for a superfast Onion and Gruyère Tart—a promise on which I am finally making good. Increasingly I find myself pulling dinner together at the eleventh hour, and puff pastry is my secret weapon. For this recipe, a quickie riff on Suzanne Goin’s Alsatian tart flambé, you basically need a sheet of puff pastry, a yellow onion, some creme fraîche, ricotta, Gruyère and some sort of fat—like bacon or chopped up olives. It takes about 10 minutes to assemble (the lion’s share of which is grating cheese/slicing onions), and another 20-25 to bake.

1 sheet frozen all-butter puff pastry, defrosted

2 egg yolks

2 tablespoons oilve oil

1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped

1/4 cup pitted cured olives (substitute: bacon for more traditional tart)

1/2 cup fresh ricotta

1/4 cup crème fraîche

1 cup grated Gruyère

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Unroll puff pastry sheet onto parchment-lined baking sheet.

Mix one egg yolk with 1/2 teaspoon of water and brush egg wash around borders.

Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to skillet, and heat over medium flame. Add onions and rosemary (and bacon if using), and cook until onions are tender, about five minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a food processor, purée together ricotta, remaining egg yolk, remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Fold in crème fraîche and a pinch of salt and pepper. Spread mixture over puff pastry. Sprinkle Gruyère over ricotta mixture. Using a slotted spoon, top with onions mixture and sprinkle olives over, if using.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, rotating baking sheet once, until cheese is bubbling and crust is golden.

Raw Kale Salad with Pecorino

In Drink, Food, Recipes on August 10, 2011 at 10:05 pm

Each Wednesday I pick up a bag of fresh produce from my local CSA, and each Wednesday I am faced with the challenge of what to do with another bunch of kale. The dilemma has recently escalated thanks to the Pressed Juicery cleanse I embarked upon two months ago—the only lasting results of which have been that the very mention of kale renders me completely hostile and irritable, much like the cleanse itself.

And yet the kale keeps coming. Today my friend Christine offered me a lifeline and shared her husband Andrew’s recipe for a raw kale salad with lemon juice, salt and grated pecorino. I remembered seeing a similar version in the New York Times from Melissa Clark, which I ended up using (minus the bread crumbs). And you know what? I’m ADDICTED! The flavors are so fresh and tangy, and the cheese adds just a hint of nuttiness. It was spectacular alongside grilled corn from our farm bag and a beautiful piece of Alaskan salmon my sister brought over this evening:

Melissa’s recipe calls for Tuscan kale, but I used curly kale and julienned the raw kale into tiny slivers, as my main objection to other raw kale salads you find at, say, Whole Foods with larger pieces of kale is the lock jaw that comes from chewing the stuff. I hope you enjoy Melissa’s recipe as much as I did! And of course, keep the kale ideas coming!

Raw Tuscan Kale Salad with Pecorino (slightly adapted)

This recipe also appears in Melissa Clark’s excellent cookbook, In the Kitchen with A Good Appetite

1 bunch Tuscan kale (also known as black or lacinato kale)

1 thin slice country bread (part whole-wheat or rye is nice), or 1/4 cup homemade bread crumbs (coarse)

1/2 garlic clove

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 cup finely grated pecorino cheese, more for garnish

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, more for garnish

Freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon

1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste.

Trim bottom 2 inches off kale stems and discard. Slice kale, including ribs, into 3/4-inch-wide ribbons. You should have 4 to 5 cups. Place kale in a large bowl.

If using bread, toast it until golden on both sides. Tear it into small pieces and grind in a food processor until mixture forms coarse crumbs.

Using a mortar and pestle, pound garlic into a paste with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Transfer garlic mixture to a small bowl. Add 1/4 cup cheese, 3 tablespoons oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper flakes and black pepper, and whisk to combine. Pour dressing over kale and toss very well to thoroughly combine (dressing will be thick and need lots of tossing to coat leaves).

Let salad sit for 5 minutes, then serve topped with bread crumbs, additional cheese and a drizzle of oil.

Oh, and don’t forget to “garnish” with a gorgeous glass of 2009 Ponzi Rosato Pinot Noir ($15)…

Gray Expectations

In Design on August 6, 2011 at 2:10 pm

Last night we were at a friend’s very fabulous 40th birthday party. (There was a soft serve station. Need I say more?) While we wolfed down grilled-to-order white cheddar, avocado and tomato sandwiches, my friend Kristi remarked that she hadn’t seen the final colors on our stucco project from a few months ago. I’m so happy with how it turned out—it’s like a whole new house! In fact, my friend Lizzie still drives past it every time she comes over. Depending on the light, the wood trim either looks dark grey or greenish.

Here are before/after pics of the garage to give an idea…

Once the house was gray, all of a sudden, I started noticing that the few hits of orangey-red I’d planted in the mostly purple and silvery-green flower borders started to pop.

Which meant that I had to repaint the Chinese Chippendale outdoor dining chairs in Farrow & Ball “Blazer” and invite my friend Lizzie over to drink pitchers of St. Germain and prosecco (a cocktail greatly enhanced by adding a splash of Plymouth Gin).

A color scheme I then realized was feeling strangely familiar. Had I seen this before in my living room?

Or was it in our bedroom?

No, it must have been when I was redoing the home office.

Or maybe it was in the kitchen…