Archive | December, 2011

Antipasto Sunday

12 Dec

Sunday was spent with NB and friends chopping up vegetables for antipasto.  I vaguely recall making this with my mum as a kid, and as soon as I saw the mountain of cauliflower simmering away in the pot, it all came flooding back to me.  Antipasto requires a LOT of chopping. We spent about 7 hours making a monster batch.

It was my first experience with a pressure canner – and this wasn’t  just any machine, but a full-on commercial grade tank.  It was intense.  It takes the same amount of time as traditional canning, except it can do a double layer of jars…and it makes fantastical noises with the petcock valve.  (Seriously, that’s the name, look it up.)

Cost: $25 plus 1 dozen jars (per person)
Time: 8 hours 
Result: About 12 jars of antipasto (per person)

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Ad Hoc at Home (truly)

5 Dec

After first visiting Thomas Keller’s Bouchon in Las Vegas last year I’ve become obsessed with simple French food.   (If you haven’t been to Bouchon, it’s an culinary cove of civility tucked away on the tenth floor of the Venetian.  Far from the casino floor…unlike certain other Michelin starred restaurants). On our first visit, C and I gorged ourselves so much on the foie gras, salmon rillettes, and oysters that we didn’t even make it to the next course.  It also started a debate about how I could keep the foie gras cold enough for 24 hours to bring home.  I lost.  We had to eat it all then and there.  All 250ml/1000 calories/95 grams of delicious fat.  It did inspire me however to make both pork and salmon rillettes (more on that another time).

Now, I’ve long been of the opinion that unless you have a gourmet kitchen, endless hours to prepare, and unlimited patience, French food is generally best enjoyed when the preparation has been left to a professional.  Ad Hoc at Home changed my opinion.  The recipes are trustworthy, beautifully presented, and genuinely as enjoyable to make as they are to eat.

Buy online at Amazon for about $40

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